A few weeks ago, we introduced you to “the future of food”; powered meal supplements, when combined with water, that provide all the nutrition and vitamins you need in a day. Silicon Valley’s Soylent were one of the three start-ups, who’ve now developed and shipped their second flagship product.
Soylent 2.0 comes ready to drink (so no more powder plus manual mixing) in recyclable bottles. Each bottle represents one-fifth of a daily meal plan, with a dozen selling for $29.
While Soylent’s niche following will have to wait until October for the bottles to hit the shelves, preorders go live today. Like the original product, it’ll be available exclusively online.
The powered product was more raw, and more efficient – but creator Rob Rhinehart had various reasons to go bottled.
“Shipping around water is a little inefficient,” he acknowledged. “However, we counter that by the fact that the drink does not require refrigeration and also does not spoil until at least one year. Given the amount of food that is thrown away, that spoils, and the unconscionable amount of energy that we spend on refrigeration in the United States, I think that it’s still a vast resource savings over the majority of the food system.”
One problem with transitioning to bottle form is their unique product starts to look like any other meal supplement. Rhinehart scoffs at the comparison, ripping the nutritional values in meal replacement products.
“They’re really not sustainable. I mean, they’re loaded with sugar, they’re just way too sweet, and they don’t really have the macronutrient balance or the glycemic index that I would feel comfortable sustaining myself on or a user on.”
Another new innovation to 2.0 is where the calories come from. Rhinehart uses algae in a significant way, incorporating algal oil for a full half of its fat content. The taste is still ‘recognizable’ to the original powder, with the added bonuses of higher efficiency, and the lack of need for traditional agriculture techniques.