Zipz Wine: That’s what happened After Shark Tank


Having many years of experience in the wine business, Andrew McMurray must have had a special hunch that single-serve wine might be the wave of the future. This proved to be true as Dr. Liz Thach, a wine writer, shared that canned wine sales (in dollars) grew 61% in 2020, per a Nielsen report. Dr. Thach suggested that the increased demand for single-serve wine translates to “an area ripe for innovation, as packaging designers try to figure out new and attractive ways to sell wine in boxes, cans, tetra pack, and plastic containers.”

Evidently, McMurray thought the opportunity was ripe for the picking years earlier. His confidence in the demand for single-serve wine was so high that he would partner with J. Henry Scott to start their company, Zipz Wine, according to Westchester Magazine. It came in a plastic package shaped like a wine glass with patented shrink-wrap that helped shield the wine from UV rays and would ultimately extend its shelf life (via YouTube). The product was named after the zipper-like pull tab on the cling-wrap label that consumers would “unzip” to open the package.

The idea premiered on Shark Tank

In 2014, on Episode 11 of Season 6, McMurray pitched Zipz Wine on “Shark Tank.” McMurray’s asked for a $2.5 million dollar investment for a 10% stake in his company. McMurray fielded many inquiries about his business from the sharks before eventually landing a deal with Kevin O’Leary. But what happened to Zipz Wine afterward?

Kevin O’Leary’s investment in Zipz Wine was the biggest-ever “Shark Tank” investment at the time of the recording, per Just Wine. O’Leary, a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur and vineyard owner, was so excited about the deal that he tweeted about it. He guaranteed success for Zipz Wine if he could get it into Costco, where he thought it would be a perfect fit. Unfortunately, the product never made it onto Costco’s shelves.

The Zipz dream has shattered

According to Small Business Journal, Zipz Wine failed to generate profits in the first couple of years after the deal, even though sales appeared to have been doing great. Andrew McMurray decided that peddling wine “was simply not going to work” with so many better-established brands to choose from, and the business model needed to change. So “Shark Tank”‘s largest catch shifted to being a business-to-business packaging company focused on its patented design, rather than a business-to-consumer company that sold wine. This meant Zipz could partner with winemakers. McMurray explained that “it turned our competitors into endorsers of our product [the packaging]. Instead of competing with the best brands in the industry, they were now advertising our product when they put their wine in our bottles.”

Just how successful the packaging approach turned out to be is unclear, but it appears the business didn’t last. Shark Tank Tales say that 2019 marked “the last of Zipz Marketing efforts.” The Zipz website was reportedly dormant as of 2021.

Shark Tank success is harder than it looks

Despite a stunner of a deal with Kevin O’Leary, Zipz Wine didn’t make it in the winemaking business (per Just Wine App). So how do on-screen deals translate to actual business results? When sharks and entrepreneurs shake hands at the end of a “Shark Tank” episode, it seems like the deal is sealed and success is guaranteed. But even for some of the best “Shark Tank” kitchen tools, plenty of work remains to be done.

After the episode ends, the investors need to re-verify the claims the entrepreneurs made on camera and agree once again on the terms of the investment, per Audacy, and some on-camera handshakes never materialize into deals on paper. Daymond John, one of the sharks, estimated that about 60–80% of the deals made in the show’s first seven seasons materialized after the cameras stopped rolling (per Business Insider), meaning many silver-screen handshakes ultimately don’t go any further.

How do food companies like Zipz Wine fare after Shark Tank?

For food and beverage companies that have appeared on “Shark Tank,” investment success has sometimes been elusive. Another wine company called Honey Wine appeared on the show during the COVID-19 pandemic and made a four-way deal with multiple sharks. Ultimately, this deal never closed and the investment never took place, but the company remains operational, according to the Shark Tank Blog. This is also what happened to Sanaia Applesauce after “Shark Tank” — the founder’s deal with shark Mark Cuban was never finalized.

But when a deal with a shark does come to fruition, the results can be significant. A kitchen sponge called the Scrub Daddy is one of the most successful innovations to come out of the tank, per Investopedia; after shark Lori Grenier invested in 2012, the company has made more than $200 million in sales.

The publicity of appearing on “Shark Tank” can also cause a bump in sales (per Inc). For Zipz Wine, for example, sales sat at around $650,000 prior to the company’s appearance on the show; after O’Leary’s handshake, the company estimated sales hit $2 million (per the Shark Tank Blog). But unfortunately for Zipz Wine, that wasn’t enough to keep the booze flowing.

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