Details About I Love Chamoy From Shark Tank

Over the years, "Shark Tank" has seen plenty of condiment companies, from Sienna Sauce wing slathers to Slice of Sauce solidified ketchup. As part of Season 15, the "Shark Tank" investors had an opportunity to sink their teeth into I Love Chamoy's sugar-free Mexican sauces.

Entrepreneur Annie Leal created I Love Chamoy in 2021 after she grew frustrated with trying to find a sugar-free, sweet-but-spicy treat for her diabetic father. She landed on chamoy, a Mexican sauce traditionally made from salted and dehydrated apricots, mangoes, or plums, as well as chili powder, salt, sugar, and a dash of citrus.

In 2022, Leal and I Love Chamoy won H-E-B's Quest for Texas Best competition, earning $25,000 cash and product placement at H-E-B. Of course, running a small business isn't easy, even with so much support early on, so Leal brought I Love Chamoy to the Tank in hopes of finding guidance and financial investment.

I Love Chamoy's flavor took a lot of work to nail down

Although chamoy is a Mexican staple, the real deal isn't exactly diabetic-friendly. Simply omitting sugar, however, changes the entire flavor and purpose of the condiment. As such, Annie Leal tried countless different versions of a sugar-free chamoy sauce before she found the right combination of ingredients.

Leal went so far as to hire a food scientist and worked with them to test a handful of different natural sweeteners. Ultimately, they landed on using monk fruit sweetener, which they felt best complemented the other ingredients in the chamoy: lime powder, hibiscus powder, chili peppers, citric acid, sodium benzoate, salt, and xanthan gum.

Interestingly, the inclusion of hibiscus powder also solved Leal's problem of wanting to use natural rather than artificial coloring in her sauces. Hibiscus powder gives foods a deep red color, as well as a tangy taste similar to cranberries — a win-win for I Love Chamoy.

TikTok fell in love with I Love Chamoy overnight

Armed with a background in content creation and social media production, Annie Leal took her fledgling company to TikTok. There, she racked up over 420,000 followers, many of them celebrating I Love Chamoy's sugar-free recipe. Others requested versions of the sauce that would meet additional dietary restrictions like low sodium, though Leal did reveal that I Love Chamoy already contains 40-80% less sodium than many traditional chamoy sauce recipes.

The entrepreneur soon found her product featured on Rihanna's Fenty Beauty page, and with increased customer demand, Leal moved I Love Chamoy into a warehouse space in October 2023. The company's newest flavor, Chili Mango, received so many orders that even a batch of 20,000 bottles and a team of family members couldn't keep up. It makes sense, then, that Leal wanted a Shark on her side to help streamline the production and shipping processes. I Love Chamoy fans rate the original sauce 4.8 stars and can't wait to get their hands on the next flavor: pickle chamoy.

How do customers use I Love Chamoy?

As you can imagine, chamoy sauce is extremely versatile. After all, it's tangy, sweet, salty, and spicy, so it can complement just about any food or drink. The official website for I Love Chamoy recommends using its sauce on pizza, chips, fruits, veggies, and even candy, but founder Annie Leal also regularly shares her personal favorites on social media.

Leal enjoys wrapping a mango popsicle in chamoy sauce and Fruit Roll-Ups before topping it off with a generous sprinkling of Tajín seasoning and a splash of lime juice. She also favors mixing chunks of watermelon with I Love Chamoy sauce, lime juice, and Tajín to create a snack guaranteed to create a party in your mouth. Other snacks involve adding chamoy to Korean potato-and-cheese hot dogs, juice bar ice cream, and freeze-dried dragon fruit. The possibilities seem truly endless, and fans seem eager for more.

What happened to I Love Chamoy on Shark Tank

I Love Chamoy's creator, Annie Leal, was impossible not to like as she entered the Tank with a mariachi band playing a spooky rendition of the show's theme song. The Sharks, along with guest investor Jason Blum, couldn't help but smile as the enthusiastic Leal described her business and what led her to create her sugar-free chamoy sauce. While her asking price of $300,000 for 5% equity made the Sharks nervous, they calmed down upon learning that the company would end the year with $1.3 million.

After introducing the company's new chile watermelon Mexican candy, Leal shared her products' numbers and the company's future plans. Barbara Corcoran was the first Shark to drop out after Leal said she planned to increase her products' presence in retail. Next was Lori Greiner, followed by Jason Blum, who complimented Leal but didn't have experience in the business. Mark Cuban was the last to go, which left Leal with Mr. Wonderful and his offer of $300,000 for 15% equity.

After Kevin O'Leary refused to agree to Leal's 8% counteroffer, the other Sharks chimed in. All agreed that Leal was already succeeding on her own and didn't need his help, with Cuban telling her to stick to her guns and Blum telling her she could hire a business partner. After Leal rejected O'Leary's final offer of 12½%, she left the Tank as the Sharks applauded.