Shark Tank debutant Ryan Custer tries to sell Sharks his Cougar Energy drink in episode 312 to convince them to invest in the product.
The actor is in a relationship with a woman who may arguably be considered a cougar. Eleven years his junior, she explains in an interview that dating a younger man has benefits, including his great relationship with the children.
Custer has spent the last three and a half years developing and promoting his product, depleting his assets and income. The business owner is currently staying with his parents while establishing his company.
The energy drink market segment for women in the 30-55 age range appears challenging to carve out.
The industry generates over $1 billion in revenue annually, although most customers are males in their teens and twenties.
Senior ladies account for a minuscule portion of the market. Custer will compete with established household names for what appears to be a small fraction of clients.
What are the Sharks’ thoughts on his Cougar Energy beverage?
What is Cougar Energy Drink?
Ryan Custer is a cougar enthusiast, not a wild cat enthusiast. Ryan is a sucker for self-assured, independent women in their forties, which is why he founded Cougar.
Cougar Energy Drink is the first gender-exclusive functional beverage in the industry. Green tea and noni are carefully crafted into this tea to provide older, successful, independent women with a shot of energy and enthusiasm while aiding in weight loss and hormone balance.
Who is the Founder of Cougar Energy Drink?
Cougar Limited Energy Drink was founded by Ryan Custer, a former Texas surveillance analyst.
Custer’s Creations is a consulting firm that offers information technology and creative services to small businesses and online retailers.
Ryan’s business experience in the consumer beverage market served as the foundation for Custer’s Creations.
|Company Name||Cougar Energy Drink|
|Product||Energy Drink For Cougar Women|
|Investment Seeking||$150,000 For 30% equity in Cougar Energy Drink|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Cougar Energy Drink Before Shark Tank
The inspiration of Cougar Limited came a time after Cougar started dating older women to Ryan Custer. Older women are often called cougars, which is why the product is called that.
He concluded when he dated a woman 11 years old. His partner liked him to keep up with her kids, but why couldn’t she be part of the fun?
Ryan dedicated his time and money to Cougar Limited for over 3 years. His first step was to create a drink formula and then a business plan.
Cougar Energy Drink is a relative niche product for a 30-55-year-old woman demographic. There are very few women in the market as a whole who fit this description.
It almost doesn’t seem worth it, especially if Ryan has so many energy drink competitors already. He is determined, though, to turn Cougar Limited into a success.
So much that, while he is trying to grind his business, he still lives with his parents.
Ryan ultimately auditioned his goods to the Shark Tank after accumulating some sales and creating a small stand for himself.
Cougar Limited needs the financial backing and marketing experience of at least one Shark to be successful.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch of Cougar Energy Drink?
Custer appears on Shark Tank in exchange for a $150k investment and a 30% interest in Cougar Limited. Custer then delves into a description of what a “cougar” is.
She is an older, mature, gorgeous woman, and the name “cougar” has become a “major social trend.” He desired to capitalize on the term’s availability and apply it to the vast energy drink market.
Therein lies the Cougar Energy Drink, which was created exclusively for elderly ladies in need of an energy boost.
Cougar Energy Drink is the market’s first gender-specific energy drink, which Custer believes will succeed.
This energy drink contains nutrients derived from thirteen super fruits that benefit women’s hair, complexion, and nails.
Additionally, it is said to maintain hormonal balance and protect women from other indicators of aging.
However, Cougar Limited is more than an energy drink. Custer intends to extend the brand in the future.
He coined the name “cougar” and intended to launch a line of other age-defying items. Women have begun to embrace the term “cougar” with pride.
What he wishes to accomplish is to convert this into a commercial opportunity. He feels they can earn a fortune by developing these products and expanding the brand to include apparel.
Robert Herjavec now focuses on Custer’s helper. He addresses the perennial issue, “Aren’t cougars normally older?”
The Sharks discover she is 35, which surprises them, although 35 isn’t too old. Custer informs them that a cougar is classified as a lady in her forties.
The Cougar Energy Drink is targeted at ladies between 30 and 55, which is still considered cougar territory.
Leaving aside the arbitrary meaning of the term, Daymond John expresses certain reservations. Custer did not specify whether or if the beverage was available for purchase.
He then backtracks slightly to confirm that the drinks are indeed being distributed in the Dallas region.
