Modern Picnic Shark Tank Pitch

Modern Picnic Shark Tank Appearance: Revolutionizing On-the-Go Dining

Modern Picnic pitch on Shark Tank Season 15 aimed to transform the way we carry lunch around. Designed with professional and modern working women in mind, these chic bags can replace the traditional (and often ugly) lunch box with something much more fashionable and functional.

Modern Picnic – The Numbers

  • Amount and equity asked: $400,000 for 6.5%
  • Amount and equity received: none
  • Shark(s) in the deal: none
  • Valuation of the deal: none

The company’s founder, Ali Kaminetsky, designed these lunch bags with both aesthetics and utility in mind. They are crafted to mimic the look of a designer handbag while providing the functionality of a fully insulated lunch container. In an era where style and practicality are both prized, Modern Picnic offers a solution that does not compromise on either.

Ali Kaminetsky: The Founder Of Modern Picnic

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - The Founder Ali Kaminetsky

Modern Picnic emerged from a blend of necessity and innovation, founded by Ali Kaminetsky who transformed the concept of lunch-carrying accessories for professionals.

The Launch in New York City

Ali Kaminetsky, a Lehigh University graduate, launched Modern Picnic in New York City in 2018. The idea was to address what Kaminetsky observed in the city, and provide a novel solution that is both fashionable and functional.

When I googled “lunchbox” I saw options for little kids, + for men, but nothing for women who wanted to look + feel their best

It was clear that the traditional lunchbox needed a makeover, and from there, Modern Picnic was born!

Ali Kaminetsky – Modern Picnic (Our Story page)

Shark Tank Pitch and Negotiations

Ali Kaminetsky stepped on the floor of Shark Tank in Season 15 Episode 13. While she left without a deal from the Sharks, the presentation and discussions are an example of how entrepreneurs can demonstrate pertinence, knowledge, and determination.

Pitching to the Sharks

Ali Kaminetsky presented Modern Picnic to the Sharks emphasizing the product’s unique blend of fashion and function tailored for women. Kevin mentioned that her presentation was “almost flawless!“. That’s not something he says often, yet, later on he addressed issues with her expenses in marketing (more below).

As guest shark, Emma Grede could have been a great investor and mentor, thanks to her dominance in the women’s fashion industry with Good American, and with the business ventures co-owned with the Kardashians. Lori Greiner could have been a great partner too, that’s because Modern Picnic is highly demonstrable, it appeals to a professional crowd, and it is appealing to the eye.

Cost of Products and Margins

Modern Picnic has good gross profit margins, sitting at 60% on average. It costs between $30 to $35 to make an insulated bag, and with the most common product, the Luncher, priced at $159, the gross profits are also excellent. Revenue-wise, 70% comes from ecommerce. Recently, they ventured into wholesale, and that already accounts for 20% of their total sales.

For 2024, Modern Picnic is projected to do just over $2 million in revenues. With their average profit margin, that makes roughly 1.2 million in gross margins as noted by Mark Cuban.

Cost of Marketing

Marketing is where the Sharks started questioning Kaminetsky. She admitted that out of the $1.2 million, 50% will be spent on marketing. The sharks noted that this is too much and the cost of customer acquisition is too high, thus reducing her net profits. Another potential issue is that the average customer will not buy this product over and over. Since it is a durable and high-quality item, once you buy one, you’d stick with it for a long time.

Outcome of The Pitch at Shark Tank

The first one to leave was Kevin O’Leary, motivated by the high costs of marketing with the intent of building for her fashion brand. Mark Cuban made an interesting comment saying that Ali needs to have more confidence in herself and in her product. This will help her limit the need of expanding her reach to acquire customers. It will also help her be disciplined to spend less of her hard-earned money. Robert and Lori follow suit, and are out soon after.

Emma Grede stepped in with a very kindly-worded piece of wisdom. Emma mentioned:

It’s a course of so many young founders that have plowed so much money in the belief that digital marketing coupled with brand marketing, and spending these huge percentages is leading to all of these sales. But (they are) never ever looking at the fundamentals of the business.

