Here's An Interesting Delivery From 'Shark Tank'

by Laura Rosenfeld

Most of the companies that appear on Shark Tank are looking for investments from the millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs in order to stay alive and thrive. But once in a while, a company will come along that will make you wonder, Is that for real? Potato Parcel, which will be featured in Friday night's new episode of Shark Tank, may be one such company. But perhaps you need to look at whether or not you can actually send Potato Parcel before you judge the company too harshly.

Yes, you actually can. And once you learn a little bit more about what Potato Parcel is all about and the type of product the company offers, that fact is either going to put a smile on your face or make you question the future of business itself.

The name of this company isn't just a funny or clever moniker; it actually describes what it does. That's right. Potato Parcel allows you to send potatoes with personalized messages to your loved ones. Sure, you could write on a potato yourself and send it through the mail, but why do it yourself when you can have someone else do it for you?

But you may also be thinking, why do it at all? The company offers up this explanation for why sending someone a spud may be a welcome gesture on the "About Us" page on its website: "Thinking of sending a Birthday, Congrats, Get Well Soon card? This is a quirky and hilarious alternative to the traditional card! Your friends, family, and others will get a kick out of it!" Well, I can't really argue with that.

So how do you send someone a so-called potato parcel, anyway? It's probably easier than cooking a potato, that's for sure. All you have to do is head over to Potato Parcel's website, choose the kind of potato you'd like to send, write your message (it has to be 130 characters or less), add it to your cart, and buy it like you would any other product online. The types of potatoes you can customize include the Potato Parcel ($9.99), which is a tuber with a handwritten message on it, a Potato Pal ($14.99), which can come with someone's photo on it, or a Potato Postcard ($12.99), which can feature a whole photo on it. It looks like Potato Parcel products can only be sent in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Europe as of now. They can also be sent anonymously if you so choose.

Potato Parcel was originally conceived of as a creative way for people to surprise others with messages. "I wanted to change the way we communicated with each other in a brand new way by allowing people to send an anonymous message ... on a potato," founder Alex Craig told Mashable in August 2015. "There are so many apps and new technologies that are trying to revolutionize communication and I wanted to do it in a much simpler way."

As for what you do with your potato after you receive it, well, you can only cherish it or laugh at it or whatever reaction you'll have to it for so long because potatoes eventually go bad and will need to be disposed of. And the company does not recommend eating the taters because "they have ink and can pick up bacteria during the shipping process," according to Potato Parcel's FAQ page on its website. So it's probably best to just take a picture of it right after you receive it in the mail so you can remember it forever.

Though Craig's girlfriend told him Potato Parcel "is the stupidest idea" she had ever heard, according to his interview with WFAA, it earned $25,000 in sales in February 2016, Quartz reported in March. With numbers like that, the Sharks should actually take Potato Parcel very seriously.

Images: Michael Desmond/ABC (2)