Whatever Happened To FryAway Cooking Oil Solidifier After Shark Tank Season 14?

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After frying a fresh batch of potato chips or cooking bacon until crispy, you're left with oil and fat you need to get rid of. Pouring it down the drain is a sewer nightmare that leads to major clogging and monsters of congealed grease. The right way to dispose of cooking oil consists of pouring the used liquid into a container and throwing it in the garbage. However, Laura Lady, the founder and CEO of FryAway, created a better method.

While pouring the oil into a container saves it from clogging drains, the plant product that would normally decompose in a short period is now trapped in a jar that will take hundreds of years to decompose. Discarding used cooking oil wasn't environmentally friendly until Lady brought FryAway to market. It is a 100% plant-based, non-toxic powder that solidifies used oil or fat.

Just stir FryAway into hot oil, wait for it to cool, and scrap the hardened oil straight into the compost or organic waste trash. It will naturally decompose in as little as 30 days. With Lady's hit product "Shark Tank" reached out to her to come onto the show. The entrepreneur agreed and pitched her company to Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec, securing two wealthy investors.

FryAway reeled in two Shark Tank investors

Laura Lady walked into the tank seeking $250k in exchange for 10% equity in her company. With the business just one year old, she garnered over $700k in sales. The toy industry marketer started the oil solidifier enterprise in her garage after purchasing equipment for $2,000. Just two months after releasing the product, Lady's company had positive cash flow and zero debt. It was music to the Sharks' ears. However, not everyone wanted to get involved in the greasy business of cooking oil.

Kevin O'Leary went out because he didn't eat fried foods and wouldn't need the product. Similarly, the oil cleanup category didn't appeal to Robert Herjavec, forcing him to go out. Daymond John was impressed by Lady, who bootstrapped the startup, but went out believing he wouldn't add value to FryAway.

As health crazes steer people away from using excess oil, Mark Cuban felt the business was too niche. But the CEO kept Cuban from going out with prospects of international sales. However, Lori Greiner didn't need any convincing. The QVC queen offered 250k for 20% of FryAway. In return, Lady pitched for Cuban and Greiner to team up. The Shark duo wanted 25% for their double business-growing skills. In the end, FryAway's founder left with two Sharks giving away 22% of her business.

FryAway orders boomed after Shark Tank appearance

Orders for the oil solidifier powder came in immediately after the episode went live. The FryAway feature aired primetime Friday night on January 27, 2023. Laura Lady told business strategist Joe Pardo, "What followed was a weekend of full-day packing. My husband, myself, and even my five-year-old was packing orders. Everybody was working."

Unfortunately, those customers were met with delays after a snowstorm in Dallas stalled the FryAway manufacturer and its shipping service. Lady called customers personally and sent individualized emails to ease angry consumers.

Another hiccup came from Shark Tank fans claiming Lady ripped off the Japanese product Katameru Tenpuru. It is a 100% plant-derived oil solidifier that was created long before FryAway. The CEO completed her MBA at the International University of Japan, so perhaps she was inspired. However, what's a market without competition? Grease Grabber, SolidiFry, OilToss, and Hard Oil are all similar cooking oil solidifier products. But it was Lady who got the Shark Tank call.

FryAway is still going strong

As of April 2023, Laura Lady hasn't finalized her deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. She admitted the contract was still in due diligence. It takes a while for both parties to be satisfied with the legally binding terms and the process lengthens when more than one Shark is involved. Despite Cuban and Greiner not yet officially a part of the FryAway team, the company is a success.

FryAway was featured in major publications like Food & Wine, Southern Living, National Geographic, The Spoon, BuzzFeed, and Elite Daily. You can buy the product on their website, Amazon, and your local Kroger in the oil aisle. The FryAway site also publishes a blog with fried recipes and all things cooking oil.

Lady's business is sustainable in the front and backends, making it one of the best eco-friendly kitchen products you should own. This sustainable cleanup tool puts its money where its mouth is. FryAway is a member of 1% for the Planet and donates 1% of its revenues to nonprofits focused on water conservation. The company started in 2020, has an estimated value of $1.1 million, and Lady's business venture doesn't stop there.

What's next for FryAway?

In an interview with New England College, Laura Lady shared, "We've really only just scratched the surface in terms of the awareness for our product. Going forward as long as we continue to raise awareness about the issues of disposing of cooking oil properly and make people aware that there is an easy solution in Fry Away, the company can continue to grow to hopefully become a pantry staple in every kitchen."

FryAway continues to climb the ladder of success, and Lady is sharpening her skills as a businesswoman. In July 2023, she attended the Shark Tank Reunion and spent three days learning with other entrepreneurs. On Instagram, she shared a photo of some attendees she got to spend time with at the convention, writing, "The amount of talent, brainpower and ambition in one frame is awe-inspiring, and I am filled with gratitude to call them friends."

Lady also posted a TikTok teasing there'll be new things to look forward to with FryAway. Perhaps a signed deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.