‘Shark Tank’: How an emotional appeal led Mark Cuban to bite on applesauce pitch

Attempting to rebrand applesauce as a hip, trendy snack brought entrepreneur Keisha Jeremie into the shark den on Sunday’s  “Shark Tank.” But it took some tears to win her a deal. 

Asking for $150,000 for 15 percent of her Sanaia Apple Sauce, which launched July 2017, Jeremie initially wowed the investors with her no-nonsense pitch for the future of the apple orchard. Taking a page from the reinvention of yogurt, Jeremie looked to market applesauce as an organic health food for adults.

“Have you ever noticed the entire applesauce industry has been completely ignoring us?” she asked the judges. “They’re focused on 8-year-olds, and they’re focused on 80-year-olds, and they’re leaving a ton of money on the table. Because think about it: If you are an adult looking for applesauce on shelves, the options are really slim.”

Jeremie isn’t fond of to-go pouches either, preferring her retro Mason-jar variety that sells for $16 for a four-pack.

“This is the most expensive applesauce ever sold in America,” shark Kevin O’Leary said incredulously.

The packaging proved to be a point of contention for shark Mark Cuban, who preferred her alternative plastic container, cheaper to produce and ship.

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