The Bear And The Rat Update; 3 Years After The Shark Tank!

Matt & Meg Meyer jumped into the Shark Tank in Season 4.  With only 30k in sales prior to coming on, they were not able to secure a deal on Shark Tank.

Now if you listen to my podcast you know I am not a huge dog person, however the industry is HUGE and I am always curious to see which products are able to gain traction.  Something VERY interesting about this story is how Matt & Meg got their “lucky” break (if you believe in luck) right before they were ready to close up shop.  They are on track to break the 1 million dollar mark as a result.  Well done.

Scroll down to read about The Bear And The Rat…3 years after the TANK!Company: The Bear & The RatAirdate: October 25th, 2012

Film Date: July 19th, 2012
Cool Treats for Dogs on Shark Tank

TJ: What made you decide you were going to try out for Shark Tank..?  Was it a light bulb moment, or something that you always knew you would do?

We had discussed it but we were still very much a startup at 30k in sales. We flipped a coin one night and decided that it wasn’t right at that time.

Four days later, an executive producer emailed us to see if we had ever heard of the show. He had seen us online and wanted to see if we’d want to put in an application. Things progressed very quickly from there (first, we submitted an application with video. Then we filled out legal and then we were accepted to travel to LA. All within a couple weeks).

What was the one thing that happened to you in the entire “Shark Tank” process that you didn’t expect?

It was overwhelming to have questions about all different aspects of our business from the five panelists fired at us at the same time. It’s very hard to think fast and formulate the answers when you’re on the firing squad. Usually, we’re quick on our feet, but this was very different from “real life.”

What was the best advice or criticism you received in the Shark Tank?

They weren’t generous with advice or criticism. We didn’t think that the sharks particularly understood the natural dog industry or its potential. Daymond John has now been the keynote at a national pet trade-show, and we believe that he understands the potential now as we’ve noticed that he’s invested in more dog product companies after that keynote.

How did you prepare for the Shark Tank Tsunami?  Were you satisfied with the results?

We have not received a ton of PR from our participation on the show.

What is the ONE THING from your Shark Tank experience that you would have done differently if you could start all over?

We like to live without regret, so I don’t think we would have done anything differently. We’re proud of our accomplishments to date and Shark Tank is a big milestone for us.

Was there a time when you almost quit, or feared you were headed towards failure?? What did you do?

We were 9 months new parents. Our Shark Tank episode had aired 11 months before and we’d seen a re-run, but things weren’t progressing for us. With a frozen product that doesn’t ship direct, we have seen great success from our ties to the show, but they have taken longer to come to fruition than for others.

We made the decision to throw in the towel if nothing significant happened after our Shark Tank was scheduled to re-air in October, 2013. During that re-run, our current investor called us. That investment allowed me to start working for the company full-time in Jan, 2014 which allowed us to get distributors. Matt started working full-time in August, 2014. We are scheduled to do $1m+ next year. (BAM!)

What has been most effective for you in terms of sales or marketing?

Our success comes from our industry relationships. We have a phenomenal sales team on the ground who works with our retailers and distributors. Also, we participate in regional and national tradeshows in the pet industry. Plus, we are generous with samples to our retailers who use those samples to generate interest in our product from their customers.

We are very active on social media and do giveaways and contests, which definitely introduces new customers to our brand as well.

What major retailers are you working with?

Most of our retailers are independent pet stores. We work with Kroger and Whole Foods in Colorado.

If you could go back in time and talk to the you of 3-5 years ago….what would you say?

Try to enjoy building the business more because success is around the corner. This is my mantra.

What will your company look like in 5-10 years?  What will you be doing?

We will be innovating more and more “cool treats” for dogs – some outside of the treat space as we have ideas (even prototypes) for cool hard goods as well.

Anything else??

We recently launched an exciting shelf stable product. It’s a freeze-dried yogurt for dogs. There’s truly nothing like it on the market. It’s made from real yogurt and is kind of like a healthy astronaut ice cream for dogs. Although it’s lightweight, it’s mighty as there are over 150 treats per bag.
Like our frozen line, it’s probiotic and it’s very low-cal as it only has 11 calories in 20 treats, which makes it a great training/anytime treat. Plus, it’s a terrific food topper. And it’s super easy to throw into a pack to go on an adventure with your fur-friend.

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About the Author

TJ Hale

TJ Hale

TJ Hale is host of the popular "Shark Tank Podcast" where he interviews entrepreneurs from the show, casting directors and producers, the SHARKS themselves, and also real-life entrepreneurs. TJ is married with two sons. When he's not consulting entreprneurs or rubbing shoulders with Sharks, he's often spending time with family or practicing to one day become the Phoenix Suns mascot, the Suns Gorilla - no, seriously, click here, here, or here to check that out. To learn more about TJ, or to connect with him on social media, head over to the about page or click here.