Soylent needs to educate its customers or risk losing them


#1

Dear Rob Rhinehart and everyone in the @Soylent company,
Soylent is a dream come true for me. I waited 5 months to receive my first batch after ordering, and about about 2 years total from seeing Rob’s initial blog post. Right now, I am on a 90 meal plan per month subscription.

However, while I love soylent, not all of its customers experience the same ebullience. I recently talked to a seller on craigslist (I convinced my buddy to buy the batch - it was a great deal - 2 weeks supply for $40) who gave up soylent because he said it tasted like oatmeal and gave him gas.

I see on the forums the gas is a common complaint and I assume many people are simply stomaching the grittiness. If you are on the forum you know that gas is because of the fiber content and should subside after a few weeks. But if you were a regular customer (and not a member of this forum) you might not know this and be therefore tempted to give soylent up, thinking that it is a weird chemical concoction which your body could not digest.

Also as far as the grittiness goes…I cannot drink soylent directly after mixing it, yuck! I have to let it sit for several hours (usually overnight) in the refrigerator after mixing it. This way the grittiness goes away and it becomes very smooth like a milkshake. How would a new customer know to do this? They wouldn’t! They might try soylent, perceive its gritty texture, and give it up.

I think soylent needs to educate its customers about how to alleviate both of these problems. Or else just like the craigslist seller, new customers may want to give it up. I understand everyone might not share my love of this drink but I would hate for interested people to be dissuaded because of a bad initial experience. Get on it, soylent!!!

Your customer,
JC

P.S. I e-mailed the craigslist seller after I bought it and explained to him what to do. Hopefully he comes back to the family.

Unrelated - Does anyone else add canola oil to their soylent? I add about 3/4 cup per day. I burn a lot of energy and it helps make it more satiating as well. This puts it at about 3,000 calories for me. Also if anyone is a polyphasic sleeper you will find that soylent helps with this too. I can polyphasic sleep with almost no problems when I don’t have a heavy meal making me groggy whenever I try to wake up.


#2

Jeez, 3/4 cup of canola oil is about 1,400 calories. That makes your Soylent about 3,400 calories. That’s a little too much.


#3

There’s more to the gas than just the fiber. For some people the gas never goes away no matter how long they use Soylent. A number of users are waiting for the issue to be fixed before they buy more.


#4

Also, the change to v1.3 definitely made a difference for some of us, as evidenced by having v1.2 left over to try as a comparison. There’s a lot of fiber in both, but only one was deadly.


#5

Well, of course it tastes like Oatmeal, it’s one of the main ingredients. Can’t please everyone’s taste buds. Only way to do so is to offer different flavor options or flavor drops with orders maybe.

I’ve heard that the real culprit to the gas problem isn’t the fiber but one of the supplements in Soylent; I think it had to do with the sort of magnesium supplement in Soylent tends to give people gas and if this was changed to another form that it could prevent the gas. At least this is what I’ve read on the forums.

I never thought of Soylent as gritty but then again I am used to oat smoothies that I always made for myself way before Soylent. Oatmeal has a great sweet flavor but not everyone thinks so. The grittiness might be due to drinking the Soylent right away instead of keeping it in the fridge for a few hours. Perhaps it could be blended but that cuts down on the convenience factor but not by much.


#6

The following quotes are from that little booklet included in the 7 day meal boxes -

“Texture is improved by the use of room temperature water during preparation, but for best taste Soylent should be consumed at 41 degrees F or below. To consume Soylent immediately after preparation, chill with ice.”

“Like any change in diet, eating Soylent may cause side effects such as flatulence, bloating, and headaches as your body adjusts to this, new, nutrient-and-fiber-rich food. To mitigate potential digestive concerns, follow these guidelines:
01 Slowly build your consumption of Soylent to allow your body time to adjust.
02 If you start to experience side effects while increasing consumption, try reducing your Soylent intake to previous levels and give your body more time to adapt.
03 Over-the-counter digestive enzymes (Beano) and/or simethicone (Gas-X) can help reduce these issues.”

This information is included in every single box of Soylent. I don’t really know how the folks at Soylent can make this information any clearer. Maybe an instructional dvd? The information is there, you just have to read it.


