Plastic utensils are some of the largest contributors to pollution. So, engineer Dinesh Tadepalli made the edible IncrEdible Eats spoon, which is arguably the perfect substitute for a plastic spoon. It was featured on Shark Tank and got a deal with Lori Greiner. As of 2023, IncrEdible Eats is worth an estimated $3 million.
About the Founder
Dinesh Tadepalli was from Southern India and came from a business-minded family. This background is the reason why his goal was to become an entrepreneur at an early age.
The aspiring businessman went to Anna University in Tamil Nadu, India, graduating with a degree in electronics engineering and communications. He then pursued a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Southern Carolina.
After graduating, Dinesh interned as a technical staff member at the electronic manufacturing firm VeriEZ Solutions, Inc. In 2009, he became a Design Engineer 2 at Sandisk. Nine years later, he became an angel investor at Kulfi, India’s micro-content platform.
Founding the Company
While in the process of moving to the United States for his masters, Dinesh became aware of how harmful plastics can be to the planet. This inspired him to do something about the issue.
He was already a father during this time. One day, he took his children to eat ice cream. Then, he noticed that the spoons being used by his kids were all made of plastic. So, he developed the concept of designing a spoon that could be ingested after use.
In 2019, IncrEdible Eats was introduced to the world. Tadepalli released edible spoons with a range of flavors to choose from. This includes rice, corn, chickpeas, and wheat. These utensils can adapt to the heat or coldness of the food they’re being used for.
Shark Tank Appearance
In late 2021, Dinesh appeared on the 13th season of Shark Tank. He asked for $500,000 in return for a 7% stake in his company. Right at the start, Lori Greiner was very interested in the eco-friendly appeal and could see its long-term potential.
Lori and the other Sharks were curious about the cost to produce the product and revenue figures. The celebrity investors were surprised by its cost and disappointed in the $170,000 worth of sales over 2.5 years. This was a big turn-off for most of the Sharks.
However, Lori Greiner stood her ground. Dinesh proposed 7% for $500,000. This was countered with a 12% equity for the same price but they eventually did a deal at 15%.
After Shark Tank
IncrEdible Eats spoons gained a lot of attention after their Shark Tank episode aired. Several food and lifestyle media outlets commented on how ingenious the invention was, which led to a rapid rise in sales.
The investment from Lori Greiner helped the founder to grow his company. It created more flavors, and the price has been lowered to about $11.99. This adjustment has helped Dinesh Tadepalli’s company grow 18% overall, so they are doing more than fine.
According to a Business Journal article, they were on track to make $300,000 in sales for 2021. For 2022, it’s estimated the company will reach $500,000 in annual revenue.
In their future lineups, they are considering the idea of adding edible sporks, knives, chopsticks, straws, and even bowls. This will surely increase the company’s current value of around $3 million.