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Sweetkiwi Shark Tank Update


Mark Furr

This post contains affiliate links, and we may be compensated if you buy something after clicking on our links.

Sweetkiwi makes delicious, premium, whipped frozen Greek yogurt, which is nutritious and packed with protein, probiotics, and fiber. But, will the Sharks be sweet on this new take on a healthy dessert? Find out if one or more of the Sharks has a sweet tooth by reading our Sweetkiwi Shark Tank update. 

What is Sweetkiwi?

Sweetkiwi is a line of innovative, whipped frozen Greek yogurt desserts which satisfy a sweet tooth while also supporting a healthy gut. The company is located in Washington, DC. 

Sweetkiwi uses premium, natural ingredients, sourced from family farms. The company’s frozen whipped Greek yogurts are packed with functional nutrients like protein, probiotics, fiber, and immune-boosting superfoods.

Who created Sweetkiwi?

Sweet Kiwi Founder

Sweetkiwi was co-founded by husband and wife team Ehime Eigbe and Michael Akindele. Ehime was born in Nigeria, but she was raised between Nigeria and the UK. She completed high school in London, and then went on to study at London Metropolitan University, where she graduated with a BA degree in Business Information Technology and International Relations. After college, she started her professional career in London, including an internship with Amnesty International. Prior to founding Sweetkiwi, she had relocated to the US where she worked in finance for both Citi and Chase. 

Ehime’s husband, Michael Akindele, also from Nigeria, attended college at George Mason University in Virginia, where he earned a BS in Information Technology and Computer Science. Michael was an experienced entrepreneur prior to the founding of Sweetkiwi, as in Nigeria, he was a producer of a TV show, The Apprentice Africa, and he served as Director of both Fusion Media and Entertainment, and SOLO phone, a West-African cell phone company. 

How did Sweetkiwi get started?

Sweetkiwi was created after founder Ehime Eigbe had relocated to Dallas, Texas, and at only 22 years old, she was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, for which her doctors had informed her that she would need  surgery in order to get better. 

However, Ehime told the doctors to give her a year, as she wanted to look into a change in lifestyle and diet to see if she could recover without needing surgery. Ehime was able to start eating better, but she always struggled with desserts. She thought that eating frozen yogurt might help her to improve, but then she realized that many frozen yogurts were low in fat but still contained a lot of sugar.

Struggling with finding something to satisfy her sweet tooth, Ehime decided to learn how to make her own healthier frozen yogurt, so she got to work in her kitchen in Dallas. During her pitch, she told the Sharks that she got better at making frozen yogurt, but she really wanted to learn more, so she enrolled in courses like Culture Dairies and Ice Cream Manufacturing at Penn State in order to perfect her craft. 

Ehime was ready to open a frozen yogurt store in Dallas when she decided to return to Nigeria for her brother’s wedding. The wedding was in 2011, and while she was in Nigeria, she noticed that there weren’t any healthy dessert options available, so she opened her first retail store there, and she grew the business into one of the largest frozen yogurt companies in Africa. 

What happened to Sweetkiwi before Shark Tank?

After founding and growing their chain of Sweetkiwi frozen Greek yogurt retail shops in Nigeria, Ehime and Michael returned to the US, hoping to establish Sweetkiwi as a consumer product goods company, selling their packaged products through grocery markets nationwide.

How did Sweetkiwi develop before Shark Tank?

After moving to the US and starting to package their Sweetkiwi yogurt for retail sales, founder Ehime has said that she was quickly approached by Whole Foods, and prior to pitching in the Tank, the company was already selling their products in both Whole Foods and Walmart, and at the time of their pitch, they were also preparing to launch into Kroger stores nationally. 

When the company pitched in the Tank, the team told the Sharks that they had sales of $660k year-to-date, and they were forecasting sales of $1.2-$1.5 million for the full year. 

What do customers think of Sweetkiwi?

Sweetkiwi Product

Even though Sweetkiwi is still fairly new in the US, for a consumer goods product, which is reportedly available in close to 2,000 retail outlets, we were surprised by the lack of online customer reviews. There are a few 5-star testimonials on the company website, and no reviews on their Facebook page. 

We found only 8 reviews for one flavor, the Chocolate Hazelnut, and these reviews were found on Walmart’s online store. Walmart customers rated this Sweetkiwi flavor at 2.5 out of 5 stars, with three customers giving it 5 stars, and the remaining five customers rating it at only a single star. 

What are customers saying about Sweetkiwi?

One satisfied Walmart shopper wrote, “Great taste, tart, very healthy, low calories! This is my new favorite frozen dessert, goodbye ice cream.”

