It’s hard to stay in shape if you have a sweet tooth. Thankfully, healthy treats like Honey Bunchies now exist and don’t contain ingredients such as gluten, dairy and soy. Founder Kendra Bennett recently pitched her product on Shark Tank but didn’t get a deal. As of 2023, Honey Bunchies is worth an estimated $2 million.
A Family Affair
Honey Bunchies is a family business as Kendra Bennet is the daughter of the original founder, Ed Payne. Kendra’s brother, Edward, and their mother, Jennifer, also helped establish the company. Their family resides in Longmont, Colorado.
Ed Payne is a US Air Force veteran and was a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. His son also followed in his footsteps. As for Kendra, she was an aid worker and English teacher at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Founding Honey Bunchies
The inspiration for the business started after Jennifer made a healthy snack for Ed, he loved it and wanted to recreate the recipe. Unfortunately, the pair didn’t have any copies to base it on. Thus, Ed experimented with different ingredients.
In the end, they couldn’t reproduce what they initially wanted but Ed came up with something better, Honey Bunchies Bars, named after his endearment to his wife. He launched the business in 2010 as a solo venture but it eventually became a family affair. After breaking into some small retailers, Whole Foods gave them a distribution deal.
Getting on Shark Tank
The business is making steady progress, the bars are now made by hand in a commercial kitchen in Longmont. Standing out in the nutrition bar space is tough but Honey Bunchies have managed to do this with their unique blend of honey, nut and sunflower kernels.
In February 2022. Bennett contacted a Shark Tank casting producer through Linkedin. To her surprise she got a positive response and traveled to LA to pitch her company to casting directors. Kendra revealed the whole process was “very surreal” as she is a big fan of the show.
After Shark Tank
Around 4 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode and the family is bracing themselves for a huge spike in website traffic and orders. After filming, they decided to rebrand to Bon Bee Honey to better reflect their brand. The decision could slightly impact the publicity from appearing on Shark Tank. Thousands of fans will be searching for “Honey Bunchies” on Google and might not find their product.
They are now working with retailers such as Walmart and 7/11. With 7/11, they have an opportunity to put their products in every store in the US. Currently, you can only purchase their honey-based snacks in around 100 stores, including King Soopers, 7/11, Kroger, Whole Foods Market, and Natural Grocers.
You can also buy directly from HoneyBunchies.com. Their famous gourmet honey bars have 124 five-star ratings on their website. It’s still unclear how the company will perform after Shark Tank, but with a $2 million valuation, there is a lot of room for growth.