One Shark Tank’s product that particularly captured attention was TurboPup, a compact and nutritionally complete meal bar for dogs, brought to the Tank by Kristina Guerrero, a former Air Force officer. The concept was simple yet revolutionary: create a convenient, travel-friendly alternative to traditional dog food, perfect for on-the-go pet owners.
It was an idea born out of necessity when Guerrero, an outdoor enthusiast herself, struggled with hauling around bulky dog food during her adventures with her four-legged companions.
Since its appearance on Shark Tank in 2015, TurboPup has experienced a whirlwind journey filled with highs, lows, challenges, and victories. This article delves into what happened to TurboPup after its Shark Tank debut, examining its growth, the hurdles it faced, its current market standing, and how it continues to impact the pet food industry with its unique offering.
Whether you’re a pet owner seeking a convenient feeding solution or an entrepreneur interested in the post-Shark Tank trajectory of a business, this exploration of TurboPup’s journey offers valuable insights.
What Is TurboPup?
TurboPup offers a convenient and nutritious meal option for dogs on the go. These compact, individually packaged energy bars are designed with the health and safety of your canine companion in mind .
By using grain-free ingredients, TurboPup not only fills your dog’s tummy but also supplies them with the energy needed for their upcoming adventures. Gone are the days of time-consuming food preparation; simply grab a TurboPup bar, and you and your four-legged friend are ready to embark on your journey with ease.
- Convenience: The most apparent advantage of TurboPup bars is their convenience. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to carry around. This makes them perfect for long hikes, road trips, or any situation where carrying around a bag of dog food would be impractical;
- Nutritionally Complete: Despite being small, TurboPup bars are designed to provide complete nutrition for your dog. They are made with all-natural ingredients and contain 22 vitamins and minerals. Each bar is grain-free and comes in two flavors – Bacon and Peanut Butter;
- Veteran-Owned Business: One unique aspect of TurboPup is that it is a veteran-owned business. Kristina Guerrero is a former Air Force officer, which adds a level of trust and respect to the brand;
- Positive Social Impact: TurboPup has a strong commitment to giving back. They donate a portion of each sale to non-profit organizations that support veteran and first responder causes ;
- Price: One downside to TurboPup bars is their price. They are significantly more expensive than traditional dog food. While they offer convenience, this might not justify the cost for some pet owners;
- Limited Variety: Currently, TurboPup bars only come in two flavors. This might not appeal to dogs who are picky eaters or those who like variety in their diet;
- Not Suitable for Daily Use: While TurboPup bars are nutritionally complete, they are not intended to replace regular dog food for daily use. They are best used as a meal replacement when traveling or going on adventures with your dog;
- Availability: After Shark Tank, the demand for TurboPup bars increased significantly. However, there have been some complaints about the availability of the product, with some customers finding it difficult to locate these bars in local pet stores;
Who May Benefit From Using TurboPup?
- Outdoor Enthusiasts: If you’re someone who loves to go on long hikes, camping trips, or extended outdoor adventures with your furry friend, TurboPup bars can be a convenient way to ensure your dog gets its necessary nutrition without the hassle of carrying heavy bags of food;
- Travelers: For those who frequently travel with their dogs, whether by car, plane, or train, having a compact, easy-to-pack meal option for your pet can be extremely beneficial;
- Emergency Preppers: TurboPup bars can be a great addition to an emergency preparedness kit. In case of natural disasters or other emergencies where normal supplies may be disrupted, these bars can provide a reliable source of nutrition for pets;
- Busy Individuals: If you often find yourself in a rush or juggling multiple tasks, having a quick and easy meal option for your dog can save time and stress;
- Supporters of Veteran-Owned Businesses: As TurboPup is a veteran-owned business, those who wish to support such enterprises may also benefit from choosing this product ;
Remember, while TurboPup bars are a convenient alternative, they aren’t meant to replace a balanced, regular diet for your dog. They should be used as a supplement or a temporary meal replacement when regular feeding isn’t possible. Always consult with your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s nutrition.
About the Founders Of TurboPup
In 2002, Kristina successfully graduated from the prestigious US Air Force Academy . Her exceptional performance in US Air Force pilot training earned her the esteemed title of a turbo distinguished graduate, leading her to command C-130 TurboPROPS aircraft. As a highly decorated US Air Force Veteran, Kristina proudly boasts two Combat Air Medals, recognizing her valorous missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Horn of Africa.
Kristina’s commitment to service extended beyond her military career, as evidenced by her extensive record of over 1,000 hours of community service. In 2009, she embarked on a new academic journey, earning a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, driven by her unwavering dedication to a life of service.
Her core life objective remains rooted in the belief that one can “be the change.” When she’s not tending to TurboPUP, Kristina extends her caring nature as an occupational therapist, serving a diverse array of populations. She also dedicates her time as a volunteer for Deschutes County Search and Rescue.
The spark of inspiration struck Kristina during an extensive back-country hiking expedition. Realizing she had forgotten to pack food for her faithful canine companion, Dunkan, she selflessly shared her sustenance, even though it lacked the necessary canine nutrition. On her journey back home, Kristina resolved to seek a suitable travel food solution for Dunkan before her next hiking escapade.
