EarthLog, a company that garnered significant attention on the popular television show Shark Tank, promised a greener, cleaner way to enjoy a roaring fire. Their innovative product, an eco-friendly fire log made from recycled paper and wax, was designed to provide a high-heat, low-smoke alternative to traditional wood logs.
However, while EarthLog initially seemed poised for success, their journey post-Shark Tank took unexpected turns. In this article, we delve into the story of EarthLog, exploring what happened to the company after its promising debut on Shark Tank, and what lessons can be learned from its trajectory.
What Is EarthLog?
This makes them an ideal choice for consumers with allergies or respiratory sensitivities. Additionally, their minimal ash residue simplifies the cleanup process, enhancing their overall appeal.
- Eco-Friendly: The most significant advantage of EarthLog is its commitment to environmental sustainability. It’s made from recycled materials, reducing paper waste that otherwise ends up in landfills. Plus, it burns cleaner than traditional logs, emitting less smoke and soot into the air;
- Aroma: EarthLogs are infused with scents like cinnamon and pumpkin spice, which not only mask the smell of burning paper but also create a pleasant atmosphere around your fireplace or campfire;
- Burn Time: Despite being made from recycled paper, EarthLogs burn surprisingly long. They can last up to 3 hours, which is comparable to many traditional wood logs;
- Ease of Use: EarthLogs are easy to light and require minimal tending once lit. This makes them an excellent choice for novice fire builders or those who simply want a hassle-free fire experience ;
- Price: One potential drawback of EarthLogs is their price tag. They’re more expensive than traditional logs, which may deter some consumers, especially those who frequently use fire logs;
- Availability: EarthLogs can be hard to find in stores, which can be inconvenient for those who prefer to buy in person rather than online;
- Burn Color: Some users have noted that EarthLogs don’t produce the traditional orange and yellow flames of a wood fire. Instead, they burn with a bluish flame, which may not appeal to everyone;
- Heat Output: While EarthLogs do burn for a long time, some users have reported that they don’t give off as much heat as traditional logs. This could be a drawback for those who rely on their fireplace for warmth;
Are They Safe And Eco-Friendly?
In terms of safety, Tom Sanetti, the company’s founder, has asserted that Earth Logs have undergone testing by Underwriters Laboratories and have received certification for safe indoor use. Moreover, Earth Logs are known to burn cleaner than traditional fireplace logs, further enhancing their safety profile.
Notably, Earth Logs contribute to cleaner indoor air quality, emitting significantly less smoke. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals with allergies and asthma, as they minimize potential irritants. Additionally, Earth Logs are free from chemicals and bio-accumulated dioxins, reinforcing their safety for indoor usage.
Regarding their environmental friendliness, Earth Log’s official website claims that they surpass conventional firelogs in this aspect. They leave behind minimal ash residue and require less energy for disposal, underscoring their eco-friendly nature.
About the Founders Of EarthLog
Tom’s journey into the world of environmentally-conscious fire logs was born out of practical necessity. Faced with the challenge of disposing of an abundance of junk mail, he ingeniously combined scrap paper with leftover candle wax to create fire logs.
Initially, he crafted these logs solely for personal use and to share with friends, who were so impressed that they encouraged him to consider selling them. Tom recognized the potential of his invention and embarked on promoting these fire logs, which were crafted entirely from recyclable materials. He successfully negotiated deals with major retailers to bring his eco-friendly product to a wider audience.
Central to his mission was the desire to mitigate the environmental impact of the perpetual influx of junk mail. In line with this vision, he was committed to producing his product in the United States.
Tom Sanetti’s innovative spirit didn’t stop at fire logs. He had plans for new products, including a citronella log designed to repel insects and enhance outdoor comfort for consumers.
The Pitch Of EarthLog At Shark Tank
Tom Sanetti, hailing from Huntington Beach, California, stands as the ambassador for Earth Log fire products, making a pitch in the Shark Tank to secure a $ 160,000 investment for a 20% stake in his rapidly expanding enterprise . Earth Log specializes in crafting innovative “fuel logs” designed for igniting fires. While this concept is widely popular, Earth Log sets itself apart from the conventional logs available in the market.
These logs are constructed entirely from 100% recycled materials, deliver up to three times more heat than traditional wood logs, emit less smoke, and infuse the air with a pleasing aroma. Earth Log offers a trio of products: the original Earth Log fire log, the citronella-infused Earth Log, and the Earth Log Bonfire Block. The company’s motto is straightforward: “More heat, less smoke, great scent”.
Kevin initiates the discussion, confessing his affinity for fire-starting logs and sharing that he purchases approximately 10 cases of such products from Costco. However, he claims that these logs seem indistinguishable to him and inquires about what sets Earth Log apart from its competitors.
