Soylent Manufacturing Update 2/11


#1

We had a conference call with our copacker this morning, and have an update to share regarding the Soylent 1.0 manufacturing progress.

At this time we are in the ingredients sourcing phase, where truckloads of different ingredients are arrive at the factory and undergo quality assurance testing. At the outset of the manufacturing process, our copacker quoted ingredient lead times that ranged from 3-6 weeks, with the custom vitamin blend taking the longest.

On Friday, they informed us that the only supplier of the brown rice protein that we are committed to using (it has the finest mesh size available, which makes an enormous difference in texture) is experiencing supply issues due to a global rice shortage, and had to push back their delivery date several weeks.

The protein was scheduled to arrive in mid-February, and we are not sure what prevented the supplier from notifying us of this issue earlier. In an attempt to mitigate this issue, the copacker overnighted two samples of Soylent 1.0 made with a blend of different available rice proteins with a larger mesh size. Unfortunately, the taste and texture of rice protein isolate differs greatly between manufacturers — the samples were far too chalky and had a much less appetizing taste.

We and are extremely unhappy to report this development. This rice protein is available from a single supplier (which holds a patent on the mesh screens used), and the volume of our order has apparently temporarily overwhelmed their production capabilities. In the future we will be able to provide longer projections of our demand for rice protein, and they will be able to scale up production accordingly.

Our copacker has promised to expedite every possible aspect of the manufacturing process: QA testing of our ingredients (normally one of the most time-consuming parts of the process) will be accelerated, and once all the ingredients have arrived we will have top priority on the production line. Under this updated production schedule, they are predicting that packaging will begin on or around March 20, which means that the first shipments of Soylent would be made to campaign backers by the last week of March.

Answering the question of gluten-free certification is another important milestone that we will be reaching once all of the ingredients have been delivered and tested. To be certified gluten-free, Soylent must contain less than 20ppm gluten. Once a sample batch has been blended and tested, we will be releasing the results.

As far as we know, all the rest of the ingredients will be delivered on time, and there are no other supply issues that have arisen. Again, we understand that yet another delay is extremely disappointing to our supporters, and that receiving your first shipment of Soylent is something that many of you have been anticipating for many months. We get emails every day from supporters who share the preparations they have made around the receipt of their Soylent order — college meal plans foregone, pantries intentionally emptied, sharing their eager anticipation with friends, family, and colleagues — and know how inconvenient and upsetting each delay has been. We are lucky to have such patient and loyal partners in this long process, and cannot wait to share the fruits (or powder) of our labor with all of you.


#2

We all want you guys to make sure you get it right before shipping, but I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say: UGHHHHHH!!!

Okay, enough of that, love you guys haha.


#3

How confident are these folks in their ability to get the order delivered three-four weeks from now?


#4

I think we can be pretty confident – it’s likely that a large part of their February supply had already been committed to other customers, so they weren’t able to fulfill our entire order immediately. Now that we’re at the front of the line, so to speak, we should be able to get all of our protein by the time they specify.


#5

So does that mean some but not all early backers will still get their orders by end of february since you guys did get all your ingredients just not the ammount needed to fulfill everybodys order?


#6

I’m also interested in this. I thought they said the more you ordered the faster the shipping, so… how exactly does this work?

I’d be surprised if you guys had absolutely no rice protein, but could maybe see that you just didn’t have enough to make the manufacturing worthwhile?


#7

I for one would be willing to put up with chalky for my first month while waiting for the finer protein in my next months supply


#8

I agree! Even if it’s a horrible business move to have a first shipment taste horribly! Just looking at nutrition, and etc. makes me ALREADY sick of food (Not all, just feeling like I’m missing out on my nutrients).


#9

Yet anther set back yaaay who didn’t see this coming


#10

I imagine that even if they do have a partial shipment of the protien in hand the logistics of having two separate production runs just would not be feasible, or financially prudent. I would rather wait a few more weeks at this point than receive a product known to be inferior.

Thanks for the timely update about this delay, it is much appreciated.


#11

Thank you for the updates. It is thoughtful of you guys to keep us informed of what is going on. It’s also nice that you are focusing on the quality of the product and not just pushing something that is inferior out to market. I like that you want to get things right! I’ve already learned a lot about nutrition from this whole experiment. Thank you!


#12

:frowning:

Now I really look like a fool. “No, it’s coming. No, this is the final delay. Yeah, should finally have it beginning of March.” etc.

I understand it’s outside of your control, just incredibly frustrated and disappointed.

/useless_rant


#13

Seriously guys, I’m with antiman, I don’t care if it isn’t as good at first, I really want my soylent. I’m sure it’d be better than the crap that I otherwise eat. I was counting on having it by the time this semester started because I wouldn’t have time for food with 17 hours of high-level college and a full time job and a business start-up. I don’t care about the taste, I’ll get over the texture for the first month, may I PLEASE have a shipment of soylent?

I know that you want the highest quality product possible, but I’d honestly rather have it mostly good and sooner than perfect and later. Sitting on an empty order that I saved up money for months to be able to pay for is really hurting me financially, and it isn’t helping my situation with wanting to be healthier with convenience as soon as possible. I realize this is a plea of desperation, but isn’t there anything you can do? My ramen/soup/sandwiches diet can’t last much longer.


#14

What about follow-up orders? Are we able to expect that we’ll be able to continue to get soylent within any semblance of a reasonable amount of time? If this company is the only place you can manage to get the rice protein from, and they can’t handle your order now, how can we expect any level of consistency in the future?


#15

@juliomiles

Will you be leaving Backerkit open longer with this delay, or is it closing on the 15th?

Also, when will the Backerkit orders be charged, at lock down or later?


#16

If they don’t back up the backerkit, I’ll have to cancel and order later!


#18

Give more details about the supplier. Did you ask them if they would meet their obligation? Did they lie to you?


#19

Soylent sounds like a great company to do business with.

I should order some Soylent brand Door Mats. (Ba dum tiss)


#20

This is very fast becoming the stuff that the Electronics/Software industry is famous for…vaporware.

I am reminded of Steve Jobs when he was faced with some parts being delayed calling up there CEO and telling them should they not arrive at the promised time the contract would be canceled, Apple would pay whatever legal fee, and the threat that they never would do business again. Guess what…product arrived within the original time frame. You guys aren’t Apple but people respect tough people. Nice guys finish last usually. Last place and a dollar does not even get me a cup of coffee.

You guys can only do this so often before the novelty of your product becomes a fading memory.

Money has been taken, promises have been made. You want to fix this ship the product and throw in some freebees. Demanding excellence not only from your company but those that provide a product is paramount.


#21

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