Any news on the ridiculous pricing?


#1

Is Soylent still going to be only for select niche groups in the most richest countries of the world, or is it going to come down to reasonable $90 per month, which is the cost the vast majority of people spend on food?


#2

Give it time. Most brand new concepts start as something only for the rich, and make their way down due to economies of scale and additional streamlining. Electric cars are a good recent example, which can now be purchased for about the same price as a hybrid and will eventually be cheaper than gas cars.

Some DIYers can make their own version for $90 a month.


#3

How do you figure that’s the average amount of money people pay for food? Or that Soylent is a nich product meant for the rich? How much would you like people get for $90? If you want a cheaper alternative there is always DIY soylent. It’s more expensive upfront but the per day price can be much cheaper.


#4

This has already been discussed several times. The average person in the US (which is the only place you can currently buy Soylent) spends well over $90 a month on food.


#5

Preposterous original post

http://www.ask.com/business-finance/average-grocery-bill-one-person-ea7b43c7cfe40f26


#6

God no. I wish soylent people think about getting it perfect first ( i mean without any gastric or other issues ) then think about the price. If they can do both its even better.


#7

$300 as the average seems a little high. I was thinking that it would be around $200. $250 is still a good price for a months worth of nutrition plus there is the convenience factor.

If you used DIY, for example, People Chow, you can have a months worth for about $90.

Although, maybe in the future it might go down to $200 for subscribers. I would like to see a $50 decrease but as it stands seems fair


#8

Before a company invests the kind of money into the logistics and production that would be required to really drive the price down, they have to know the market is there. Hopefully, that’s being demonstrated right now.

I really don’t want them to lower the price, just yet. Not until after they can meet the demand they have. I’d rather see the product going to those of us who really want it first (as demonstrated by our willingness to pay for it). After they get their production up to speed, then they (or their competitors) can focus on making it available to those who value it less.


#9

You are looking at only 1 country, World average would be around $90 a month. btw reshipper can ship soylent to anyone.


#10

I hope the price comes down as soon as possible. It will, as it becomes more popular and bugs (mostly thinking shipping and ingredient procurement) get worked out. But as it stands, it’s certainly not “cheap(er)” by most of humanity’s standards, and certainly not Rob’s:

[quote]Rhinehart wants to target a per diem cost for Soylent of about $5 per
day, which is affordable to most and which also leaves room for Soylent
to be profitable.[/quote]
Personally speaking, I’m in Canada, and Soylent is currently more expensive than my simple grocery bill.


#11

Can you provide a source for that? And right now, Soylent is only available in America. So comparing to the american budget makes more sense at this point.

And does the 90$/month figure taking into account whether people are subsisting on solely purchased food or if they primarily eat food they grow themselves? And another factor that could drive the average down is those who eat cheaply because they can only afford enough to survive? That last group is probably malnourished, and therefore makes for a poor comparison.


#12

A large Starbucks latte is about $4. While plain Starbucks coffee is cheaper and other coffees are cheaper yet, Soylent on subscription is actually cheaper than three of those a day.


#13

large starbucks latte. lol (the de-facto take-out standard in Canada - Tim Horton’s - a large coffee is $1.71; what I spend per cup at home is significantly less than that)

Comparing to American standards does make sense, at this point; no argument there. However, going by statements/goals the founder has set out in the past, Soylent has a long ways to go to meet that sort of price + availability goal. So we shouldn’t just look at the current price/availability (as in “America Only”) and simply shrug and say “good enough”.

FWIW my current weekly food bill ranges from $40 to $120 CAN (I would guess the median to be ~75). 1 week of Soylent cost me $167. (yay shipping)


#15

I don’t think anyone is saying Good Enough. This thing is in its infancy and still scaling to meet the demand even at Starbucks prices. Pretty good for now.


#16

Yeah, I know, and I have already said as much in my posts. :]

The way many people argue over/defend the current price, however, insinuates “good enough”. Not saying that’s you personally.


#17

You can have unhealthy food for $90 a month in usa. You, however, cannot have healthy food at $90 a month.


#18

Unhealthy food can be expensive. How much do rice, beans, lentils, oats, potatoes cost? 90$ is low but that 90$ wouldn’t go very far if it’s all unhealthy foods.


#19

[quote=“generalblue1983, post:7, topic:17792, full:true”]
If you used DIY, for example, People Chow, you can have a months worth for about $90.[/quote]

This fluctuates based on ingredient supply & pricing. Currently, People Chow 3.01 comes in at about 3.50 a day-- at 30 days that’s 105 per month.

However, most people will not go 100% DIY. I am 60-80% and this week I’ve slipped entirely back to normal food. Any time you buy groceries, eat out, consume something at the theatre… all of those count towards your food bill. It takes real dedication to consume the same thing daily, no variation.

Since I’m unable to maintain a pure DIY diet, my monthly food bill is higher than 105… but it is significantly lower than it used to be. ($50-100 cheaper per month, easy… if not more… varies based on DIY consumption, ofc.)

Not going to disagree at all that it would be nice for it to be cheaper-- I even agree with the Rhinehart quote that someone smeggot linked-- it would be possible for Soylent to be cheaper, and that would be a good thing.

