Season 5 | Episode 501 | EP501
In Season 5, Episode 1 of Shark Tank, Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinane approached the Sharks seeking an investment of $125,000 in exchange for 7.5% equity in the Tacoma, Washington start-up Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles.
Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles, which as the name suggests produces gourmet pickles, was based upon a secret family recipe. It was revealed that both Lynnae and Ali had put a lot of work into opening up distribution channels for their product across 26 different states.
Lynnae and Aly piqued the interest of the sharks when they announced that in a single year they had sold $144,000 worth of sales across 26 different states. They also announced that they had a meeting lined up with Target in the near future where they would be able to increase their distribution even further. This interest was short lived when they revealed their pricing model for the product.
Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles had been priced to sell at $6.99 at retail with a wholesale cost of $4.00. The average price of a jar of pickles in a supermarket is roughly $3.50. The Sharks failed to see a good business model here. It was their belief that the idea of gourmet pickles was simply far too easy to replicate. As a result they believed that if they achieved any sort of success with their product, particularly with a Target deal, a company could quite easily reproduce the product that they were creating at a far lower cost. This would essentially end up pushing Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles out of the marketplace.
While the Sharks believed that Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles had a market for their product they also believed that this market was going to remain very niche. They did not believe that there was much in the way of expansion for the company and what they had achieved thus far was probably as far as they were going to get.
Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles did not attract any offers in the Shark Tank and left the room with absolutely nothing. They did however leave the room with a wealth of advice on how they could potentially take their business to the next level as well as a lot of praise for managing to take what is essentially a rather niche product so far in the marketplace.
Lynnae Schneller and Ali Cullinane did not receive any offers from the shark investors.