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Less Bag, More Scoop

We’ve upgraded our packaging.

Our pouches are upstanding.

No more simple plastic bags, with only a laser-printed Nutrition Facts label to elevate them above humble homebrew status. Instead, we are proud to package our product in heavy-duty mylar pouches, with zip locks and tear notches, and custom scoops. And of course, excellent impermeability to oxygen and light.

The labels still look pretty much the same, but you know, progress. ;)

Begun, the bulk packaging has.

The nice thing is, we’re noticing that this change is speeding up our manufacturing process considerably. Instead of measuring powder into five individual bags, sealing them, wiping them off, applying stickers, and combining them into packs, we measure the powder into one big pouch for each pack, and add a scoop.

That’s a good thing, because we’ve been a bit backlogged with orders in the past week, trying to adapt to this new process. But now we’re making an extra batch or two per day, and hopefully backlogs will soon be a thing of the past!

With some luck, this should also free up time to make some much-needed improvements to the website. Or, more accurately, to finish the website. :p We’ve been so busy just setting up operations and keeping up with orders, we have entirely neglected our poor website for the past nine months. About page? “Coming soon!” FAQ? “Coming soon!”

At long last, “soon” is finally coming, well… soon.

So, there’s that to look forward to. :)

Scoop inside!

The key innovation here is the addition of measuring scoops for each pack. Each product – Schmilk, Keto Fuel, Light Fuel, and Athlete Fuel – has a different volume of powder per serving, and a different scoop to match.

We found that many customers prefer to make one meal at a time instead of a whole day’s worth, and that the measurements make the most sense when each day is split into four servings. So we realized that we could improve the flexibility of the experience, reduce excess packaging, enhance the presentation, and streamline our manufacturing process by switching to larger bags with scoops.

Testing scooping methods for accuracy.

Doing it right meant taking a lot of time to determine the correct scoop measurements, and figuring out which scooping methods created the most consistent results. The tricky thing about volume measurements is that powder can be bigger or smaller depending on how compressed it is. Lightly sifting flour into a measuring cup will result in a drastically different amount than packing it in as tight as you can.

We found that scooping from the naturally compacted powder within a bulk bag, then shaking off the excess powder to level it, produced the best results. It’s also the most obvious way to do it, given a bag of powder and a scoop. That, and a lot of trial-and-error with dozens of scoops of all sizes, is how we determined the sizing for each of our final scoops.

To account for the unavoidable margin of error involved in portioning powder by volume, we add a little extra powder so that no one is stuck with a missing meal at the end of the bag. Still, if you need to control your intake down to the nearest calorie (to whatever degree that is actually possible) you’ll probably want to use a digital scale to measure everything by weight. Actually, that’s what I use for everything – saves washing measuring cups for oil or milk. ;)

If it turns out that the margin of error is greater than we accounted for, we’ll adjust and add even more extra powder to each pack. Let us know how it goes for you! :)

Oh, and there’s one more thing you may be able to look forward to thanks to this change. Faster production means more time for other things, like… samples. Lots of people have been asking for single-serving samples of all the flavors of each product.

That just might be coming soon. Stay tuned. ;)

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March 2016 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy March! :) We’ve been busy with a lot of projects here at Super Body Fuel.

Here’s what we’ve been working on in February:

  • Monthly subscriptions: $5 off per pack for automatic reorders
  • Credit card payment option: not just PayPal anymore
  • New rice protein supplier: smoother texture, milder flavor, organic

At long last, automatic monthly subscriptions are now available, with a discount to reward our repeat customers! :) You can find them at the end of the Shop page on our site. We’ve also been approved for a new credit card processor, which provides a welcome alternative to PayPal.

We’re also about to start using a new rice protein, Ortiva, which is smoother and milder in taste than the Oryzatein brand we’d been using previously. Plus it’s organic! ;) We’ve been busy tweaking all our recipes to account for the slight change in flavor.

And here’s what is about to happen in March:

  • Bulk packaging: all the powder in one bag with a scoop
  • Vitamin premix: finalizing the formula with manufacturers

We are extremely close to rolling out our new bulk packaging. We’ve got the new mylar pouches, and we’ve been testing scoops of various sizes and styles. After we have updated our scoop specifications to account for the lower density of the new rice protein, we will be transitioning as soon as we can.