What I will say to you, and what I’ve seen in my own experience, if you look at what you are spending on social media, you start winding it down. I’m telling you, I almost guarantee you will not see a (negative) difference in your sales. I think you are amazing, and I love the product. I’ll be a customer, but for those reasons I’m out.

Emma Grede to Ali Kaminetsky

This was also a reference to how Emma Grede observed younger advisors focusing on spending money to grow a business, while older and wiser advisors instead suggested the opposite.

Modern Picnic Design

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - Design

Modern Picnic transformed the image of functional lunch carriers into stylish accessories that cater to women that love to look stylish, eat good, and elevate their professional image.

Combining Style and Functionality

Modern Picnic’s signature product, The Luncher, combines the brand’s fusion of style and functionality. Designed with a sleek, minimalist aesthetic, it targets the needs of professional women who prefer to carry their meals in a more sophisticated manner. Each Luncher combines the functional food insulation with a polished exterior, effectively marrying the convenience of a lunchbox with the elegance of a handbag.

List of Modern Picnic Products

Modern Picnic has a variety of pretty cool options designed for the everyday carry. Their product line includes lunchers, totes, and snack bags with insulated interiors and vegan leather exteriors available in multiple colors. Here they are:

The Standard Luncher

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - Product The Luncher

The Standard Luncher serves as the foundational product of Modern Picnic. It boasts H 8.5” x W 9.8” x D 6.5” in size, an insulated interior to keep foods at the right temperature, a vegan leather exterior, and magnetic closure. Available in a variety of colors, this Luncher suits the modern professional with its sleek compartments for organization.

The Large Luncher: a No Compromise Carrier

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - the Large Launcher

The Large Luncher expands on the Luncher by offering more space to store your food. With dimensions of H 10.5” x W 12” x D 7.25”, Modern Picnic’s Large Luncher is for those who don’t want to compromise on style and portability. The large insulated space and the removable strap, make it easy to carry even for the hungriest professionals, starved by endless morning meetings.

The Tote

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - The Tote

The Tote, similar in design to the Large Luncher, is the non-plus-ultra of portable food. It has even more room, sitting at H 13″ x W 16″ x D 7″. It is ideal for longer days or meals with friends. It has a unique interior pocket, making it very practical for and well-organized thanks to its compartments.

The Kids Mini Bags

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - Kids Collection

The Kids Mini is what can make your daughter look super fashionable during school lunch. It has the same aesthetic but it’s downsized to H 6.8” x W 7.8” x D 4.7” for children’s meals. It includes an insulated interior and easy-to-use magnetic closure. Also, kids are messy!! I have a 4-year-old girl, and I witness food mess every day! The interior of the bag is very easy to clean, so that their food is always packed in a clean, and sanitary space.

The Snacker

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - the Snacker

The Snacker is the smallest and cheapest carrier at Modern Picnic with H 6′ X W 9.5′ X D 2.25′. It offers a compact solution for light meals or snacks and is designed with the same insulation and style as the Lunchers. Perfect for fruit snacks and small bites, it is a very portable solution for moments when you are in a rush but need to bring a quick, healthy bite with you.

The Backpack

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - The Backpack

Their backpack integrates function with fashion, suitable for those needing hands-free convenience. It is 14.25″ H x 11.5″ W x 6″ D in size, and includes insulated sections keeping content fresh. It also offers a soft padded back rest, to make it even comfier than your old school backpack.

The Wicker Collection

Modern Picnic Shark Tank.- The Wicker Collection

The Wicker Collection is much more than a lunch carrier. The Wicker collection adds a rustic and retro touch thanks to the exterior design that elevates its presence without compromising functionality. The interior is the same insulation system as all Modern Picnic products. It is coupled with elements of vegan leather and outdoor design, making it picnic-ready for when you need it the most. Here, sizes vary depending on the model, but they are similar to the corresponding non-wicker options.

