Soylent Stacked, a review

Packaging, they came in a long box and 3x 4 packs, interesting packaging, As I expected they are smaller sized bottles.
Smell test and the chocolate is less pronounced than Cacao.
Taste test, not good at all. Swallow is ok but has a very chemical aftertaste that lingers
Will not be getting this as a subscription

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Yes, the packaging was nice. I didn’t mind the aftertaste. I don’t know if I’ll ever get it again. I am usually badly affected by coffee.

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Ugh, yeah that aftertaste is terrible. Lingers for like an hour too.

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Yeah, the taste is pretty bad. I did feel some extra mental focus gained by it at work, but I’m not sure it’s worth the taste. I probably won’t order more unless they fix the taste.

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I’m relieved others experience that taste as well. I thought it might be just me. And then I thought maybe it was spoiled (I tried it both room temperature and chilled to see if there was a difference, but no). Then I started to wonder about the design philosophy Soylent Co. used here. Obviously they know it has this taste and that’s going to be an adoption challenge. Was there an attitude like, “this is serious energy shit, and if you want the energy you’re going to suck up the taste because this isn’t some damn grape juice we’re making here”? If so, I kinda like that.

I should mention I’ve been on Soylent since 1.1, about 1/3 of my calories, and tried it in almost all its forms. When virgins ask me what it tastes like I tell them that’s not the point; it’s not like other food so you can’t judge it that way. It’s almost made me think we’ve gotten pretty fetishistic about taste; e.g. I work in New York City and pizza that people elsewhere would die for gets panned here for a sauce that’s a bit too sweet or crust that’s not the exact thinness and char.

Looking back at the Stacked blog post there’s a ton of information about the science, which is cool. But the marketing is still pretty neutral. I know that’s the company brand/vibe, but Soylent, if you’re listening, you’re kinda sitting on the marketing fence here in a way that people on either side (value taste / value performance) can’t access you.

This reminds me of the old VW Think Small campaign. The Beatle was really freaking small for the time, and the ad agency was like, let’s not apologize for that. That’s what Beatle buyers want, and that’s what we’re going to sell them, and we’re not going to apologize for it, we’re going to highlight it because it’s what makes us freakin’ awesome.

Imagine Solyent Co. ran an ad with a person with a scrunched up face and said, “Science doesn’t taste good…We have out-scienced everything else that goes into your mouth. You’ll have more energy, more focus, more… But it’s an “acquired” taste. Like, seriously acquired…”

With that I would keep my subscription. Without it I’m not so sure, because I’m not sure if they messed it up or if the taste is deliberate. Soylent, please get off the fence.

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I haven’t tried Stacked (and probably won’t, given the reviews), but you raise some really good points. I think the taste of Stacked has to be intentional, but someone on the R&D team may have gotten a little carried away,

Red Bull established their product with a distinctive and, to some, off-putting flavor. This wasn’t a botched attempt at a fruit punch or lemon-lime flavor, but was rather a marketing strategy to make a new flavor that could not be copied and was only identifiable as Red Bull (sources: coworker who was formerly a Red Bull employee and https://www.mashed.com/65507/untold-truth-red-bull/).

There are plenty of protein+energy drinks hitting the market now, though most of them rely on some sort of coffee and milk with added protein (dairy, soy, pea, etc) to accomplish that nutrient balance. Soylent already has their Cafe line to appeal to consumers seeking those flavors, so creating a new flavor for Stacked reduces the cannibalization of existing Cafe sales in hopes of gaining share in the energy drink market.

This seems like a decent strategy, though I do hope for the sake of everyone who’s ordered Stacked that one can acquire a taste for it.

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I won’t be giving this a try. It is not that I am not interested in the concept. It is that I don’t like the 180 calorie point. For me that is too much for a snack and not enough for a meal. I have stayed away from Bridge for the same reason. I wouldn’t mind seeing a cafe version with added nootropics tho.

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A bit like the Buckleys cough syrup commercials, “it tastes terrible but it works”

Surprised by the negative feedback regarding the taste of Soylent Stacked. I get the comments about a chemically taste, but I think it is mild and it doesn’t bother me. If anything, it tastes a little bit like Yoo-Hoo, which is admittedly not a raving review, but it doesn’t taste horribly. Also, it definitely does not have a lingering aftertaste for me.

More importantly, I think it does improve energy without making me jittery. Focus seems more clear as well.

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