Soylent is preparing to take its meal replacement drinks and powders into a new snack format, after it debuted a range of bars called Soylent Squared.
Described by the company as the category’s “first 100kcal mini-meal bar”, the new addition contains 5g of plant proteins and 36 different types of nutrients and probiotics for digestive health. There are three flavours: chocolate brownie, salted caramel and citrus berry.
The accessible format follows the release of Soylent Bridge in January – so named because it aims to bridge the gap between mealtimes.
The LA-based company claims the new formats “demonstrate that Soylent is serious about expanding its portfolio into new formats and usage occasions”.
Bryan Crowley, Soylent CEO, said: “There are a lot of bars out there but most are high in sugar, use less sustainable animal-derived protein and often lack the nutrients that your body needs to thrive. 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.
Soylent Squared (right) adds to the RTD between-meal Soylent Bridge (centre) that launched at the start of the year, as well as the rest of Soylent’s range.
“Some of our best product ideas have come straight from our customers, so we’re excited for them to try Squared. We’re also looking forward to building our customer base with the launch of our new convenient, healthy and more sustainable nutrition bar.”
Crowley’s comments echo the sentiment of snack bar manufacturer KIND when it petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change its rules on nutrient content claims, saying that regulation was so lax that brands were able to make use of positive claims that don’t reflect the overall nutritional quality of their products.
In particular, KIND was critical of products that use “good source of protein” or “excellent source of vitamin” callouts while being high in salt or sugar.
And Soylent isn’t the only meal replacement brand aiming to take the category in a more mainstream direction: in November, European peer Huel debuted two ready-to-drink meal replacements available in two initial flavours, berry and vanilla.
The US snack bar market is expected to reach $8.8 billion by 2023, while plant-based food recorded a 17% increase in the past year, according to data from Nielsen.
Soylent Squared follows the same principles as the company’s drinks and powders: 36 essential nutrients including 26 vitamins and minerals, 9 amino acids, and 2 essential fatty acids including omega-3 and omega-6. But the bars also contain added probiotics for digestive health, reflecting a growing understanding among consumers of the link between the gut and overall wellbeing.
Squared will be available in boxes of 30 25g bars, priced at $30 per box.
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