Update 10/13/16 — After multiple reports of “gastrointestinal issues” after consuming Soylent Food bars, the company has halted shipments of the product. They are advising customers to throw away any bars they still have, and are offering refunds. Read more here. Additionally, production of Coffiest has been halted after the nutritional information was found to be incorrect. Read more here.
Soylent, the nutritional supplement that has a following among a certain tech-inclined segment of the west coast population, gets a lot of coverage for its cheeky, almost combative name and controversial pro-GMO stance. But what does this stuff actually taste like?
The company currently offers four products: a bar; a drink; a second, coffee-based drink; and a powder. The main ingredients in all the options are soy protein; factory-created algal oil; isomaltulose, an unrefined beet sugar; and various vitamins and minerals that Soylent says comprise “12.5% of all essential micronutrients.”
The flavor of the powder can be masked, so we stuck to taste-testing the three other options. Here are the findings.
Food: This bar (which is called “Food,” just as the other products are really named “Drink” and “Coffiest”) claims to contains 12.5% of “your” daily nutritional needs. The flavor is described as caramel, but it's closer to raw cookie dough, with the flavor of artificiality all mixed in. It leaves an aftertaste on the back of the tongue. (Seriously.)
Drink: This option is meant to fuel a person more than the bar, as it has 400 calories, which Soylent figures is 20% of a daily intake. The drink has the texture of a thin smoothie, and does have a bit of that artificial cookie dough flavor, but it also reminiscent of rice-based baby cereal. Strangely, the aftertaste from the drink stays on the sides of the tongue.
Coffiest: The flavor of the caffeine-enhanced drink is a bit harsher than the regular drink, due to the inherent bitterness of coffee. The container is the same size for both liquidy options, and magically this one also clocks in at 400 calories, but there's real coffee added to it, too. And an amino acid that Soylent says will “reduce the jitters.” It's not a totally pleasant flavor, but it won't ruin your day, either.
No great bounds have been made here in flavor technology. Pretty standard processed food stuff, so, buy some or don't. Live your life!