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Ka Pop!

ka popDustin Finkel wants to get some bang for the Sharks’ bucks when he pitches Ka Pop, his snack foods made from ancient grains, in Shark Tank episode 1115. Finkel is a health nut and Cross Fit instructor, but he loves eating. After binging on some so-called “healthy chips” one night, he thought there had to be healthier snack food out there.

He had some ancient grains in his house, so he started experimenting making chips. When his finicky, six-year-old son liked them, he knew he was on to something. He started handing out samples to friends and family and they liked them too, so he started making Ka Pop his business.

Ka Pop chips are made with ancient grains which have been genetically unmodified for millennia. Finkel specifically uses Sorghum in his products. Proponents of ancient grains say that they are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Some nutritionists state that they are not inherently more healthy than modern grains, and that ancient and modern grains have similar health benefits when eaten as whole grains. Regardless, the snacks are tasty and Finkel wants to get them out to the masses.

Ka Pop chips are made from 100% USA sourced, ancient grain sorghum. They sell for $3.99 for a three ounce bag. They’re cheaper when you buy in volume. The chips are available at Rouses Markets, some Whole Foods, some mom and pop stores and limited 7-11 stores. They’re also available online at Amazon. Finkel likely wants a Shark’s cash and expertise to get broader retail distribution. Will a Shark pop for these chips?

ly wants a Shark to help him blow up the brand. Will Sharks like this snack?

Company Information

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Posts about Ka Pop! on Shark Tank Blog

Ka-Pop – Ancient Grain Chips

Ka Pop! Shark Tank Recap

Dustin enters the Tank seeking $350,000 for 5% of his business. He tells his story and hands out samples. The Sharks all love the snacks. While the Sharks like Dustin and the snacks, they don’t like that there are other investors. The Sharks are also concerned about how competitive the snack food industry is. Ultimately, everyone except Kevin goes out. He offers $350,000 for 17.5% and says he can’t go lower. Dustin says he can’t go that high and still be fair to the other investors, so he declines the offer and leaves with no deal.

Ka Pop! Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. In the nine days following  the original air date, they sold more product than the entire previous year! This company is still in business and they are now in Kroger, Thrive Markets and Sprouts Farmer’s Markets in addition to the stores listed above. In addition to the original chips, they’ve introduced puffs (think cheese puffs) too. They’re also available on Amazon.

In March, 2021, the company merged with Bubba’s Fine Foods. The merged company is called Awakened Foods and it acts as a holding company for emerging food brands. More acquisitions and mergers in the future are likely. Dustin Finkel serves as CEO of the newly formed company. In July, 2021, the company announced a “significant strategic investment from Clover Vitality, a growth equity firm focused on emerging food and beverage companies.” As of March, 2022, Bubba’s Keto Nut Mix is the number one selling Nut Mix on Amazon. The company also started offering co-packing services for snack products.

In June, 2023, Finkel stepped down as CEO writing this on his LinkedIn page:

I recently decided to step down from my role as CEO of Awakened Foods, comprised of the amazing brands – Awakened Food Crafters, B. Fine Foods & Ka-Pop! Snacks. This has been the hardest professional and personal journey I have encountered, and I have many mixed emotions about this decision. I am so proud of what the team has accomplished and know that the current team will do amazing things with the business. In fact, in many ways, the team today is the best team we’ve ever had at the Company. I am proud to remain a Board Member and I’ll always carry the title of Founder with great love.

As of May, 2024, products are in over 1700 stores nationwide including Krogers, King Sooper, City Market, select Whole Foods and more. Annual revenue is $5 million and it’s expected to grow as the years go on. Finkel remains on the board at this time and he’s the Chief Commercial Officer of KeJoy and Prime Plus Wagyu. He’s also an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, where he teaches marketing and business management.