Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky Shark Tank Update | Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky Net Worth

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is a unique food product introduced in Season 2 of Shark Tank, featuring its all-natural beef jerky’s flavorful and fresh quality. Originated by Ken Howell, also known as Uncle Zip or the Jerky Man, the jerky beef product is derived from a cherished family recipe passed down from his late father. 

With an eye towards expansion and the drive to take his business to new heights, Howell pitched on Shark Tank, seeking a $25,000 investment in exchange for a 20% equity stake in his venture.

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is known for its exceptionally fresh quality. Howell prided himself on producing the freshest beef jerky on the market, which contains zero additives or preservatives.

This distinguishes Uncle Zip’s from other common beef jerky products available in the market, many of which possess a multi-year shelf life due to the inclusion of various chemicals and preservatives. In stark contrast, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky boasts a shelf life of just two months, owing to its natural recipe.

Though the short shelf life might seem like a disadvantage at first, it speaks to the quality of the product. The freshness of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky implies a healthier and more natural option, which may appeal to consumers looking for cleaner, less processed foods.

This was evident when guest Shark, Jeff Foxworthy, who already has his line of beef jerky, gave Uncle Zip’s a substantial compliment, saying, “Uncle Zips is good, very good.” 

Company NameUncle Zip’s Beef Jerky
EntrepreneurKen Howell
ProductBeef jerky made from scratch without preservatives or chemicals
Investment Asking For$25,000 for 20% equity in Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky
Final DealNo Deal
SharkNo Shark
Elephant Cha Episode Season 2, Episode 4
Business StatusIn Business
Elephant Cha WebsiteVisit Website

What Is Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky?

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is an esteemed product of premium dried meat snacks, consistently delivering unparalleled quality and taste for discerning consumers. This delectable treat is meticulously crafted from the finest cuts of seasoned lean meats, which then undergo a rigorous process of marination and drying to ensure optimal preservation and enhanced flavors.

Consequently, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is an astonishingly savory, satisfying, and nutritious product that caters to diverse palate preferences and dietary requirements.

The contemporary market is replete with various types of beef jerky, yet Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky has succeeded in carving a unique niche for itself by tenaciously adhering to stringent quality standards and the judicious use of natural ingredients. 

Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky Shark Tank Update

Furthermore, this brand is free of unnecessary additives and preservatives in mass-produced alternatives, contributing to its wholesome and delicious taste. 

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is an exemplary product combining the best of tradition and modern innovation to deliver a delightful and nutritious morsel for the sophisticated palate.

Who Is The Founder Of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky

The founder of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is Ken Howell, a resilient individual who faced significant personal adversity before determining the direction of his professional life. Tragically, Howell experienced the loss of his father, wife, and nephew quickly, leading him into a challenging period of depression.

However, he found solace and purpose in the family business that his father had left behind, allowing him to persevere through his tribulations.

The business’s core product was a unique recipe for beef jerky, concocted by Ken’s father years before his passing. The recipe was a hit amongst family and friends and was especially notable for its absence of additives or preservatives.

This resulted in a short shelf life of around two months, but the jerky was usually consumed well before the expiry date. This all-natural beef jerky provided a fresh and flavorful alternative to commercially produced variants that often included numerous additives and chemicals.

Driven to honor his father’s legacy and propel the family business to greater heights, Ken decided to take Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky to a larger market. This would require significant resources and support, and Ken believed he might find the necessary assistance on ABC’s Shark Tank. So, he decided to try his luck and attempt to secure a deal with one of the Sharks.

When Ken entered the Shark Tank, he sought a $25,000 investment in exchange for a 20% equity stake in his business. He explained the unique selling points of his beef jerky, emphasizing its freshness and lack of additives and preservatives.

He also shared samples with the Sharks, allowing them to experience the distinct and superior taste of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky.

Ken was forthright about the business’s struggles in the past seven years following his father’s death. Despite experiencing a peak sales figure of around $100,000 before his father’s illness, the sales had dropped to around $40,000 to $50,000 in recent years.

He planned to use the investment to upgrade the manufacturing facility, expand to more retail locations, and grow the business beyond his hometown in North Carolina.

Despite the challenges and the loss he had experienced, Ken was determined to succeed. His journey epitomizes resilience, determination, and the power of family legacy. While Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky didn’t secure a deal on Shark Tank, it cemented its place as a product born from dedication, love, and a heartfelt tribute to a beloved father.

How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky?

The founder of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky, Ken Howell, pitched Shark Tank for $50,000 for a 25% equity stake in his company, valuing the company at $125,000. This pitch took place during Season 2, in Episode 04.

Ken’s pitch was focused on the freshness of his beef jerky, a product created by his father. Unlike other brands, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky did not contain additives or preservatives, giving it a fresh taste but a shorter shelf life of only two months.

