Bananas check off all the boxes: They are delicious, healthy, convenient and, compared to other fruits, inexpensive, while being low in calories, nutritious and filling. They are good for your heart and your digestion and might even help with losing weight.
If you’re like me, your favorite way to eat a banana is raw, right when it has reached its peak of ripeness—when the banana is firm, the rind bright yellow and easy to peel, and, once peeled, reveals that sweet aroma of ripe banana. Sure, I love banana bread and muffins, banana pancakes, banana smoothies, and that gift from the gods, banana ice cream, but nothing compares to a banana in its perfect natural state.
The problem is that it’s so difficult to catch the banana in that state. We bring home the bananas when they are slightly green, then wait until they are yellow. And then they get too ripe. Brown spots appear and spread and then the whole banana rind is brown. It’s kind of unsightly, but it’s great for cooking and making desserts, but too mushy for eating raw.
If only we could keep bananas at that peak ripeness longer. Well, now we can, because Sean Adler created Nana Hats, the first device specifically designed to maximize the freshness of your bananas—and do it with style.
Nana Hats Before Shark Tank
Sean came up with the basic idea in 2016. He brought home a bunch of bananas and knew he wouldn’t be able to eat them in time. Bananas, like other fruits, produce a natural ripening agent, ethylene gas, that gets the ripening process going. The gas breaks down the acids in the bananas, and they get more yellow, softer, sweeter and oh, so delicious! Since bananas produce more gas than other fruits, the process keeps speeding along and all too quickly, the bananas are brown and decayed. Sean couldn’t find a suitable remedy at that time, so he noted it in his “idea book,” where he kept all his potential inventions for when he had time to work on them.
He had lots of time when the COVID pandemic hit. There he was, a wealth manager, working from home and meeting with his clients virtually. So he resurrected his “banana preserver” idea. He knew that he had to protect the banana from the ethylene gas and that the best way to do that is to keep the gas from escaping through the stems. By covering the stems with a cap, for instance. It went very well. He was able to meet with all of his vendors, his product designer, and an IP attorney over Zoom, and by November 2020, he had assembled the first 15,000 Nana Hats—without ever leaving his living room.
How to Use the Nana Hat
A Nana Hat consists of a patent-pending, BPA-free silicone cap and a knitted hat.
- Pull the silicone cap over the crown (where the stems meet) of the bunch of bananas as far as it will go, so that it’s snug and secure. That inhibits the banana’s absorption of the gas and, therefore, slows the ripening process.
- The silicone caps are reusable and washable with hot water and mild soap.
- Since the cap is very functional but rather boring looking, slip a knitted hat over the cap for the best dressed bananas in your neighborhood! Hats include a unicorn, Viking, watermelon, cheeseburger, panda bear, shark, or pirate.
- The hats are attached magnetically, so it’s easy to swap hats whenever you want.
The environmentally friendly Nana Hats will keep your bananas fresher (and prettier) for longer, cut down on food waste, and save you money.
Nana Hats in the Shark Tank
|Shark Tank Air Date||11/11/2022|
|Season||Season 14 Episode 6|
|Pitch||$150,000 for 10% equity|
|On-air Deal*||$150,000 for 20% equity|
|Sharks||Peter Jones and Lori Greiner|
Entrepreneur Sean Adler entered the Shark Tank seeking a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake in his business, Nana Hats. However, the Sharks’ response to this proposition was marked by some interesting dynamics.
Peter Jones, though interested, expressed his intention to collaborate with another Shark for the investment, agreeing to provide only half of the requested capital. In a joint effort, Lori Greiner and guest Shark Peter Jones offered the $150,000 investment but in return for a 20% equity share in Nana Hat. Kevin O’Leary entered the fray with an alternative proposal: $150,000 for a 10% equity stake along with a perpetual $1 royalty.
After careful consideration, Sean Adler chose to accept the offer presented by Peter Jones and Lori Greiner, agreeing to the terms of a 20% equity stake in exchange for the $150,000 investment. This decision marked a notable adjustment from his initial valuation, reflecting the intricacies of the negotiations within the Shark Tank.