However, over the course of three years, they have generated only $60k in revenue. This information fully disavows John of the product, and he is the first to exit the tank.
Following that, samples of the beverage are distributed for the Sharks to study and taste. Custer attempts to draw attention to the bottle. He argues that the bright pink color distinguishes it from other energy drink bottles.
Barbara Corcoran doesn’t like this drink because it contains no calories. The flavor is chalky, which she says is an unpleasant taste.
Custer asserts that this is due to the drink’s cleansing component. The trade-off between taste and effectiveness was not easy for him. He does not accept her investment proposal based on this justification.
Mark Cuban takes his turn inquiring as to the present location of these bottles. The program has been distributed to a few 7-11 corner stores and is even used by a Pennsylvania Curves branch.
Kevin O’Leary, on the other hand, finds a significant flaw in the brand. He has narrowed his target market by 75% because he looks for ladies and women in the cougar age category.
By doing so, he has significantly restricted his business alternatives, and O’Leary cannot fathom why this is a positive thing.
Custer maintains that he is filling a market void. There have been no gender-specific energy drinks sold, despite the market’s enormous size.
O’Leary enlightens him by telling Custer that large beverage companies spend a lot of money on smaller energy drink companies to squash newcomers. Thus, he sees no possibility for Cougar Limited at all. O’Leary is powerless to assist him.
Thus, Herjavec and Cuban remain in the tank. Herjavec begins by posing a perfectly reasonable question.
Would women purchase a cougar beverage, or would they avoid it because it makes them feel old?
Custer can only offer them a few facts indicating that women are beginning to accept the phrase. Cougar Town has a global audience of over 7 million people, and celebrities have embraced the word.
On the other hand, Cuban does not believe it is sufficient motivation to build a corporation around a phrase.
He, like Herjavec, is not going to invest in the brand. Neither of them is confident that ladies will flock to this product, which is, at best, a funny gift.
Who Invested in Cougar Energy Drink?
Daymond John instantly exits, disinterested in the product.
Barbara Corcoran attempts the beverage but describes the flavor as “chalky.” She has escaped.
Kevin O’Leary stated that Custer has “reduced your market in two ways” by targeting older women. You’ve stated that you must be a woman and a cougar, which effectively eliminates 75% of the market.”
O’Leary argues that the large manufacturers currently swarming the arena are being compensated handsomely for “crushing insects like you.” He has departed.
Robert Herjavec claims that women may think they appear older if they consume a “cougar” beverage. Mark Cuban concurs and exits.
Herjavec believes the product is a “gag gift,” and the company’s valuation is “ludicrous.” He has left.
What Happened To Cougar Energy Drink After Shark Tank?
The Sharks were skeptical about whether women would embrace his invention despite his obvious excitement. It is age-restrictive and, at best, a dubious concept.
On the other hand, Ryan was unwilling to walk away from the Cougar Limited company, not least due to the effort you have already put into it.
Ryan maintained the brand’s social media profiles, but participation diminished over time. The official Cougar Limited website (http://drinkcougar.com/) is still operational.
The website sells a variety of products. You can also buy t-shirts and other merchandise in addition to energy drinks.
Ryan underestimated how little women would care about this type of branding. It appears as though the Sharks were correct on this one. Pop culture words are not always intended for commercial purposes.
Cougar Energy Drink Shark Tank Update
Custer was unsuccessful in winning a deal for his product despite his enthusiasm. He designed a product that may appear offensive to women of a specific age by ignoring the negative connotations associated with the term “cougar.”
The company also targeted an already competitive market within a particular niche. Sharks didn’t buy into his concept, and it appears the majority of his target demographic doesn’t either.
Cougar Energy beverages are still available through his website and Amazon, but his social media profiles are primarily inactive, implying that Cougar Energy has reached its peak.
Custer sold the firm in 2014 and is now a realtor with Pinnacle Realty Advisors in Dallas as of July 2021.
Is Cougar Energy Drink Still in Business?
Ryan worked tirelessly for years to start the business. He appeared on several media shows, including the Steve Harvey Show and the MTV Movie Awards, which helped to increase his sales.
The beverage market is notoriously hard to break into, making it more difficult for a product whose branding revolves around a phrase with ambiguous implications.
Custer’s Cougar energy drink was discontinued in 2014 and is no longer available.
He has redirected the Cougar drink website to his personal website, containing information about his other endeavors and contact information.