7-Eleven is now stocking Soylent.
Starting Monday, 18 7-Eleven locations in the Los Angeles area will stock three flavours of the meal replacement beverage: Cacao and two caffeinated flavours, Cafe Chai and Cafe Coffiest. The original “Soylent” flavour will not be available for purchase at the convenience store chain.
This is the first time that Soylent will be available for purchase anywhere besides Amazon.com and the brand’s website. Its maker, Rosa Foods, stated in a press release that this is Soylent’s first step toward building a national retail presence.
“It is exciting that the demand for our breakthrough line of drinkable meals has moved beyond e-commerce,” Rob Rhinehart, Soylent’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This new collaboration with 7-Eleven will make Soylent an even better option for customers looking for convenience without sacrificing their health.”
Rhinehart invented the first iteration of Soylent in 2013 as part of an experiment to swap food for raw ingredients to save time and money. Soylent says it is “open-source” and encourages people to tinker with its recipe. The brand has a cult following amongst the tech startup community.
“Soylent is a community of people who are enthusiastic about using science to improve food and nutrition,” Chris Dixon, who works at venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a 2015 blog post after Andreessen Horowitz invested $US20 million in the company. “If you look at Soylent as just a food company, you misjudge the core of the company.”
Recently, Soylent has made efforts to appeal to a more mainstream audience. One year ago, Soylent only had one flavour — Soylent Original — available in powder or liquid form. The drink was designed for function not taste.
However, since the debut of Soylent Coffiest in August 2016, the chain has added flavours including Cacao, Nectar, Cafe Vanilla, and Cafe Chai, as well as the currently-discontinued Soylent Bar.
The company still received major funding from investors. In May, Soylent snagged a $US50 million Series B financing round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), bringing total funding to $US74.5 million.