'Shark Tank' recap: Does anybody really need a peanut butter pump?

USA Today Entertainment 1 week ago

On Sunday’s “Shark Tank,” a peanut butter-loving entrepreneur found himself in a sticky situation. 

Andrew Scherer, from Burbank, California, is the inventor of the Peanut Butter Pump, a nozzle that attaches to a jar of peanut butter to dispense the sticky sandwich spread. Scherer came up with the idea 2 ⅓ years ago, after he was laid off from his job at a  currency exchange, and asked the sharks to invest $200,000 for 15% of his company,

“One moment I was the family breadwinner, the next I was unemployed and had to start over,” Scherer said. “But I didn’t get mad; instead, I got hungry.”

Scherer demonstrated his invention by squirting peanut butter on a piece of bread with what looks like a hand soap dispenser.

Shark Kevin O’Leary, a self-proclaimed peanut butter "connoisseur," had questions, mainly whether thick, chunky or unprocessed peanut butter would clog the pump.

“Within the peanut butter community, there’s a raging debate about refrigeration after it’s opened. Do I put that giant stack in the refrigerator?”

The answer to both questions was no: the pump supports neither chunky peanut butter or refrigeration. This started a debate between O’Leary and fellow sharks Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec on whether peanut butter should be refrigerated at all. 

“In the peanut butter community, there’s a massive debate, because the oils separate at room temperature,” O’Leary said.

Shark Daymond John mockingly interjected, “Where do you find this community?”

“Go online!” O’Leary replied.

Scherer's Kickstarter campaign raised $129,000 for his product. But the fact that he had already missed the promised release date and admitted to withdrawing some of the money made the sharks wary. 

He promised to ship the product soon: “I’ll go ahead and do this, even if I have to sell my house.”

John raised his hand like an excited child waiting on Scherer to call on him before admitting he didn’t see a point in the invention: “What problem is it actually solving? Andy, I'm out, I’m sorry.”

Greiner and Herjavec agreed. Herjavec appreciated the product but didn’t feel the need was great enough: “I think this is a very eloquent design you came up with for a problem I don’t think exists.”

For O’Leary, the problem ultimately had nothing to do with the peanut butter and everything to do with Scherer’s valuation of his company at more than $1.3 million. 

“The real basic problem is $200,000 for 15% is crazy,” O’Leary said. “There’s no bigger advocate for the commodity than I am, but this price is nuts.”

Although he wasn’t interested, shark Mark Cuban thanked Scherer for being a good sport as the sharks had fun at his expense. As he was leaving without a deal, Scherer promised this wasn’t the end of his entrepreneurial  dreams. 

“This is not the end of the peanut butter pump, “ he said. “People love it, and it will be made.”

Tags: tv

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