From Shark Tank to Table: A Meal Subscription That Gets Kids to Bite

From Shark Tank to Table: A Meal Subscription That Gets Kids to Bite

Kids gotta eat too, and that sounds so much easier than it is. Between sports, jobs, household chores, and picky eaters- getting the little ones to

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Kids gotta eat too, and that sounds so much easier than it is. Between sports, jobs, household chores, and picky eaters- getting the little ones to eat nutritious meals they like is not an easy feat. Or, if you’re lucky like me, your toddler ate everything in the world until they reached a point where they ate nothing but chicken nuggets, just to assert that little bit of control they had. Plenty of parents are also keto-ing or dieting this time of year, and it just isn’t realistic to make multiple meals at every meal time to make sure everyone is getting what they need. For these reasons, and the unique product development side of things, I decided to sit down with Joanna Parker, Yumble Founder for the inside scoop.

Stress-Free and Fun

Yumble is a meal subscription service for kids only, featuring meals that are meant to make mealtime stress-free for parents and to make eating healthy and fun for your kids. This appeal spreads to such a large group of potential consumers that it makes it easy to see why Yumble has seen such success. While the service itself fits a niche and isn’t for every parent, Parker has also allowed plenty of room for growth by targeting such a large consumer field, an approach that allows profit to sit at the forefront of what she’s growing.

Past Proves the Future

Ironically, Parker’s background ventures are in both product development and early childhood development, something she feels has really lent to the success she’s experiencing now. For entrepreneurs, it’s so important to rely on experience and try and find things from what you’ve already done and use that as a launchpad. It was actually while Parker was teaching that Yumble became a need in her own life. During this busy time, it became a daily struggle, and very stressful to prepare, cook, and clean up kids meals…sometimes several times a day. For Parker, this pain point quickly grew into a realization.

Market Proof

What Parker did next was incredibly smart. She started anonymously and in a different neighborhood, pitching and selling her idea to see if people other than her own neighbors and friends might buy. In my product launch business, we talk about market proof until we are blue in the face because it is so often overlooked, yet so necessary to the survival of an entrepreneur or business. Parker got this right.

Business Model

When Parker first began selling, she started every client on a subscription service from the very beginning. This structure makes projecting much easier and more precise, especially for a new business starting out. Parker also points out that the concept itself was very fit for a subscription service because with this particular problem parents were having, one order wasn’t going to change that. Next week they would have that same problem, so that made it a much easier sell. Another smart aspect of this business that should be highlighted is the DNA Pillars that Parker set up for Yumble, to make sure everything was always serving the mission and direction, or as Mike Michalowicz taught us: The Queen Bee Promise, the promise you make to your clients that cannot be compromised.

Yumble DNA Pillars

  1. Made from ingredients mom and dad feel proud to serve.

  2. Tastes like food kids actually want to eat.

  3. There’s a fun factor.

Shark Tank Success How To’s

By the time Parker got Yumble onto Shark Tank, success seemed inevitable, and that wasn’t by chance. There was a lot Parker did right from the very beginning which allowed her continued success on the show, and I want to outline that.

  1. Sales. Yumble already had sales and showed market proof before Parker presented to the Sharks, a must-have. If your idea isn’t ready to generate income, find something in the same market that is, and start building your brand that way. Money talks, period.

  2. Hustle. Parker went out, put her own time and money on the line, and hustled to make it happen. Her ability to take action on her idea puts her in rare territory, something the Sharks like to see.

  3. Grit. Parker encountered problems along the way, overcame those and continued growing forward. She also took the path of growing anonymously initially, which wasn’t necessarily the easy path, and this approach showed determination and grit that helps entrepreneurs achieve long-term success.

In the end, Parker and her husband walked away with a four percent, five hundred thousand dollar deal with Bethenny Frankel, proving if you’re willing to go out and do the work, and learn the market, your chances of success (Shark or no Shark) definitely go up.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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