Some Constructive Critisism and Suggestions


#1

I have found Soylent to be an amazing product and I plan to continue to use it when possible for the rest of my life. That being said, I have a few criticisms and suggestions on how to adress them.
Serving Vs. Meal
As far as I understand one serving of soylent, or two scoops of soylent powder contains 400 calories. A more nutrition knowlegable person would know that this is not nearly enough to nourish a physically active adult male (for example), but a less nutrition knowlegable person (like myself when I first started using Soylent) may not know this. Many aspects of soylent’s marketing and key parts of its purchasing process seem to conflate one serving with one meal, this may confuse laymen who may attempt to subsist on one serving per meal and then quit when this does not work.
One suggestion I thought of that could allow customers to make better informed purchases as well as increase customer satisfaction and retention is to 1.) refrain from conflating servings with meals 2.) add a calculator to the Soylent website that calculates the customer’s height, weight, age, gender, and general level of physical activity and then provides a suggestion of how many servings the customer should consume per meal for optimal results (I used a similar calculator found on google to determine my soylent meal plan moving forward).
Shape of and Materials Used To Make The Pitcher
I received a free pitcher with my first purchase of soylent, initially I used it for all of my soylent needs but stopped when I found that it retained a rancid smell that wouldnt go away if I didnt wash it right away. Now i know what you’re thinking: “Why not just wash it right away?” But lets be fair, we are all human, we forget things sometimes, and forgetting just a few times will leave you with a pitcher that stinks forever. Glass doesn’t have this problem, so I think a glass Soylent container would be an excelent addition to the soylent product line up. On that note I have also found that the shape of the pitcher is a problem, and I realized this through something of a happy accident. Back before I realized that one serving ≠ one meal and after I decided to stop using the pitcher, I bought two 14 oz glass bottles to use with one serving each, one was cylinder shaped, the other was shaped like a lightbulb and bought for the novelty. I found that the cylinder shaped bottles are not nearly as efficient as the bulb shaped bottles for the task of mixing soylent powder and water by shaking it up. I found that it took up to 15 minutes to mix soylent in the pitcher and in the cylindrical bottle whereas mixture was instant when using the bulb shaped bottle. It is for this reason that I strongly suggest that future models of the soylent pitcher be bulb shaped. I also suggest that the pitchers should come in a variety of sizes to hold individual servings or individual meals.
These have been my criticisms and sugestions. I hope you will take them into account.


#2

Some feed back on the suggestions to show our thought process. Ultimately most men are not active and given our increasing sedentary job culture the 2000 kcal diet is a bit of a weird some, some people only require 1500 or 1600 kcals to remain as they are. But how do you define not working?

As far as a calculator, it’s nearly a moot point if someone is not 100% in on Soylent. Other elements of their diet would throw off any calculations. The average person is quite bad at calorie counting. It is something we explored a lot in 2015, but our conclusion from beta testing was that it would never accurately give people the right info if they only used Soylent for part of their diet. Beyond that the products goal is just to be food, not weight loss, not gain, and that also runs contrary to what most sites use body calculators to do.

We are moving to a small blender bottle in the next few months, pitcher will still be on the site for purchase, but the new blender bottle will take it’s place going out for new subs.

Solid suggestions and i’ll definitely bring up the calculator to the engineering team again as we start working on more web elements to the Soylent experience.


#3

Regarding 400 calories not working, what I meant is that even for a sedentary male of average height and weight it wouldn’t be possible to subsist on that amount. I have tested it out and it really doesnt work for me. Basically what i would do if i wanted to make such a calculator (which I do not possess the skills to do) I would design it to give two types of results, one being a suggestion for daily portion intake for people who want to 100% subsist on soylent, and the other suggesting per meal portions. The per meal portion suggestion would be calculated by dividing the daily calories needs of the person by three.
I understand you would have the problem of various dietary habits, but I think its better than just portraying the minimum amount as a whole meal (because for many people it wont be). Many people will just assume that because the website says one serving is equal to a meal that this is universally true for everyone, and when 400 calories is not enough for them they will just assume that the product doesnt work and stop using it. My humble suggestion is going to to remain moving your marketing and the information on your website away from saying that 400 calories or two scoops of the powder is a full meal and just refer to it as a serving. It will clear up a whole lot of confusion.


