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Humanizing Tech

"Review of Soylent’s Coffiest" in Humanizing Tech

From a product person’s perspective

I. The Taste

Back in early 2016, I ordered my first case of Soylent and wrote a review about it (you can find the link at the end of this post). While most people or online reviews will tell you it tastes chalky, that wasn’t my initial impression of the product.

Upon first taste of the original 2.0 bottled Soylent, I thought it tasted more like the milk left in the bowl after you finish your Special K cereal. It wasn’t chalky so much as having a very subtle cereal-milk flavor. And because I thought about it in that context, it tasted pretty good.

Now, trying Coffiest, they’ve upped the game a few measures. It still has the cereal-milk flavor to it, but you can immediately whif and taste the real coffee they put into it. It has a bit more of a chocolate coffee cereal milk flavor to it this time.

What’s interesting is it tastes more chocolatey than coffee-ey (?). Sure most people would describe it as a little thicker than milk but that’s why I call it the post-cereal milk taste. The chocolate flavoring is subtle and the coffee flavor even more subtle, which I actually kind of miss. I enjoy the flavor of black coffee, but I know most people don’t, so I have to imagine they’re going for the middle of the road approach to taste.

I found the L-Theanine an interesting addition, which they put on the packaging, and let me to do a bit of research on it. It’s naturally occuring in green tea and added to “reduce jittery-ness” from the caffeine. Interestingly, I was at CVS yesterday and in the vitamin isle saw a bottle of L-Theanine right there front and center on the shelf. So it’s not some esoteric additive that is new to the vitamin community.

The liquid is a dark-brown, chocolate color, which makes it easier for new users to expect the correct flavor. Because as we know from consumer behavior taste studies, what we perceive is what we believe.

II. The Packaging

Once you place your order, you’ll get a confirmation email and then a shipping notification with a day. The package will arrive from Fedex within about 3 business days so it’s not much of a wait.

After opening the brown cardboard shipping box, you’ll see a similar Coffiest branding to the bottle and pictures on the website. Black on top with the product name and white on bottom with the logo. Black for coffee and chocolate, white for Soylent. Smart.

What I found interesting about the case it comes in is the sheer size of the nutrition facts on the back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so large and in charge. It reads like a multivitamin packaging, but appreciate their standard of quality. By selling it in cases and not individual bottles, they’re able to remove any nutrition facts from the bottle labeling, which makes it much cleaner.

I’ve taken a few pictures below that you can zoom in on for more detail.

The bottle looks just like the pictures you see on the website and works exactly the same as the prior bottled Soylent. It’s a white plastic bottle shink-wrapped with the label. At the top on the cap are two little perforated edges that you can peel down. Once you do that, a simple twist off opens the bottle. Then you can have a few sips, screw the cap back on and put in your bag, or back in the fridge.

Points for portability and reusability.

III. The Experience

I’ve used it for breakfast for the last few days. Instead of having to make coffee, grab a Cliff bar, or make eggs, I simply open the fridge, screw off the top and get both my breakfast (400 Kcals worth) and my coffee (1.5 cups worth). If I was still living in New York, it would be my first breakfast every single day and shave probably 15–20 minutes off my morning routine.

That’s huge when you consider in just one week, conservatively, that you’re saving about an hour and a half of time in the morning that could be better served with your loved ones or your business. And when you include the price at about $3 per coffee and breakfast, you’re also saving money you can use for new fishing lures (wait, what?).

Regardless of the taste and the price, just the time savings alone makes this a worthwhile investment to try for a month. Granted, I’m not going to be someone who drinks Soylent for every meal, nor someone who even has Soylent for breakfast every day. I’m too hungry and love breakfast + coffee far too much for that, but just like you wouldn’t eat a cereal bar for breakfast every day, it works like a charm in a pinch or whilst traveling.

And that, I think, would be the biggest and baddest market for Soylent. Put it in hotel minibar fridges as an alternative to breakfast. You could charge $9/bottle and make a $6 profit, plus Soylent would likely give it to you for free for the added exposure and reduction in customer acquisition cost.

I, for one, am a fan of the product. I think I’ll order a case a month and the 12 bottles should likely last all month as I wouldn’t drink it every day. But I think the price, the health benefits, the convenience, and the flavor are all aces.

Bottoms up, breakfast.

— Sean

Read More

A Product Person’s Review of Soylent

Review of Soylent’s Coffiest was originally published in Humanizing Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read the responses to this story on Medium.

from Stories by Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/2b6bm50