Top Of The Muffin To You!
If you don’t get the Seinfeld reference, that is ok, but it won’t be the last one in this breakdown. In Episode 155 of Seinfeld, Elaine suggests to Mr. Lippman that someone should open a store selling just Muffin Tops. Mr. Lippman steals her idea and opens “Top of the Muffin to You!”.
Muddy Bites is the same exact concept. Cut off the bottom of the ice cream cone and sell just that. And guess what? It’s a hit!
Muddy Bites Sales Data
Between March and June, Muddy Bites averaged 136 orders per day. In July, Muddy Bites averaged 370 orders per day. Their average order value is just over $30. In July, Muddy Bites had an estimated revenue of about $350K. A run rate of over $4M in annual revenue.
Does TikTok Work?
It’s a question I keep asking. And I feel like the answer is, it depends. But, I do not think its working like Facebook or Instagram initially worked.
When I placed an order yesterday, there was the following note:
"Due to sudden increase in order volumes, we’re currently out of stock on Milk and Dark Chocolate. We anticipate to begin shipping orders again in the middle or late August. We appreciate your support and understanding during this time, but please expect a shipping delay. If you have any questions, please don’t be shy! (As of 8/5/21)"
I checked their Facebook posts to see if I could see what was going on. And I saw this comment from them:
Viral? Where? I do not see it on Instagram, I do not see it on Facebook, and their Twitter account is suspended (more of this later). Where are they going viral?
I think I found it on their TikTok:
On 6/7/2021 this video was posted and now has 2.7M views. Since then they have had a handful of videos get tens of thousands of views and a few others get hundreds of thousands of views. Another post on 7/19/2021 got 1.3M views.
My current view on TikTok is that views and followers are cheap on the platform. It is so easy for people to like something and follow someone, so a follow or like does not hold the same weight as it does on other platforms. Also, the audience on TikTok is global. These factors have lead me to see TikTok underperform compared to other social networks.
Their viral TikTok videos do line up to the timeframe when their orders started drastically increasing. Maybe TikTok is working? Maybe it depends on the product and price point?
Back to Seinfeld…
In espisode 148, J Peterman buys Kramer’s stories for his memoir.
I typically like to search the founders of the brand I am researching, to see if they have given any interesting interviews about their company. When I searched “Muddy Bites Founder”, I came up with the name “Nick Cavegn”. However, when you look at Muddy Bites about us page, there is no mention of Nick.
In 2018 Nick was launching a Kickstarter for Muddy Bites. He gave interviews talking about the Kickstarter campaign and how he started Muddy Bites. (From what I can tell, this Kickstarter failed to meet its funding goal).
On their website today, Jarod and Tyler are listed as the founders and give this story of the founding of Muddy Bites:
"Our founders grew up eating hundreds, if not thousands of sundae cones throughout their childhood; from ice cream trucks, grandma’s house, anywhere they could get their hands on them. There was always a sense of excitement and happiness every time they got down to the end of the sundae cone filled with chocolate. One day, they realized that was their favorite part of the sundae cone all together. They figured they weren’t the only ones who felt the same way, and just like that, Muddy Bites was born."
I couldn’t reconcile that story to the articles written about Nick Cavegn and how he started it. I then found this podcast where Jarod and Tyler spoke about the start of the company. They were vague with the details but mention they knew of a person online (who I assume is Nick) selling this product. They reached out to partner but that person was not interested. A little later on (November of 2018), they offered to buy the company. This offer was accepted.
The new ownership would go on to launch another Kickstarter campaign (this time funded successfully). In that Kickstarter, this was the founding story given:
"Alex, Jarod, and Tyler have been friends for years. Growing up, they always loved eating sundae cones. In fact, they ate hundreds, if not thousands of ice cream cones throughout their years. They would get them anywhere they could imagine, grandma’s house, gas stations, ice cream trucks, grocery stores and more! However, what they cherished most was the bottom tip filled with chocolate.
Unfortunately, no one made the part they loved most. Figuring they weren’t the only ones completely obsessed with the tip of sundae cones, they took matters into their own hands by creating bite-sized waffle cones and filling them with delicious milk chocolate.
Just like that, Muddy Bites was born."
They essentially bought Nick’s story and made it theirs. Just like J Peterman made Kramer’s stories his.
Does this matter at all?
My wife says no. She only cares about the product. And currently, they are killing it. So maybe it doesn’t matter, however, I cannot stop fixating on it. Also, their Twitter account is suspended. Why? What is going on here?
All that being said, I have tried their product and it’s fantastic. I just don’t want to be lied to. Be authentic, give me the truth!