We’ve also been working with a number of manufacturers on a custom vitamin premix, and this month we expect to pin down the formula and pricing. From that point, it may be up to two months before we receive the premix and can start using it in our products. But we’re really looking forward to having our own vegan vitamin mix, made to our specifications with the most bioavailable compounds in the optimal amounts for human health and performance.

Hope you’re excited too! :) This is all a work in progress – so please, let us know what you think. Your feedback has already helped shape the direction of Super Body Fuel.

Thanks again,

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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February 2016 Update

Hi everyone,

A lot has been happening this year at Super Body Fuel! :)

Here’s what happened in January:

  • International shipping! :D Now shipping everywhere in the world.
  • New pricing: lower base prices, separate shipping, no bulk discount.
  • Light Fuel upgrade: more protein, gluten-free oat-based taste.
  • Schmoylent discontinued in favor of new Light Fuel and Schmilk.

You can read more about the international shipping and pricing change here, and the new Light Fuel recipe and discontinuing Schmoylent here. There are still a few packs of Schmoylent left, by the way, so hurry if you want it!

And here’s what we’re considering for February:

  • Monthly subscriptions: 10% off per pack for automatic reorders
  • Bulk packaging: all the powder in one bag with a single-meal scoop

Given the pricing change, we’re thinking of offering a discount on automatic monthly subscriptions, in order to reward our repeat customers. This effectively replaces the bulk discount that used to reward larger orders.

We’ve also started gathering feedback from our repeat customers about some proposed packaging changes. The majority have responded in favor of switching to one big, resealable foil bag per pack, with a scoop that measures 1/4 of a day’s powder. This improves durability, shelf life, visual appeal, flexibility of meals, and has the potential to reduce costs and packaging waste in the long run.

What do you think? :) Let us know and help shape the future of Super Body Fuel!

Thanks as always,

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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The Last Schmoylent

We’re tired of being the Soylent knockoff.

This era is over.

That made sense back when you had to wait for months for your Soylent, but now you can get it right away.

At Super Body Fuel, we’ve honed an inclusive but minimal selection of product lines to cater to all needs, from cheap and tasty Schmilk, to dairy-free ketogenic Keto Fuel. But we still sell Schmoylent, simply because there are people who have been using it for a long time now, and they want to keep using it because it works for them and they like the taste.

It’s time to make a change.

Coming from a Paleo dietary background, Richard and myself at Super Body Fuel like to encourage lower-carb eating habits versus the more conventionally high-carb Soylent 1.x and Schmoylent. It’s been gratifying see Soylent’s carb content gradually come further and further down, until with Soylent 2.0 the carbs measure at just 33% of total calories – close to the carb count of our low-carb Light Fuel blend!

But we’ve kept Schmoylent at the 50/20/30 carb/protein/fat ratio that Soylent 1.0 introduced. And that no longer makes sense. If you want high-carb, Schmilk is a much better choice than Schmoylent – it’s cheaper, tastier, and if you can’t drink dairy milk than you can use soy milk instead. There’s no reason to have two high-carb products when one is clearly better in multiple ways.

And if you want Schmoylent because of the taste and you’d rather use oil and water instead of milk because of an issue with dairy and soy, we have a new solution for you:

A new Light Fuel, redesigned to have a higher protein content, along with the oat-based taste of Schmoylent, while still fulfilling its low-carb function. It’s basically a merging of Schmoylent and Light Fuel. You could call it Schmoylent if you want, but we’re going to call it Light Fuel. Now available at a Super Body Fuel near you! ;)

All our Light Fuel customers are enthusiastically on board with the upgrade, and our Schmoylent customers will be switching to the new Light Fuel, the high-protein Athlete Fuel, or the conventional Schmilk, depending on their needs.

We’ve got a few more packs of Schmoylent Plain and Schmoylent Chocolate in stock, but once those are sold out, that’s it! No more Schmoylent.

Only Light Fuel will remain as its spiritual successor.

Schmoylent is dead. Long live Light Fuel! :D

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Beyond Borders

We’re officially shipping to everywhere now.

Delivery complete.

That’s right, we’re now offering international shipping! :D

This is something people have been asking about since the beginning. It’s no wonder, since it’s really hard to find a hypoallergenic or ketogenic option like ours in Europe. We’re really glad to finally get our fuel to those who need it outside the US.

