This story was originally published on June 14, 2017.
Shark Tank, enterprising business owners try to sell investors on their inventions. Whether they get the investment, however, might be besides the point: when their pitch is effective, they sell the viewers just as much. After a new episode, websites can crash as viewers turn to their phones to try to learn more about the gadgets and products the show has introduced.
But does selling a shark on a product mean it's a for-sure hit? To find out, we tested four of the
most popular food products that have appeared on the show. From the Brownie's Edge pan to coffee beans that promise to keep your coffee from scorching your tongue, we wanted to see if these products live up to the hype.
Click through to see which Shark-approved items are actually worth
your investment .
Baker's Edge Brownie Pan The Promise: The brownie pan for edge lovers The Test: It is a universally accepted fact that the edges of brownies are the best. Okay, yes that's probably an extreme exaggeration, but its true for enough of us that a pan was designed to create at least two edges per brownie on each slice. The pan also promises to be easy to use and non-stick. The results, in short, were everything that was promised. The nonstick coating was so good, even the little bits of dried-on batter that got stuck to the sides slid off with no problem. I didn't even grease the pan, and each brownie popped out with ease, with a crispy-crunchy outside and an ooey-gooey center. I would be cautious about "single-use" items like this if the pan itself wasn't such high-quality: the heavy metal helps ensure the brownies bake evenly and with a nice crust (and no scorching). I was so smitten with the results my brain is already racking the other types of things I can bake in it. I am already imagining the glory of a baked ziti with maximum edge exposure. The Verdict: For brownie lovers, this may very well be the Holy Grail.
Coffee Joulies The Promise: Perfect temperature coffee with every sip The Test: I am a cold brew drinker through and through in the summer, but I made an exception to take these for a spin. As someone who both fears a burned tongue and takes my coffee black, I have spent years of my life waiting... and waiting... and waiting for coffee to cool before I can drink it. Joulies, little metal beans that promise to get your coffee down to drinkable temperature (and keep them there!) seem tailor-made for me. You simply place them in your mug or thermos (one bean for every four ounces of coffee approximately) and add the coffee. Cover for five minutes and while the beans absorb the excess heat, bringing it to a more drinkable 140°F, what the manufacturer claims is the perfect drinking temperature. Once the beans reach 140°, the beans start to release heat, helping it stay at that temperature longer. Using the beans was pretty easy — and, just as promised, within five minutes, I was slurping down hot coffee at a hot (but non-scalding) temperature. The beans weren't awkward to have in the bottom of the cup, and I just rinsed them off when I cleaned the mug later. I also was able to polish off the whole mug without it getting too cold. In fact, two large cups of coffee into my day, I realized that Joulies might make coffee too easy for me to drink. But, as someone who has both burned my tongue and accidentally wasted coffee by letting it get too cold, I was impressed. If you are someone who cools your coffee when you add milk to it, this might not be useful. But for the rest of us, there are Joulies. The Verdict: I liked the Joulies and will definitely use them in the future. The only drawback is the price — $47.95. But, if you make coffee at home every day, that works out to almost 13¢ a cup over a year. If you are regularly scalding your tongue, it may be worth the investment.
Loliware The Promise: Biodegr(edible) cups The Test: Loliware's edible, biodegradable cups are meant to serve a dual purpose: you can toss 'em, or you can just eat them. To put them to the test, I scooped some chocolate ice cream in the matcha flavor. Slightly wobbly when it came out of the packaging, once the ice cream was in it, the cup became rigid and easier to use. The matcha flavor didn't transfer from the cup at all, and the sleeve kept my hands from getting sticky. Then I tried to bite into the cup. Hard from the ice cream, it eventually shattered in my hands, leaving me covered in melted ice cream. On the show, Lori Greiner describes the texture and flavor as an "adult fruit roll-up," but this reminded me more of a really old piece of taffy. The flavor was good, but the bits of the cup stuck to my mouth. I tried it again with a room-temperature cup filled with water, and it was equally chewy. It's hard to imagine guests being able to maintain their dignity if you were to serve them dessert or cocktails in one of these cups and suggest they consume it after they're done. The Verdict: While I love the idea and look of these cups, and they really do remain water-tight while in use, the "edible" part of "Biodegr(edible)" needs perfecting.
Goverre The Promise: Modern to-go cups for wine The Test: When I first held a Goverre cup in my hand, I thought, "This would be perfect to take on your boat." Now, I don't have a boat (or any way to acquire a boat), but it immediately reminded me of the sort of dedicated products people who do own boats would need. Since I couldn't take it with me on my private yacht yet, I packed the glass with me on a public ferry to an NYC beach. There, I poured myself a glass and proceeded to enjoy the sand and surf with some nice Pinot Grigio. As I sipped on my drink, I thought about how Goverre's timing is perfect. The United States is seeing wine become more and more of an everyday, casual experience, like rosé and canned wine. A cup that makes it easier to drink outside and on the go makes perfect sense, and it's clearly resonating with customers — the company is currently sold out till the end of July. Of course, you can always just grab your wine in a can if you're not in a place to drink from traditional wine stems, but Goverre does allow you the option to completely customize your sippy-cup wine experience. It may be the ultimate luxurious accessory for an indulgence that's becoming more and more everyday. The Verdict: At $24 a pop, it can be hard to imagine owning a full set for your guests. But, if you like packing picnics, it can be an easy way to bring a (discreet!) glass for you and a friend or S.O. this summer.