Following the January launch of its 180-calorie in-between meal drink, Soylent Bridge, Soylent has debuted its latest product: Soylent Squared . This bar contains 100 calories, which include 5g of plant protein and probiotics, and will be sold direct to consumer in cases of 30 bars on the Soylent website. The company is branding the product as a “mini meal bar” that has less sugar and more nutrients than other bars on the market.
“There are a lot of bars out there but we made it out priority to try to innovate and provide our customer base and new customers something new, unique and disruptive,” said Bryan Crowley, Soylent’s CEO. “We developed Soylent Squared to allow our customers to portion out the nutrition they need when they need it; you can enjoy 1-2 for a healthy snack or 3-4 for a complete meal.”
This is not Soylent’s first foray into the crowded bar market, which is expected to reach $8.8 billion by 2023. Previously the company had sold Soylent Bar, which contained 250 calories and was marketed as “an excellent snack or small meal.” The product finally shuttered in October 2016 after a series of reports that a small number of bar customers had suffered from gastrointestinal issues. Despite the discontinuation of the Soylent Bar, Soylent’s characteristically vocal fans have been requesting a similar, more convenient product ever since.
“Our top request from customers has been to have Soylent in a chewable, bar format,” added Crowley. “A lot of customers, especially females, find Soylent to be too physically heavy. Sometimes you need something lighter or to hold you over.”
Crowley also noted that Soylent’s previous focus on its drinkable products meant that their products were mainly being consumed only in the morning, despite its goal of being drinkable throughout the day.
“Even though Soylent drink is ambient and best served cold, the Square can travel in bag and throughout the day when you need it,” added Crowley. “We looked at our innovation pipeline and wanted to move from a meal replacement drink and powder and ready-to-drink format mostly consumed in the morning to a complete nutrition platform for use throughout the day.”
Soylent leadership has long attributed its product inspiration and iterations to its vocal fans who communicate with the brand through outlets including Reddit. “We have direct access to an engagement with an audience who are both our biggest fans and most vocal critics,” explained Crowley.
Soylent’s rapidly expanding product line as of late is aligned with its ongoing mission to expand its customer base beyond its initially sticky “brogrammer” image. It recently announced its expansion into 4,378 Walmart stores nationwide which Crowley believes has introduced the brand to a new set of customers.
“Even if someone walks into a Walmart and has never heard of Soylent, because of trends like plant-based and complete nutrition, they’re interacting on the shelf and seeing new alternatives,” Crowley added. “Our top competitors are fast food and skipping meals, but now they’re also other products on the shelf.”
Soylent’s expansion into 7-Eleven stores has also helped to expose the brand to new customers and occasions. Crowley noted that the brand saw its products often purchased alongside hot food, indicating that a customer may have purchase a potentially unhealthy item now and a Soylent to be consumed later as a healthier complement.