But I think most of the times when these conversations start, the person on the other side of the discussion arguing for inexpensive nutrition is not doing an apples-to-apples comparison between an existing meal’s nutrition content vs Soylent. Nor are they realistic about the current situation (available in the US only, start-up company still working through building efficient processes and still suffering from a lot of waste-- not to mention difficulty in sourcing the ingredients in the volume necessary to really drive prices down to the desired level.)

As an example: Someone once tried to compare living off fast food to living off Soylent. This OP didn’t do that, but it appears to me to be cut from the same cloth.

Plus, anyone who wants to engage in this debate really should source their claims. Otherwise we cannot have a fact-based, unemotional discussion.

In conclusion:


#20

This is referred to as “begging the question”.

Anything can be expensive, if you’re willing to pay top dollar for it. (Or do insufficient research before purchasing.)

http://www.amazon.com/Mahatma-Enriched-Extra-Grain-White/dp/B003SI144W/
@ $0.0675 per ounce

vs

http://www.amazon.com/Nishiki-Premium-Sticky-Rice-32-Ounce/dp/B00269HZLA/
@ $0.1475 per ounce (and that’s even buying in bulk!)


This would equate to $0.1755 to $0.3835 per meal per person ($0.5265 to $1.1505 per person, per day)-- but this number is “in a vacuum” because if your diet consists solely of rice, it’s an unhealthy diet… and there isn’t any point in comparing one form of starvation diet to another.

If you buy off the McDonald’s dollar menu, $90 dollars represents 90 items. How far that will take you is dependent upon a variety of factors-- such as your current weight & BMI, whether you can tolerate a non-nutritional diet, or tolerate fast food at all. But again, this is little more than subsistence eating.

But if you’re going to do a comparison between diet plans, you need to evaluate all the factors. I see people say “oh, it’s cheaper to buy raw ingredients and prepare it” but those same people typically discount things like price of gas, time spent shopping, electricity or gas costs for preparation. Cost of storage (refrigerator). The loss from wastage (either spoilage prior to consumption, or loss of excess preparation.) Time from cleanup (something that Soylent specifically markets to.)

Trying to compare fast-food to home meals, or real food to Soylent without taking into account these factors is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

  • Soylent does not require refrigeration (although I’m certain many agree it benefits from it; plus, having refrigeration increases overall convenience-- but it is in fact not required.)
  • Soylent’s “shopping costs” are tied to shipping & handling and are “built in” to the total cost
  • Soylent’s “preparation costs” are tied to factory preparation and are “built in” to the total cost

Fast food is like Soylent in that there is no expectation of storage of incredients and preparation costs are built into the total cost of the product, but differs from Soylent in that travel costs associated with purchasing fast food are not directly tied to total costs.

Trying to compare pricing on an unhealthy diet to a healthy one us is an exercise in futility-- simply by applying a “starvation diet” to the problem you can always end up with a cheaper unhealthy diet than you can with a healthy one. But more importantly, what would that comparison prove?

My vote is we stick to like-for-like comparisons, supported with facts, where we can achieve some agreement on the conclusion. Anything less and discussion becomes futile.

TL;DR;

This topic is too complex to make sweeping statements. And if you make unsupported statements then you deserve to have your opinion disregarded.


#21

I guess I could be using a logical fallacy. To clarify, this is something that I have noticed personally. I have looked for several months of my food bills and they were always higher when I bought without planning ahead and when I simply bought processed, prepacked, already cooked or foods that are commonly thought of as unhealthy. It does take dedication but it does seem possible to eat a nutritionally rich diet on a fixed budget. I don’t know about 90$ worth but I have personally done it with 150-200$. It usually requires looking through flyers and planning which supermarkets you will purchase your food. The reason it’s cheaper is because you plan and sacrifice a lot of your time by cooking your own meals using staple food items. What you gain in nutrition and pricing you lose in time and legwork. There is work involved.

I live in the city so I just have to walk to the supermarkets so no gas is required.

I am just saying that the whole idea that you have to eat fast food to survive as a poor person doesn’t seem true. If one really needs a food budget, here in the states they will give you about $200 a month; if you play your cards right, you could eat very well.

As far as McDonald dollar menu, it isn’t very nutritionally dense. It may be very cheap but not necessarily cheaper and no where near the nutritional value.

The only facts that I can muster are my own experiences. Of course it helps that I don’t live in an area where the cost of living is very high and I don’t need a car.

I am unsure what a starvation diet is, but it’s enough to for about 2k calories and more a day. Someone like a bodybuilder will always need much more but someone with a bigger caloric requirement is always going to have to pay more. This is mostly about the average 2k dieter.

Mostly that it’s possible to budget to eat a well-rounded diet rather than an unhealthy diet and that an unhealthy diet isn’t necessarily cheaper. Given all I’ve said, in my experience the unhealthy foods have less nutrition and ended up costing me more. Of course all areas are different, but I don’t think budget really factors much in giving a person a choice to eat healthy. Again, just my anecdotal experience. It’s mostly very time consuming.

I would think that the extra work and time required would cause many to grab at the unhealthy food stuffs. That’s where DIY and Soylent come into play. If you are going to end up grabbing fish sticks instead of a bean and kale salad with chicken breast, then might as well go ahead and have powdered foods.