I’m a Soylent believer. If you know me personally, this may be hard for you to understand, given that my favorite foods are bread and cheese and that I feel Seamless should always win Best Overall Startup at the Crunchies every year until eternity.My love for Soylent — credited to both the taste and to the overall effect it has on my mental and physical energy — should be a testament to just how revolutionary this ‘new food’ is. If I can substitute one bottle of Soylent 2.0 for one meal each day, anyone can.
But it was neither taste nor health benefits that originally got me interested in Soylent. In fact, it was convenience.
Convenience is one of the major selling points for Soylent. Instead of taking time and energy to shop for food, cook food, go to a restaurant, or eat the food, you can simply sip on a Soylent as you handle life’s daily tasks.
I find that I like it best for breakfast or lunch, while I’m working. It gets my metabolism going, fills me up without making me sleepy with food baby, and gets the old noggin’ firing on all cylinders. Yet, it isn’t anymore distracting than a cup of coffee at my desk.
Plus, just buying Soylent is about as convenient as you can get: order online, receive shipment, open box.
So, with such a focus on efficiency and convenience, you’d think that popping open a bottle of Soylent would be just as efficient and convenient. But, absurdly, you would be wrong.
The plastic on the top of the bottle, over the lid, is reminiscent of the plastic on the top of a bottle of Nesquik milk, though not nearly as well-designed. These plastic wrappers do not tear on the perforated lines.
You must rip off the plastic bit by bit until your hands would rather spend time clicking out an order on Seamless.
I did recently discover that if you twist the whole top, while the plastic wrapper is still in place, you can remove the lid and the wrapper in one piece. However, if you’re even remotely as anal about this stuff as I am, you’ll still find yourself painstakingly pulling the plastic off of the lid once it’s unscrewed.
But wait! There’s more!
Once you get the lid unwrapped and unscrewed, there’s another fun layer of plastic to remove.
I’m all about keeping things fresh and ensuring my edible product hasn’t been tampered with, which are probably but a few reasons why these things are more difficult to unwrap than an old CD.
But it’s also clear that design is important to Soylent. Just look at that bottle. So simple. So elegant.
So why is the user experience on these bottles so difficult? Can’t we get a properly perforated piece of plastic wrapper for the lid? Can’t the inner piece of plastic come with an easy-pop tab?
I’m sure I sound nitpicky, but this brave new world of convenience technology and re-engineered food has left me expectedly infantilized and spoiled. I am what you made me, Soylent.
So please, on behalf of all of your customers and myself, please make opening a bottle of Soylent as easy as purchasing, drinking and digesting one is.