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fishwifeBecca Millstein hopes the Sharks bite on FishWife, her high end, sustainably sourced tinned seafood company, in Shark Tank episode 1511. Becca, along with her business partner, Caroline Goldfarb (not appearing on the show) founded the company in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tinned fish became popular during the lockdowns as people ventured out food shopping less and began scouring their pantries for canned goods, like tuna. The term”fish wife” dates back to the 16th century and refers to women who sell ffish.

In addition to the ubiquitous albacore, FishWife offers smoked salmon, trout and they’re going to introduce mackeral. The fish is sustainably caught or farm raised and the contents of each tin are brined and smoked in small batches over hardwood. Each tin is hand-packed at small, family owned canneries in Washington state and British Columbia.

The tins are sold in 3 packs for $27-$39 ($9-$13 per 8 to 10 ounce tin). While it’s a tad pricier that “Chicken of the Sea,” the tins are all the rave as a gourmet delicacy. You can buy FishWife tinned fish on the company website, at select Whole Foods on the east and west coast, select Fresh Markets, hundreds of mom and pop restaurants, shops and fish markets and on Amazon.

The company has experienced exponential growth since its inception. They likely want a Shark to help them get on more store shelves.

Company Information

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Posts about FishWife on Shark Tank Blog

Fish Wife: Transforming Tinned Seafood into a Culinary Delight

FishWife Shark Tank Recap

Becca enters the Shark Tank seeking $350,000 in exchange for 4% equity in her company. Wat back in the 16th century, the term “fishwife” referred to the wives of fishermen who sold their wares in the market. Because the fish was highly perishable, fishwives gained a reputation for being bossy, loud and foul mouthed. Becca identifies as hse’s turning the entire seafood industry on its tail in a bold, beautiful and brazen way.

FishWife is a tinned seafood company that makes eating delicious, nutritious and responsibly sourced seafood one pop of a tin away. They partner with the best fisheries, farms and canneries all around the world to bring you incredible seafood. She asked Candace if she grew up with dusty cans of tuna and eating only tuna sandwiches with mayonaisse and white bread. Here at FishWife thhey eat their smoked salmon over steaming rice bowls. They stir their smoked rainbow trout into fresh pastas and eat their smoked anchovies on great bread with melted butter. Their smoked mackerel pairs with delightful salads. FishWife is tinned fish like you have never tasted. She asks the Sharks “who is ready to dive into the deep end with FishWife.”

Samples and Questions

The Sharks have smoked salmon with creme fresh on a potato chip, smoked rainbow trout dip on a pita chip and smoked mackerel on a gyro. Lori likes  the salmon. Candace calls it a “flavor bomb.” Kevin wants to knoow the difference between her fish and all the other canned fish. She asks the Sharks to try the fish straight out of the can. Kevin tries the smoked salmon and says “it doesn’t suck.” Lori and Daymond like it a lot. They don’t can in water at this point. They’re a premium brand.

The tins retail at $7.99 and the cost is $2.09  on average. In the canned fish space, premium brands are growing 3 times faster than the conventional, commodity brands. There’s a Tik Tok trend that has “hot girls” eating tinned fish. It’s good for you, it’s delicious and people are using the fish on elegant charcuterie boards and high end restaurants are now serving tinned fish. There are tinned fish champagne bars – it’s a huge trend. Lori says Kevin hasn’t stopped eating his fish and Kevin says “it’s sucking less every minute.” In Spain and Portugal they have a long tradition of eating “elevated” tinned fish. Becca studied abroad in southern Spain and it was there where she was exposed to high quality tinned fish.

The Numbers

2021 sales were $750,000, 2022 sales were $2.6 million and in 2023 sales are on track for $5.8 million. They are 50% retail  and 50% direct to consumer. The products are currently in 1300 stores – mostly regional chains and Whole Foods will be their first national chain. That’s why she’s in the Tank. She’s locked in a deal with Whole Foods for April, 2024 and that’s going to take “a lot of cheddar” to make it happen.

Kevin says it’s a total commodity so the whole deal is about execution. He’s never do this as an equity deal because it’s all about a commodity that needs cash. Kevin offers $250,000 as debt on a 3 year term at an 11% rate for 5% of the company. He says “the whole deal is you, you screw this up and you sleep with the fishes.” Daymond asks if she’ll sell 1.5 million units and when Becca says yes, he offers $350,000 for a royalty of 15 cents per can in perpetuity. Mark clears the deck and goes out.

Candace loves the brand and wants to make an offer with Lori. Lori talks about her deal with Boarderie and says that company will hit over $20 million in sales for the year. She could see this fitting on their trays. Candace and Lori offer $350,000 for 10%. Kevin sums up the three offers on the table and asks which one Becca wants to go with. Becca counnters with 6% and 1% in advisory shares for both Lori and Candace. They accept the counter offer.

FishWife Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. As of the first re-run of this episode in June, 2024 – about six months after the original air date – there is no evidence the deal with Lori and Candace closed. FishWife did its deal with Whole Foods and is now in over 3200 stores nationwide. Shortly after the original episode aired, it was revealed that Becca sued co founder Caroline Goldfarb for refusing to hand over access to the company’s online accounts, including its website and email. There was also a dispute about Goldfarb’s percentage of ownership in the company. The suit, which was filed in July, 2023, was settled about a month later and the details of the settlement were not made public. 2023 revenue came in at $6 million.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on FishWife & Becca Millstein as more details become available.