‘Shark Tank’ is one of the longest-running unscripted reality shows on air, and with good reason. There will always be entrepreneurs, and as long as ‘Shark Tank’ gives them the platform to pitch their “revolutionary” ideas and potentially get investment for their venture, the show will remain relevant. More than a few times, products that have featured on ‘Shark Tank’ have gone on to make more than $100 million in sales, and from the looks of it, Quevos, which was featured on season 12 of ‘Shark Tank,’ might be on track to do the same. We decided to check in on Quevos and their shockingly healthy egg white chips as they try to take on the highly competitive salty snacks market. Here’s what we found out.
Quevos: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Quevos egg white chips are the brainchild of Zack Scheier and the result of his hunt for a tasty low-carb snack. A patient of Type 1 diabetes since childhood, Zack has to perpetually remain cautious about his calorie intake and hinted at the fact that he couldn’t even have a bag of chips without an insulin shot. Eating the crispy edges of an egg-white omelet one day gave him the idea for egg white chips. Soon enough, he had involved his sister Carly and childhood friend Nick Hamburger, and the trio worked for another 2 years before they were satisfied with their product – the perfect chip, but made out of egg white.
Not just focussing on low carb but also on fiber and natural ingredients, something that other protein snacks do not do according to Zack, the team has used pea protein, avocado oil, and chia seeds to ensure that every packet of Quevos chips packs 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. The makers of Quevos remain secretive about the manufacturing method and only volunteer that some form of dehydration is involved. The chips currently come in four flavors- honey mustard, dill pickle, sour cream and onion, and Quevos Rancheros and are available in brick and mortar stores like Whole Foods and Vitamin Shoppe as well as online through Amazon and their own website. A variety pack of 5 individual packets of 1 oz. each costs $14.99.
Quevos: Where Are They Now?
The chips saw their first taste of success when Zack and Nick won the University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge, which got them the $15,000 first prize. Soon after, they won another $5000 from the Future Founders U.Pitch Competition and were also selected to be a part of the first batch of Kraft Heinz’s Springboard, an incubator program aimed at building and sustaining disruptive natural food brands. They were not obligated to give any company stock to Heinz for being part of this program and received valuable advice on branding and manufacturing that helped them delve deeper into the approximately $20 billion a year salty snacks market.
Following their breakaway success, both Zack and Nick decided to drop out of college and focus all their efforts on their product. They launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2019 with a target of $10,000, which was a resounding success and raised a whopping $71,786! Part of this money was used to rebrand the Quevos packaging, making it more colorful and bold to help it stand out on supermarket shelves.
Two other major landmarks that they achieved along the way were being named as one of Health Magazine’s Snack Award winners in 2019 and getting their product placed in the Whole Foods supermarket chain in 2020, which had been a specific company goal that they’d had since 2019. Between 2019 and 2020, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Quevos sales rose by 400%, and their store presence increased from 250 to 1100 retailers. It comes as no surprise then that in early 2021, guest “Shark” on ‘Shark Tank,’ Daniel Lubetzky, offered them an investment of $200,000 with a further $200,000 line of credit for a 10% stake in Quevos.
High in protein, low on carbs, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and tasty, the snack’s widespread appeal is greatly attributed to the fact that it fits so many dietary requirements and still manages to taste delicious. Following some good advice from soon-to-be investor Daniel Lubetzky, the makers of Quevos have avoided getting the chips pigeonholed as a “keto snack.” They plan on avoiding associating the healthy chips with food fads that might run their course and drag the snack to obscurity when the fad becomes less popular. Instead, as Lubetzky states, they are focussing on their foundation, which is egg whites, and solidifying their market share without spreading themselves too thin.