European Soylent alternatives

post by ChristianKl · 2016-08-15T20:22:47.263Z · score: 10 (11 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 14 comments

A person at our local LW meetup (not active at LW.com) tested various Soylent alternatives that are available in Europe and wrote a post about them:

______________________

Over the course of the last three months, I've sampled parts of the
european Soylent alternatives to determine which ones would work for me
longterm.

- The prices are always for the standard option and might differ for
e.g. High Protein versions.
- The prices are always for the amount where you get the cheapest
marginal price (usually around a one month supply, i.e. 90 meals)
- Changing your diet to Soylent alternatives quickly leads to increased
flatulence for some time - I'd recommend a slow adoption.
- You can pay for all of them with Bitcoin.
- The list is sorted by overall awesomeness.

So here's my list of reviews:

Joylent:

Taste: 7/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 5eu / day
Vegan option: Yes
Overall awesomeness: 8/10

This one is probably the european standard for nutritionally complete
meal replacements.

The texture is nice, the taste is somewhat sweet, the flavors aren't
very intensive.
They have an ok amount of different flavors but I reduced my orders to
Mango (+some Chocolate).

They offer a morning version with caffeine and a sports version with
more calories/protein.

They also offer Twennybars (similar to a cereal bar but each offers 1/5
of your daily needs), which everyone who tasted them really liked.
They're nice for those lazy times where you just don't feel like pouring
the powder, adding water and shaking before you get your meal.
They do cost 10eu per day, though.

I also like the general style. Every interaction with them was friendly,
fun and uncomplicated.


Veetal:

Taste: 8/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 8.70 / day
Vegan option: Yes
Overall awesomeness: 8/10

This seems to be the "natural" option, apparently they add all those
healthy ingredients.

The texture is nice, the taste is sweeter than most, but not very sweet.
They don't offer flavors but the "base taste" is fine, it also works
well with some cocoa powder.

It's my favorite breakfast now and I had it ~54 of the last 60 days.
Would have been first place if not for the relatively high price.


Mana:

Taste: 6/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 6.57 / day
Vegan option: Only Vegan
Overall awesomeness: 7/10

Mana is one of the very few choices that don't taste sweet but salty.
Among all the ones I've tried, it tastes the most similar to a classic meal.
It has a somewhat oily aftertaste that was a bit unpleasent in the
beginning but is fine now that I got used to it.

They ship the oil in small bottles seperate from the rest which you pour
into your shaker with the powder. This adds about 100% more complexity
to preparing a meal.

The packages feel somewhat recycled/biodegradable which I don't like so
much but which isn't actually a problem.

It still made it to the list of meals I want to consume on a regular
basis because it tastes so different from the others (and probably has a
different nutritional profile?).


Nano:

Taste: 7/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 1.33eu / meal
*I couldn't figure out whether they calculate with 3 or 5 meals per day
** Price is for an order of 666 meals. I guess 222 meals for 1.5eu /meal
is the more reasonable order
Vegan option: Only Vegan
Overall awesomeness: 7/10

Has a relatively sweet taste. Only comes in the standard vanilla-ish flavor.

They offer a Veggie hot meal which is the only one besides Mana that
doesn't taste sweet. It tastes very much like a vegetable soup but was a
bit too spicy for me. (It's also a bit more expensive)

Nano has a very future-y feel about it that I like. It comes in one meal
packages which I don't like too much but that's personal preference.


Queal:

Taste: 7/10
Texture: 6/10
Price: 6.5 / day
Vegan option: No
Overall awesomeness: 7/10

Is generally similar to Joylent (especially in flavor) but seems
strictly inferior (their flavors sound more fun - but don't actually
taste better).


Nutrilent:

Taste: 6/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 5 / day
Vegan option: No
Overall awesomeness: 6/10

Taste and flavor are also similar to Joylent but it tastes a little
worse. It comes in one meal packages which I don't fancy.


Jake:

Taste: 6/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 7.46 / day
Vegan option: Only Vegan
Overall awesomeness: 6/10

Has a silky taste/texture (I didn't even know that was a thing before I
tried it). Only has one flavor (vanilla) which is okayish.
Also offers a light and sports option.


Huel:

Taste: 1/10
Texture: 6/10
Price: 6.70 / day
Vegan option: Only Vegan
Overall awesomeness: 4/10

The taste was unanimously rated as awful by every single person to whom
I gave it for trying. The Vanilla flavored version was a bit less awful
then the unflavored version but still...
The worst packaging - it's in huge bags that make it hard to pour and
are generally inconvenient to handle.

Apart from that, it's ok, I guess?


Ambronite:

Taste: ?
Texture: ?
Price: 30 / day
Vegan option: Only Vegan
Overall awesomeness: ?

Price was prohibitive for testing - they advertise it as being very
healthy and natural and stuff.


Fruiticio:

Taste: ?
Texture: ?
Price: 5.76 / day
Vegan option: No
Overall awesomeness: ?

They offer a variety for women and one for men. I didn't see any way for
me to find out which of those I was supposed to order. I had to give up
the ordering process at that point. (I guess you'd have to ask your
doctor which one is for you?)



Conclusion:
Meal replacements are awesome, especially when you don't have much time
to make or eat a "proper" meal.
I generally don't feel full after drinking them but also stop being hungry.
I assume they're healthier than the average European diet.
The texture and flavor do get a bit dull after a while if I only use
meal replacements.

