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Whatever Happened To Nana Hats After Shark Tank?

Could making your fruit wear clothing help it last longer? Apparently so — at least, as far as bananas are concerned.

To hear wealth management advisor Sean Adler talk about them, you might think bananas were his first love (not including his wife and daughter, of course). Frustrated by how quickly his yellow berry (look it up!) would ripen and rot, he took it upon himself to invent and manufacture a simple kitchen gadget that would slow the ripening process by about 12 days. As dedicated as he was to this mission, however, there was one thing in his life that took precedence: the ABC reality investing program "Shark Tank."

As he would later tell author, business educator, and content creator Joe Pardo, Adler was a "die-hard" fan long before he appeared on the show. As his banana-protection business grew, so did his aspirations to apply for a spot — and, after talking himself out of doing so during Season 13, he applied as early as possible for Season 14. According to him, the producers were so enamored with the quirky product that they "fast-tracked" him to a spot on the show. Then came the real challenge: pitching his goofy company, Nana Hats, to five of the most ruthless financiers in the world.

Sean Adler was prepared for the Shark Tank

Upon learning he had secured a spot on "Shark Tank," Sean Adler knew he couldn't let this opportunity wither away. He spent the weeks leading up to his pitch practicing relentlessly to his dog, listening to every "Tank" podcast he could get his ears on, and perfecting his product. By the time he entered the Shark Tank — asking for just $150,000 in exchange for 10% of Nana Hats — he knew his ideal partners, knew what percent equity he was willing to part with, and even had a royalty deal in his back pocket to use as an 11-o'clock Hail Mary.

Adler's product was far less intense than his preparation for its pitch. The Nana Hat is a cap that you place on the stem of your banana cluster. According to the science behind the product, placing the hat on the banana stem helps control the amount of ethylene produced by the berries (seriously, look it up!), the hormone ultimately responsible for making them soft, brown, and sweet.

Though Mark Cuban and Daymond John had high praise for Adler's product, pitch, and progress, they failed to see what value they could bring to the business. That's when guest investor Peter Jones threw Adler a curve ball — he'd offer half the money if Adler could convince another Shark to go in on the deal. Fortunately, Lori Greiner was game, and (after some savvy negotiating on Adler's part) he had to part with only 20% — supposedly well within his ceiling. But even if Adler felt he got a good deal on two Sharks, that didn't mean they wouldn't use him for chum.

Nana Hats needed to be ready to meet national demand

After wrapping his "Shark Tank" taping, Sean Adler felt sure that his pitch would go to air. He was so sure, in fact, that he immediately began stocking up on product in order to take advantage of the "Shark Tank" effect. When he finally did receive the affirmative call, he scheduled a watch party at a local outdoor theater in order to revel in his achievement with his friends and family — none of whom knew he had secured a deal before watching.

Once the world caught wind of his product, Adler immediately began to receive large amounts of orders, he told Joe Pardo. He also received over 12,000 emails, the contents of which ranged from offers to buy the rights to Nana Hats in small countries to proposals to buy tracts of land. Suffice it to say, it was a bit overwhelming for him.

As mentioned, Adler fairly quickly went on Pardo's podcast to participate in a post-mortem of his "Shark Tank" experience, expressing nothing but positive feelings about it. Though he had yet to close the deal with Lori Greiner and Peter Jones, he was confident that they had ironed out all the major issues and were just a few pen strokes away from sealing the partnership. In the meantime, they were still seemingly communicating with Adler and advising him during the post-"Tank" rush — which apparently made Adler the slightest bit starstruck.

Was Nana Hats able to keep its momentum?

Nana Hats is still in business — not terribly surprising considering how recently it appeared on "Shark Tank" (November 2022). For this same reason, it's essentially impossible to divine whether or not the deal with Lori Greiner and Peter Jones actually closed. "Tank" deals are often shrouded in mystery after the cameras stop rolling, and even if the deal had closed, it might take a while longer for public evidence of that to surface (like, for example, Greiner featuring the company on her website). Nana Hats' appearance on the "Today" show is a promising sign, though.

As of this writing, Nana Hats can be purchased on both the company's website and Amazon (which is incredibly common for "Shark Tank" products whose banana bread and butter is online retail). On Amazon, Nana Hats has a decent 3.4 out of 5 rating, with most of the negative reviews bemoaning the product's inability to fit some commonly large bushels of bananas. Adler actually addressed this concern during his interview with Joe Pardo and revealed that he was actively developing a larger size specifically to solve this problem. He went on to say that many of his ideas for Nana Hats come from listening to the concerns of his customers.

Where does Sean Adler want to take Nana Hats next?

Sean Adler seems very pleased with his online sales, but that doesn't mean the digital marketplace is Nana Hats' endgame. When he appeared on the show in Season 14, Nana Hats' primary brick-and-mortar wholesale buyers were novelty stores. Moving forward, Adler wants to see the product taken more seriously and featured prominently in grocery stores around the world. He told Joe Pardo that he hoped Nana Hats would become a standard item in any produce aisle or banana display.

Adler also has aspirations beyond Nana Hats, revealing to Pardo that he's already begun toying with new business ideas that he could conceivably bring to "Shark Tank" in the future, which would make him one of the show's rare repeat pitchers. Only seven people so far — including Les Cookman of LUCIDArt — have appeared on the show twice.

For now, however, Adler still works his day job as a wealth management advisor despite Nana Hats' success. He was initially apprehensive about taking his product public, as he felt his coworkers, bosses, and clients would feel he wasn't taking his important job seriously. He has since learned the opposite is true and that those in his professional life are impressed and amused by his "Shark Tank" success story.