The Soylent Revolution: Why a Food Powder Many Think Looks Like Semen Is Increasing Its Sales
Bland alt-foods are all the rage, but why?
New alt-food products like Soylent and 100%FOOD might not be for everyone, but they do seem to get everyone talking. The talk is not always nice; Soylent has been called “the most joyless new technology to hit the world since we first laid eyes on MS-DOS” and its appearance has been compared to—among other things—semen.
Marketed as futuristic replacements to food (100%FOOD even displays pictures of astronauts on its website), they seem to be similar to previous iterations of food replacements like Slimfast or Ensure. As a 2013 article points out, the main difference between the older products and these newer ones is the marketing. Soylent offers itself up as a “technology,” allowing customers to “hack food.”
In other words, what once would have been in a product category for weight-conscious women is now sold as the ultimate bachelor food, for a young “dude” or “bro” who is too busy doing other things to bother with food. Ever. Aleh Manchuliantsau, founder of 100%FOOD, adds that the difference between meal replacements and products like his are that the old meal replacements like Slimfast are designed to be eaten along with food in one’s diet, whereas Soylent and 100%FOOD are intended to fully replace food altogether.