POWDERED FOOD

7-Eleven will soon sell Soylent, Silicon Valley’s ultimate food convenience

Food-hacking is coming to 7-Eleven.

The convenience store chain is set to begin selling bottles of Soylent, the liquid meal replacement marketed to people who don’t have time to eat, at 18 stores in the greater Los Angeles area on Monday (July 10). It’s the first time that Soylent will be available for purchase in a traditional brick-and-mortar store, instead of just on its website and through Amazon.

Soylent advertises itself as a nutritious, complete meal replacement. It is one of Silicon Valley’s most stereotypical exports, popularized by the “hacker” lifestyle and generally associated with efficiency and millennials. The company, also known as Rosa Labs, is privately held and raised $50 million from investors in May, bringing its total funding to $74.5 million.

The quintessential version of Soylent is a bag of powder (the minimalist labeling on the bag literally includes the phrase, “powdered food”) that is mixed with water to produce a “meal.” The resulting mixture resembles a watery pancake batter and tastes, among other things and per a very official Quartz analysis, like wet cardboard, glue, licking stamps, and stale Cheerios.

The Soylent sold in 7-Elevens stands a chance of appealing slightly more to the regular consumer. That’s because the company plans to stock three flavored versions of Soylent—Cacao, Cafe Coffiest, and Cafe Chai—which will probably look more at home than the standard one alongside energy drinks and various iced coffees and frappuccinos.

“Soylent is a differentiated product for the on-the-go, millennial,” Todd McFarland, a senior product direct at 7-Eleven, says in a press release. “It is exciting that the demand for our breakthrough line of drinkable meals has moved beyond e-commerce,” adds Rob Rhinehart, Soylent’s founder and CEO, in the same release. The companies didn’t comment on whether the partnership would expand beyond greater Los Angeles, but called the 7-Eleven deal the “first step in Soylent’s retail distribution plan.” No details were provided on pricing. A case of 12 sells for $39 online.

In the meantime, Soylent might want to consider updating the FAQ section of its website, which still advises that “any products labeled as Soylent” but sold outside Solyent’s webpage and Amazon are “unauthorized imitations and we strongly advise against their consumption.” Come Monday, 7-Eleven will be the exception to that rule.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 9.34.23 AM
Soylent’s online FAQ. (Soylent)
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