Boston-based startup Slate, cofounded by friends Manny Lubin and Josh Belinsky to create a healthier version of the classic chocolate milk, hit a rough patch shortly after it started. When the founding duo presented their early prototype on Shark Tank back in 2019, the judges were unimpressed:
“Oh, I do not like that at all!” Mark Cuban was heard yelling after taking a sip. Fellow sharks Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran also called out the product’s “little funky chicken” element and “distinct dryness,” respectively, during their taste testing.
Those prototype products never made it to the shelves, according to Lubin. After spending a year on reformulation, Slate launched its first commercial product made with 17g protein, nine grams of added sugar and 130 calories per can, and sweetened with a combination of cane sugar and monk fruit.
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