Talk about dark, dystopian futures! Entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart wants to change the way everyone eats. That mostly entails eating, or rather, drinking his new product he cleverly called Soylent. It’s a combination of powdered chemicals and nutrients meant to satisfy every need the human body requires nutrition-wise. His goal is not to replace eating real food but to drastically reduce it. Eat Soylent on the weekdays and have some nice meals on the weekends.
Things are off to a good start for Rob too. He’s already passed the $2M mark in sales. I think it was $65 gets you a week’s worth of Soylent mixture. Not a bad price. I, for one, can’t imagine a world without the every day variety of foods I now enjoy, but I’m an upper middle class first worlder. I’d assume the poor or the third world would welcome something like this if the price could come down with the success of the product.
I think Soylent’s main problem with mass acceptability will likely be its taste. The best review of the taste I’ve seen or heard was that you get used to it after a while. “Soylent, you’ll get used to it!” doesn’t exactly have much commercial potential. So far, it seems more marketed to those people who don’t have time to eat or simply don’t like to eat. The former seems a limited market and the latter is just unfathomable to me. There’s likely to be quite the upward battle in spreading from those two niches.
There is also the problem of Rob Rhinehart’s perceived future need for Soylent. He claims that the world can’t possibly feed 10 billion people on normal foods. That may be true given today’s food paradigm, but remove meat from it and we’re looking at a whole new ballgame. I like his ambition, though. He sees Soylent as eventually being provided as just another utility like water.