Chirps

chirpsHarvard graduates and former roommates Laura D'Asaro and Rose Wang hope the Sharks bite on Chirps, their tortilla chips made from cricket flour, in Shark Tank episode 815. Fellow Harvard alum Meryl Natow, another partner in their parent company, Six Foods, does not appear onstage during the pitch. The three friends began cooking crickets they bought at a local pet store after Wang returned from traveling in China where she tried – and liked – her first insect snack: a fried scorpion. Their experiments led them to form Six Foods with the mission of bringing insect-based snacks to the people of America. Some Americans like the stuff, or at least the idea; they raised over $70K in a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014.

Six Foods manufactures Chirps Chips and Chirps cookies from milled cricket flour. Crickets contain all nine essential amino acids and more magnesium than beef. They're also far more sustainable to raise: a pound of cricket protein takes 1 gallon of water to produce whereas beef takes over 2000 gallons to produce the same amount of protein. The company's biggest challenge is convincing Americans to try their product. While billions of people around the world regularly consume a wide variety of insects, the practice hasn't caught on in the USA.

Laura is a self professed “entotarian,” a vegetarian that eats vegetables. She believes crickets are the food of the future. While there are many other edible bugs, crickets are clean, healthy and readily available from many cricket farms that cater to the pet trade. Amping up cricket production at these facilities is fairly easy, so the supply is reliable.

Chirps cost $6.99 a bag through the company website. The Six Foods crew has plans for more cricket based products, including a “bug burger.” They do not sell cricket flour, like season five's Chapul; their goal is creating snack products that people will eat. They likely need a Shark to help them penetrate the national grocery chains. Will a Shark bug out over this opportunity?

 

Chirps Shark Tank Recap

Laura and Rose will pitch the panel of five Sharks on the business and its prospects for growth. They’ll need to convince Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Grenier, and Chris Sacca that the company is worthy of a Shark investment. A good business plan, good financials, and sales data will impress the Sharks, but they’ll need to show them THEY are capable of running the company to “Shark standards.” A full pitch re-cap on Chirps will be available on Shark Tank Blog once this episode airs.

Chirps Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Once an episode has aired, we monitor the progress of the businesses featured, whether they receive funding or not and report on their progress. The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Chirps & Laura D'Asaro and Rose Wang as more details become available.

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