So far, we’ve had successful test shipments sent to Canada, France, Germany, Austria, and even Thailand. Now that we know it works, we’re officially opening to accept orders from anywhere in the world that USPS will ship to. So step right up! :)

Of course, international shipping can be expensive! When we only shipped within the US, we included shipping costs in the base price of each product and gave a bulk discount for ordering more at once, to approximate the cost savings of shipping more per package.

But now, we’re lowering our prices and charging for shipping separately, as shipping costs vary dramatically depending on where in the world you are ordering from and how much you buy. This means that the total checkout price will reflect the actual costs much more accurately.

Based on our numbers, a majority of people buy 1-3 packs at a time and will benefit from slightly lower prices with this change. If you buy 4 or more at a time, you won’t get as much of a discount as before. Our goal is to be transparent about the relative costs of each choice rather than encouraging the largest purchases possible.

Instead, we’ll have sales and introduce rewards for doing things that actually are beneficial, like setting up a subscription or sharing with your friends or bringing in affiliate sales. Should be fun. ;)

Anyway, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new international customers and thank all of our US customers for their continued support. If you haven’t already, make sure you take advantage of our 10% off New Year’s sale with the coupon code RESOLVETHIS before it expires on January 10th!

Hope you all have a great 2016! :)

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Sample-able Schmilk

At long last, you can now buy a little Schmilk, just to try.

It’s sample-licious!

That is, we’ve added a Schmilk Sampler to the shop! :D

For $15, you get two different flavors of Schmilk – your choice – to try for three meals each. That’s six meals in total.

Of course, for the Sampler, the Schmilk you’re getting does not have the added vitamins and minerals of the real deal. So, it’s just a taste. But it’s a big enough taste to share with your friends! (Last-minute holiday shopping, anyone?)

So if you’ve been on the fence about Schmilk, this is your chance to try it, without a big financial commitment.

And especially for our loyal blog readers (thank you!) we have a special 20% off coupon code for your first Schmilk Sampler purchase:

SCHMAMPLE

Try it for $12 instead of $15. That should sweeten the deal a little. ;)

Enjoy! :)

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The Red Carpet

Some famous people stopped by the Super Body Fuel factory the other day.

Tim Schafer finds himself in a strange new environment…

We’ve had a few customers stop by the factory before, just to check out our operation and say hi. It’s always fun to meet people in-person and show off what we’ve been working so hard to create.

But this is the first time we’ve had actual famous people in our factory.

Pendleton Ward is the much-beloved creator of the cartoon show Adventure Time, now in its seventh season. Back in June, he actually sent me a nice fan email after being inspired by one of my old games, The Love Letter. And in the process of trying to find my email address, he discovered Schmoylent.

As it happenened, he was visiting San Francisco for this indie game event called Day of the Devs, and wanted to buy some Schmoylent while he was here. So I invited him to a tour of the Super Body Fuel factory.

Pendleton Ward sings “Don’t worry, be Schmoylent”.

He brought some friends.

Specifically, Tim Schafer, head of game company Double Fine Productions, and Erik Wolpaw, best known as the writer for the hit game Portal.

Turns out that Tim Schafer has lost a lot of weight by juicing in the past, so he asked me if I had a “fat guy” version. In fact, I did, I told him – it’s called Keto Fuel! Very popular for weight-loss, as it puts your body into a fat-burning metabolic mode called ketosis. He accepted a sample – chocolate, my recommendation – and a Schmoylent too, just for good measure.

Erik Wolpaw was not so fond of liquid diets, but revealed that he did in fact drink protein shakes as a post-workout meal at the gym. When I showed him the Nutrition Facts for Athlete Fuel, he expressed a grudging acceptance of the protein content (about 60g per meal), and I gave him a sample to try at home.

For Pendleton Ward, I just gave him as many different samples as I could find, so he could try all of them and see what he liked best.

Cheers from Super Body Fuel, with Erik Wolpaw and Pendleton Ward.

So if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, please stop by the Super Body Fuel factory and say hi! Let us know ahead of time and we’ll make sure to have some free samples for you too. ;)

Hope to see you soon. :)

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Back in Action

We’ve finally cleared out our backlog.

