The goal of neutral flavoring is all well and good, but


#1

As much as I respect the Soylent team’s goal of reaching a truly neutral flavor, I’m just not seeing it happening. I have yet to try 2.0, but from my experiences with 1.2-1.5, the flavor isn’t getting any more neutral - it’s the same old liquid-biscuit-mix it’s always been; and given that the argument for neutrality is that we won’t get sick of having to taste it all the time, I’d say it might be time to throw in the towel on neutrality and just offer different flavors already, because this biscuit-mix flavor is just not cutting it - for me or anyone I share it with at least. For what it’s worth I was using 100% food for a while before my switch to Soylent and enjoying that just fine, as was everyone I shared it with (albeit partially because of the prepackaged bottles, which hopefully my order of 2.0 will address).

My main point is: you’re never going to reach true water-level neutrality, so why try? Any flavor it has will have the potential of being over-consumed to the point of being unappealing, so why not just diversify the flavor set?

Before you tell me that I can easily flavor it myself, please know that I have tried. Every attempt I have made (powdered peanut butter, chocolate milk mix, syrup, etc.) has either changed the texture, required too much to be worth it, or just plain not worked. In addition, I don’t want to be inconvenienced with having to shop for flavor ingredients - although I did in my initial excitement and desperation to reach an actually appealing flavor. Anyway, the whole point of this product is to relieve the burden of shopping and preparing meals.

I fully support the Soylent team and everything they’re trying to achieve, believe me. I want this to succeed as much as any of you. I just think the future’s going to need some flavor options other than liquid biscuit.


#2

There’s a reason I’ve been 2.0-exclusive and my remaining 1.5 is sitting in the basement, and it’s not because it comes in bottles. My grand hope is that 1.6 is something like 2.0, flavor-wise. I’m not thrilled about the cost of 2.0, but it tastes so much better than 1.0-1.5.

Re: flavoring 1.5, it’s not bad with some chocolate protein powder added. I had much better success using that as a flavor than actual cocoa powder (mostly due to ease of mixing). But, yeah, 2.0’s flavor is fantastic, and I can only hope 1.6 (or whatever they call it) moves the powder in that direction.

Edit: I also think their goal is a nonspecific rather than neutral flavor (hopefully that distinction makes sense), and for me 2.0 fits the bill.

On your blog you mention that it tastes like “a sweet, succulent, hearty meal in a glass,” but The Economist called it “tasteless.” So which is it?

It’s a little sweet, a little savory. It has salts, fats, and good carbohydrates that interact with taste buds in different ways. It’s non-specific actually. Which is a good thing, because if you had a very specific flavor then you would get sick of it. The soft drink industry uses [this same tactic of non-specific taste called] sensory specific satiety. So for the same reason people don’t get tired of drinking sodas you will not get tired of drinking [healthier] Soylent.


#3

It is certainly worlds better now than the first versions that had that weird sickly-sweet unnatural vanilla flavoring.

I think even Rosa Labs would concede that true neutral flavoring is unattainable, but there is no reason not to strive to make it as neutral as possible.


#4

I wouldn’t be surprised if RL came to the same conclusion. I eased into the product with some sweetener many moons ago; happy now to have it straight up. Of course, I get a lot of culinary distractions during the course of a month, because friends are trying to “save” me from myself… LOL


#5

Yeah, I’m hoping 2.0 is better as well. I cancelled my subscription immediately after 1.5, and was meaning to switch back to 100% food, but I ended up just falling back on my old fast food diet. I ordered a sample of 2.0 to see how it tastes.

That being said, even if 2.0 succeeds and I’m okay with the flavor, I’m guessing it isn’t so improved that my much-harsher-judging friends are willing to accept it - let alone buy into it.

The bottom line is that while there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to create a nonspecific flavor that appeals - or in this case, it seems, “doesn’t not appeal” - to everyone, in order for it to catch on for the majority of people it has to taste good. Like something you would want to drink for the flavor alone. Again, for the less harsh people who realize or respect the product as a whole - sure, who needs that? We are willing to sacrifice the flavor for the benefits. But to reach mass appeal it really has to have it all, in my opinion.


#6

Count me in on the neutral flavor of 2.0.

If it were intentionally flavored as literally anything specific, I would be sick of it by now.


#7

For me, 1.5 is better than ever. I am really looking forward to my 1.5 breakfast soon. It isn’t neutral, it’s great. I have been adding Stevia lately.


#8

You’re telling me that if there were a handful of flavors - possibly growing in number over time - that you would get sick of each and every flavor permanently eventually? You don’t think you could just switch your flavors up every so often and be fine?

Well, at any rate, you don’t have to stop having the neutral flavor to have flavored versions.


#9

They’ll eventually have a range of flavours; it’s been talked about before. It’s probably not high enough on the priority / roll-out list yet, that’s all. (due to numerous - what should be obvious - reasons) I don’t see the issue here.


#10

I am constantly intrigued by the range of taste experience reported. I found 1.0 like a delicious vanilla malt yet @HealthyBlogger describes it as sickeningly sweet. As for 1.5 my taste experience has been different that what was described by 2 different Soylent team members. The cheerio milk flavor of 2,0 does not come across to me for which I am grateful as I do not like Cheerios. While I enjoy flavor experiments, I am glad the base flavor is such that I can enjoy it without any extras.


#11

I’m happy with both Soylent 1.5 and Soylent 2.0 flavors. I found 1.3 sickeningly vanilla - I’ve never tasted anything else in my life with that much vanilla flavor. Sweet wasn’t a problem but I understand 1.3 wasn’t as sweet as earlier versions.

Yet, when I buy protein powder I always buy chocolate.

I think when you pick a flavor, anything with “flavor” will appeal to some and taste bad to others. Going with bland while perhaps not as tasty as stronger flavors is less likely to be unappealing to as many people. I would like to see flavor options with Soylent - just as long as there’s a choice.


#12

I often add flavor; I just want to have the option to do it myself, not rely RL to do it. The only attempt they made at it before in previous versions (vanilla) was not good.

I don’t mind if they have flavored versions as well (or flavor packs, or whatever) as long as they continue to produce the blandest possible version as well so that I can buy it.


#13

I thought the argument for neutrality was to make it easier for us to flavour it ourselves.


#14

Silly Brit, it is so that it is easier to flavor, not flavour.

 

(Disclaimer: Just joking!)


#15

Impudent, impudent colonists.


#16

Nice! But you forgot to add in rebel.
ie: “You impudent, rebel American colonists…!”.


#17

Well I’m happy to say that 2.0 has exceeded my expectations - I find it absolutely delicious. I still think flavors would help more people get behind it, and I could see myself wanting more in the future, but until then this will definitely do.

Awesome.


#18

We are currently working on it, we have a flavor engineer on staff.


#19

You are wrong. There is no restriction to using just one reason for doing things. Both reasons have been cited. I would have thought that everyone knew that by now.


#20

Cool cool, so we’ve got two reasons.