Soylent: What Next? Unsolicited advice and unfounded speculation!


#1

I’m on my 4th week of 50% Soylent, which pretty much makes me an old hand at this, and I’ve been speculating on what Rosa Labs might, or could, or really ought to do as they develop the product further. Here are some ideas that occurred to me; I hope others will join in the brainstorming fun.

  1. A better pitcher, or specifically, a pitcher as stylish as the Takeya, but wide enough that I could get my hand and a sponge into it to wash it! I hate trying to clean it with a brush!

  2. Continuing that theme, a whole line of Soylent-related accessories: a half-size insulated pitcher for carrying one’s lunch, for example (search “Bubba Mug” for examples). A Soylent-branded immersion blender! (And, where are the t-shirts, hoodies, keychains and mouse-pads?)

  3. Pre-mixed Soylent: 200- and 500-cal. packages, like “juice bricks”. Sealed air-tight, needs no refrigeration, packs neatly in your briefcase or backpack. If you can get the use-by date far enough out, you can get into the survivalist market; or sell to famine-relief agencies. Maybe Rosa labs can find a juice-brick equivalent carton that is more recyclable than the standard ones.

  4. Nutrition bars: Soylent powder, little bit of water, a binder like Xanthan gum, and voila! You can extrude a bar! Seal it up, convenient snack with exactly known calorie and nutritive content. Why should Clif Bar have all the fun?

  5. Flavor packs: little packets of specific flavors you purchase separately and add when mixing. I experimented briefly with cocoa powder and had to discard a whole pitcher, I got something wrong, it was awful. But Rosa could do the lab work and sell me packets or bottles of exactly enough chocolate (or strawberry, or creme de menthe…) flavoring material for one pouch of Soylent – with exact numbers on calories and ingredients.

OK, that’s a start. Throw some more ideas in and see what sticks…


#2

You might not think it as stylish but I love my Frigoverre glass pitcher–it’s not plastic, it’s perfectly watertight, and it’s easy to wash (though to wash the lid thoroughly you should take it apart when you do).


#3

BlenderBottles have become popular and I think they’d do well to incorporate similar into the starter kit as well as a better shaped pitcher (which I retired when I got this monster 2L thermos).

Also helpful would be to use oil bottles with a semi-opaque vertical strip with measurement bars, similar to those on motor oil bottles, so you can easily divide your day’s supply into 3 portions.


#4

Interesting, I’d not heard of them. But the biggest capacity I see at blenderbottle.com is 32oz, not big enough for a full packet of soylent which needs 64. But the “patented BlenderBall™” is cute, I can certainly see Rosa teaming up with blenderbottle to co-market an attractive, custom Soylent-size Blenderbottle.

Anybody want to comment on the other ideas? Bars? Bricks? Or some other possible product variant?


#5

A pitcher that looks exactly like the Takeya pitcher… but glass.

That’d be the dream. You couldn’t believe how much easier it is to wash glass than plastic. With glass you don’t even need soap – it just washes off, just like that.


#6

Flavor packs: little packets of specific flavors you purchase separately and add when mixing.

  • Natural flavors will change your nutrients profile (calories, vitamins, etc.)
  • Artificial flavors don’t, but they are chemicals

What do you prefer?


#7

The Frigoverre 77-oz glass pitcher is squat and squarish, to fit easily on a shelf instead of in the door, so it doesn’t look at all like the Takeya. But really, it’s great, and I think the squarish shape, besides making it more space-efficient on the shelf, helps create mixing-friendly turbulence when shaking it.


#8

Literally everything is a “chemical”. (that term gets thrown around too much, and it doesn’t really mean anything on its own) :
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/03/08/chemical-is-not-a-bad-word/

Anyway, I’d like different versions for different nutrient/calorie/etc. profiles. Different flavourings would be nice as well.


#9

Oh, that’s make the work much easier.
Not only in production, but in explanation.
Thanks for good article! I will share it with colleagues on Powdered Foods Marketplace.


#10

I’m hoping what’s next is they refine the formula to be even healthier, and give details about the glycemic index.


