Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky on Shark Tank
|Owner of Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky|
Ken Howell from North Carolina
Ken (Uncle Zip or the Jerky Man) came into the Shark Tank seeking $25,000.00 for 20% equity stake in his all natural beef jerky. This is a Family recipe passed down from his Dad who has since past away and Ken needs the investment to take this promising business to the next level. Howell claims this is the absolute freshest beef jerky on the market with zero additives or preservatives.
Interestingly Jeff Foxworthy already has his own line of Beef Jerky on the market but he does pay Ken a huge compliment saying "Uncle Zips is good, very good". Most of the beef jerky you see on store shelves have a multi-year shelf life because of the additives, chemicals and preservatives, but Uncle Zip's lasts only 2 months using his Dad's all natural Family recipe. Foxworthy might not of come out and said it directly, but how could his line of beef jerky or most any other brand on the market compete with taste from just this fact alone.
Getting down to the business side Ken has been in the Uncle Zip's Beef jerky Business for the past 10 years, but little activity growing the business for the last 7 years. The very best year's sales came in at $100,000.00 right before his dad past away. Last year's sale's (in 2011) was under $50k which didn't seem to impress any of the Sharks. Howell needs the $25k investment to upgrade his processing plant and then start expanding into other regional markets that will also need their own beef jerky processing plant because of the limited shelf life.
The problem is each new jerky plant cost $60,000.00 to open up, but Ken was only looking for a $25k investment to expand this business. This is perhaps one of the best examples where a contestant on the Shark Tank probably would have been better off asking for a larger investment upfront which would of made more business scene to the Sharks. Then again, selling the absolute freshest beef jerky on the market with only a 2 month shelf life would require a substantial investment building out multiple possessing plants for each region. Unfortunately none of the Sharks could see the value in Uncle Zip's all natural way of making beef jerky at a retail level, but completely forgot about the power of the Shark Tank Effect and all the online orders that would soon follow.
Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky after the Shark Tank Update
No doubt the contestants who add a lot of emotion to their stories always seem to generate the biggest buzz online whether they get a deal with the Sharks or not. Ken clearly came across as someone very passionate about a product He loves and enjoys sharing with others. Uncle Zip's is now available in approximately a dozen location's most centered around Fayetteville, North Carolina so it looks like Ken decided to take the Sharks advice and slowly build up the brand.
It might make sense having processing plants in several regions to grow the retail side, but when you get millions of Shark Tank Fan's coming directly to you via the Internet, all you need is one. Uncle Zip's has a variety of beef jerky available for sale on the website with comparable prices seen in most stores. Ken is also promoting a Business Opportunity selling the Uncle Zip's Brand or having it packaged private label to start your own opportunity. Uncle Zip's is also into Fund Raising which seems like a great way to help various organizations and bringing awareness to this All Natural Beef Jerky that actually has a shelf life unlike most competitors.
Visit Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky Website