Soylent should be called "Elven Cakes"


#1

Remember in Lord of the Rings (the books) how the elves gave the main protagonists these little cakes to keep them fed on their journey? Frodo and company were sustained by these things and it took a very long time before they got bored of them.

Elven cake batter? I don’t know. I just think this stuff deserves a better name than Soylent, although it is an amusing name.


#2

Yep, that would be Lembas.

Also of note would be Cram, and my personal favorite, Dwarf Bread. :wink:


#3

The name Soylent links to that movie in people’s brains and provides a topic of conversation. It is marketing genius. Not that many of us have memorized LOTR, and “Elven Cakes” certaily doesn’t do it for me. If anything it implies a hippiesque and thus obsolete food. Dwarf food or whatever have the same disadvantage. Besides, it’s too late now.


#4

I would not buy something called Elven Cakes. And I like LOTR.


#5

But would you buy something called Lembas? I might. Whenever I explain Soylent, the only reaction I’ve gotten so far is, “Wait, like Soylent Green? Didn’t that have people in it in the movie? Gross.”


#6

Do Elven Cakes have elves in them?

Eve


#7

And no further conversation? No, there is always more conversation.


#8

Lembas is known best to Men as waybread.


#9

Lembas and waybread! Thanks guys! I never would have remembered that.


#10

I don’t believe Rosa Labs could have devised a superior marketing package than what they did with “Soylent”

Putting the obvious references to the movie aside (which I know little about apart from the shared name and famous “Soylent green is people” quote), you have an entire food brand focused around this clean futuristic theme (utopian sci-fi) which reinforces its qualities and goals as a product. In addition you have this perfect blend of smaller details that continue this reinforcement and theme throughout the brand. Such as the way Soylent is treated as a software development project with version tracking. In addition the name is recognizable, clean/simple, and just controversial enough to trigger conversation on a broad spectrum.

If Soylent had ANY other name or theme I feel it would not perform nearly as well as it has, especially with a fantasy related or non-modernized theme. It simply wouldn’t give off the same “Advancement in Food” vibe it does now. As it stands Soylent has a similar charm to Apple and Tesla’s style of marketing which lends immensely to its success and persona of “advancement”. Overall this type of clean branding has been vastly successful in tech industries but hasn’t been applied to the foods stuff industry until Soylent (at least not that I have seen or not in such a way that it had the same market impact opportunity Soylent created). If we could take the exact same product and rebrand it with a LOTR or any similar theme I believe we would find people turned off by the whatever name was created and associate the product with a long list of brand crushing assumptions. (These are just my own term assumptions: ex. “old”, “poor”, “Non-Scientific”, etc.)

Just my 2 cents… I’m sure if they named and themed the product after something in LOTR you would see a small cult following of fans who would like it, Soylent however works on it’s own with or without knowledge of the reference and manages to get the product message across in all scenarios.


#11

Apparently it’s a reference to the book, not the movie:

The young scientist said he stopped eating normal food for 30 days and gulped down his formula, called Soylent, after Soylent Green from the book Make Room! Make Room! Not to be confused with “Soylent Green,” the sci-fi film about an overpopulated New York City distributing food rations first thought to be “plankton” wafers but later turned out to be made of human flesh.

Although I have yet to read the book or see the movie. :frowning:


#12

I’ve read the book and seen the movie several times.

In the book, there are “soylent steaks” and “soylent burgers” which are soybean and lentil textured vegetable protein. There’s no “Soylent corporation”, unlike the movie, “Soylent” isn’t a proper noun, and the soylent products aren’t made from people.

On an interesting note, in the book the totally unsupportable nightmare overpopulation level of the USA in the year 2000 is 344 million people. That’s less than 10% higher than today’s actual US population. That’s because the book predates the visible effects of the Green Revolution, which basically temporarily saved us from seeing billions starve. Of course, that just means we’re likely to see even worse mass starvation this century once industrial agriculture collapses due to water shortages and severe weather.

The movie added the cannibalism angle because the movie studio thought nobody would go to watch a preachy movie about overpopulation, and cannibal movies were big at the time.


#13

Maybe in the future there will be an article on Wikipedia about the Soylent Revolution (Beige Revolution?).