LOS ANGELES, United States — Soylent, one of the pioneers of drinkable, complete meals, has launched two new functional beverages targeting specific wellness concerns.
Taking on competitor Huel, which launched Huel Black Edition last year — a powder with 33% more protein — Soylent’s new Complete Protein shake is designed for consumers looking to add more protein to their diet.
Soylent Complete Energy, meanwhile, claims to be the first complete nutrition nootropics shake to fuel mind and body. The RTD beverage aims to boost energy and focus without the crash associated with sugary energy drinks.
The move comes at a time when demand for functional drinks is skyrocketing, with brands such as Flow, Hydrant and Halo Sport all racing to make their mark on the $53.01bn energy drink market. Venture capitalists are also leveraging the spike in demand, investing more than $170 million in functional beverage companies in 2019, up from $111m in 2017, according to Pitchbook data.
By appealing to consumers looking to better curate their individual nutritional needs via multi-functional products, Soylent hopes it can also tap into this growing category.
Speaking on the launch, Soylent CEO Demir Vangelov explained that traditionally Soylent customers have used the band’s products to replace meals, manage their weight and even for medical recovery. But, that a significant portion of its customers also consume Soylent with coffee for an added energy boost or use it alongside other supplements to increase their protein intake.
“We wanted to remove the nutritional guesswork and make delicious products that meet a variety of consumer needs and goals,” he explained. Adding that the new products will allow for a more personalized approach to nutrition.
Having long battled it out with competitor Huel in the race for global domination, Soylent is currently lagging behind its UK-based peer.
Huel took the title of the world’s best-selling ‘complete nutrition brand’ in January 2020 after hitting a record-breaking 100 million meals sold, with one Huel meal now consumed every second.
However, Soylent continues to focus on scaling with a recent relaunch in Canada following a two-year absence due to challenges with Canadian government filings. In 2020, the company also decided to slash the price of its powder products in the US, making its powder the most affordable complete nutrition product available there.
By shifting the focus to the functionality of its products, the company believes it is poised for further growth in 2021. And, it argues that its sustainable, direct-to-consumer model, has, and continues to, enable the brand to not only get its current products to consumers but further expand its offering to support additional growing consumer demand that has resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Since our founding, we have remained focused on delivering complete nutrition in convenient formats in order to reduce meal-time trade-offs,” commented Vangelov recently.
“The focus of the company has always been on utility and function, and we are not getting away from that.”