Soylent Variety


#1

This is an idea that’s been floating around in one form or another forever. I think that it might be time for RL to take it seriously: parallel product lines. I don’t just mean 1.x and 2.x (and presumably 3.x, whenever the solid form factor or paste comes out). Rather I mean 1.xa and 1.xb, etc., or 1.5a and 1.5b for what we’ve got now. The “a” and “b” would refer to varieties that are tailored to specialized groups or interests, but that are sizeable enough to make it worth having the variety.

For example, these parallel versions could be regular, gluten free, extra protein, or “low fat.” There could also be flavor varieties, and any number of additional variables. Again, ideas along these lines have been floating around here forever, but I think that Soylent has achieved a level of corporate maturity and production capacity that these ideas can be pursued more concretely. Soylent variants tailored to those with dietary restrictions in particular can open up whole new markets and generate a different kind of perspective on the product and company.

The fact that 1.5 has been the established powder version for as long as it has suggests that they are comfortable with the recipe in general. Rather than working towards a universal overhaul (beyond what they’ve presumably been doing), after 1.6, they might consider having future iterations target different niches. This naturally goes for 2.0 as well. Just a thought.


#2

The thing that you might be underestimating is the cost of a full production run of a new product. I definitely think they will add more in the future, but jumping from 2 SKUs to XX (8? 14?) SKUs could be quite costly in terms of production.

Would the increased sales make up for the extra cost associated with additional SKUs? Perhaps, but it isn’t a certainty. For instance, would adding a product with more protein necessarily increase sales by more than the cost of adding such a product or are people who are pre-disposed to buying Soylent already doing so and adding their own protein to their diet?

Another example is when Soylent first was introduced, and they toyed with making a male and female version. (Which seems like a bigger difference than any other version proposed might be.) In the end, after all the analysis, it came down to female Soylent just being a lower-calorie version of Soylent and people were like “So, I would be paying the same cost for less product? No thanks.”. Better just to drink less Soylent if your dietary needs require it.

I hope I am not coming across as overly negative. I definitely think adding additional product SKUs is a good long term business strategy. Also, I am certain that they are most likely looking at when it makes sense to add certain options, since it has been discussed so much. I just think there are certain costs/benefits that need to be weighed beyond the initial idea of adding more options.


#3

I think an inherent long term tension for Soylent is the appeal of simplicity on one hand, which argues for fewer varieties and fewer complications, and on the other hand the fact that in the real world there are lots of kinds of different people with different needs, which argues for more varieties and more complications. I think eventually the latter will win out and there will be more varieties but when and how many is the interesting questions.


#4

We are already looking into far more product lines. But we are still a young company, give us some time. :smile:


#5

I want vegan-gmo-free-fat-free low-fat-no-carb-organic-protein only made by solar powered wind turbines and blessed by a Chrystal healer named Mr. Sundebbie.
Also I’ll need it to be gluten free and made with quinoa.
Also don’t send it in the pouches, I want this in a organic clay capsule . :cry:

OR as a cake. I’d eat soylent cake. :smile:


#6

Rather than fragmenting their tiny market with more SKU’s, I would suggest that Rosa Labs call Luis DeAnda, president of TBWA\Chiat\Day’s Playa del Rey office to see what TBWA can do for them as far as broadening their appeal. I think that RL and TBWA would be a good fit.


#7

Any thought to “DLC” type things? For example instead of a full product that’s Soylent w/ more protein, have a pod or something that you can just drop into normal Soylent for extra protein.


#8

[quote=“Telos, post:7, topic:24572, full:true”]
Any thought to “DLC” type things? For example instead of a full product that’s Soylent w/ more protein, have a pod or something that you can just drop into normal Soylent for extra protein.
[/quote]Sounds suspiciously like cooking…


#9

LOL. I’m thinking more like “Open bottle, drop packet in, close bottle, shake.” No pots, pans, dishes or fire required.


#10

That’s a great idea! They could call it protein powder and sell it as a supplement.


#11

LOL. Go scoop some protein powder into your Soylent 2.0 bottle and get back to me with how well it works out. (Hint: It doesn’t.)

Thinking it would need to be some kind of liquid encased in a quick dissolving shell so it can mix well with the liquid 2.0.

Plus thinking there would be other variations, like a prenatal pack with the extra nutrients for pregnant women. Might be harder to change the macros that way though…


#12

I think something like the old oil bottles would be more likely to happen, but personally I like your suggestion of quick dissolving shell encased liquid.


#13

That could work too, similar to those Mio flavoring things… the only problem with those would be portion control. (That is, how long do you squirt.)

/Phrasing?


#14

That was the same problem with the separate oil bottle when you made the powder versions up in smaller containers or serving at a time. I ended up doing the oil by weight. That’s also why I like your idea of shell encased liquid - I don’t miss weighing out the oil.


#15

Yep, something like that:

http://www.makeitmio.com/~/media/Makeitmio/com/Images/about_cherry_blackberry_bottle.gif

Could just be for simple flavouring, but also “ingredient enhancement”. Such as: protein, vitamins, minerals… ; for athletes, pregnancy, drunkards like myself, caffeine shots, nootropics, you name it.

As already mentioned above, though, portion control is an issue with the “squirt” delivery system. (perfect for flavour-only, not so much for the other stuff)


#16

They make liquid protein supplements too. It’s protein powder and, uh, water.


#17

I have actually begun mixing protein powder into my Soylent 2.0 regularly, albeit not directly into the bottle. The trick I have found is to mix the protein with a small amount of water in a blender bottle first, then to add the Soylent. It seems much easier to get the powder to blend in smoothly this way, and personally I find protein powder + Soylent with no extra water is unpleasantly thick anyway.

But then, if the problem you’re pointing to is the inconvenience of using an extra container rather than the difficulty of mixing powders into 2.0, this solution does not help.