Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs who have always sipped almond waters in France. The refreshing beverage was developed by husband and wife duo David and Deborah Meniane.
The two were born in Paris and now reside in the United States. The Menianes appeared on Shark Tank to promote Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water in January 2015.
They approached the Tank requesting a $200,000 investment in exchange for 20% equity. Regrettably, they did not emerge from the Tank with a deal.
Table of Contents
- What is Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
- Who is the Founder of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
- Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Before Shark Tank
- How was the Shark Tank Pitch of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
- How Does Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Make Money?
- What is the Valuation of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
- What is the Revenue of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
- Is Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Still in Business?
- What Happened To Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water After Shark Tank?
What is Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
Victoria’s Almond Water is lemonade and iced tea substitute created with purified water, almond and cane water, vanilla and rose extracts, and citric acid.
The vegan and all-natural beverages are light, refreshing, and crisp. It offers an intriguing alternative for folks who are controlling their diets and is more popular in Europe.
|Company Name||Victoria’s Kitchen|
|Founder||David Meniane and Deborah Meniane|
|Product||Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water|
|Investment Seeking||$200,000 for 20% equity in Victoria’s Kitchen|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Episode 16 Season 6|
|Status||Business Acquired, Out of Business|
Who is the Founder of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
David and Deborah Melanie, who married in 2001 and immigrated to America, founded Victoria’s Almond Water. David is currently the Chief Operating Officer of CarParts.com and serves on the board of directors of another Shark Tank startup, Cave Shake.
Victoria’s Kitchen was founded by David and Deborah Meniane, childhood sweethearts. David and Deborah moved to the United States from France in 2001 following their marriage. Victoria, David’s grandmother, was the first maker of almond water.
Her grandchildren were practically always given Almon Water every morning. The pair brought their grandmother’s recipe with them to the United States and proceeded to experiment with the concoctions over the years.
Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Before Shark Tank
David and Deborah Melanie, the owners of Victoria’s Kitchen, were childhood sweethearts who immigrated to America in 2001 after marrying.
The couple frequently entertained friends and discovered that their grandmother’s old family recipes were especially successful and popular.
David’s grandmother was the original Victoria, and when he was a child, she made him delectable homemade almond water. Although the beverage was not widely known in the United States, David and Deborah’s guests always raved about it whenever David mixed up a batch.
The Melianes had always desired to start their own business together and determined that their almond water was the appropriate product to build their business around.
They founded Victoria’s Kitchen in 2011 with their life savings invested in the initial manufacturing run.
The cocktail made a splash at San Francisco’s Winter upscale food event in 2012. A small start-up’s sales gradually improved, so the pair approached small independent retailers in Los Angeles about opening additional stores.
After two years, the business had maintained its steady expansion, and Victoria’s Kitchen almond water was being sold to various small independent companies.
Deborah and David have also launched a lemonade beverage with a lower sugar content than typical lemonade, another recipe from grandmother Victoria.
They began to increase brand awareness but discovered the competitive food and beverage business as a potential minefield of complications.
While attending a trade show in mid-2014, a casting agent for Shark Tank saw the couple.
She was taken aback by the business and the enterprising pair behind it and approached David and Deborah about applying for the show.
The application procedure was lengthy and fairly comprehensive, but the couple was eventually accepted, and they made their tank debut in early 2015.
How was the Shark Tank Pitch of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
David and Deborah come on the show in the hopes of securing a $200,000 investment in exchange for a 20% stake in the Victoria’s Kitchen enterprise.
David began his pitch by informing the sharks about his grandma and her incredible recipe for homemade almond water.
He discussed how guests couldn’t get enough of the cocktail and the couple’s eventual decision to open Victoria’s Kitchen.
Deborah explained that their beverages were entirely natural. They were gluten- and dairy-free, vegan, and free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.
She told the sharks that a sip of Victoria’s Kitchen almond water transported them to the South of France’s serenity, and the duo concluded the pitch by urging the sharks to ‘Step inside Victoria’s Kitchen.’
