I wrote this on the subreddit a few weeks ago but forgot to post it here, it came to mind because I’m within viewing distance for running out of powder.
History of pricing:
- first with the powder they started around $9 a day + free shipping if you purchased the highest order, and IIRC more like $12 a day if you had a one-week subscription.
- then at some point they got rid of bulk discount while reducing the base price, which means it cost the same to get a 1-week subscription as a 4-week subscription, which was and is currently $7.71 a day.
- when 2.0 released it cost $348 for a month’s worth, around $12.18 per day.
- when 2.0 launched on Amazon Rosa Labs increased its price (reduced subscription discount) so 2.0 is now about $388 a month or $13.60 per day. You can get it down to $12.18 again if you fuss with the Amazon subscription thing to maximize their sub benefit and buy a lot of 2.0, but it’ll always be more expensive from Rosa Labs’ website.
- Coffiest came out and it’s slightly more expensive than 2.0, IIRC around 15% more expensive.
- Food Bar is now $1.83 per bar with subscription and the first product to not have free shipping, although it does become free if you subscribe for more than 1 box. This is $14.64 per day.
In short 2.0, Coffiest, and Food Bar are progressively more expensive than each other (2.0 even increased in price) and they are all priced comparable to fast food, which is fairly expensive. The powder product 1.6 is their “inexpensive, healthy, fast nutrition” that’s priced comparable to groceries, which they intend to lower the price even more and I believe them since they’ve already done it once.
I understand 2.0 and Coffiest and similar things were always going to be their premium, higher-margin products because shipping all that extra water weight fundamentally excludes them from being very cheap, so why not go for tasty, convenient, and premium. It’s made more acceptable by the fact that they’re investing in clinical trials and algae GMO science to push the field forward.
However Food Bar is different. Straight from Rob’s mouth most of 2.0’s cost is shipping water weight. The bar form-factor does not have a significantly higher weight than powder. This bar product could have been a second “inexpensive, healthy, fast nutrition” to accompany the powder given that the manufacturing costs should not be much higher.
I do not prefer to drink my meals, I want solid food. I’ve been waiting for Rosa Labs to deliver a solid form because they’re the company doing complete foods the best and they have the best goals and most means to achieve them. TL;DR The fact they chose to make their solid form a premium product rather than an affordable product is very disappointing. If they plan to continue along this path and only offer powder I’ll probably switch from RL’s powder to Joylent’s twenny bars since they’re actually pricing it at $10 a day not $15.
I think I joked about this before, that soylent will have made it when we can have complete nutrition pizza out of our replicators. Drinking hastily mixed powder is just a mean to the end of achieving complete foods in formats that are actually enjoyable to consume. Now that enjoyable, solid food is coming to the market I’m afraid RL will fall behind their competition in general as they have personally with me.