Soylent 2.0 Puts Algae in a Bottle

Soylent’s crusade against meal preparation knows no bounds. Yesterday, the meal replacement brand popular amongst Silicon Valley’s tech crowd announced the launch of Soylent 2.0, the company’s first bottled, ready-to-drink offering. In a blog post, Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart called the introduction of Soylent 2.0 “the beginning of our continued expansion as we endeavor to improve the capability and efficiency of our industry through research and development, toward a future where food is abundant and production is transparent.”

The move into a bottled format isn’t Soylent 2.0’s only new point of differentiation. The product has also undergone a reformulation, with “farm-free algae sources” now accounting for over half of the product’s lipid calorie count. The liquid reformulation also now sees soy replace rice as its primary source of protein.

In an interview with The Verge, Rhinehart fought Soylent 2.0 comparisons with other ready-to-drink meal replacement offerings, like Ensure, citing differences in their production processes and nutritional content.

“They’re really not sustainable,” Rhinehart said. “I mean they’re loaded with sugar, they’re just way too sweet, and they don’t really have the macronutrient balance or the glycemic index that I would feel comfortable sustaining myself on or a user on.”

Rhinehart, a software engineer, launched Soylent in 2014 following a 30-day experiment in which he replaced food with a beige goo he concocted and named after the 1973 sci-fi flick Soylent Green. The company went on to raise over $3 million on a Tilt crowdfunding campaign and in 2015 raised $20 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Soylent 2.0 will begin shipping directly to consumers October 15. Pre-orders of the new product are available today on the company’s website, where a 12-pack of Soylent 2.0 can be purchased for $29.00.