The second happy Walmart customer said simply, “Yummmmmmmmmy! These whipped Greek yogurts are so delicious!”

With more negative reviews than positive ones for this flavor, one unhappy Walmart patron stood out. She wrote: “This is one of the worst things I’ve ever tried in my life. For the price, disappointed. I’ve had yogurt bars before and liked them and thought I’d give this container a try. It tastes NOTHING like chocolate or hazelnut. It’s tangy/sour and not creamy. It was a solid rock trying to scrape bits off, and then it’s super grainy like sand. Imagine eating sour cream sand. That’s this. It’s disgusting.”

Another disappointed Walmart purchaser said, “Ew. Not sweet at all, tastes nothing like chocolate or hazelnut. Very tangy, very grainy texture. We each took a bite and tossed it.”

As the brand matures in the retail market, we assume that we’ll be able to find additional reviews so that we can get a better feel of how customers respond to all of Sweetkiwi’s frozen whipped Greek yogurts.

When did Sweetkiwi appear on Shark Tank?

Sweetkiwi appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 16, which aired on March 10, 2023. The Sweetkiwi founders pitched to regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec. 

Sweetkiwi was not the only company offering a new take on dessert in Season 14, check out our Eat Your Flowers Shark Tank update to see how this company also found a unique spin on a traditional dessert.

What happened to Sweetkiwi on Shark Tank?

Sweetkiwi co-founders Ehime Eigbe and Michael Akindele entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for $250k in return for a 5% equity stake in their frozen Greek yogurt business. 

Ehime and Michael started their pitch by demonstrating how closely they work together by alternating short, staccato lines throughout their entire pitch. The performance was quite impressive. They used this method of delivery to tell the Sharks that “life is all about balance.”

“But, when it comes to eating,” Ehime told the Sharks, “we all struggle with eating healthy and eating what tastes good.” Michael followed up by admitting to the Sharks, “Let’s be honest, all of the indulgent stuff we love, isn’t good for us.”

The couple then explained that Sweetkiwi’s whipped frozen Greek yogurt solves this problem by providing a delicious frozen dessert that is surprisingly good for you. They then told the Sharks that Sweetkiwi is made with nutrient dense ingredients, including real whole milk, sourced from small-holder family-owned farms. 

They also informed the Sharks that each pint of Sweetkiwi contains 22 grams of protein, as well as prebiotic fiber and gut-healthy probiotics, along with a unique blend of immunity-boosting super foods. 

At this point in the pitch, the Sharks were invited to sample Sweetkiwi’s six flavors of whipped frozen yogurt, and the reaction appeared to be uniformly positive. Robert Herjavec exclaimed, “The Raspberry is amazing!” And, Lori Greiner added, “Oh my God, I love the Cookies and Cream.”

Kevin O’Leary opened the questions by inquiring how much sugar was added to the product, and he learned that each pint has only 35-40 total grams of sugar. Lori followed O’Leary by asking Ahime how they had come up with the idea for Sweetkiwi.

Ehime then explained to the Sharks that she was born in Nigeria and was raised between Nigeria and the UK, but after graduating from college in the UK, she moved to Dallas, Texas.

She told Lori that when she was only 22 years old, she was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, and her doctors in the US wanted to perform surgery, but she decided to first try to change her lifestyle and diet to see if she could treat the problem without surgery. Ehime explained that while she was able to manage a change in diet for the most part, she still had a problem with desserts, so she tried frozen yogurt and really liked it, only to discover that while it was low fat, it contained a lot of added sugar. 

Ehime then told the Sharks that she began to make whipped frozen Greek yogurt in her small Dallas kitchen, and when she had learned all that she could on her own, she then took classes at Penn State in Culture Dairies and Ice Cream Manufacturing in order to perfect her craft. 

Finally, Ehime explained that just as she was ready to open a frozen yogurt shop in Dallas, she attended her brother’s wedding in Nigeria, and while there, she decided to remain in Nigeria and open her first shop there. She grew the company in Nigeria into one of the largest frozen yogurt businesses in Africa.

Finally, Ehime told the Sharks that she and Michael had decided to move back to the US in order to start a consumer products goods company and place their Sweetkiwi products into grocery stores nationwide. The Sharks, of course, asked if the African business was part of the deal, but Ehime explained that the US business was a new entity, being built just for distribution to the retail market in the US. 

The Sharks also learned that shortly after Sweetkiwi launched in the US, Ehime was approached by Whole Foods, and that the company was currently selling products to both Whole Foods and to Walmart. The company had been in business for less than 2 years, and Sweetkiwi was already available in 1,700 stores nationwide, and they were just launching into Kroger stores at the time of their pitch. 

