Minuscal is a pre-revenue health supplement company from Nashville, TN, which should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about this deal if you know anything about Shark Tank.
Ostensibly, Minuscal has created a snack bar and diet tablet that include an ingredient that prevents the body from absorbing fat. Also, supposedly, taking two pills before a meal will also help to lower cholesterol. Minuscall doesn't "claim" this as they claim it but... their special ingredient will reduce caloric intake from foods by 100 calories.
This ingredient that Minuscal has comes originally from green tea and is then "amplified" by 20% so that it will lower cholesterol by "up to 20%."
Regardless of its effectiveness, Robert is not a fan of the taste and says so.
Mark cites his usual concerns about products making supposed "health" claims without effective studies to back them up and the entrepreneurs behind Minuscal claim that they're making no claims beside the cholesterol reduction and that they have studies for that. Regardless, objects Mark, their name is "Minuscal" which seems to imply that their product will reduce... you know... calories. He gets, admittedly, aggressive but not without reason considering the thin slicing the entrepreneurs are doing between their "claims" and what other people claim about their key ingredient.
Guest shark Daniel Lubetzky drops out of the deal because he claims that he doesn't like "molecules" or "things [he] can't see." Mr. Wonderful sings his usual song about the value being placed on the company ($2,500,000) when the entrepreneurs admit that they have yet to make a single dollar and, likewise, drops out. Lori takes a page from Mark's book and drops out because she doesn't like investing in claims that have no real proof behind them.
Robert goes out as well but not before calling out Mark's "arrogance", for not letting an entrepreneur speak, and for being intimidating. The entrepreneurs take this as a moment to clarify, once and for all, that they're not claiming that Minuscal will help people lose weight, that they're only claiming that it will help take some fat out of their body and maybe lose weight, which is a fucking bad call because Robert then takes them to task for contradicting what the sign behind them says.
Needless to say, Minuscal leaves the tank without a deal.
- You don't have to be Mark Cuban to dislike the way some of these companies dodge around their "claims". Minuscal claims that some study claims that their ingredient will reduce caloric consumption by 100 calories. But the fact that they're even mentioning it means that they want to be associated with those claims even if they're not "claiming" it themselves.
- As marketing strategy for your product... you know... whatever... but considering Mark sits just a chair away, making such an anti-science statement is... bizarre. Not every problem in life can be solved with identifiable nuts and berries. Even with foods that are wholly natural, like your Stats Shark's homemade gumbo, not every ingredient is readily identifiable. Mandating that it is or only investing in products that are seems... limiting...