We interviewed CEO and founder Mark Bernstein, who said since launching in January 2015, he has sold $2 million worth of the product. He explained that the dietary product, which comes in flavors like Chocolate Mint, Mocha, Citrus and Cinnamon, “works to reward and reset your taste buds, while helping to naturally transition your focus away from eating. The sweet outer reward layer treats you to a measured dose of dessert to cue the end of a meal or satisfy a craving. The inner cooling and tingling core clears your palate and provides a sensory “wake up call” to stop eating.”
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
As I grew older and started to battle my beltline, I discovered that the biggest obstacles to managing my weight were knowing when to end meals and avoiding unnecessary snacks…For a few years’ straight, my doctor would report that my blood test raised some small red flag (each year it was something different), but each time he would suggest the same thing, “Before putting you on any medication, you should try to lose a few pounds to see if that will solve the issue.”…I needed something to help me stop overeating. I needed a little extra boost of willpower. I talked to friends, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, etc. and no one had a solution. I found that most of the weight management products focused on filling you up before you eat with unpleasant fibers and liquids, limiting what you eat with prepackaged and generally not very tasty foods, or even adulterating food with chemicals or additives to make you like them less. I looked for a couple of years for something that would work for me, and when I found nothing, decided that, if I could develop such a product, it would help lots of people and have an enormous market.
How The Lozenges Work
They are designed to be used at the end of the meal, to replace dessert or to help a person stop eating when they feel the desire for a second helping, but aren’t necessarily hungry. They also are great as a replacement for a high calorie snack between meals. When a person starts to fear the impending temptation to stray from their healthy diet they can use a MealEnder to help them avoid the temptation.
What Makes Their Product Different
While other diet aids focus solely on the stomach’s sense of fullness, Meal Enders recognize the powerful roles of mouth and mind in appetite and satiety. MealEnders’ lozenges incorporate a proprietary blend of flavors that the body experiences as sensations, via the trigeminal nerve leading to the brain, to keep your mind and mouth occupied for up to 20 minutes. This gives your cravings a chance to pass, and allows the natural satiety process time to kick in.
How His ‘Shark Tank’ Appearance Came About
After we launched MealEnders, there was not a week that went by when someone would not say to me, “You guys should be on Shark Tank.” Being on TV was not something I was enthusiastic to pursue and having come from a stint in the TV business, I knew how difficult it was to be selected for a show like that. So I basically ignored those suggestions. And then, lo and behold, a representative of Shark Tank actually called me. They said that a producer had read about MealEnders and was intrigued and they thus encouraged me to apply. It was then a long process to actually get selected.
Nerves in the ‘Tank’
It is not every day you that you appear before millions of people taking the tough questions of some smart investors. Luckily, earlier in my career, I had done a lot of public speaking as both a lawyer and an early internet executive at CNN, so the idea of responding to the Sharks was not something that I was totally unfamiliar with. It also really helped that I believe in my company and Meal Enders. I felt confident going into the show taping that whether or not I struck a deal with the Sharks, it would still be an incredible opportunity to introduce MealEnders to America. Only, once I had finished the taping, could I appreciate the uniqueness of the opportunity. It was fun.
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