The pleasant husband-and-wife pair had delivered an excellent professional pitch. He asked, “Can we try it?” because he was thirsty.’
The sharks eagerly tried the French recipe and appeared to enjoy its taste. Deborah distributed some of the food to them.
Lori Greiner said, ‘Wow, that’s excellent,’ and Robert Herjavec concurred, ‘It’s wonderful.’ The technological magnate requested additional information about almond water from David.
David noted that it was a popular beverage in France and a common beverage in warmer parts of Europe. It was typically seen as appropriate for picnics and bark-yard celebrations.
Kevin O’Leary must have like the taste of the beverage; otherwise, he would have stated it, but the beverage had not sweetened him in the least.
He explained to the entrepreneurs that the most difficult aspect of operating in the extremely competitive beverage market was distribution and competing for shelf space with multimillion-dollar corporations. He inquired as to the business’s current sales.
David said that the business earned $160,000 in its first year, $330,000 the following year, and $200,000 so far this year.
Robert inquired as to the location of the drink’s current sale. Deborah stated that the beverage was largely sold at specialty food stores and independent grocery stores.
Lori inquired as to the number of locations where the product was offered. David informed her that it was available at 800 locations nationwide, including the Wholefoods Market chain.
When David mentioned Wholefoods, the sharks immediately became more interested. Still, David reluctantly stated that the Victoria’s Kitchen brand was not a good fit due to its healthy consumer base.
Lori disagreed, believing the brand was ideal for Wholefoods, but Deborah stated that the drink’s sugar content made it unlikely to fare well there.
David attempted to explain to the sharks that their drink contained less sugar than conventional lemonade, but the sharks were unconvinced; Mark Cuban stated, ‘Better than awful does not make it good.’
The couple confirmed that they made a low-calorie version of the drink. David stated that he was always eager to listen to criticism and adjust its strategy to accommodate partners. Still, he confessed that there was little chance of a sugar-free version of the drink.
Barbara Corcoran determined that current-year sales were slightly lower than the prior year, and she questioned why.
David reported that the business had launched the third product the previous year, but it failed and was withdrawn shortly after.
Due to the increased focus on the failing third SKU, the output of the primary almond water drink was curtailed.
Lori smiled sympathetically at the couple. She told them that while the brand packaging was attractive and the drink itself was ‘wonderful,’ she believed they had significant challenges promoting their product to a broader market.
She stated that a future strategy that included Wholefoods would be extremely advantageous to the business, but she was unavailable.
Barbara Corcoran was also hesitant to join with the two; she had previously invested in a soda firm and knew that competing for shelf space in larger retailers might be quite difficult.
She believed that $200,000 was insufficient to promote the brand adequately, and as a result, she was out as well.
Robert Herjavec respected David and Deborah’s energy and determination, but he expressed reservations about their susceptibility to being misled by others.
David had repeatedly informed the sharks that he and Deborah were willing to adjust their plan in response to input. Still, Robert believed such a degree of adaptability was not always a good thing.
He explained to David that one cannot always presume that clients know what they want and that Robert, sadly, would not invest in the business either.
Kevin O’Leary had reverted to his usual, slightly bitter nature by this point, but the almond water had to have sweetened the occasionally sadistic shark a little.
He informed the couple that he could eviscerate their valuation but refrain from being a ‘good person.’
Kevin maintained that the couple’s estimate was ‘irresponsible’ and that the business was not worth a million dollars.
He informed them that the amount of time required to expand the firm would not be worth it. Mark Cuban remains the sole shark that remains after Kevin exited as well.
It did not look like the Texan Shark was going to be able to save them. Mark wished them well in the future, but he, too, withdrew.
He agreed with Robert’s assessment that the couple’s plan was too fluid and promised them that he would have been ‘all over them if they had entered the tank with a zero-calorie version of their drink.
How Does Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Make Money?
