What Happened To Cave Shake After Shark Tank?

An ironic thing about diets is that while many call for dieters to avoid eating sugary foods and carbs, folks seem to be in a neverending pursuit of diet-compliant desserts. There's a huge market for them, too! Walk down any grocery store's health food aisle, and you'll see countless low-carb desserts and keto-friendly cupcakes. Dieters Holly Heath and Billie Cavallaro saw the need for a sweet treat that wouldn't throw them off their low-carb, high-fat nutrition plan, so they invented Cave Shake, a keto-paleo-vegan drink. 

Heath and Cavallaro appeared on "Shark Tank" to raise funding and, as they said in the episode, to get additional business authority and guidance from an investor. They began their pitch by talking about sugar cravings while dieting and the difficulty of finding diet-friendly snacks at the grocery store. Marc Cuban, who describes himself as an "eternal" dieter e, nodded in agreement.

The duo even performed an original jingle with the tagline, "Cave into a cave shake, the treat without the cheat!" which seemed to charm the judges, but in a saturated market, charm alone won't secure a deal. After finishing their song and dance, Heath and Cavallaro distributed samples of the four flavors of the beverage — chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and strawberry. 

What happened to Cave Shake on Shark Tank?

The judges had mixed reactions upon tasting the Cave Shake samples. Robert Herjavec grimaced after trying a sip. Holly Heath explained that the beverage is sweetened with Stevia, a calorie-free sugar replacement, which some people do not like. However, Lori Greiner and Marc Cuban enjoyed the samples, and guest judge former NBA player Charles Barkley stated that he liked two of the four flavors. At about 480 calories per bottle, some of the Sharks were disappointed it wasn't lower in calories since it's meant to be a diet-friendly alternative. Holly Heath and Billie Cavallaro stressed that calories shouldn't be the focus, as the Cave Shake provides a lot of nutrition and is low in sugar.

Heath and Cavallaro came seeking $250,000 for 10% equity in the company but revealed that they had recently made a deal with an incubator for a 15% stake plus commission on accounts over $10,000, which complicated some of the judges' feelings. Kevin O'Leary pulled out as a result, and Herjavec, who openly disliked the taste, followed suit, adding that the branding was confusing. Ultimately, Cuban and Greiner pulled out as well, which left Barkley. He offered the $250,000 for 20% equity, explaining he struggles with diet and weight loss and liked the founders as people. At first, Heath tried to negotiate the deal and did not want to take it, but Cavallaro pushed for it because Barkley's partnership would help draw athletes to the product. 

Cave Shake after Shark Tank

The deal with Charles Barkley seemed to work out, and according to Holly Heath in an article for Biznob, the company changed its name from Cave Shake to Space Shake as part of the deal's conditions. That was just one of the many changes they made. They also dropped the strawberry flavor for unspecified reasons. Most notably, the new Space Shake formula drastically reduced the calories in each bottle. Heath said they initially reduced the calorie count to just 320 calories per bottle before finally dropping it to 210 — less than half of its original caloric content! The founders wanted to revise how they marketed the drink. Initially, Cave Shake was pitched as a dessert, snack, meal replacement, and pre and post-workout fuel, which would require a significant number of calories. Heath says they decided to sell it strictly as a snack. She didn't provide a reason, but it's possible that customers, much like the Sharks, were put off by the high-calorie count per bottle. 

The changes didn't stop there. The packaging also got a makeover along with the name switch. The sweet drink originally came in stout, hard plastic bottles. Now, it's packaged in soft pouches, similar to the type used for on-the-go apple sauce. There are many reasons for such a change, but one potential benefit is soft pouches probably weigh less and take up less room during shipping. 

Is Cave Shake still in business?

We've seen plenty of "Shark Tank" success stories take an unexpected turn, with businesses closing down even after securing a deal on the show. However, the revised Space Shake Company is not one of them. As of 2023, Space Shake products are still available. They can be found on Space Shake's website for direct-to-consumer delivery, and they are also stocked in a smattering of brick-and-mortar locations across the United States (predominately in California).

A six-pack of Space Shake drink pouches sells for $30 or $5 per pouch, so with each pouch containing just 3.4 ounces of the product, that comes out to an (approximate) whopping $1.50 per ounce. Since we know from the founders' appearance on "Shark Tank" that it costs about $1.86 to produce a single bottle of Space Shake in its original formula and packaging, that means excellent profit margins for this product. 

What's next for Cave Shake's founders?

Although Space Shake is very much in business, social media accounts for the company have gone oddly silent. On the company's Instagram, posts were released very consistently, usually about one per week. However,  at the time of this writing, no new posts have been added since October 2022.

It is possible that Space Shake's social media game is just off for a hiatus, or it could be that the founders have moved on to other pursuits. According to his LinkedIn, Billie Cavallaro left Space Shake in December of 2020. Since then, he has worked as a product designer and recently co-founded a new company called Nomading. The company provides a platform that allows remote workers to apartment swap. The company is still under a year old, so it doesn't the official app and website have yet to launch. However, Holly Heath remains a significant part of Space Shake as its CEO and was previously COO.