Business shark tank features ugly produce

Published on January 15th, 2016 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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The Waste Biz: Ugly Fruit Comes To Shark Tank

shark tank features ugly produce

I’m not much of a TV watcher anymore, but when I do come across Shark Tank while channel surfing, I often check it out for a few minutes. It’s always interesting to see the concepts entrepreneurs are pitching, and the response they get from the sharks.

I didn’t even think about the show last week, though, when a food waste startup made its pitch to potential investors. According to WPSU, Hungry Harvest focuses on “ugly” produce, which it distributes to subscribers at a 20-30% discount over standard grocery prices. In addition, the company donates a meal for every bag of produce it delivers. Company representative Evan Lutz told the sharks that Hungry Harvest had collected in the neighborhood of 300,000 pounds of produce from farmers since May of 2014. About 100,000 pounds of that went to feed the hungry.

So, how’d this food waste startup fare with these moguls? Quite well, actually: Hungry Harvest was offering a 5% stake in the company for $50,000; investor Robert Herjavec offered $100,000 for 10%. There’s money to be made in ugly apples and potatoes…

Know of other waste-focused startups getting love from investors, whether they’re on Shark Tank or not? Tell us about them…

Also on the waste radar:

Automated trash collection still has wrinkles to iron out: No doubt waste haulers loves the concepts of automated trash collection – the practice could eventually save the sector a lot of money. But Orange County, Florida, had to take a quick step back to human power when its new automated system didn’t perform as well as planned. (via Waste Dive)

Scrap metal following other recyclables in a major price drop: We’ve discussed problems with the economics of recycling plastics and glass; now, scrap metal is also seeing significant price drops. The upside: no one breaking open your air conditioning unit for the copper…

Photo credit: Shutterstock


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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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