On my usual day I eat one serving of Joylent, Veetal and Mana at the
moment (and have one or two "non-replaced" meals).

 

14 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Soothsilver · 2016-08-16T05:59:36.611Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Is there a European alternative for a MealSquares-like product, i.e. one that is eaten, not drunk?

comment by Viliam · 2016-08-16T08:06:43.610Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Joylent Twennybars.

comment by WhySpace_duplicate0.9261692129075527 · 2016-08-17T15:57:57.065Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also, apparently Soylent just released a food bar. Like, 22 hrs ago.

Soylent is only available in the US and Canada at the moment, though.

comment by Soothsilver · 2016-09-06T13:44:30.052Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I order Joylent Twennybars in response to this. They are rather tasty.

comment by Soothsilver · 2016-09-07T21:07:55.162Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Addendum: I have just experienced the worst diarrhea I've ever had. However, I suspect it's unrelatd.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2016-08-16T03:02:21.715Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the reviews-- I had no idea there were so many companies in that niche.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-09-13T22:38:40.353Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I feel like you left out what is to me the most important characteristic of these meals: how filling they are. To me the taste/texture is a minor part of the product, more important is the nutritional characteristics and how much they sate hunger. The former is observable without buying the product, the latter isn't, so I was wondering whether you could give any opinions on that?

For example, I've tried soylent, joylent, and huel. Huel might taste worse but for me it's overwhelmingly the best in terms of filling me up and relieving hunger.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2016-08-20T21:15:55.750Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've never tried the meal replacements, but I've got a pretty good simple food regimen going lately. At least I like it, feel good, and have been losing weight.

(I supplement heavily as well. )

Cheerios in the morning, with almond+coconut milk plus vanilla powdered eggs over them. Tasty. Avoids dairy and easy carbs. Carrot juice with some of the ac milk (much tastier with the ac milk added).

Lunch - salad bar at work. Chunk fruits. Spinach. Red/Green peppers. Olives. Artichokes. Feta. Wish they had avocados. Usually some chunked chicken and tiny cheapo shrimp.

Dinnner - Vegetable infused pasta, chopped chicken thighs, some tomato sauce, and shredded cheese. Started having some wine with it.

I've gotten off the rice/bread/potatoes. And I only actually cook once a week, when I bake a pile of chicken thighs. Otherwise, it's pour or microwave to reheat. With cooking not a daily grind, I usually cook something interesting once a week. Rib eye steak last night. Tasty.

comment by andygor · 2016-08-18T10:23:05.273Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Have you tried Soylent? An e-commerce project selling it in Ukraine and i want to know, should i buy it or any alternatives. Thanks.

comment by philh · 2016-08-22T10:08:17.155Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've tasted soylent, and in the past I've had joylent and queal regularly. I don't remember if I found soylent pleasant or unpleasant, but I remember it seemed less tasty and with a worse texture (too gritty) than either of the others. I can't speak to any other factors.

(I'm pretty sure it wasn't as bad as queal's forest fruit flavour.)

comment by Gram_Stone · 2016-08-15T20:44:40.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Meal replacements really are awesome. I've been on Soylent 2.0 for several months. I don't have to cook, wash dishes, or refrigerate my food, it's shipped to my front door, all of my waste is recyclable (to my knowledge), I don't have opportunities to impulse buy any more, it's more nutritious than what I was eating before, I'm a vegetarian (vegan, even?) as a side effect, and it's hard to choke on it. Rosa Labs also just released a caffeinated version with coffee in it, which will replace my energy drink habit. (I should probably drop caffeine altogether, but I love it so much.)

Cons include people looking at me weird, possible nutrition-related black swans, jaw muscle atrophy (which may be a notable pro for any transwomen out there), and lack of fibrous material to chew on to clean out the fissures in my molars, which could increase risk of dental caries. I could pick up a gum habit for the last one; xylitol gum would probably be best as long as I'm trying to improve my oral health.

comment by Viliam · 2016-08-16T08:19:48.584Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Chewing gum is generally recommended with this kind of food.

There are already known problems with this kind of food, and I wonder why no one seems to address them. First, the lack of probiotics. Second, some metabolic pathways cannot be done at the same time (sorry, I don't remember the specific examples), so if you eat both X and Y in the same food, X will take priority and get digested, but Y will be ignored. This is not a problem if some of your food contains only X and other contains only Y, but may become a problem when X and Y always come mixed together.

The second problem seems relatively easy to fix: just split the food into two (or more if necessary) variants. For example, make one variant with double X, zero Y, and the usual amount of everything else, and other variant with no X, double Y, and the usual amount of everything else. Not sure what to do about the first problem; I suspect probiotics do not have the same shell life as the usual Soylent ingredients.

comment by buybuydandavis · 2016-08-20T21:23:02.774Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I started probiotics around Christmas last year. Been losing weight consistently since then. Have largely gotten off the easy carbs. Pre diabetic. All numbers have gotten much better since then.

There has been a lot of noise in recent years about probiotics for treating diabetes and generally controlling insulin levels.

comment by ZeitPolizei · 2017-03-01T14:12:57.236Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There is also Bertrand, which is organic. Their ingredients look like it would be pretty tasty, but it costs 9€ per day.