Snack foods have a reputation for not being very healthy. Dr. Juan Salinas aimed to break this stereotype by creating P-nuff Crunch. It’s a plant-based, non-GMO puffed peanut snack. After pitching the product on Shark Tank, he made a deal with Mark Cuban, but it didn’t close. As of 2023, P-nuff Crunch is worth $3 million.
About the Founder’
Juan Salinas is from Honduras, but he moved to New Jersey to get a better education. He got his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees in food science from Rutgers University. Later he earned an MBA from Rutgers Business School.
In 1997, he landed his first job in the food and beverage industry, working as a program leader at Kraft Nabisco. After nine years at the company, Juan was hired by Cadbury to be a senior project manager for gum brands.
In 2010, Juan returned to Kraft as a group leader, managing global development and promoting gum-related ventures. Two years later, he became a director and a global project manager at Nestle.
Establishing the Company
Apart from being a food expert, Salinas is also a bodybuilder and a triathlon athlete. He was conscious of his health, and that’s why he found irony in helping large corporations manufacture junk food.
In 2015, after about 25 years in the snack business, he decided to start his own company, Perfect Life Nutrition. Their mission was to produce a legit healthy snack that would stand out in a crowded market. After hundreds of failed experiments, he came up with P-nuff Crunch.
He made puffed peanuts that are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, non-GMO, rich in fiber and protein, and only 130 calories per serving. In 2019, the healthy snack made $104,000 in sales.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2020, Juan Salinas signed up to be on season 12 of Shark Tank. To expand operations and start his own manufacturing facility, he came in asking for $300,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in his business.
Female Sharks, Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran got a little excited when Juan tore off his lab coat and exposed his toned physique. Flustered, Barabara jokingly offered the initial $300,000 for 10%.
However, the other Sharks also had something to say. Mark Cuban, a vegetarian, had the snack before and loved it. He went on a little back-and-forth with the entrepreneur, and they agreed to shake on $400,000 for 25%.
After Shark Tank
After the episode aired, P-nuff Crunch experienced the “Shark Tank effect” and received a huge bump in orders! The deal with Mark Cuban closed but it’s not listed on his personal website under Shark Tank investments.
According to an interview with Salinas, Cuban has been great to work with and has helped out with marketing. The company now has its own production facility in New York and has expanded distribution.
The product is available to buy online through their website and Amazon. They are in 450 stores nationwide with retailer partners such as Walmart, Central Market and Target. P-nuff Crunch is making an estimated $1 million in annual revenue and is valued at $3 million.