Lori next asked about sales figures in the US, and she learned that in the current year, they had $660k in sales year-to-date, and they were projecting $1.2-$1.5 million for the year. Robert followed up to inquire about retail pricing, and he learned that the products ranged from $4.97-$6.95 in different stores.

Mr. Wonderful then asked one of his favorite questions, “This year, will you break even, or will you lose money, make money?” O’Leary seemed pleased when he heard Michael say, “So, we are already break even cash flow. We’re not looking for outside capital to be profitable. What we’re really focused on is building our brand, marketing, and really taking Sweetkiwi to the next level.”

This sweet talk of profits appeared to have Chef Wonderful salivating, so at least one Shark looked ready to pounce.

Did Sweetkiwi get a deal on Shark Tank?

Sweetkiwi successfully negotiated a deal on Shark Tank. They accepted a deal with Robert Herjavec of $250k in return for a 16% equity stake in their business. 

After hearing about the company’s rising sales figures, and the fact that Sweetkiwi already had positive cash flow, Mr. Wonderful interrupted further questions and stated: “I’ve heard enough. I’m gonna make you an offer. It’s going to reflect the risk I see in this deal. This category is very crowded, but you’ve got Kroger’s and they are very hard to get in. I’ll give you $250k for 20%”

Ehime thanked O’Leary and said that they would like to hear other offers. Daymond John quickly jumped in to say that he loved the Sweetkiwi team and product, but the high valuation, combined with the fact that this business would be the first journey into this sector for him, would make this deal a very expensive education for him, so he bowed out. 

Mark Cuban spoke up next to tell the Sweetkiwi team that marketing was going to be difficult because they were not big enough for a national campaign. He also asked about their cost of goods, and learned that the cost was $2.25 per unit, and their wholesale price was $4.20. This led to another discussion about marketing, and then Daymond reminding the team that they did have an offer on the table, as O’Leary was beginning to look a bit impatient. 

Lori Greiner finally revealed her thoughts saying that she had one success in the frozen goods sector, but it had taken an enormous amount of work to become successful, so she went out. Mark Cuban followed her to the exit, again saying that the Sweetkiwi team had not really presented a viable marketing strategy, so he swam away as well. 

After Mark went out, Ehime addressed him again, explaining how she started this business in 2011, but by this time, Mr. Wonderful was really upset that the team had not addressed his offer, so he angrily stated, “I’m out, out gone! I don’t know what you’re doing; you say you’re an entrepreneur, but you’re not focused on the money.”

Robert was now the last Shark swimming, and he started by responding to O’Leary’s angry rant by saying, “You know, I’ve learned that business is about making money, not always about emotion.” He looked at Mr. Wonderful and said, “That’s vaudeville theatrics,” to which O’Leary replied, “It’s my money, and I’ll cry if I want to.”

Robert then told Ehime about his father coming to North America with only $37 in his pocket, so he applauded her for everything she had accomplished in her adopted country. He admitted that he had no experience in the sector, but he wanted to learn, and he was looking to learn from someone. He said that he believed in Ehime and Michael, and together they could build something great. Robert then matched O’Leary’s offer of $250k for 20%.

Michael gave Robert a counteroffer of $250k for 7.1% in equity and 5% in advisory shares. Robert responded, “I believe in you. You gotta believe in me.” He then offered to split the difference and go down to $250k for 16%, and Michael, after a long pause, said, “We’d like to say yes.”

Sweetkiwi Shark Tank update, what happened next?

While we have not been able to confirm whether or not the deal between Sweetkiwi and Robert Herjavec has closed, co-founder Ehime Eigbe sat down for an interview with Washington DC ABC affiliate 7 News, and she confirmed that Sweetkiwi did experience a strong Shark Tank effect on the night their episode aired. 

In her interview, Ehime said that the Sweetkiwi website experienced more than 10k visitors within a few hours of the episode’s broadcast, and the traffic nearly took their site offline. She also told 7 News that the company had continued to expand its retail presence as they had just launched into Giant Food stores. 

Ehime also revealed that after their Shark Tank exposure, she has been in discussions with airlines and hotel groups, so there is a likelihood that Sweetkiwi will be available in different types of venues in the near future. She explained that the expansion into these new market settings will soon become possible, as the company is ready to launch single serving packs. 

We will be watching to see if the deal with Robert closes, as it appears that Sweetkiwi is already on an upward trajectory, so the addition of a Shark should only serve to add fuel to the fire.