Long-run Soylent Price


#1

In one of the threads I was looking through earlier today there was some discussion on the long-term price of Soylent and the fact that Rob’s original plan was to create a meal replacement that was inexpensive enough to help solve hunger problems on a global scale.

Personally, lack of culinary ability or desire means I spend WAY too much on food on a regular basis so to get down to $250 a month will be pretty amazing, but I’m really looking forward to the day that food could become a neglible portion of my monthly expenses. I’m wondering if anyone has insight into any of the following questions:

-Does Soylent have a price target (officially or unofficially) they are trying to reach?
-Is there any plan to reduce the price of Soylent in the short-term?
-How much would Soylent realistically need to cost to replace a subsistence diet in a developing nation?


#2

With this, it should be about $200-225/month, and as quoted, this should be in August. As for how much it needs to cost to replace the diet of a developing nation, it depends on how many purchase it in the long run, as well as how ambitious they’re willing to be. With only 20,000 currently buying it on a monthly basis, it wouldn’t be feasible to pay for the diet of an entire developing nation unless you want to pay $600 per month.


#3

Just want to mention that quote is from nearly 1 year ago, when we were projecting to ship in August 2013.


#4

Any updates on that?


#5

Oh wow. That’s embarrassing. I didn’t even realize that when I saw the quote a couple days ago.


#6

So any new updates on that then? $250 is an awful lot of money for me for monthly food expenses.


#7

The price actually went up slightly between the original crowdfunding and the pre-order stages. I added another month to my order just last week and had to pay the pre-order price for it, even though I was an original backer.

The price should drop somewhat if production scales up. Realistically though, a certain percentage of the people getting the original orders won’t be reordering for one reason or another, so there’ll be an initial drop that they’ll have to make back in new customers just to keep from having to increase prices. With the success of Soylent and the investors they’ve got behind them, I’m sure they’ve already got a plan to do some advertising and increase their customer base once production is rolling and initial orders have been sent out.

There’s been some discussion about switching from rice protein to algae protein. I’m not sure if that’d cause the price to change or not.

There are major logistical issues that would need to be dealt with in order to use Soylent to help solve world hunger. It’s probably going to require having some way to make the stuff semi-locally instead of shipping from the US and possibly altering the recipe to use locally sourced (and hopefully cheaper) ingredients. There’s also the matter of funding. It would be great if Rosa Labs could spin up a non-profit to do this type of thing on a global scale, but the money has to come from somewhere and I assume they’re still too new to even consider something like “we’re going to donate x% of sales of Soylent to our non-profit org that gives out free Soylent to the poor”. I think it’d be great if they could maybe sponsor a local homeless shelter and provide free Soylent meals even just one day a week though.

If price is a primary concern for you for your personal Soylent consumption, there are supposed to be some really good DIY soylent recipes on http://diy.soylent.me that are even cheaper than the official stuff.


#8

I’d say the biggest issue with Third-World countries is lack of a reliable clean water supply.


#9

$250/month is ~$8/day for food or ~$60/week. According to the US Dept. of Agr. [1] this is between “low” and “moderate” cost for an adult male. If they can get it below $225, it would be firmly in the “low” category – but still higher than the USDA’s “thrifty” diet.

[1] PDF with fascinatin’ numbers: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2014/CostofFoodJan2014.pdf


#10

The issue is that most of the people complaining about the cost live in countries where food is cheaper, for whatever reason.


#11

I know a lady that she and her 2 kids only have a budget of about $100 per week for food. Soylent sounded like something that would be perfect for someone in her situation, IF it was much cheaper. Since they purchase everything in great quantities you would think that the price would be lower the most DIY, but it really isn’t.


#16

If Soylent stays at $250 per month I won’t be renewing.

I can buy a week’s worth of Jevity cans for less than $50 which comes to $200 a month. These are already prepared [no mixing required] , developed by nutritionist, and are used medically for people who can’t eat solid food.

My “grocery budget” is about $100-200 a month. I don’t eat much and I know where I can find cheaper food. Now many “Dollar Trees,” where everything is $1 has all kinds of food available.