Victoria’s kitchen almond water is available in various packages and retails for between $2 and $10 on various websites.
They dealt with suppliers, shippers, and manufacturers daily, even though they did everything from sales to manufacturing to merchandising.
They began by going door to door in Los Angeles, California, to a few independent stores, resulting in a few accounts.
They made their debut at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January 2012, which is when they began to expand and open larger clients.
Victoria’s Kitchen Almonds water was offered in over 800 locations nationwide, including numerous supermarkets. The beverage is available in two flavors: original and coconut, distributed regionally by UNFI, Nature’s Best, Market Center, Crown Pacific Fine Foods, and others.
What is the Valuation of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
Victoria’s Kitchen was a multi-million-unit seller. They earned $160,000 in their first year. As of the second and third years, before they appeared on Shark Tank, their business had grown to $330,000.
After appearing on Shark Tank, they noticed a substantial increase in demand and sold $30k worth of almond water.
They saw a drop in sales following several failed attempts to introduce new tastes. They had already invested $250,000 before going to Shark Tank and needed to rescue and develop the business.
What is the Revenue of Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water?
The company sold over a million devices and produced over 1.4 million dollars in sales. Victoria’s Kitchen was acquired by Hispanica International in 2017.
Victoria’s Kitchen generated $160,000 in sales in its first year. They earned $330,000 in the second year. And by the third year, they had reached a total of $230,000.
Is Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Still in Business?
Herpanica International acquired Victoria’s Kitchen in 2017, rebranding it as Life On Earth.
David Meniane is now an Executive Vice President of L.A. Libations, a North American beverage company tied to Coca-Cola that collaborates with Zico Coconut Water.
What Happened To Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water After Shark Tank?
David and Deborah were enthusiastic following their appearance in the tank, despite their lack of a bargain. They had enjoyed the experience and were pleased with the sharks’ remarks and comments.
A subsequent interview with David revealed that the whole experience had been overwhelming, and they had appeared nearly twitchy at the time. He referred to the encounter as a ‘full out-of-body experience’ and a ‘big adrenaline surge.
David said that the sharks are quite professional in the tank, investing their own money. Even though editing eliminates most of the talk, the sharks are brimming with questions about every aspect of the business.
David acknowledged that he and his wife had entirely forgotten about the cameras and regarded the event as if it were any other business deal at the time; it was only afterward that the gravity of the experience dawned on them when both of them felt as if they were ‘on a cloud.’
And that cloud did have a silver lining; in retrospect, the pair believes that being unable to close the sale was a blessing in disguise.
At the time, they were running low on operating funds and were obliged to restructure their budget entirely.
Their new emphasis on financial strategy quickly paid off, and within a year of their appearance in the tank, the business went from breaking even to being profitable.
After the episode, millions of Shark Tank viewers prompted an additional surge in Victoria’s Kitchen products orders.
Although David and Deborah believed they were prepared for the rush, they underestimated the magnitude of the interest, and they sold out within hours of their program airing, having sold about $30,000 worth of merchandise.
The duo has remained committed to expanding its product line. The business increased its line to seven products in early 2016, including a new reduced extra-low calorie beverage in 12oz cans.
They intend to continue expanding the portfolio by adding three additional goods by the end of 2016.
Victoria’s Kitchen was designated a Gold Award winner in the liquid refreshment category of Beverage World’s worldwide packaging design awards in 2015.
David and Deborah are also in discussions with many stores to expand the distribution of their beverages, including Kroger and HEB.
And you may have noticed Victoria’s Kitchen products in your home without realizing it; the brand was featured on the NBC sitcom ‘Superstore’ in February 2016.
Unsurprisingly, David and Deborah Meliane’s cheerful attitude remains as strong as ever, and they have nothing but fond recollections of their time in the tank.
The pair recalled the accolades they earned for their drive, passion, and dedication to making their business a success.
They want to convince the sharks that collaboration with Victoria’s kitchen would have been a very sweet deal indeed.