I was surprised to find this wasn’t posted yet. This is Rob speaking in November at the 2014 Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
Something I hadn’t thought about before is tuning the recipe to the agriculture of the country (at least before we can fully synthesize it directly). The ingredients that work well in a US formula may not be feasible in India.
Yea, it sounds like India grows a whole lotta rice too. According to this site,
In terms of rice production, the country holds the second position all over the world. Rice is grown in approximately 34% of the overall cropped territory of the country. Rice production comprises 42% of the overall food crop production in the country.
They don’t seem to grow much potatoes, but safflower seeds are also one of their main crops! Maybe they can do a hybrid method, where half the formula is locally grown and half is imported.
Maybe Soylent can have regional codes when they start to reach global markets, like Soylent A for the Americas, Soylent B for Brazil, Soylent C for China etc.
My favorite part of that conference was when they got on the subject of fitting it into a pill or making the bag somehow even smaller, and Rob just casually says “I have some ideas…” I would have been the guy in the very back shouting “GO ON…”
Edit: I just realized Brazil is part of the Americas. Doof.
The people are the same anywhere. And their dietary requirements are the same. Also, If they have to start tuning the recipe according the food grown in various countries, it will be a logistical nightmare in terms of sourcing, making ,shipping etc well atleast for a still small company like RL.
What they could do instead is, keep the recipe the same (or recipes if they will still be two or three versions in the future too) but source the ingredients country wise or region wise (asia pacific, europe. americas etc). So if they want to sell in india, they should source the ingredients from india/asia. why? Because it will help with the pricing if they want to make it affordable to indians. Food raw material in india is cheaper as compared to other parts of the world. The current Soylents even if they cost 100 dollars a month, most indians wont buy it.
I wonder, if Indian Soylent is cheaper would American Soylent lose its customer base? Like nutritional outsourcing? The homepage of the site boasts about being made in America but I wonder if that’s really a perk? I mean, I don’t really care who makes the product just as long as I’m getting the cheapest option.
Its a perk for american society, with regard to job creation. Also quality control, food ingredients made or sourced in developed countries are in general more qualitative and risk free.
Good point… overseas knock off brands do seem to come with short shelf lives or other complications… although if the production can be simplified down to algae farms it would be hard to geographicaly place this or that formula.
Don’t really care about American society. I’ll take a lower price point any day. But if it’s a point that brings in more American customers (presumably leading to a price drop) might as well leave it on the list