In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, one company that sparked interest was HotShot Coffee, which made a memorable appearance on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. The concept of hot, ready-to-drink coffee in a can intrigued many but also raised eyebrows. Despite not securing a deal, HotShot Coffee has managed to carve out its niche in the market, proving its resilience.
This article will delve into the journey of HotShot Coffee post-Shark Tank, exploring its evolution, challenges, triumphs, and current status. We’ll dissect what happened after the lights of the Tank dimmed and the real business began.
What Is Hotshot Coffee?
HotShot Coffee is a beverage company that offers a distinctive approach to savoring hot java in a convenient, ready-to-consume format .
HotShot’s primary goal is to grant coffee enthusiasts the ease of relishing a piping hot brew without the need for brewing at home or making a trip to a coffee shop. The hallmark of HotShot’s product lies in its specially crafted aluminum can, which possesses the remarkable ability to preserve the coffee’s heat for an extended duration.
The HotBox is ingeniously crafted for both retail and domestic use, ensuring that the coffee remains consistently warm and ready to be enjoyed whenever the consumer desires.
Starting with the pros, HotShot Coffee’s main advantage is its convenience. The coffee comes in a ready-to-drink format, which is perfect for those who don’t have time to brew their own cup or make a pitstop at a coffee shop. The company has also managed to find a successful channel through concessionaires, indicating that the product’s “grab and go” concept is well-suited for stadiums and similar venues .
Additionally, despite not landing a deal on Shark Tank, HotShot Coffee has proven its resilience by thriving in the market. The company was able to shift its focus from serving “hot coffee at home” to a larger consumer base, showing adaptability and an understanding of market trends.
On the flip side, HotShot Coffee has received some criticism, particularly regarding the taste of its product. Some customers have described the coffee as “watery” and “sour”, with one customer even advising others to save their money. This suggests that while the convenience factor is high, the product may fall short when it comes to delivering a satisfying coffee experience.
There’s also some confusion related to the brand name. The YETI Rambler 12 oz bottle has a feature called a “HotShot Cap”. This could potentially cause some mix-up for consumers who are looking for HotShot Coffee but come across the YETI product instead.
Who May Benefit From Using HotShot Coffee:
- Busy individuals: The primary selling point of HotShot Coffee is its convenience. Its ready-to-drink format is perfect for those with fast-paced lifestyles who don’t have time to brew their own coffee or make a stop at a coffee shop;
- Amazon Prime members: HOTSHOT Coffee is available on Amazon.com, and Prime members can benefit from free two-day shipping;
- Athletes and fitness enthusiasts: Some studies suggest that consuming HOTSHOT 15-30 minutes prior to a workout can prevent muscle cramps by over 50% among heavy “crampers”;
- Wholesalers: Hotshot Coffee is committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing, which means wholesalers can be confident in offering their customers a high-quality product;
- Fans of Japanese-style canned coffee: Canned coffee is a big market in Japan, and those who enjoy this style of coffee might appreciate HotShot’s take on it ;
About Founders Of Hotshot Coffee
The idea behind HotShot Coffee is to provide a hot, ready-to-drink coffee in a can for busy coffee lovers. This is especially appealing to those who are on the go and don’t have time to brew their own cup or stop at a coffee shop.
In episode 704 of the show, Danny Grossfeld introduced the innovative concept of HotShot – a hot coffee served in a convenient aluminum can – to the Sharks. HotShot is a groundbreaking venture as the first ready-to-drink hot beverage company in the United States. The inspiration for this venture struck Grossfeld during his 2009 visit to Japan, where he encountered the widespread popularity of hot coffee in cans. This niche market for canned hot beverages in Japan is worth an astounding $ 14 billion, and HotShot aims to replicate this success on American soil.
HotShot coffee cans boast a remarkable feature: they can maintain the coffee at a consistent temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This impressive feat is achieved with the help of a “HotBox”, essentially a heated refrigerator, combined with a specialized insulated label meticulously wrapped around the aluminum cans. Mr. Grossfeld has designed HotBoxes for both domestic and commercial use, ensuring that the coffee is always at the ideal temperature.
The coffee itself is crafted from the finest Arabica beans, roasted to perfection. This meticulous roasting process ensures that consumers experience the rich, freshly roasted coffee taste right out of the can. HotShot offers a variety of flavors to cater to different tastes, including French Vanilla, Espresso, Caramel, and Hot Chocolate.
It’s worth noting that Mr. Grossfeld has invested a substantial sum, amounting to a million dollars, into the development of HotShot.
He previously attempted to secure $ 100,000 in funding through a Kickstarter campaign, but unfortunately, his efforts did not yield the desired results . As of the original air date of this episode, the product was not yet available for sale, but the potential for this innovative hot beverage concept had certainly piqued the interest of the Sharks.
