Every week, viewers are introduced to three or four new products that are brought in front of the wealthy investors on ABC’s Shark Tank. After watching the show, viewers often rush to retailers to get their hands on the products they just saw, so if products are not on store shelves, suppliers miss out on a huge opportunity to cash in on their newfound success. How can entrepreneurs ensure their products will be there prior to going on the show? They turn to Joel Goldstein.
Joel Goldstein is President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, a network of independent distributors, food and beverage distributors and wagon-jobbers that are always looking for the next hot item. The team has quite a knack for finding new products that consumers will love—in fact, they played a part in launching 5 Hour Energy and Blu E-Cigarettes in the United States.
After so many successful new product launches, Goldstein has built up a reputation within the industry of being the go-to guy for helping new, innovative brands. Because of this reputation, Shark Tank entrepreneurs who are trying to get their products into retail stores quickly in order to capitalize on their instant fame often approach him first.
“Each product that is brought to us goes through an intensive vetting process,” Goldstein continues. “Being on Shark Tank is a huge opportunity for brands, but it’s not the only thing we look for—our team looks for sales and the marketability of the product, as well.”
Goldstein’s network of over 1,000 distributors work independently directly with retailers, so they are able to quickly bring new products to market and create unique marketing strategies—such as prime placement throughout the store and eye-catching displays—that translates quickly into sales. “When a product first launches, we focus on independent retailers, which are much more likely to take a chance on a new product than a big box retailer would be.” Goldstein says.
The sales acquired through Goldstein’s network may even help the entrepreneurs’ chance of securing a deal in the tank, since the sharks seem to be more impressed by products that have already proven themselves in the market.
“Because we can get products into stores all over the country, the suppliers are able to confidently say they’ve tested the market and found that there is a huge demand for the product—and they’ll have the sales to back up this statement, too.” Goldstein says.
Although he may not have a seat on the panel of successful sharks, Goldstein is seen by many as the man behind the success of many of Shark Tank’s products.