Although Tom mentions the superior scent of Earth Log, Kevin argues that consumers have no way of knowing its fragrance. Indeed, the prospect of proving the aroma’s allure during a TV presentation raises doubts. The average shopper might not prioritize this when shopping for fire logs at a store like Costco.
Tom admits that his foremost challenge lies in marketing, which is the primary reason for his appearance on Shark Tank. Marketing is the critical obstacle hampering Earth Log’s broader distribution at present. To shed light on his product, Tom distributes samples of Earth Log to the Sharks, complete with packaging. Lori notes the pleasant scent of Earth Log, reminiscent of pine or a forest ambiance.
She inquires about the market price, to which Tom responds that a case of six logs costs around $ 22, slightly undercutting the competition. Interestingly, there are other eco-friendly fire logs in the market, but none of them are scented.
Tom reveals that Earth Log has generated around $ 200,000 in sales over four years. He clarifies that Earth Log didn’t initially launch as a for-profit business . Daymond zeroes in on the last year’s sales, which amounted to $ 50,000. Tom attributes this decline to California’s extreme weather in the summer of 2013, as well as Earth Log’s fledgling manufacturing and limited availability.
Earth Log began with Tom crafting logs in his kitchen for personal use and at the behest of friends. After a successful debut at a local market, where 500 prototype Earth Logs sold out in a week, Tom expanded his presence across various markets. Sales continued to climb, prompting him to devise a barrel-press system for producing six logs simultaneously.
Kevin notes that Earth Log operates in a competitive market with several players commanding 80% of the share. Costco and Home Depot are the industry heavyweights. Tom shares his experiences pitching Earth Log to these giants, expressing frustration with a lack of response. In contrast to his anonymity, he highlights Mark Cuban’s famous line, “Nobody doesn’t return my call”. While Costco expressed interest and extended a four-store offer, Tom couldn’t commit due to manufacturing limitations.
Tom discloses that Albertson’s, one of the country’s largest grocery store chains, has provided a letter of intent to stock Earth Logs in 180 of its stores, contingent on production capabilities. Vaughn’s Pavilions, a home improvement retailer akin to Home Depot, also expressed a strong interest in ordering Earth Logs.
They intended to order 22 trailer loads of the product, but Tom had to decline due to supply constraints. Hence, Tom’s presence on Shark Tank seeks an investment to create machines capable of mass-producing Earth Logs. While these machines are still in the conceptual stage, a patent is pending for their design.
The key distinction between Earth Logs and their counterparts, aside from the delightful scent, is the composition. Unlike typical logs made of sawdust and flammable “slackwax,” Earth Logs don’t contain slackwax. Mark interjects, asserting that Earth Log still appears more like a product than a full-fledged company. He believes that Tom has more groundwork to cover before Earth Log becomes a corporate entity, and he opts out.
Nick Woodman, the guest Shark, concurs with Mark, emphasizing the need for brand development. Drawing from his GoPro experience, he stresses the importance of establishing a brand through small retailers before scaling up. Nick, too, decides to pass on the opportunity, considering the substantial work ahead.
Daymond echoes Mark and Nick’s sentiments, asserting that it’s too early for an investor to commit, and he also exits the deal. Kevin aligns with the others, reflecting on his entrepreneurial beginnings in his basement. As an investor, he is not inclined to take on a full-time commitment and prefers a more passive role. Therefore, he opts out of the deal, citing time as a valuable asset.
Lori remains the sole Shark interested. She draws parallels to a product called “Screen In” that started in a garage and, with her investment, achieved $ 1 million in sales in just a year. She expresses enthusiasm for Earth Log but acknowledges the immense effort required to develop the brand and meet the demands of larger retailers. Her offer is straightforward: $ 160,000 for a 35% stake in the company.
Tom readily accepts Lori’s offer without any negotiation, and he swiftly exits the Shark Tank. In parting, he cheekily quips, “Chicks dig Earth Log”.
EarthLog After The Shark Tank
Following their appearance on Shark Tank, the company experienced a significant boost in sales. Earthlog products became available at various major retailers, including Walmart, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Home Depot, typically priced at around $ 3.99 .
However, the deal with Lori ultimately did not materialize, as revealed in a video posted by Tom on Facebook. Allegedly, the disagreement stemmed from differing views on the manufacturing process. Tom, who initially operated under the name American Green Products, wanted to continue producing Earthlog in the United States, while Lori preferred relocating production to China to reduce costs.
Despite the setback with Lori, Tom continued to expand the company. He introduced a new product called the citronella log, designed to repel mosquitos for extended periods, similar to the original Earthlog. This citronella log, like its predecessor, was made from 100% recycled materials and utilized non-toxic, eco-friendly citronella oil.