#7

I never had the gas problem. There are lots of people who add flavoring to their Soylent. I haven’t heard that people refuse to drink oatmeal because it tastes like oatmeal, so why would they refuse to drink Soylent for the same reason?


#8

Not to mention, some of us LIKE the grittiness. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I actually really enjoy that Soylent has a texture that prompts me to chew occasionally. It keeps me from feeling deprived, because it feels like I’m eating food, if that makes any sense. If I didn’t want any texture in my life, I’d just drink water and make my own smoothies.


#9

Not true! I’ve been eating Soylent for over 4 months. Close to 80% of my meals. The gas problem does not go away. I’m putting lots of generic Beano into every batch I make (unless I’m making V1.1 which I still have a few days left.)

If you use an immersion (stick) blender to mix it, you can get the smooth milkshake like texture almost immediately. (letting it sit in the fridge for 10-15 min helps but not entirely necessary)


#10

I tried the soaking method myself and never got rid of the grittiness. In fact, it didn’t become any different than what I now get by shaking it in my blender bottle. The blender contraption really does break up the clumps in a way I never managed with the pitcher. I’ve tried throwing it in a blender and then letting it soak in the pitcher and even that didn’t make a noticeable difference.

So these days, I prepare a single serving in a blender bottle (110 g of powder, shake, and then pour in about 11 g of oil) and it’s OK. Not wonderful, OK.

Eve


#11

Soylent needs to serve its customers or risk losing them.


#12

Personally I use a blender bottle and whatever “grittiness” is left after shaking one serving of freshly made soylent is desirable to me. Makes it less of a drink (juice/milk/water) and more shake-like or food-like. That aside, I do prefer it chilled for a few hours.

The gas never hit me, I’m still personally using v1.0 and love it. Sadly I’m still waiting for my order I made a while back. If I had known how bad the shipping turnaround for reorders was I’d have likely asked @Soylent for a much larger order.


#13

What I’ve done about the chilled thing is that I keep a container with 450 ml of water in the fridge at all times and use that to mix it. It makes it mix more easily and makes the drink cold.

Eve


#14

I also agree that I feel 1.3 has improved the gas issue a lot.


#15

Agreed, gas is a huge problem for me. I’ve been eating 66%+ Official Soylent for several months, tried beano ( extensively ), tried consuming very slowly, tried probiotics… still the rancid gas persisted. I just sold my backlog and have my subscription on hold. going back to DIY for now… Once I read people here saying the gas is gone, then I’d like to come back. But as it is, it’s just such an unpleasant experience to have nasty gas all the time.


#16

I preferred the more textured 1.0 to the 1.2, yeah.

Also, I like oatmeal. Even unflavored.


#17

For whatever it’s worth, as I just posted in another thread… I’m finally on 1.3 and have noticed all my gas has vanished entirely. So it is definitely not just the fiber.

And I’ve never thought it tasted anything like oatmeal… but then I don’t eat plain oatmeal. And a few drops of Stevia per pitcher (6 or 7 for us) makes even the less-sweet 1.3 taste really great IMO.


#18

@vanclute , interestingly I had same huge improvement with version 1.3 . Both 1.1 and 1.2 gave me some gas, probably twice more than average. Since 1.3 - no gas.
I’m having about twice per week non-Soylent food (about 95% Soylent).

Several days ago my friend shared delicious wrapped sandwich with tomatoes, cheese, greenery, and sliced turkey. Just after 2 hours I had worst ever gas till the evening.

Luckily at home my Soylent was waiting for me, so I could pour it in stomach to get back to my diet.
It was very unexpected that some sandwich can give me immediate reaction after diet solely on Soylent.


#19

That is interesting… there was another thread that discussed what food combinations seemed to result in more gas than others with Soylent, and I’ve noticed similar. Sometimes after conventional food I’ll notice gas where I normally don’t at all, though I haven’t been paying enough attention to it to quantify it. I guess it’s not that surprising, and would probably be hard to distill down to a specific list of “will produce gas” foods anyway since everyone’s digestion is different. But at least you know for you! :slight_smile:


#20

1.2 is definitely a little oatmealy.

I’m interested to see people saying 1.3 improved gas issues when RL themselves mentioned that they haven’t yet addressed the gas issues. I’ve still got about two weeks supply of 1.2 to get through before I reorder; I’ve been holding out for 1.4 but after seeing these posts I might not wait