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Peanut Butter Pump

peanut butter pumpAndy Scherer seeks an investor for the Peanut Butter Pump, his kitchen gadget that “makes peanut butter better,” in Shark Tank episode 1109. Scherer invented the product after losing his job in the financial services industry in 2016. He went home that day and made a peanut butter sandwich and realized there was a better way to dispense his favorite food.

Thus the Peanut Butter Pump was born. Scherer got the idea rolling with a successful IndieGoGo Campaign that raised $133,790 in April, 2019. To date, he has not delivered product. As of October, 2019, he hasn’t even made the finished product yet. At that time, he was off to Taiwan to sign off on the final prototype and begin production on the finished units. He also has a second invention called the Nutternado that’s in “Pre-order” status.

The pump itself is food grade plastic and silicon. It’s designed to screw onto “most standard 40 oz jars, including the following brands*: Skippy, Jif, Kroger, Great Value (Walmart), Market Pantry (Target), and Kirkland (Costco).”. As product is dispensed through either the stream or wide surface nozzle, the pumping mechanism actually scrapes the inside of the jar so there’s no waste. Each pump of the oversized plunger dispenses about 3 tsp. By pumping peanut butter instead of spreading it, you don’ mass up the bread. Now you can just pump it onto a piece of bread and enjoy. It even works on crunchy peanut butter! The whole unit comes apart for cleaning too.

Scherer is all in on this product. He says he’ll even sell his house to get it off the ground. He needs a Shark’s help with manufacturing and cash flow. Will a Shark “cover the spread” on this opportunity?

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The Peanut Butter Pump Pumps it Up

Peanut Butter Pump Shark Tank Recap

Andy enters seeking $200,000 for 15% of his business. He tells his story and hands out samples, but the Sharks are more amused than interested. Kevin proclaims himself a peanut butter connoisseur and brings up the debate about whether or not you should refrigerate peanut butter. Andy says this won’t work with refrigerated peanut butter nor will it work with chunky peanut butter.

The Sharks express concern when Andy tells him he missed his delivery date for the IndieGoGo campaign and used some of the money for personal use. Daymond doesn’t think it solves any problem; he’s out. Lori and Robert agree with Daymond and they go out too. Kevin thinks the valuation is out of whack so he’s out too. Mark goes out and thanks Andy for being a good sport.

Peanut Butter Pump 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 August, 2020 the product is still on “pre-order” status on the company website. On the site, it says “The estimated shipping date of this product is 3/15/2020.” Andy has not delivered on the IndieGoGo orders either as of August, 2020.

In June, 2021, the IndieGoGo campaign was updated. Andy is awaiting delivery of a piston ring. He made this announcement in a campaign update:

Lately I’ve received a number of questions as to whether the project has been abandoned. I can’t blame people for asking, but I’m glad to reassure you that the pump’s progress is alive and well, and needs very little to be delivered. Scrapping the pump was never a thought for me, and in fact would cost me more than completing it. Covid notwithstanding, most of the other delays reflect a cautious approach specifically to avoid the danger of a project-killing mistake. I’ve certainly made some mistakes, and being over-cautious is likely one of them, but thankfully none of them has put the project itself at risk, and the enthusiastic support from backers has ensured that it will go through.

In November, 2021, he finally received confirmation that the product works. In yet another IndieGoGo update, he says:

“The factory and I have been wrestling with the piston-and tube combination for a few months now, and the latest piston-and-tube sample has come in. The result: Victory at last! It works!

It’s always easy to test the pieces and declare “this doesn’t work,” but it’s much harder to know why it didn’t work, or what needs fixing. Even harder is understanding how the factory can accomplish the new fix. This problem was maddening to me, especially because it seemed like it should’ve been so simple. In this case, the piston ring had at least 3 changes in shape (mostly how and where it attaches) and two changes in material type; the piston tube had two corresponding minor shape changes; and the main tube, inside of which the piston moves up and down, had two as well. And now, finally, I can forget about all of them. Except this final one.

As I’ve said before, this is the final piece I was waiting for. So now the big question… when does production start? Here goes: first, they need to send me one more sample. Why? Because the factory insists on a final sample of everything working together. The recent package included only the piston tube and sealing rings, not a full pump set, so testing requires a mix-and-match with prior samples. After a few revisions that creates the potential for error. For another, at this stage each component comes with a dated sign-off tag to approve the look, feel, function and overall quality of the part, and it just makes sense. If they insist on this step for their own quality control, I won’t buck that process. That said, there aren’t any design changes or problems to fix, so the turnaround time should be quicker than previous rounds.

After that’s cleared, it will be two weeks for the factory to plan the staffing, the floor space, and to “tee-up” the inventory of raw plastic, and another 2-3 weeks to run the assembly line, including the packaging. From there it goes to shipping. Shipping from China is usually 3 weeks of freight time + US mail time; however, due to the current backlog in container shipping, I will probably drop-ship directly from China to save time. I will confirm those details once production starts.

And that’s the update! No pictures this time, as the parts are still covered in peanut butter. But the next one should have a full set of unboxing pics!

Feel free to write me directly or leave a comment on the board using the links below. And as always, thank you so much for your enduring patience and kind support! Enjoy your Thanksgiving week!”

In January, 2022, he finally got the missing piece for testing. He wrote this update on his IndieGogo page:

Dear Backers,

So, I’m ready to order production to start. Here’s what happened, and here’s what is coming.

What happened:

The package I was waiting for arrived, but it wasn’t what I expected. After I bugged and bugged them to deliver, on January 16th I got their email with a tracking number and a message: “We just sent the package, and you’ll get it in 5-10 days. It has less than what you’re expecting. Also, we’re closing from now until February 10th for the Chinese New Year.” I don’t like to complain about the factory, because good or bad the buck stops with me, not them. But I can’t hide my annoyance at getting a “here’s the minimum before we disappear on vacation” type of email. So I settled down to wait for the package. And when I got it, the frustration was fulfilled: instead of a few complete pumps, it had 4 production-quality piston rings.

This is an example of getting not what I wanted, but only what was needed. As the final piece, it was necessary to receive and test the production units, instead of the one-offs from the last sample, before going forward. All other components have already been vetted. So I’m good to go. But I’m confused and annoyed by the factory’s behavior, and need a better understanding of their timeline. So that’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks.

The main thing is to pin down the dates, and then the exact dimensions of size and weight for packaging. When I have firm dates, I’ll send them out.

As always, thanks for supporting one of the nuttiest crowdfunding campaigns ever. Feel free to leave any comments or write me with questions using the links below. Best wishes,

Andy

In July, 2022, he has still not delivered, but he’s getting closer. In an update to backers, he states “the pieces are in place for production.” Shark Tank Blog will continue to monitor the progress of this campaign/business.

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