Picture yourself perusing the 7-Eleven aisles: Slurpees, beef jerky, Combos, roller hot dogs, oooo Soylent! Remember Soylent? It was momentarily A Thing in 2014 when tech dudes started preaching the gospel of this “meal in a bottle,” a nutritionally complete drink that could replace food for busy cyborgs who despise the pleasures of eating.
The drink company has raised more than $70 million in funding, Bloomberg reports, but now it wants to go mainstream with a push into convenience stores on the East Coast.
“We’re coming for fast food,” Bryan Crowley, Soylent’s CEO tells Bloomgberg. “The growth will come from the masses. This isn’t a tech product—when people see it, we want them to think about food.”
Yeah, except Soylent is a sort of thick, not terribly flavorful slush that tastes like a puree of soggy Cheerios milk—yes, I’ve tried it. It’s not revolting, despite the fact that it’s named for Soylent Green, a book and movie about a food called Soylent Green that’s made of human corpses. (Didn’t these tech dudes ever take a marketing class?)
Anyway, Soylent isn’t tasty, so it’s going to have a hell of a time competing against impulse buys like Big Gulps, taquitos, Starburst, nacho-flavored Slim Jims etc. in a convenience store setting. It’s weird to watch a small subset of developers or coders or whatever endlessly hype this “food” that frankly, no one else seems terribly interested in. We’ve had meal replacements like Ensure and SlimFast shakes for years, and no one is choosing them over a Slurpee.