Occasionally, a product from Shark Tank will become successful, but this Friday's episode may mark the first time that the series has featured a business that can totally change the face of consumer products. NOHBO will be on Shark Tank this week, presented by its teenaged inventor, Benjamin Stern. NOHBO is a dissolvable single-use ball of soap, shampoo, or conditioner. Stern has figured out a way to turn the soap products into a powder that, when the casing dissolves, can be lathered into suds. The product's name is a reference to its function — it helps to eliminate the plastic bottle debris that's leading to increasing pollution around the world.
Stern told PrWeb that he has big plans for NOHBO. "Our growth strategy includes branching out to hotel chains with a strong environmental awareness, and having them test our products in their lodging establishments," he said. "Once the consumer figures out how to work our personal care products, we will branch into retail, while licensing a few specialty lines exclusively to a few major shampoo brands." Right now, Stern is producing the soap products and the NOHBO technology, but it seems like in the future, he wants to eliminate shampoo, conditioner, and soap bottles altogether and replace them with his technology — and PrWeb said that Stern has patents for the NOHBO.
Since it seems like the product could easily wind up with a lucrative licensing deal, it seems like this could be an easy choice for Kevin O'Leary, who's all about making deals that guarantee him lots of cash. But in the trailer for the episode, it's Robert who says that NOHBO Balls could be "one of the best things" to be on Shark Tank.
But before Mr. Wonderful or Robert sign a contract, they're going to want to know how well the NOHBO is doing already. Unfortunately, the only way to try the product was to support Benjamin Stern's Kickstarter, which, unfortunately, failed to raise its goal, netting only $600 of a, $18,000 goal. And while NOHBO's website promotes two types of shampoo — Smokey Sandalwood and Japanese Cherry Blossom — it says they "will" be available, and currently, you can only sign up to receive emails with updates on the products. There is no option to actually purchase or pre-order either product online. And in Stern's video (which you can watch above), he only says that an "average" amount of product will be released in each ball — which means those with a lot of hair could need multiple balls per use.
While NOHBO Balls seem like a genius no-brainer for places like hotels or even spas/hair salons to adopt, the product's biggest flaw is that the sales will probably only be a fraction of the size they could be if a licensing deal was already in place. But if the Sharks sense potential within Stern's idea, he could get the partner he needs in order to ensure that his product is created and lives up to its full potential.
Image: Michael Desmond/ABC