#4

The active workout types sometimes eat more than 3 meals a day, So calling it a meal doesn’t dictate that you can only have 3 a day. When I was on the bottles, I think they were designed for 5 a day to meet the FDA standard of 2000 daily calories. If I drank 5, I would gain weight but since the daily nutrients were divided up over 5 bottles and I only drank 4, I took a multi-vitamin and added fiber and more protein. This killed the convenience of just grabbing a bottle out of the fridge. I wished they had produced a “lite” version with less calories (and more fiber). Women might also drink these and they don’t typically need a huge amount of calories, so they might want a lite version also. This would complicate manufacture though, with an additional line of product, not to mention all the flavors for both.


#5

If one bottle of Soylent for breakfast doesn’t work for you, try two. I have found that having extra Soylent early works well and carries through the rest of the rest of the day so you don’t end up starving. Also, don’t try to find a consistent pattern and stick to it forever. Keep listening to your body. What worked for you yesterday might not be best today.


#6

@Tea_Bagging - 400 Calories is a good average and based on Soylent’s nutrition facts, it would seem to suggest doing five meals a day which is 2000 Calories total. On average a man’s TDEE will be 2500 Calories while a woman’s will be 2000. This can vary of course, but it won’t be anything crazy. The most variance that you’ll find in anyone mostly normal is probably going to be 1200-3000.

Also, not everyone eats three meals a day, and going a step further there isn’t any particular benefit to doing so. The calculator function that you’re suggesting would need to account for how many meals a person consumes each day. Personally, I use the powder version of Soylent and I do two 500 Calorie Soylent meals while I’m working through the weekdays. Overall, I do about 2700 Calories a day across five meals and I would describe myself as very active. Soylent consists of almost a third of my nutrition through the week.

@Conor - Good points. Soylent is an easily accessible source of complete nutrition. It’s straight forward and doesn’t require a deeper understanding of nutrition. A calculator (while useful) would have to be made carefully as to avoid confusion.


#7

I dunno, as an early adopter who found the 500 calorie serving size awkward, I thought breaking meals into 400 calories each was a good move. I suspect there aren’t many people who eat four meals a day and it’s usually more or less than that. 400 calories gets me from 7 AM to 12:30 or so, and I’m not exactly a shrimp (5’11", 200lbs, cis male), so it’s a meal as far as I’m concerned.


#8

i strongly agree with the "lite version"suggestion. This is one of teh reasons I don’t drink it anymore. The calories and fat are currently too much. I hope that someday there will be a high carb, low fat , low calorie verison available for sale… I always found myself feeling lethargic after drinking soylent. I think it has to do with the high fat content in the product. Not everyone will feel the same on this stuff. It is a “blanket product”, designed to meet the needs of the average human being.

Until then Soylent releases a “lite version”, all we can do is wait and discuss lol. The idea of Soylent is very appealing to me. Even though I don’t find the current product to be on par with my lifestyle, I still happily support it and want to do more to be part of the community :slight_smile:


#9

Soylent will always be limited as long as it uses soy protein. The original idea was that it would be hypoallergenic and suitable for everyone. Finding a good protein source has been their biggest challenge for sure.


#10

Before they started manufacturing Soylent, the plan was to have separate versions for men and women. I delayed my first order by a month or so waiting for a response to an email I sent asking about the two versions. I never got a response so I just went ahead and ordered about August 2013 - then waited a year to receive it. I’m happy with the product. Just thought you’d like to know that I recall that the idea was contemplated by the company previously.


#11

If you are looking for lower calorie, low fat, and high carb product, you are much more likely to find it from a competitor than wait for Soylent to offer it. Seems that they have clearly decided to go away from that direction. I think they did this for higher satiation, better digestion, lower glysemic index/load, and lower levels of heavy metals.

That being said, I’d love to try a high carb version for variety.


#12

I just use a whole food plant based diet rather than any [roduct :slight_smile: But I do keep 25 bags of soylent in the cupboard for an emergency. If I’m in a financial bind or need something super quick and can make a day’s worth of food in a few minutes hehe :slight_smile: Thank you for the suggestion though!


#13

I have never used the Soylent pitcher or Soylent powder, just buying 2.0 premixed in a bottle instead. Somewhere I saw a Youtube where a Soylent powder-mixer also mentioned the rancid smell from his pitcher no mater how well he washed it. At some point, he discovered that the whole spout and handle part of the bottle could be detached from the clear bottle. This gap between the handle/spout and the bottle was where some Soylent was hiding and never getting properly washed out. I don’t know if the current pitcher is constructed in the same way.