‘Shark Tank’ Fans Have Very Strong Opinions About Mark Cuban’s Viral TikTok Banana Gadget
For over 12 years, Shark Tank fans have tuned in every Friday night to see what Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Daymond John invest in. While there have been several successful Shark Tank products, some fans on social media are now wondering if a recent pitch on the business reality TV series was the right one to capitalize on.
In the new year, the TikTok page Our Favorite Finds kicked off a series called “Testing Shark Tank Products” and one of their featured items was the Banana Loca kitchen gadget. The device, which retails for $28.99 on Amazon, allows folks to core a banana and fill it with a spread of their choice. What’s more, there is no mess to worry about because it all happens with the peel still on the fruit.
But if this invention doesn’t ring a bell, it’s probably because it was just presented on December 17 in Shark Tank’s season 13 episode 9. Banana Loca cofounders Renee Heath and Bechara Jaoudeh were inspired to create the kitchen gadget as a solution to enjoying their favorite snack—bananas and Nutella—without having to clean up afterward.
After hearing their pitch and seeing a demo, Sharks Mark and Kevin immediately voiced their interest. Wasting no time, the two ABC stars quickly settled on an agreement with the company’s founders. But not everyone watching from home agreed that it was the smartest move.
Since it was first posted on January 11, the 25-second TikTok from Our Favorite Finds has accumulated a whopping seven million views and more than 400,000 likes. Over in the comments section ( 2,000 comments and counting!), many folks weren’t shy about sharing their honest thoughts. “I’m mad this actually got invented,” one person wrote. “Why? Just why? Just unnecessary,” another added. “They invested into a product that solves a problem that really isn’t a problem/a problem worth solving,” a different fan said. “Or, you know. Peel the banana, cut it in slices and put Nutella on it. Because work smarter not harder?” a follower commented.
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On the other hand, there were viewers who fully supported the apparatus, even if it was for a niche market. “I love Shark Tank, I’m here for it 🙌,” a person wrote. “I’m definitely ordering this,” someone else said. “I know I don’t need it. But now I need it 😂😅,” another commented. “Whoa this is awesome,” a different fan quipped.
Opinions aside, the numbers behind the scenes might hint that it has already become a successful Shark Tank product. Despite a 20% dip in viewership, Banana Loca had 100 times more orders than the other companies seen in the same episode, according to Philadelphia Business Journal.
This caught the business partners off-guard when they expected to get less than 10,000 new orders from the episode’s airing but have sent out tens of thousands of units since then. So, who knows, maybe Mark and Kevin have already made their money back.
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