#11
  1. Did I get the same Takeya pitcher as everyone else? I don’t have problems getting my arm into it…granted, I’m no muscle-bound hulk, but I’m also not the one folks generally rely upon for sticking hands/arms into small spaces. [I also don’t have any problem with washing the Takeya, I just fill it up with water after I finish it off, and empty it out a few times…then rub my hand through with a soapy sponge, though I’m not even sure that is necessary.]
  2. I’m not particularly interested in this…though branded products would make sense for Soylent, to help spread word faster and thereby to us, the consumers, as the product gains greater funds for production (assuming production issues are resolved).
  3. I’d really love to see these. I used to (and still do on occasion) drink Ensure nutrition shakes. They don’t require refrigeration, come in single serving size, and have milk in them - so it seems to me that Soylent should be able to make something similar w/out too much issue…as I imagine that Soylent would be even less likely to spoil?
  4. Nutrition bars = okay. I eat Clif Bars currently and they are ok by me - though so far I’m only REALLY a fan of the chocolate chip - the chocolate chip peanut butter crunch and blueberry crisp I have both found less satisfying flavor wise.
  5. I like this idea…though I’d like natural ingredients, and honestly, I’m not hugely worried about small additions in my nutrient ratios due to such ingredients…

The only other things I can think of are:

  1. I sometimes forget to put the oil in. I’m not sure how, but some way to “remind” me would be nice. Yeah, yeah, I have systems to remind myself…I’m just saying…
  2. Single serve pouches of powder and oil. Right now I find it too difficult (aka I am too lazy) to measure out individual servings, so I always do a whole serving…which I usually consume w/in the two days, but not always w/out some effort (if I have a meal or two out, etc.).

#12

I was wondering the same thing as I was reading this thread haha, I haven’t had any issues cleaning it. Honestly I’d be terrified of a glass pitcher because I don’t think it’d last a week without me dropping it.

I wish I could “like” this a second time. “Chemical,” along with “natural.” Loaded terms, those.


#13

OK, I can get my hand in, but it is a knuckle-scraping squeeze. FWIW when I buy gloves I have to get the XL size. But just another centimeter diameter would make a big difference.


#14

@ravenvii Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t a thin residue of soylent on the pitcher.


#15

The green handle and upper section should also unscrew from the clear container :slight_smile: Your hand should have no problem fitting. I also have big hands and got hung up on this at first.

Edit: I also find is easier to mix with my immersion blender if I leave this part off

*Disclaimer - I bought my pitchers on Amazon, but I believe they are the same model.


#16

If you have a dishwasher disassemble and throw in


#17

Either you would have to run the dishwasher every day, or have a number of pitchers. I can’t bring myself to run a dishwasher for one dish (or one dish plus a few glasses) every day. Hand washing the pitcher is not enough of an inconvenience for me to want to buy a half dozen pitchers so that I can use the dishwasher instead.


#18

I’m honestly not worried about Soylent’s non-food products. Pitchers and the like are things everyone can buy separately; that stuff is secondary (at best) to the ideal of Soylent. I’d much rather they focus on improving and expanding things on the production/distribution side, and formulations, rather than focusing on stuff you can buy at your local dollar store.

For washing small pitchers, use a bottle brush - they’re cheap, work well, and last a long time. I have one which I use for my water bottle at work. Like this:

Honestly, if anyone’s too lazy to do a quick rinse only once a day while using such a brush, I don’t know what to say. Who types forum posts for such people? Typing takes longer & probably burns more calories. haha :wink:


#19

Thank you! This is a reply in line with the kind of brainstorming I hoped this thread would inspire! Now, can you be more specific? If you were CEO of Rosa Labs, how would you look to improve distribution, and what kinds of new formulations would you want to see tried?

Altho, you know, the marketing tchotchkes like a soylent-branded hoodie or alternative pitcher can be a useful revenue stream to support the main business, and by letting people express and advertise their loyalty, build a brand community. Anybody for a real nice bottle brush with the Soylent logo on the handle?


#20

That’s a really difficult question to answer, about distribution, because they are privy to a great deal of information that the consumers are not. Securing an alternative protein supplier could be crucial since they currently seem to have only one viable option and that option has already directly lead to delays, but that addresses long-term security of distribution and not the short term supply problems that people actually want answers to.

The formulations I’d love to see, personally, are a low-cal and/or low-carb option (combined makes the most sense since you can just remove carbs and end up with lower cal) - so that I can drink less than a full 2000 calories without being short on nutrients or having to manage measuring powder out of the bags - and a high protein/higher calorie density version for high activity and fitness.

Also, a ‘bland’ variety complete with multiple flavor packs and a more robust system for managing subscriptions a la Dollar Shave Club