At some point in 2018, however, the company ceased operations without any public announcement. The company’s website went offline, and since it has not been reinstated, it is reasonable to assume that the business was shut down.
Before its closure, Earthlog had garnered a 3.6-star rating on Amazon. While many customers were satisfied with the logs’ performance, some expressed disappointment with the difficulty of ignition and the logs’ relatively quick burn time. Additionally, the rose scent deterred some customers, and several considered the product to be on the expensive side.
Notably, Tom Sanetti continues to be listed as the CEO of American Green Products on his LinkedIn profile, indicating that the company is still active. It’s possible that he hasn’t updated his profile, but given the four-year gap since Earthlog’s website went offline, the prospects of its revival appear unlikely. If a comeback were in the works, it likely would have transpired by now.
The Net Worth Of EarthLog
Alternatives To EarthLog:
- Duraflame XtraTime Firelog: According to BizNews, Duraflame XtraTime Firelog is one of the products that serve as alternatives to EarthLog. Duraflame is a well-known brand in the fire log industry, and their XtraTime Firelog is designed to provide long-lasting fires with less environmental impact;
- Kingsford Charcoal: Kingsford Charcoal is another alternative mentioned by BizNews. While primarily used for barbequing, Kingsford’s products can also be used for heating purposes;
- R. H. Peterson Gas Fireplace Logs: These are an alternative for those looking to switch to gas logs. They offer a variety of styles and sizes, allowing you to customize your fireplace to your liking;
- World’s Greenest Fire Logs: As per Aim2Flourish, this product claims to offer a safer, longer-lasting, and great-smelling alternative to burning actual wood;
Remember, each of these alternatives has its own set of pros and cons, and what works best for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
- What happened to Earth-Log after Shark Tank?
After their appearance on Shark Tank, Earth-Log had some successful partnerships with various retailers. However, according to SharkTankRecap, the company went out of business before the start of 2019.
- What is EarthLog made of?
EarthLogs are made from completely recycled paper and slackwax, an eco-friendly wax. This allows the logs to burn at a hotter temperature and produce less smoke than traditional fire logs.
- How good are eco logs?
Eco logs, in general, are a great alternative to traditional wood logs. They burn cleaner, produce less ash, and are often made from recycled materials. However, their heat output can vary, and they often don’t produce the same cozy ambiance as a traditional wood fire.
- How do eco logs work?
Eco logs work much like traditional wood logs. You light them on fire, and they burn. The difference is that eco logs are often made from compressed sawdust or other biomass materials, which can burn cleaner and longer than traditional wood.
- What businesses failed on Shark Tank?
While many businesses have found success after appearing on Shark Tank, some have struggled. For example, Toygaroo, a toy rental service, filed for bankruptcy despite receiving a $ 200,000 investment in the show. PlateTopper, a product designed to turn plates into airtight containers, also struggled after its Shark Tank appearance due to production issues.
- Do the Sharks get paid?
Yes, the Sharks do get paid for their appearances on the show. However, their primary potential income comes from the investments they make in the companies that pitch on the show.
- Has Shark Tank made anyone rich?
Yes, several entrepreneurs have become wealthy as a result of their appearances on Shark Tank. For example, the creators of Scrub Daddy, a flexible and durable sponge, have reportedly earned over $ 200 million in revenue since their Shark Tank appearance.
- What was the bad product from Shark Tank?
There have been several products pitched on Shark Tank that didn’t impress the Sharks. For example, Throx, a company that sold socks in sets of three, was criticized for its lack of originality. The Ionic Ear, a device designed to be implanted in the user’s ear for hands-free phone use, was also widely considered one of the worst products pitched on the show.
- How long do eco logs last?
The burn time of eco logs can vary based on their size and material composition, but many can burn for several hours. For example, EarthLogs can last up to 3 hours.
- Are eco logs really eco-friendly?
Yes, eco logs are generally considered more environmentally friendly than traditional wood logs. They’re often made from recycled materials, which helps reduce waste. Plus, they burn cleaner, producing less smoke and soot than traditional firewood.
- How many heat logs per day?
The number of heat logs you’ll need per day will depend on the size of your fireplace or stove and how long you want to keep the fire going. As a rough estimate, you might use 3-6 logs for an evening’s fire.
- Why are logs so expensive?
The price of logs can vary based on several factors, including the type of wood, the region where it’s sold, and the current demand for firewood. Additionally, processing and delivery costs can add to the price of firewood.
- How long does a bag of logs last?
Again, this will depend on several factors, including the size of the logs, how many are in a bag, and how frequently you burn them. As a rough estimate, a large bag of logs might last for a few evenings of fires.
Useful Video: Earthlog