Heather’s Choice, a unique brand offering high-quality, calorie-dense dehydrated backpacking meals, appeared on a recent episode of Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. Founded by Heather Kelly, an athlete and nutrition expert from Anchorage, Alaska, Heather’s Choice has carved a niche in the outdoor food market, especially among health-conscious adventurers. After Shark Tank, Heather’s Choice is worth an estimated $2 million.
Born and raised in Bird Creek, Alaska, Heather Kelly grew up with a deep appreciation for nutritious, home-cooked meals. Her journey into creating Heather’s Choice was fueled by her passion for sports nutrition and a desire to provide healthy, convenient food options for outdoor enthusiasts.
After getting a degree in Evolutionary Sports Nutrition in 2010, Heather’s experiences as a college athlete and raft guide led her to recognize the lack of quality food options in the backcountry. This realization sparked the inception of Heather’s Choice in 2014.
The Product, Raising Money and Pitch
Heather’s Choice meals are known for their balance of macronutrients, focusing on proteins, good quality fats, and moderate carbohydrates. These meals stand out in the market for being gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with organic produce. The product line includes items like the Chipotle Pork Chili and Mom’s Pasghetti, offering a nutritious alternative to traditional meals.
Prior to Shark Tank, Heather’s Choice launched an Indiegogo campaign in December 2017 to raise funds and test the market. The campaign was a success, raising $54,074 from 449 backers. Heather also raised money from Launch Alaska and most recently 49th State Angel Fund.
Heather applied for Shark Tank in January 2023 and a few months later she got a positive response. She had two weeks to prepare a five-minute presentation and power through a bunch of paperwork. In September 2023, she flew to LA to film her segment with negative dollars in her bank account! It’s clear from her pitch, she knew her business inside out.
After Shark Tank
Although it’s a niche product, Heather’s Choice is expecting to see a huge uptick in sales over the next month. Hopefully, Heather will have enough inventory to handle the jump in orders as she only found out recently her episode will air!
Heather’s Choice has received positive reviews from customers, particularly from the outdoor and hunting communities. Customers appreciate the meal’s balance of nutrition and taste, a rare find in the world of dehydrated outdoor foods. On Amazon, the African Peanut Stew has an average review rating of 4.3 from 23 reviews. The product is currently in around 20 stores in the US, it’s stocked at the likes of Scheels, REI and Garage Grown Gear.
The meals are priced competitively, considering their high quality and nutritional value. While slightly higher in price compared to conventional backpacking meals, Heather’s Choice offers a significant value in terms of nutrition and satisfaction. With its unique value proposition and the boost from Shark Tank, the company is well-positioned to expand its reach in the outdoor food market.