Beta tester profile discussion


We’re going to be profiling several of our beta testers in the next few weeks, as part of a larger debrief on the lessons learned from the beta program that will be taking place on the blog during that time. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback!


It’s a little grating that you’re still pushing the “Soylent is cheap” line. Makes you sound out of touch. When the price is in the same neighborhood as ordinary groceries, then you can tell us it’s cheap. Still won’t be true, but at least it won’t be a lie worthy of the Iraqi Information Minister.


I paid $65 for a week of Soylent. In one week I consume 21 meals. $65 / 21 = $3.095 per meal. This is by far cheaper than any meal I have consumed in the last year.

Your results may differ based on your local and what you call food; but $3.10 per meal is darn inexpensive where I live.


Factor in the “whole nutrition” feature and it sure looks cheap to me.


I live in San Francisco and I can assure you, $3.10 a meal is almost nothing!

Looking forward to hearing more from the beta testers, very cool!


To be honest, I’m not really interested in the anecdotal opinions of beta testers. They are going to be biased, and this post didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. It seemed more like a sales pitch than providing information.

Is that for restaurants/cafeterias? Because it can be cheap if you look for the cheapest available groceries and cook yourself.

I could live on $3.00 per meal if I go with cheap groceries (rice, imported vegetables from china, the $0.70 fish bin, etc), and I live in Japan, which I always felt was a bit expensive when it comes to food.

It does become cheap if I compare it to a selection of food that gives me all of the micros you need in a day. Especially if you try to count how much my time is worth for putting together recipes and shopping and cooking for everything you’d need for that.

People are right to complain about the claims that the new raised price is cheap; it can’t really be marketed to the (American) poor based on price. When I was in college, this wouldn’t have saved me any money. But it is cheap for what it claims to be. That caveat is kind of important.


I get what you’re saying but that is a bit like comparing bagged ramen with a nutrition shake… if we’re not going to level the playing field and look at nutritional comparisons along with cost I don’t see the point to having this conversation. An apples-to-apples comparison, as it were.


Oh yeah, I definitely understand that; I think most people here appreciate the difference between price-per-calorie vs price-per-%of daily nutrient requirement. I think that there’s no honest way to talk about the price, without addressing that distinction. That was my only point.

Most people for whom the price of their food is the most important criteria, probably don’t care about that distinction all that much. For them (or at least for me when I was in a tight spot), “apples and oranges” are both fruit, and arguing that it’s cheap may be a hard sell. If your budget is tight enough that you’re trying to cut corners on food of all things… eating healthily/getting all your nutrition is at best, a secondary concern.


It would be a mistake to market it to the poor. But then again, when you consider that many EBT cards are used on impulse snacks, $3-$4 items at convenience stores, and so forth, marketing Soylent to foodstamp users gives them a leg up. They get good, healthy nutrition and save time.

It’d be best to market it as convenient healthy food. It is cheap, but on a level that requires context. Most people will need it to be explained to them, or will come to the realization through experience.

Someone too poor to afford Soylent honestly has more pressing problems than optimizing their nutrition. Cart before the horse and all that. Sorry to be blunt, but luxury is relative.

Soylent isn’t a luxury item, relative to the majority of American consumers, and the American market as usual is going to be the major driver of price. This is a good thing, because we can subsidize whatever Rob & Co come up with next - humanitarian super food or some wacky new venture. This is what’s awesome about capitalism and individual innovation.

Just thought I’d say that even if he spent all the profits on monkeys playing ping pong, I’d think just as highly of the company. :stuck_out_tongue:



Double Bingo.

Poor people in this context aren’t buying and eating full, complete meals. From traditional sources, they are only able to afford a fraction of what they need to be healthy. Therefore the comparison is incongruent.