Ken shared his vision of setting up local processing plants to maintain this freshness while expanding the reach of the business. He also explained the business’s financials, indicating that the company had seen a decrease in sales over the past seven years.

At its peak, sales had reached $100,000 but dwindled to $50,000 last year. With the requested investment, Ken planned to upgrade the processing facility and reignite the business’s growth.

However, the Sharks had varying views on Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky. Being in the beef jerky business, Jeff Foxworthy bowed out but acknowledged that Ken had a good product. 

Daymond John did not see the company as a good investment opportunity, considering it a small business, and thus, opted out.

Kevin O’Leary appreciated Ken’s story and liked the jerky but decided not to invest due to the company’s low sales. Barbara Corcoran had faith in Ken’s ability to get the business on track without their help and opted out.

Finally, Robert Herjavec raised concerns about the product’s short shelf life and questioned the business’s profitability. He also questioned Ken’s long-term dedication to the business in light of its limited sales, and he, too, decided not to invest.

As a result, Ken did not secure a deal on Shark Tank. Each Shark cited their reasons for not investing, including already being in the beef jerky business, the size of the business, the level of sales, and concerns over shelf life. 

However, despite this setback, Ken remained committed to Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky. He continued the business until his unfortunate passing from cancer in 2014.

What Happened To Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky After Shark Tank?

After their appearance on Shark Tank, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky experienced a significant surge in popularity. The exposure from the show led to increased orders, driving the business to new heights of success.

Despite not securing an investment deal, the company’s visibility had been heightened, and the unique freshness of its product appealed to a broader audience.

Unfortunately, the company’s trajectory took a tragic turn when Ken Howell, the founder, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Ken passed away sometime after the diagnosis, leaving the company without its passionate driving force.

Ken had expressed his wish for the company to continue even after his passing. However, without his dedication and charisma, the business struggled. Sales slowed down, and the company couldn’t maintain the momentum it had achieved post-Shark Tank.

As of now, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky still maintains an active presence on its website. Customers can still order the jerky, keeping Ken Howell’s legacy alive and the memory of Uncle Zip’s unique, fresh-tasting beef jerky.

Despite the adversities faced, the company persists, a testament to the resilience and passion Ken Howell had for Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky.

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky Shark Tank Update

The business faced challenges and opportunities after Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky appeared on Shark Tank. Ken Howell, the owner of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky, appeared on Season 2, Episode 4 of Shark Tank, seeking a $25,000 investment for a 20% stake in his all-natural beef jerky business. 

Despite the positive feedback on the taste of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky, the Sharks did not see the value in the limited shelf life of the product. However, after the show, Uncle Zip’s gained online attention, leading to a surge in orders. 

Ken Howell slowly built up the brand by making the product available in about a dozen locations. The company also continued to offer various flavors of beef jerky for sale on its website, promoted a business opportunity, and engaged in fundraising activities. 

Uncle Zip's Beef Jerky Shark Tank Update

While the sales initially saw growth, the business faced setbacks when Ken Howell, who had stage 4 cancer, passed away. Despite this unfortunate event, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky continued to operate, and Ken’s school friend, Jeffrey Harris, took over the company’s management. The company is still headquartered in Hope Mills, North Carolina.

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky can still be ordered through their website, allowing customers to purchase their beef jerky for nationwide shipping. Jeff Harris has focused on online sales and has seen a boost in revenue whenever the Shark Tank episode featuring Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky rerun. The company remains operational and generates annual revenue between $500,000 and $1 million.

While Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky did not secure an investment in Shark Tank, the company experienced increased online attention and orders after the show. Despite the passing of Ken Howell, the business continued its operations under the management of Jeffrey Harris and focused on online sales, maintaining its presence in the beef jerky market.

Is Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky Still In Business?

Yes, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is still in business. The company was founded by Ken Howell in 2006 and appeared on The Shark Tank in 2013. Although Howell did not receive a deal from the Sharks, the company experienced a surge in sales following the episode’s airing. 

Howell passed away in 2014, but his friend Jeff Harris took over the business and has continued to operate it successfully. Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is available online and at select retailers.

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is a great option if you are looking for delicious and high-quality beef jerky. The jerky is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and is slow-smoked to perfection. Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky will satisfy your craving for a savory snack.

What Is the Net Worth Of Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky?

Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky’s valuation was $125,000 when it appeared on Shark Tank in 2013. Since then, the company has grown significantly. In 2023, Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is estimated to generate $500,000 to $1 million in annual revenue. This means the company’s valuation has likely increased significantly since its appearance on Shark Tank.

However, it is important to note that Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky is still a small business. The company has a relatively small staff and operates out of a small facility. As a result, the company’s expenses are likely to be high relative to its revenue.

Based on the available information, we can estimate that Uncle Zip’s Beef Jerky has a net worth of between $1 million and $2 million. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate, and the company’s net worth could be higher or lower.