Super Body Fuel in stock and on the shelf.

This means no more long wait times. If you place an order now, we’ll ship it out the next day if it’s in stock. Otherwise, we’ll make it over the next few days and ship it out to you once it’s ready, within two weeks at the very latest. Accordingly, we’ve updated the website to show which products are in stock and which are not, so you’ll know what to expect as far as shipping times. Yay! :)

Over the course of this month, we’ll be building up our inventory until we have a couple batches of each variation in stock at all times. At that point, every new order will ship next-day, unless a ton of people order the same thing at once!

In other news, you may have noticed that the product labels – complete with instructions and Nutrition Facts – are now visible on each product page below the main product image. We’ll be updating the product pages with more detailed nutrition information later, but we hope these labels will help answer some of your questions in the meantime. If not, just send us an email. ;)

So, we’re still making very small batches, and that’s slow. But we’ve finally made it through our backlog, and now we can begin to take advantage of the one benefit that comes with small batches…

That is, variety. Flavors. Popular flavors, experimental flavors, rotating flavors, limited edition flavors, seasonal flavors… All kinds of flavors.

We’re looking forward to ramping that up. Coming soon.

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We Have Liftoff!

We’re shipping! :D

Our very first shipment, ready for pickup.

Yesterday, USPS picked up our first shipment of pre-orders, 43 packages in all.

We should be shipping out a couple dozen more by the end of this week.

This is a major milestone. The circle is finally complete! We’re leaving the runway. But we’re not yet at 30,000 feet.

Packing up some Athlete Fuel, with actual Nutrition Facts!

Does it feel good? Yes. But the work has only begun.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, it will likely take another month or so to clear out all the pre-orders. By the end of October, we hope to have caught up with our backlog, to be shipping new orders next-day. We’re looking forward to that!

But in the meantime, we just have to crank it out. ;)

I’ll be posting the Nutrition Facts next. Stay tuned.

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It Begins… Slowly

We started manufacturing last Friday.

The very first batch at Super Body Fuel. Never forget!

Appropriately enough, our first batch was a month’s worth of Schmoylent Vanilla, the first recipe we finalized earlier this month and one of our most popular options.

It took us about six hours. That’s an hour per pack, or about 12 minutes per bag. And that’s not counting prep or cleanup time. :p Let’s just say it turned out to be a late night at the factory for both of us.

A little stevia goes a long way.

Of course, it only took so long because we were still evaluating and solidifying our manufacturing process. We’re optimistic that we could get to three batches a day with a little practice. We’re already down to three hours per batch this week.

With a mixer that can churn through a thousand bags of product at a time, three batches a day would be plenty. But our mixer is small, making less than a hundred bags per batch, and in many cases less than fifty. That kind of production rate could be easily overwhelmed if we started getting more than ten orders a day.

Soon to be Schmilk Chocolate.

But the more pressing concern is, “When am I going to get my pre-order?”

Good question! Many of you have already asked this, in fact. ;)

Based on our initial calculations, it will take us about 3-5 weeks before we’ve cleared out all the pre-orders from the last few months. We’ll start shipping on Monday, so those of you with June pre-orders should be seeing a package from Super Body Fuel on your doorstep soon, but July, August, and September pre-orders may take a few weeks longer.

We’re looking into ways to speed up the process, like hiring part-time help or working on weekends, so with any luck we may be able to shorten that timeline a little. But at our current pace, we expect we’ll be done shipping pre-orders around the end of October.

Our batch record system brings health inspectors to tears. Tears of joy.

In other news, I’ve set up a nice system to track way too much information about each batch, in a convenient and mostly automated way. Most importantly, we’re recording the exact ingredients added, with lot numbers and actual measurements (individually confirmed and signed off by both of us, of course) so we know exactly what has gone into each batch and in turn, which batch has gone to which customer. Plus some extra goodies, like the starting (and ending) temperature and humidity, among other things. Why not, right? :)

For those of you waiting eagerly for the reveal of the nutritional details and ingredients for all the recipes, rest assured that I’ve got that information and I will be putting it up on the website soon – I’m just focused on putting the final touches on our shipping system so we can start sending orders out as soon as possible! Once we’re shipping, updating the website with all the latest nutritional information will be at the top of my list.

You’ll hear back from us soon.