CHICAGO — One year ago, the founders of Chicago-based snack startup Quevos appeared on “Shark Tank” and scored a deal with Kind Snacks creator Daniel Lubetzky. Since then, the brand has expanded into more retail stores with redesigned packaging and an improved recipe.
Quevos manufactures and markets egg white crisps featuring flavors such as sour cream and onion, honey mustard and dill pickle. Less than two years after launching the brand, Nick Hamburger and Zack Schreier landed the opportunity to appear on the television program to sell an equity stake in exchange for capital and invaluable mentorship and connections from one or more of its high-profile venture capitalists. Serving as a guest investor was Mr. Lubetzky, who, impressed by the founders’ entrepreneurial spirit and friendship-turned-partnership, offered $200,000 in cash and a $200,000 line of credit in exchange for 10% of the business.
Months after the episode aired, Mr. Lubetzky invested an additional $1.35 million in the business to support continued retail growth, add team members and increase production capacity, Mr. Hamburger said.
“We expanded our manufacturing facility over the summer,” he said. “We went from 10,000 square feet to 32,000 square feet, and we brought in more efficient equipment.”
The partnership with Mr. Lubetzky has unlocked several meaningful milestones for the brand, Mr. Hamburger said. Quevos generated more than $2 million in revenue last year, doubling its prior-year performance. Products are sold online and in 1,500 stores, including Whole Foods Market, Wegmans and The Vitamin Shoppe. The founders expect to add more retailers later this year.
New packaging debuted in December, featuring playful graphics and eye-catching colors.
“(Mr. Lubetzky) said we needed to bring more appetite appeal as well as brand personality and energy to the bag,” Mr. Hamburger said. “We think it’s going to draw a lot more consumers to the product on shelf and increase how many people try it.
“We also reformulated along with that new packaging. We took in thousands of customers’ feedback and improved the texture of the product as well as the crunch of chip.”
A new flavor will join the lineup soon.
“We’re going to be launching original flavor, which is kind of ironic that that will be the seventh flavor we release,” Mr. Hamburger said. “Although it’s the most tame in terms of flavor profile, we actually anticipate it will become our top seller.”
An update of Quevos’ progress is set to air on “Shark Tank” on Jan. 14.