Cost to go down post-shipping?


#1

I would think that the cost of “subscription” to Soylent, say, in August should be a little cheaper than $65/week, since the volume of orders should reduce reagent costs. At $65/week, I won’t be able to afford it, though I did scrape it together to try it out and I’m very excited. I guess what I’m saying is I thought the goal was an inexpensive staple food for poor peoples but at its current price point it is somewhat out of my reach. So I’m very eager for an update about pricing going forward.

Ah, here is the relevant quote:

“Funds raised from the campaign will be used primarily to cover up
front manufacturing costs, meaning the price will decrease with time
and scale.”


#2

We’re very eager to share information about future price decreases, but we don’t yet have a solid idea of what the drop in August will be – hopefully between 10-20%.


Soylent - wheat and rye allergy?
Long-run Soylent Price
#3

Thanks for the info, Julio! :smiley:


#4

Excuse me? $184-207 for a month?
Rob wrote: “The raw materials to provide me with 2629 kcal / day purchased at personal scale costs $154.82 per month, plus shipping.” and the cost was to be lowered “dramatically” when produced at scale. Where did that go?


#5

Rob isn’t a business man by trade. I’m guessing the raw materials will reduce in price dramatically when Soylent is produced in mass… but he probably wasn’t considering the extensive overhead for everything else- manufacturing costs, employees, insurance, taxes, legal fees, marketing…


#6

The recipe has also changed substantially from the original ‘it was this expensive’ posting, too…


#7

I am very eager to try this product but as with provi, the price will be an issue. What would be ideal, the price to be lowered some (a month supply for $150 or at least under $200) and be sold at Walmart. My meals are paid by the government so to buy it at a physical place is needed.


#8

All quite true. And based on a lot of observation of how things function in our modern economic milieu, I’m guessing that although the raw materials almost certainly will reduce dramatically in price with improved scale and mass production, the price of the finished product will not. Soylent will be competing with some very upscale products in markets characterised by high disposable income. The two largest identifiable customer groups for meal replacement drinks and dietary supplement drinks would appear to be slimmers and bodybuilders. (People who are living on a shoestring are usually neither concerned with losing weight nor with bulking up.) So there will be little incentive to cut the price dramatically. And the extras you mention – particularly “insurance, taxes, legal fees, marketing” – are ever-growing factors these days. And they operate somewhat like friction in a physical system – enough of them and everything grinds to a halt. That’s a large part of why the USA is in such economic trouble. The factors you mention have created great inefficiency in American industrial production, with the result that production has migrated to other (more efficient even though arguably more primitive) countries. The “friction” has brought quite a few American assembly lines to a standstill.

I doubt that Soylent will fulfill very many of Rob’s early promises. It isn’t going to be cheap. It isn’t going to feed the world. And it isn’t going to revolutionise the food industry or anything else. For awhile it will be a geek and techie toy, a cool curiosity item; then it will either fail, or else take its place alongside scores if not hundreds of other nutritional shakes and drinks – if and only if it can carve out a niche market for itself. Which market might not be geeks and techies, because when the novelty wears off most of them will probably move on to newer cool toys.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m far too pessimistic. But pessimism is all to often the most realistic stance these days.


#9

I agree that there are a good deal of reasons why the price wouldn’t drop, but hopefully Soylent doesn’t join the ranks of expensive nutrition shakes and instead takes its place as an easily acquired staple food. I will keep my fingers crossed. Soylent has the potential to actually make a difference in a lot of lives if it keeps its original goals close at heart


#10

I do agree with what you say, provi. It will take a lot of grit and determination on the part of the Soylent Corp. officers to make it happen that way. Let’s hope that money and the corporate mould don’t prevail at the cost of those original goals and ideals. In one way the community response to the crowdfunding campaign was marvellous, and in another it could so backfire… but let’s hope not!


#11

Since it will be open source, Soylent is in my view a concept rather then a product. It is really easy to get the ingredients and it is harder to bake pancakes then to mix these to a solid Soylent. Therefore i have a strong believe that this concept holds significant promises.


#12

I kind of agree. Although the odds of you over dosing on pancakes is a lot smaller margin then you over dosing on a micro nutrient incorrectly measured in Soylent.

Other than the cost of my DIY I am starting to like my version. I am really hopeful that the real Soylent will be cheaper, so that I can augment some of my recipe and decrease some of my cost.


#13

I guess it will end up for the price to be if they are doing this for cheaper food and world hunger as they say or if it’s just another product where they can makes money.


#14

Is there are reason it can’t be for both cheaper food and making money? The two goals are not mutually exclusive.


#15

The two goals are not mutually exclusive – as long as your production line is in Singapore, Vietnam, or Taiwan. :wink:


#16

I guess I should have worded this differently I guess. It depends if the only thing that matters is making money or cheaper food. Now it is mutually exclusive :smile:


#17

That is not saying that they can not make money but it depends if it is more important for cheaper food or making more money to the sellers.


#18

I suspect they have already discovered that it isn’t going to be easy, perhaps not even possible to attain both goals when contracting-out the supply side from a US firm, whilst at the same time confronting the harsh realities of accounting, marketing, taxation, and making due provision for possible legal fees (almost a certainty I’m afraid) for Soylent Corporation. It’s easy to go into something like this with a lot of naive and idealistic expectations but 3/4 million in preorders is a big does of reality-check. Those orders must be filled and I expect the first serious conversations with their supplier made it obvious that said supplier probably didn’t share much of the idealism. And there is always the spectre of Big Food waiting in the wings, Nestlé primarily. If soylent goes anywhere sales-wise you can bet our guys will be hearing from them one way or another.


#19

IMHO you could always offer the ingredients to the public and let them combine them themselves. This would certainly lower the cost to you and the consumer. You would only be concerned with stocking the mass supllies of the ingredients. Sell a kit with the recipe and all the seperate ingredients and let the consumer mix it up. just a thought…


#20

Nestle does not get excited about a product with $1 million in sales. They may consider competing if Soylent starts generating sales in the $50 million range. It’s a different business model, anyway. Soylent will be direct to consumer for the foreseeable future, anyway, which is not a model Nestle is interested in.