What Happened To RollinGreens After Shark Tank?

The culinary world has been getting kinder to anyone who wants vegetarian or plant-based foods. The internet offers countless vegetarian recipes to delight the whole family, and there are endless vegan restaurant options serving far more than the sad side salad. These days, there are loads of grocery aisle choices for vegetarians and vegans as well, with quick foods that can be opened or heated up for a convenient, conscionable meal or snack.

One company trying to thrill the taste buds of the meat-free crowd is RollinGreens, which focuses on plant-based meat alternatives. More specifically, RollinGreens sells a series of pouches containing what looks like ground meat, complete with seasonings inspired by tacos, chorizo, or a standard salt and pepper blend for making vegan burgers.

Though RollinGreens now focuses heavily on these meat substitutes, the company previously made vegetarian chicken wings and tater tots. Those were the foods that founders Ryan and Lindsey Cunningham brought before the Sharks on ABC's "Shark Tank," back in the Season 11 finale of the show.

How RollinGreens performed with the Sharks

RollinGreens began as a food truck business in 2011, according to the company website. It was started by Chef Ko, AKA Ryan Cunningham, in Colorado. The aim of the truck was "to bring local, organic food back to Boulder." Apparently, that was a success, as "customers lined around the block for hours, waiting on Chef Ko's millet tots" — the same tots that RollinGreens brought to "Shark Tank," along with some cauliflower-based wings. 

The company promised the Sharks it would be a major player in a "tasty, clean food revolution" of the future, as co-founder Lindsay Cunningham put it on the show. The Sharks were impressed with the partners' food. "Your sauces are delicious," said QVC Queen Lori Greiner. Mr. Wonderful crowed, "This stuff is spectacular. It's delicious."

Despite the praise, most of the Sharks refused to invest in RollinGreens. They felt the structure of the business was weak and scattered. "The business model doesn't work," said Mr. Wonderful. "I see clouds. I see some bad things are going to happen to you," he finished. In the end, Robert Herjavec saw the vision. "You guys are great people. I believe the mission," he said as he offered them $500,000 for a 20% stake in the company.

RollinGreens had a successful year after 'Shark Tank'

Since its 2020 appearance on "Shark Tank," RollinGreens has been as active as the founders claimed it would be. Not only did the Cunninghams continue to sell vegan tater tots and wings, but the wings actually got an award from QVC for the "best plant-based food" for 2021. For those not privy to the late-night infomercial wonderland that is QVC, it's a shopping channel (via Britannica) that sells a wide variety of goods. In a press release about the award and the brand's steady success after its founding, RollinGreens said it saw "a rapid sales acceleration during the pandemic" as customers looked for nutritious plant-based foods to eat at home.

Shortly after appearing on "Shark Tank," RollinGreens claimed on its website to have tripled its revenue back in 2020 alone. Meanwhile, Shark Tank Blog states that as of July in 2022, revenue for the company ranges from $4 to $5 million per year, a significant rise from the $700,000 in sales that the company reported in 2019.

RollinGreens looks a bit different in 2022

A year later, the company looks pretty different than it did when it appeared on "Shark Tank." Currently, RollinGreens sells its products online and at 4,000 U.S. grocery locations, including those from Walmart, Whole Foods, and Kroger. As of this writing, though, searching for RollinGreens products on the websites for those stores doesn't yield many result, and some scrolling may be required to find them. 

It's also not as easy to find the millet tots and cauliflower chicken that so impressed the business mavens. RollinGreens appears to have shifted its focus to its meat replacement pouches, promoting them heavily on Instagram while being pretty silent about the tots and wings. This is presumably because the taco pack has "a 70% gross margin," according to the brand's website, which makes this product line (available for $9 to $10 per pound) more profitable than what the founders were selling when they made their "Shark Tank" debut, when they had a 35% profit margin. RollinGreens is still seeking investors and hoping to raise $2 million more, according to the investor relations section of its website.

What's up with RollinGreens in 2023?

Fast forward to 2023, and RollinGreens is still growing, leaving Lindsey and Ryan Cunningham rolling in the green. Per Nosh, RollinGreens products will be moving up in the grocery store world, relocated from the new products section at Sprouts to a permanent location in the grocery chain. This year, the Cunninghams hope RollinGreens will end up available in 5,900 stores, and with 4,300 stores as of June 2023, they're well on their way. Walmart will be increasing product availability from 1,700 stores to 2,400 stores, and RollinGreens products will be featured in southern California Safeway and Albertsons stores by the end of the year. You can also purchase RollinGreens items directly on the company website, which also features unique recipes for making the most out of your purchase.

Chef Ko recently spoke with Forbes to describe the perfect summer plant-based burger. He recommends using a cast iron pan if cooking inside, while using a gas grill outside and placing some pine food under the hot grate for a smoky taste. In fact, RollinGreens is frequently featured in renowned vegetarian and plant-based food publications. The company's Instagram page is frequently updated, so fans can get all the latest RollinGreens news in a timely manner.