The reason I liked soylent is I work 60 hours a week. I live by myself. I don’t have time to sleep, much less to cook. I hate preparing food. Typically I end up eating something microwaveable or from a drive-thru. Or something that is already packaged and no preparation is required. Due to my lack of time, it’s very difficult to eat healthy and to stick to a diet. I don’t have time to go to the gym, because I am working too much, so to lose weight all I can do is watch my calories. Convenience is very important for me, but convenience is so hard to find when it comes to healthy eating.

In the commercials for Soylent they kept throwing around the number $50 per month. I think it was misleading. From my understanding the initial price point was to help fund the project and then it would go down significantly.

As it is, I don’t think I can afford $250 a month. I can buy real actual food with that. The point of Soylent was to be a cheap, convenient, easy replacement for real food. But $250 a month is not cheap. And really $8 a day? Who spends that kind of money on a daily basis? We have bills to pay.

I don’t think broke single college-aged guys is an appropriate target market for this product as it is presented. I can empathize with Rob’s story of not having enough time, and trying to cut costs in any way possible to survive. But as it stands, I don’t think it’s affordable for that demographic.

I guess we’ll have to stick to Ramen noodles until the price hopefully goes down. http://www.groceries-express.com/default.asp?upc=4178950211 You can get a 36-pack for $9.55 2 of those should last you about a month, which comes out to under $20…


#17

Please let us know where you can get this price, I’m sure there are some here who would be interested in getting that same discount.

You need 45oz of Jevity per day if you buy the 1.5kcal/ml version. So that means you will need to eat 5.63 cans every day for a 2000 calorie diet.

The current price I am seeing on Amazon of $42.75 is for 24 cans (8oz).

  • 24 cans at 5.63 cans/day would give you 4.26 days worth.
  • You would need 6.57 cases for 28 days.
  • 6.57 cases at $42.75 is $280.99.

So while it’s not a big difference in price, it is still more expensive than subscribing for 4 weeks. Please also keep in mind that this is designed for tube feed patients, not to simply drink. I quickly looked at the reviews and it looks like most folks are using it through a tube, the couple of reviews that mention taste were divided on the palatability.

I know there is a lot of divide for food budgets represented in this forum. Personally pre-soylent I was at about $600/mo on food. I am saving a lot over what I was spending, but I can understand why you may prefer not to make the switch from your regular food since you are able to eat for so much less than I. The big downside as you say is the poor nutrition you are getting, so you need to decide if it is worth pulling the extra $100 from something else in your budget, if you currently have any luxury items in your budget (TV/high speed web/video or game service/hobbies/gym often take a good portion for some).

You can easily make a DIY recipe within your current budget. I have found it only takes a couple of hours per month, and is saving me a fair amount of time. I imagine it would also save you time by cutting out shopping, etc, and can be done easily during a down time activity like watching TV. You could do it like I do once a month in a couple of hours, or spend 20-30 minutes per week.

Not a good choice, please don’t. I have before when money was tight, just don’t, not if you can avoid it.


#18

I agree that Soylent is expensive for now but your diet of drive-thrus and ramen noodles is going to literally get you killed - but not without torturing you before.

Why not take a look at some http://diy.soylent.me recipes and find one that fits your price range? If you don’t have time to prepare a diy recipe, why not still buy soylent but not consume it at every mean, to make it stretch? Have one soylent meal for breakfast and one for dinner, noodles and McD for lunch.


#19

any idea how many calories? if its 1500 calories, every three days you’d have an extra day of Soylent (roughly 37 days of Soylent off a 28 day subscript). That would bring it down to roughly 193USD a month for such a scenario.

I do also feel as though it should be mentioned that shipping is a part of the price of Soylent. So when you calculate your grocery budget, you should also include the cost of gas for when you go grocery shopping (for some people this is small enough to ignore, but some people live a good distance from a grocery store).


#20

My wife and I buy a lot of stuff at BJ’s so we can spend $400/month for the two of us, but with Soylent it would be much higher, plus I’m not sure my wife is even keen on the idea of Soylent, so then I’d have to buy Soylent and food each month.


#21

Or at least throw some frozen veggies in there with it. Frozen veggies are pretty cheap, too.


#22

I just read http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/ars-does-soylent-the-finale-soylent-dreams-for-people/ , from which i quote:


#23

It’s good to have dreams.


#24

It’s also good to be lucky.