The Pitch Of Hotshot Coffee At Shark Tank
In a bid to secure a $ 300,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in his company, Danny Grossfeld stepped into the Shark Tank . He kicked off his pitch by presenting HotShot, the ultimate solution for coffee lovers on the go, particularly those with busy mornings. With HotShot, coffee enthusiasts could conveniently grab a hot beverage from a HotBox, eliminating the need for brewing or standing in line at coffee shops. HotShot proudly touted itself as the first “Grab and go, ready-to-drink in-a-can coffee product available in America”, and Danny called on the Sharks to join the coffee revolution and become Hotshots themselves.
Robert Herjavec quickly expressed his interest, prompting Danny to distribute samples. Lori Greiner noticed the warmth of the can, to which Mark Cuban humorously remarked that 140 degrees was indeed quite warm. Danny seized the opportunity to highlight the insulated label, which absorbed 50% of the heat, ensuring the cup remained comfortably warm to hold.
The Sharks appreciated the taste of the coffee, with several of them commenting on its pleasant flavor. Danny revealed that he had tweaked the recipe more than 1,500 times during six years of development to create a product that tasted excellent and could maintain its quality when heated continuously for up to three months.
Curious about the origins of the idea, Robert Herjavec inquired about Danny’s inspiration, and he recounted his experience in Japan where he discovered canned coffee. When asked about sales figures, Danny disclosed that the journey had taken six years and cost a staggering $ 2 million.
Chris Sacca, however, expressed confusion, wondering if Danny had sold $ 2 million worth of products. Danny clarified that the $ 2 million had been invested in the product’s development over six years, but no sales had been made yet.
Kevin O’Leary began weaving his signature philosophy into the conversation, drawing parallels to the Myth of Sisyphus, suggesting that Danny was akin to the cursed figure pushing the Hotshot business uphill without any sales. Kevin firmly believed that if a company failed to turn a profit within 36 months, it was more of a hobby than a business and should be discontinued. With that, Kevin opted out.
Robert Herjavec also expressed skepticism about the Hotshot concept, particularly in a market with a wide array of coffee options. He believed that the transition to hot coffee in cans would be challenging in an already competitive landscape. Robert decided not to invest.
Chris Sacca, who had previously invested in high-end coffee retailer Blue Bottle Coffee, felt that Hotshot would compete in the same market space as Blue Bottle, leading him to exit the deal.
Mark Cuban had mixed feelings about the business but liked the idea and Danny himself. While he chose not to invest, he offered to try Hotshot coffee in one of his Landmark theaters once the business began shipping orders. Danny eagerly suggested including stadiums, but Mark sounded a note of caution, albeit with a smile.
With Robert as the only remaining Shark, Danny turned his attention to Lori Greiner, his last hope for a deal . Unfortunately, Lori decided not to extend a lifeline. She believed that, given the substantial investment and lack of return, the Hotshot business was doomed to fail. She urged Danny to be the sixth person to reject the business and “stop the bleeding”. Danny, however, remained determined to launch the product in the fall, even after Lori’s sobering assessment.
Hotshot Coffee After The Shark Tank
Following the episode’s broadcast, HotShot saw promising developments in its journey. Several movie theaters and convenience stores expressed interest and agreed to test the product, opening up potential avenues for expansion.
Additionally, they inked a significant distribution agreement with SKI Beverage, a move that would facilitate the distribution of their coffee across the New York area.
However, it’s worth noting that as of September 2023, their official website no longer lists any products for sale. While you can still view the various options that were once available, attempting to proceed with an order would result in an error message. The current status of HotShot and its products remains unclear.
The Net Worth Of Hotshot Coffee
Following the broadcast of this episode, the HotShot website underwent a comprehensive revamp. The corporation made an official announcement that they were now accepting pre-orders for the HotBox and would soon have a presence in both movie theaters and convenience stores.
Additionally, they struck a deal with Cirque du Soleil to offer their product at concessions during their traveling performances. Furthermore, the product is available for purchase at Malco Theater Chains, a chain comprising 35 theaters based in Tennessee.