Her search across pet stores and online marketplaces proved fruitless, as there were no compact, dog-friendly food products available. Determined to fill this gap, Kristina embarked on the mission to create her solution. With the assistance of her husband, a skilled food scientist, they birthed TurboPup. Their innovative formula emerged as a comprehensive meal replacement, enriched with vital vitamins and nutrients, catering to dogs of all ages.
Kristina kick-started the TurboPup venture using her savings and achieved a modest level of success with small, independent retailers. However, recognizing the need for seasoned business guidance to overcome common pitfalls, she sought a mentor.
The turning point arrived when Kristina received five emails from friends in a single day, all conveying the news that Shark Tank was actively seeking entrepreneurs with military backgrounds. Seizing the opportunity, she sent an email application, not holding overly optimistic expectations.
To her amazement, a few weeks later, she received word that she had been selected as a potential candidate for Shark Tank. In early 2015, Kristina had the chance to pitch TurboPup to the Sharks, opening new horizons for her entrepreneurial journey.
The Pitch Of TurboPup At Shark Tank
Kristina, accompanied by her trusty companion Odin, entered the Tank, seeking a $ 100,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in her TurboPup venture . Her pitch began with the recounting of the pivotal hiking trip when she shared her meal with her hungry dog, sparking her eureka moment.
Kristina elaborated on the painstaking development process that took place right in her kitchen until TurboPup, a healthy and nutrient-rich compact dog food, became a reality. The pitch was going well, but the true star of the show was Odin. His excitement was palpable as Kristina opened a pack of TurboPup, eagerly snatching a piece of the bar, leaving no doubt that the product was a hit among its intended users.
Kristina generously offered samples of TurboPup to the Sharks, allowing them to share the treats with Odin, albeit in moderation due to the 250-calorie content per bar. Robert Herjavec, known for his fondness for animals, quickly developed a warm bond with Odin, cemented by the occasional TurboPup treat. However, Kevin O’Leary, not sharing Robert’s enthusiasm for furry friends, declined the offer, drawing a humorous analogy involving hyenas in Ethiopia.
Kevin shifted the focus back to the business, inquiring about what set TurboPup apart from the plethora of dog treats on the market. Kristina emphasized that TurboPup wasn’t just a treat; it was a wholesome and complete meal suitable for dogs of all ages, fully substitutable for regular dog food. Robert Herjavec promptly grasped the concept, likening it to an energy bar for dogs, a notion that Kristina readily endorsed, emphasizing its suitability as a standard dog meal.
Curious about the sales figures, Mark Cuban asked about the achieved numbers. Kristina revealed that she had achieved $ 4,000 in sales during the first year, which was followed by $ 7,000 in sales within the initial six months of the current year. The Sharks, however, seemed underwhelmed by these figures compared to typical Shark Tank businesses.
To understand Kristina’s background better, Lori Greiner inquired about her military experience. Kristina shared her history, highlighting her time in pilot school and her active service flying Hercules C130s over hostile territories in Iraq, impressing the Sharks with her resilience and courage.
Kristina went on to explain her strategy of approaching outdoor stores first, avoiding the oversaturated pet food market. These stores, devoid of competing products for TurboPup, displayed a keen interest due to the prevalence of hikers, climbers, and skiers who ventured into the great outdoors with their dogs. This approach led to TurboPup being named the official dog food for the National Association of Search and Rescue.
The Sharks were effusive in their praise, considering her strategy “brilliant”. Despite their admiration for Kristina, Mark Cuban felt that she needed to expand the business further before attracting the major investment she sought. Regrettably, he bowed out, as did Lori Greiner, who expressed concerns about either TurboPup or Kristina.
Kevin O’Leary, while rejecting TurboPup, displayed a softer side compared to his usual aggression, possibly holding a grudging respect for Kristina. He let her down gently, acknowledging her character and service but ultimately declining the deal.
Daymond John remained undecided for a while, recognizing Kristina’s boundless energy and determination. Eventually, he extended an offer of $ 100,000 for a 40% stake in TurboPup . Kevin tried to dissuade Daymond, stating that the company wasn’t worth it, but Daymond believed in Kristina herself. The negotiation continued as Kristina bargained for a 35% equity stake, and after some contemplation, Daymond agreed with a wry smile.
The partnership was sealed with a hug, and with Odin jumping for joy, it was clear that Daymond emerged as the victor in this Shark Tank encounter, leaving Kevin O’Leary’s comments sounding almost bitter as he described it as a “mercy deal.” Daymond, on the other hand, looked triumphant in his decision.
TurboPup After The Shark Tank
Following the successful partnership with Daymond John, the TurboPup team experienced a surge in sales due to the Shark Tank effect. Within a mere 24 hours of the episode airing, they received a whopping $ 30,000 worth of orders . Their remarkable growth trajectory continued, with their end-of-year revenue for 2015 reaching nearly $ 1 million, a substantial leap from the modest $ 11,000 they had accumulated in the previous two years.
