EXCLUSIVE: Bethenny Frankel Unveils New Line of Skinnygirl Products: ‘I’m a Businessperson More Than a TV Person’

01/26/2016 at 10:24 AM ET

Bethenny Frankel
Larsen & Talbert

Bethenny Frankel‘s business empire just got a whole lot sweeter.

The Real Housewives of New York City star, 45, has just announced yet another extension to her booming Skinnygirl brand: candy.

“I think I saw a void [in the market],” Frankel tells PEOPLE of her latest venture. “Every woman I know has a sweet tooth and most women I know have PMS or they get emotional and they want chocolate […] It’s low calorie and they’re delicious; people are obsessed with them. And I don’t think there’s really anything else out there like that — especially with such quality. There’s a lot of chocolate, but it feels like junk food.”

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The new product line includes chocolate truffles, chocolate bars, chocolate-covered almonds, and gummies — each coming in pre-portioned packages at 100 calories each — as well as three flavors of mints (which have zero calories per serving).

“Portion control is huge,” Frankel says. “I don’t believe in fake; I believe in good quality ingredients. I’d rather have less of something really good than a lot of something fake. I think those little portioned packets are just very female.”

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The brand — which all started with a margarita — and has obviously been a smashing success for Frankel, with over 75 different products on the market now. In 2011, she sold the company to Beam Global, the third largest liquor company in the world, in a reported multi-million dollar deal (though she is still in partnership with them on the business).

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And though her big return to RHONY‘s 8th season garnered a lot of attention for the mogul, she doesn’t think her reality persona has been a huge factor in her sustained success. “To be honest, at this point it has not as much as you’d imagine to do with being on television,” she says. “I’m a businessperson more than a TV person.”

“I work really hard. I’m very, very invested; I’m very, very involved. I know everything about my business. I have great people around me […] That’s a mistake that a lot of reality stars make, they just put something on television and they think that’s enough.”

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As for the alleged legal branding battle between her and fellow Housewife Sonja Morgan —  Frankel brushes it off. “I don’t really worry that much about what other people are doing,” she says. “Look, Ramona [Singer] has a brand of wine and I support her and I support what she’s doing. Anybody who has a real business and a real original idea, I welcome and I promote other women and I want to pay it forward.”

“Sonja has had so many businesses,” she continues. “[She’s] been a caburlesque dancer, an event planner, she had a toaster, she had a fashion line, I think she had a jewelry line, I think she had a bathing suit line…and I think she is doing something with the Nigerian football team also. So she’s very busy.”

So, what’s the next conquest for the Skinnygirl empire? Frankel says she has her sights set on everything from energy drinks to frozen desserts to school lunches.

“Right now it’s really still a start up,” she says. “People think I think I’ve cracked the code. I’m at the beginning stages of a business — we haven’t even hit the tipping point.”

Shay Spence, @chezspence

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Showing 17 comments

SLEMON on

Above all Bethenny, you are straight up irritating. I bet if you were examined by a shrink you’d be diagnosed as a manic depressive. You need to think before you open your trap.

What???? on

You’re a narcissistic person more than a business person.

Anonymous on

Agree with the comments already posted. This woman is an attention seeking anorexic.

Dingosbaby (@dingosbaby) on

I’d love to know who is buying her products. The few drinks I’ve tried have been horrid swill. Now she has to commit crimes against chocolate?

Anonymous on

If she was more of a businessperson than a tv person, she would never have gone on TV to begin with, but she did, she not only did the Housewives she also did the Apprentice and she was totally different back then. I liked her when she was on there. But she realized that TV is going to make her money, so she did it! And if she is a business person, she doesn’t need to be on TV now does she, but she is so self absorbed that she will never leave TV. Poor Bryn, I feel sorry for that child having Bethanny as her mom. Hopefully she will grow up a well adjusted person, unlike her mom

Guest on

Really? A businessperson? You have single-handedly offended Latinx with your K-Mart rant. We have tremendous economic power, moron.

Heidi on

Kudos’ to Bethenny on yet another success! Brilliant, intelligent & savvy successful business woman who never gives up. I applaud her dedication, devotion & passion for business as a whole making her the successful business woman she is… I have admiration for what she’s done and how she ingeniously uses the media, social media & others,as a vehicle and actually capitalized on it…. Smart & savvy business woman who knows what shes doing & why! In my opinion, Bethenny’s a solid, energetic.dedicated business woman who loves what she does & when one loves what they do , they never work a day..I applaud successful business women as a whole for knowing what they want, going for it, making stepping stones out of stumbling blocks while moving forward & never seeing a stop sign. Like or dislike her, she never ceases to be the intelligent, savvy business woman that she is & while I applaud her on her next business mission, I have no doubt that with her passion & drive that her business empire will continue to grow…..

Paul stone on

Bethanny was forced to go back onto real housewives because her skinny girl products are in trouble and she needs the show to try to stop this. Just look at her products . You can get 2 bottles of her skinny girl water for $1.00 whole foods had dropped her whole line because of it preservatives. Now she is using her power with Jim Beam to push Sonja Morgan off the show because she’s afraid that the brand Tipsy Girl will push her product deeper into the sales slump. This woman is not a nice person and should spend more time trying to get back her daughter who she’s doesn’t have custody of. Shame on her!!

Maxx on

If not for TV, no one would know who she is or about the grand. Think of the millions in free advertising she’s gotten. Do you think she’d have all the social media fans without TV? Does People routinely cover every other launch of a candy? At least be honest… TV helps your biz… A Lot

Earl Grey Tea on

Above all, you are an entitled, racist…more than a ‘businessperson’ or ‘tv personality’. #BOYCOTTBETHENNY for her racist comments about HISPANIC AMERICANS: http://tinyurl.com/j3zsl2q

Masooda on

Bethenny you are inspirational to so many young girls & woman’s I love your home its warm beautiful classy and you earned it all by your self , from hard work I respect you so much and I love watching you on screen may God continually bless you with more ,and show you love what you do, and we love you may success & happiness always follow you

Wow on

People are so dang mean. Bethenny is an extremely smart and savvy lady. She’s also funny,sarcastic, yet real and humble. Why do people think it’s OK to judge and be so mean? Is it easier to do behind a keyboard? Would you not be nice to her face if you met her in person tomorrow? The hate and jealousy in this world is mind boggling to say the least.

MariaBaja on

Whatever……just taste one of her drinks! YUCK! Now she acts like she invited low cal candy…..get real!

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