A long time user, with some feedback for the Soylent team. This has been brought up and been shut down in a couple of older threads, but I had an experience with a group of would-be Soylent using co-workers last night that I thought you should hear. I have been a proponent of Soylent since I first heard of it. I ordered the day I saw it, and haven't looked back. Good times and bad. I tell everyone that asks what's in my 1.9L Hydra-Flask about Soylent. I have given glass fulls, and even the occasional bag all across the country to let people try it. So there's my enthusiasm level. Love it.
Last night I was sitting at a conference table with 6 co-workers I had never met (big company-travel a lot). One of them asked about the 'jug'. I kept it simple just saying it's my food, and it went from there. About ten minutes later, they were all looking it up online, taking pictures of the bag, etc. All 6 very excited about it. Then one of the ladies asked if there was GMO. I told her yes. That was a show stopper for all but one of them. It was literally like someone popped a ballon. This post is about perception, not the safety of GMO. This happens almost weekly. I work with 4-6 different people in my company every week. Rarely more than one of them twice in a year. Between the co-workers and the hotel and restaurant staff, drivers, etc, I have exposed Soylent to probably close to 700 people in the last 7-8 months. It just finally really caught my attention last night, so I started revisiting my experiences sharing Soylent over the last several months. I even realized that 6 out of 7 people I interact with on a daily basis won't touch Soylent, specifically because of the GMO.
Last nights group of 6 included a 62 year old male, and 5 females from the age of 22-60 (ish). Other than the female to male ratio, a fairly wide demographic of age, income, and background. One of the ladies responded, "that doesn't make sense, it goes against what it would seem like they are trying to do."
The following are my observations. All of the people I know that are not techies, that are concerned with their health, regard GMO's as unhealthy. I am not saying they are unhealthy, I am saying the people I know have the perception that they are unhealthy. Soylent will not succeed in changing anyone's mind about that debate, but they may be missing a large number of would be customers if they don't acknowledge that perception. This may also hinder greatly the amount of countries that Soylent can be shipped to as a food product. I would offer that as soon as things get a little settled in the home office of Soylent, you all might want to do some serious fact finding on this particular thought regarding the perceptions of future customers. Not because GMO's are good or bad, but because the future customers of Soylent, both in the US and around the world, are going to spend money based on their perception of what is good or bad, not science.