By February 2016, TurboPup was featured in an update segment during the seventh season’s 19th episode. In this segment, they unveiled their partnership with Fetch, a prominent distributor in the pet market, for assistance in marketing, production, and product development. Notably, Daymond had met with Kristina at the Petsmart Headquarters in Phoenix.
With Fetch’s invaluable support, TurboPup made its way into Petsmart, gaining access to 700 locations across the United States and Canada within just a few months. Daymond John praised Kristina for her unwavering commitment and boundless energy in advancing the business.
During the Expo, Fetch executives were impressed by Kristina’s presentation and preparation, and a significant opportunity presented itself as she met a Petco executive who offered them a licensing deal.
However, as of 2023, TurboPup appears to have ceased operations. Their website is no longer active, and their social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, haven’t seen updates for several years, with their last posts dating back to 2021 and 2018, respectively. Although there hasn’t been an official announcement from the company, their products have been unavailable on Amazon since 2019.
Some customer reviews on the platform were mixed, with praises for the product’s convenience in outdoor activities but also complaints about quality issues, such as mold in the bars and damaged packaging, possibly due to pests.
The Net Worth Of TurboPup
The impact of TurboPUP’s appearance on “Shark Tank” was nothing short of remarkable. Within just 24 hours of their segment airing, they received an impressive influx of orders, amounting to over $ 30,000. This surge in demand clearly indicated the immediate and positive response from viewers.
The company’s financial success continued to skyrocket, with its total revenue for the year 2015 reaching nearly $ 1 million. This was a substantial leap from their previous two years, where their profits had only amounted to a modest $ 11,000.
In February 2016, TurboPUP’s journey was revisited when they were featured in an update segment during the 19th episode of the seventh season of “Shark Tank”. During this update, they revealed their strategic partnership with Fetch, a significant player in the pet distribution industry. This partnership marked a significant step forward in their business development, solidifying their presence in the pet market.
Alternatives To TurboPup:
- Dehydrated Dog Food: Brands like The Honest Kitchen and Sojos offer high-quality dehydrated dog food that can be rehydrated with water. These are lightweight and easy to pack, making them a good option for travel or outdoor adventures;
- Freeze-Dried Dog Food: Similar to dehydrated food, freeze-dried options from brands like Stella & Chewy’s or Primal Pet Foods can also be a convenient choice. They offer the benefits of raw food diets without the hassle;
- Dog Food Rolls: Brands such as Redbarn and Natural Balance offer dog food in roll form. These can be sliced or crumbled as needed and can be a handy option for feeding on the go;
- Meal Toppers or Mixers: While not a complete meal on their own, products like Instinct Raw Boost Mixers or Merrick’s Meal Mixers can be added to regular kibble to enhance nutrition and taste. These could be useful if you’re traveling and have access to dry food but want to add some extra nutrition;
- High-Quality Kibble: Sometimes, the best alternative might be a high-quality dry dog food. There are many brands on the market, such as Blue Buffalo, Wellness, or Orijen, that offer nutritious, well-balanced kibble that can be easily transported ;
- Who owns TurboPup?
TurboPup was founded by Kristina Guerrero, a United States Air Force veteran, and her husband in partnership with Fetch, a pet market distributor. Kristina Guerrero played a significant role in the company’s development and pitch on the TV show “Shark Tank”. Please note that the ownership structure or key individuals involved may have changed since then.
- What are the dog protein bars on Shark Tank?
The dog protein bars featured on the television show “Shark Tank” are TurboPup bars. TurboPup is known for its compact and nutrient-rich dog food bars designed to provide dogs with a complete meal while on the go. These bars were pitched by Kristina Guerrero and her company during their appearance on the show.
- What is the most successful product sold from Shark Tank?
Determining the single most successful product from “Shark Tank” is subjective and can vary depending on the criteria used (e.g., highest revenue, most successful overall business, greatest impact on the market). Products like the Scrub Daddy, Tipsy Elves, and Squatty Potty have enjoyed substantial success. However, the level of success can be measured in different ways, and the show has launched numerous prosperous businesses.
- Who is the CEO of Dog Protein Bars?
The CEO of TurboPup, the company that produces dog protein bars, is Kristina Guerrero. She founded the company and was instrumental in its growth and development, as showcased during her appearance on “Shark Tank.” Please note that executive positions in companies can change, so it’s advisable to verify the current leadership if you’re seeking the most up-to-date information.
- Who owns the biggest pet food companies?
The biggest pet food companies are typically large, multinational corporations with diversified product lines. Some major players in the pet food industry include Mars Petcare, Nestlé Purina PetCare, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition (a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive).
These companies are often owned by larger conglomerates with diverse portfolios. Ownership and rankings of these companies may change over time due to mergers, acquisitions, and market dynamics.
- Where is TurboPup produced?
TurboPUP meal bars are manufactured in Oregon, and the company prioritizes American-sourced, human-grade ingredients in their production. Their commitment to using all-natural, high-protein, and grain-free ingredients makes their bars an attractive option for pet owners who enjoy outdoor activities with their dogs. The bars come in flavors like peanut butter and bacon and are designed to be compact and lightweight for on-the-go convenience.
Useful Video: TurboPup – Beyond The Tank