What happened to Pricklee after Shark Tank? Details explored

Shark Tank product Pricklee Cactus Water
Shark Tank product Pricklee Cactus Water (Image via Instagram/@drinkpricklee)

ABC's Shark Tank has helped a variety of businesses reach new heights. The investors who appear on the show have the knowledge and funds to help individuals and small businesses become household names in their respective fields. Although some of the business ideas presented on the show are repetitive, this wasn't the case with the cactus-based beverage Pricklee.

Kun Yang and Mohammed Hassoun came on the business show seeking $200,000 in exchange for 5% equity in their company, Pricklee Cactus Water. The product that the co-founders said was a better alternative to coconut water is made from the Prickly Pear Cactus, the most "drought-resistant crop on earth."

The sharks on the ABC show made the observation that the product could be better marketed and that its makers should concentrate on emphasizing both the product's advantages and sustainability aspects.

In an interview with Tasting Table on August 16, 2023, the co-founders opened up about the changes they made after their time on Shark Tank:

"Since then, we evolved the brand to stand on its own and championed the benefits of cactus...it's natural benefits, it's sustainable benefits, and it's taste," Yang said.

Although the sharks weren't initially interested in investing in a beverage product, investor and businesswoman Barbara Corcoran struck a $200,000 for 20% equity deal with the duo as a line of credit.

All about Shark Tank's Pricklee


The Shark Tank product, which debuted on the ABC show in March 2022, was inspired by a drink Hassoun's grandmother Zahra used to make for him when he was younger and lived in Lebanon.

The beverage has since grown in terms of distribution. During the Tasting Table conversation, the founders revealed that they were able to double their business year after year and noted that 2023 was their biggest year, citing their nationwide launch at Sprouts as their highlight.

"The thing that really blew us away was how much interest there is for cactus water to begin with. We leaned into creating a brand that touched the core of fun and positivity, even if it is a healthy product, and we think people really resonated with that," Yang said.

The Shark Tank product can be purchased at ShopRite stores, Wholefoods, and on Pricklee Cactus Water's website, pricklee.com.

What happened to Pricklee on Shark Tank?

Kun Yang and Mohammed Hassoun appeared on the Emmy-winning show in season 13 episode 22, and introduced the sharks to an alternative to coconut water. They had launched their product months before they filmed the segment.

The duo noted that their product had half the sugar and half the number of calories that coconut water had. They added that Pricklee had "no carbonation, no stevia," and no coconuts. They presented the sharks with three flavors, the prickly pear original, the strawberry hibiscus, and the mango ginger. Each contains only 35 calories and seven grams of sugar.

While Emma Grede, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Barbara Corcoran quickly bowed out of the race, Kevin O'Leary had questions for the co-founders. He broke it down for the Shark Tank entrepreneurs and said that he hated beverage deals.

"We've seen them all before and they're just brutal."

Kevin added:

"You guys can have a really hard time getting anybody to return your call. However, I like this product. I've never done a beverage deal because I hate them so much. I hate you less so I'm having a hard time with it because I know if I do this it's hell on earth."

The shark's counteroffer was $200,000 for 20% equity. Kevin said that it was the only offer he was willing to make and was not flexible about a counteroffer. Pricklee's founder's offer in response was $200,000 in line of credit with 20% equity, and while Kevin didn't think it was a good offer, Barbara did. After a heated argument between the sharks, Barbara accepted the deal.

Episodes of Shark Tank are available to stream on ABC.

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