Modern Picnic Prices

NamePriceSizeSpecial Features
The Standard Luncher$159CompactInsulated, Vegan Leather, Magnetic Closure
The Large Luncher$189LargeInsulated, Vegan Leather, Extra Compartments
The Tote$250LargeVegan Leather, Spacious, Organizational Compartments
The Snacker$59SmallInsulated, Fashionable, Magnetic Closure
Kids Mini$60Kid-FriendlyInsulated, Vegan Leather, Magnetic Closure
Backpack$210Comfort FitInsulated Sections, Vegan Leather, Stylish Design
Wicker Collection$69-$199Picnic SizeInsulated Interior, Wicker Exterior, Fashion-Forward Aesthetic
Prices for Modern Picnic products

Manufacturing and Sustainability

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - Manufacturing

Modern Picnic focused on efficiency by marrying functionality, style, quality, and sustainability.

Modern Picnic Commitment to Sustainability

Modern picnic decided to focus on sustainability by using vegan leather materials. Why? Traditional lunch boxes, bags, and take-out wrappers, waste a ton of plastic. And they are expensive for the consumer and for the overall industry. They need to be recycled, and that also costs money.

What Ali Kaminetsky did, was to offer a solution that is good for consumers and for the environment. With the average cost of one Modern Picnic bag (roughly $160), you could cover one to two weeks of take out lunch. Considering that Modern Picnic bags last much longer than two weeks, and that home-made food is much cheaper than take out, this is a clear way to save money. Plus, you will limit the landfill plastic waste, thus helping the environment.

Focus on Quality and Detail

In their operations, Modern Picnic never compromises on quality. The insulated lunch bags are not only functional but meticulous in detail. They consistently deliver quality by rigorously testing the insulation effectiveness and durability of the magnetic closures. Attention to every stitch ensures that each product, from the totes to the backpacks, meets high standards. This dedication to minute details ensures that customers receive a premium product that redefines the concept of lunchtime accessories.

Advisory Board

Modern Picnic Shark Tank - Advisors

Ali Kaminetsky wisely selected three business advisors as part of her team. The presence of business advisors elevates the credibility of every business. Moreover, new entrepreneurs are often guilty of not-knowing what they don’t know. This can result in big mistakes that can cost the company money in lost revenues, or in avoidable expenses.

Modern Picnic Reviews and Customer Experience

Modern Picnic streamlined the customer journey to make it as easy as possible to have a positive shopping experience. From an easy-to-navigate website to a commitment to social responsibility, Modern Picnic prioritizes customer satisfaction and eco-conscious practices.

Testimonials and Reviews

The average review on Amazon is a 4.4 out of 5 stars. However, social media outlets are full of user-generated content that leaves positive reviews about Modern Picnic. Customer love the combination of style with utility.

Moreover, their website has hundreds of 5 star reviews from happy customers that highlights various features from the practicality of their bags, the look, and the Tote bag’s removable insulated pouch. Overall, people who bought it, seem to be quite happy.

Market Presence and Collaborations

Modern Picnic expanded beyond New York City and obtained a substantial market presence. It received exposure in the fashion industry and was featured in multiple TV shows.

Modern Picnic on Social Media

Modern Picnic has a tremendous social media presence. For example, their TikTok account boasts 133,000 followers and a cumulative 3.8 million likes. Modern Picnic Instagram page has 54,000 followers and more than 2,000 posts. Their YouTube channel has more than 100 videos, and each one has hundreds of views.

These impressive numbers are probably the results of their high investment in social media marketing. And, although it was not mentioned, I’d assume that a lot of their traffic comes from social media, especially Instagram and TikTok

Fashion and Media Recognition

Media outlets such as E!, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Jam, PTV, and more featured Ali Modern Picnic. They highlight the brand’s innovative approach to lunch accessories that cater to a fashion-conscious consumer base.

Seb is a PhD scientist by training, and an entrepreneur by heart. He started his first business while in elementary school, and he got in trouble for it! He then moved onto various online ventures, including consulting and e-commerce. Seb loved Shark Tank since he saw the first episode of Season one on TV. The rest is history.

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