Soylent ‘cult following’ in the US leads to UK launch

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cacao, Cafe Mocha and Original will be available exclusively on Amazon.co.uk starting September 18.
Cacao, Cafe Mocha and Original will be available exclusively on Amazon.co.uk starting September 18.

Related tags: Soylent, Meal replacement, Uk, Amazon

Popular meal replacement drink Soylent launches in the UK this week, hoping to capitalize on its US success with its first global expansion. With research showing that skipping meals is becoming more commonplace in the UK, Soylent believes it can fill the ‘food void’ for busy consumers.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign and US launch in 2014, Soylent has developed a significant 'cult' following in the sports nutrition sector, using it as a high-protein workout supplement. It also gained a lot of traction in Silicon Valley with overextended tech workers, and it became top grocery product on all of Amazon in the US in January 2018.

Soylent is currently sold in the US in ready-to-drink bottles in flavors like vanilla, strawberry and mocha. It also comes as a protein powder in tubs and pouches that can be mixed into other drinks. The initial UK launch is only incorporating the RTD bottles.

Gamers, achievers, students

According to the company, Soylent is a “way for time-strapped consumers to fill up and get the nutrition needed when a hectic schedule may otherwise cause them to make unhealthy, unsustainable or expensive on-the-go choices.”

It is planning to debut ‘softly’ in the UK market as the team believes UK consumers still need a lot of education on the meal replacement concept. But Soylent revealed that UK consumers skip four meals per week on average, most often breakfast. They are also just as likely to be conscious of wanting to be healthier and more productive at work as consumers in the US.

Andrew Thomas, VP of marketing at Soylent, told BeverageDaily that their UK launch strategy is to focus on driving word of mouth, awareness and advocacy to “ultimately change the way people think about food.”

They will target gamers, urban millennial achievers and students with busy schedules to build a foundation for the product and set up similar sustainable growth as in the US.

Optimistic cult following

Soylent’s Cacao, Cafe Mocha and Original flavors will be available exclusively on Amazon.co.uk in cases of 12 for £39.99 starting September 18. Each serving is intended to replace a complete meal and contains 20g of protein with 26 vitamins and minerals.

The drink is also vegan and nut-free, made with plant-based protein using less water and producing less CO2 when compared to protein from livestock. It also has a year-long shelf life and doesn’t require refrigeration until opened, reducing food waste.

As the UK consumer base grows, Soylent plans to find more ways to bring its existing and new products to market, including brick-and-mortar retail locations.

“The near-on cult following for Soylent here in the US and the know-how of our launch agency, which has its feet firmly on UK turf, allows us to be optimistic about this expansion.”​ Thomas said.

“Our mission is about giving access to affordable nutrition to everyone and making unsustainable foods obsolete.”

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