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Soylent Now Shipping to Canada: My Thoughts

You may remember my recent experience with food substitute Soylent. At the time, the product wasn’t available in Canada, and it was certainly a challenge to get my hands on it. My previous experience could have been better, but it went well enough for me to try again. Fast-forward to June 16th, and Soylent is finally available for Canadian customers.

Naturally, the first thing I did was order more. I decided on a 7 day supply of the product this time. Within three days, I had a non-descript box that included the 1.5 version of the product. I can’t recall the version of my first test, but I think it was 1.1. Since I didn’t keep the nice mixing container from my first order, I would go without that.

There were several changes to note. This new version contained only a powder base. Gone was the small container of oil that accompanied earlier editions of the product. The process of mixing remained roughly the same as I remember: Mix half the power with water, then mix in the other half. What’s produced is 2 quarts of liquid. Soylent‘s taste seemed to have been greatly improved. The more grainy feel of the previous edition was, well, less. The aftertaste wasn’t as harsh, and I even felt ok drinking it.

One of the first things I tried was to modify the base attempting to make it taste better. I started by pulling out a Magic Bullet blender I hadn’t been using much. I wanted to keep it simple, so I simply mixed some cocoa powder and ice cubes into a cup-sized amount of Soylent and blended. The result felt greatly improved and alike what I imagine as a Starbucks Frappuccino[1].

Of course, I looked forward to seeing what others had to say about Soylent. It’s always cool to see what non-geeky people (who maybe had never heard of this) think of it. First was a friend visiting from Chicago. She was (rather randomly) at my house when I made my first batch, so I offered a glass to her. I assured her it was not made of people[2]. Her first sip essentially drew strange facial expressions and winces, and she complained about the aftertaste. She conceded, that it wasn’t half-bad but did not finish the glass. Next was my Mother. Surprisingly, she was willing to try it, so I poured her a small glass of the cream-coloured liquid I had prepared (with some extra blending). After her first sip, she said “That’s not for me“, and did not finish the rest.

Right now, I have some thoughts about improvements:

1. Make the first-time mixing container and scoop a product I can purchase. If I could, I would buy it. I’m an idiot, they do offer this, though not directly from the homepage. Thanks to Gene Venable for pointing this out.
2. Offer details about the mix for travellers. Challenges that might arise entering other countries and how to mix a single cup of the mixture (on the go). Some of this information is available online, but an official source would be extremely helpful.
3. Upon request, ship versions of the product that contain single-serving sizes of the powder. This may be most useful for the 7-day version.
4. Speaking of single-serving, creating a kit that helps us get Soylent into bottled water; it’s probably the most common way to acquire water when travelling (even though the Blender Bottle seems perfect for this).

With this new batch of Soylent, I wanted to better learn how to make a single serving as needed (so I’d never need to waste any). Thankfully, I still had the original scoop with me, so that should help. I will also work to understand what kinds of additional ingredients I can add to improve the taste. Right now, I’ll keep it basic.

I can’t help of think Soylent knows they have this uphill battle to fight and enjoy being the underdog. There’s definitely a sense of humour ingrained in the product that creates a more positive impression of what they’re doing. I look forward to seeing where this new version takes me.

If you have used Soylent, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments (especially what you consider the best single-serving mix).

1. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
2. It never gets old