Alternatives To Hotshot Coffee:
- Starbucks Doubleshot: Starbucks offers a range of ready-to-drink coffee beverages, including their Doubleshot Espresso line, which comes in various flavors and provides a convenient way to enjoy coffee on the go;
- Dunkin’ Donuts Bottled Iced Coffee: Dunkin’ Donuts offers bottled iced coffee in different flavors, providing a refreshing option for those who prefer cold coffee;
- Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew: Bulletproof Coffee offers cold brew coffee infused with brain-boosting MCT oil. It’s a popular choice among those following a ketogenic diet;
- Stōk Cold Brew: Stōk offers a range of cold brew coffee products, known for their bold and smooth flavors. They also have sweetened and unsweetened options;
- La Colombe Draft Latte: La Colombe’s Draft Latte is a frothy, cold coffee with a creamy texture. It comes in various flavors and is known for its unique taste;
- Chameleon Cold-Brew: Chameleon offers organic cold-brew coffee concentrate and ready-to-drink bottles. They have various flavors and even offer non-dairy options;
- Califia Farms Cold Brew Coffee: Califia Farms offers a variety of cold brew coffee flavors made from almond milk or oat milk, catering to those looking for dairy-free options;
- High Brew Coffee: High Brew Coffee is known for its strong coffee taste and comes in a variety of flavors and formulations, including dairy-free and protein-infused options;
- Caveman Nitro Cold Brew Coffee: Caveman Coffee offers nitro-infused cold brew coffee with unique flavor profiles;
- DIY Homemade Cold Brew: For a more personalized experience, you can make your own cold brew coffee at home by purchasing cold brew coffee bags or grinding your coffee beans and steeping them in cold water ;
- How much is Hotshot coffee?
The price of HotShot Coffee varies depending on the product and location. An 11oz bag of Hot Shot Espresso Blend from Because Coffee Store is priced at $ 161. A single Starter kit, consisting of a hot box, plus 12 8-ounce cans of any flavor of coffee is available for $ 99.99. The 8-ounce cans of Hotshot are sold online in 12-packs of individual flavors or combined “fun packs” for $ 35 .
- Why did Nescafe stop selling self-heating coffee cans?
Nestlé discontinued its Nescafé Hot When You Want self-heating coffee can due to poor sales. The product was not well-received by consumers because it didn’t heat up enough, and the beverage was reported to taste more like tea than coffee.
- Does Shark Tank really pay?
Yes, the entrepreneurs who pitch their businesses on Shark Tank do receive compensation. However, it’s not for appearing on the show. If a Shark chooses to invest in a company, they negotiate the terms separately from the show’s production.
- What is the shelf life of Hotshot cans?
HotShot Coffee’s claim of a one-year shelf life for their canned coffee when stored at room temperature is a testament to the product’s durability and quality. This extended shelf life suggests that the coffee remains safe to consume and retains its flavor for a considerable period, making it convenient for consumers to stock up on their favorite brew without concerns about rapid expiration.
The quick heating time of approximately 90 minutes from room temperature to the desired serving temperature further enhances the convenience factor of HotShot. This means that consumers can enjoy a freshly heated cup of coffee in a relatively short time, making it suitable for busy mornings or on-the-go situations where a quick caffeine boost is needed.
- Have any Shark Tank deals failed?
Yes, there have been several Shark Tank deals that have failed. One notable example is Toygaroo, a toy rental service that went bankrupt only a few months after securing a deal with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary.
- What was the worst deal on Shark Tank?
One deal often cited as the worst is when James Martin pitched Copa Di Vino, a single-serving wine product. He turned down offers from the Sharks in two separate appearances on the show. His refusal to negotiate and perceived arrogance made it one of the most infamous segments on the show.
- Who turned down a million dollars on Shark Tank?
Dawn Dickson, founder of PopCom, turned down a million-dollar offer from Kevin O’Leary. She felt that the deal was not in the best interest of her company as it involved a royalty agreement.
- Is drinking Hotshot safe?
While there isn’t specific information about the safety of HotShot Coffee, canned coffee is generally safe to drink as long as it’s consumed before its expiration date. However, individuals with certain health conditions or sensitivities to caffeine should always consult with a healthcare provider before adding new caffeinated beverages to their diet.
- What are the risks of drinking Hotshot?
As with any caffeinated beverage, consuming HotShot Coffee could potentially lead to side effects such as restlessness, insomnia, and rapid heart rate if consumed in excess. It’s also important to consider individual tolerance levels and any pre-existing medical conditions.
- How many billionaires are on Shark Tank?
There are three billionaires who have appeared on Shark Tank: Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, and John Paul DeJoria.
- Why is instant coffee not popular?
The main reason instant coffee is not as popular as freshly brewed coffee is due to taste. Many coffee connoisseurs argue that instant coffee lacks the depth and flavor of its brewed counterpart.
- Where can I buy HotShot Coffee?
HotShot Coffee is available on their official website and on Amazon.com.
- Was HotShot Coffee successful on Shark Tank?
While the company did not secure a deal on Shark Tank, they have since carved out a niche in the market.
- What flavors does HotShot Coffee offer?
HotShot Coffee offers various flavors including French Vanilla, Hot Chocolate, and Black Coffee.
- Is HotShot Coffee environmentally friendly?
Yes, HotShot Coffee comes in environmentally friendly cans and the company is committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing.
- What is the best way to enjoy HotShot Coffee?
HotShot Coffee is best enjoyed hot, straight from the can. However, you may also pour it into a cup or mug if desired.
Useful Video: HotShot – Shark Tank