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August 2017 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy August! :) We have even more updates for you at Super Body Fuel:

  • Keto Fuel: all flavors now with MCT oil!
  • Light Fuel: just renamed to Super Fuel.
  • Super Fiber: our MCT fiber mix is for sale!

The improvements that we announced in our last update have finally made their way to all the flavors of Keto Fuel, with powdered MCT oil along with the new rice protein and better-tasting potassium. So if you’ve been waiting for the go-ahead, this is it – go ahead and order! ;) We’ve sent samples of the new Keto Fuel to everyone who complained about the taste of the old version, and the response has been unanimous: it’s way better! I’m excited to hear how you like it – please let us know once you’ve tried it. :)

Also, now that Light Fuel has completely switched over to the new version as well, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to rename it to Super Fuel! :D After hearing from a number of customers who passed over “Light Fuel” because the name was unappealing, I consulted with many long-time customers, who all agreed that it would make a lot more sense to call it “Super Fuel” instead. If Keto Fuel is for losing weight and Athlete Fuel is for building muscle, Super Fuel is really meant to be our healthy, maintenance option, and now its name finally reflects this. :) So take a look if that’s something that interests you – it’s my favorite, and I think you might like it too.

For the DIYers out there, we have just started selling our acacia-based MCT oil powder as a standalone ingredient, alongside our Super Electrolytes and Super Micros. Based on the suggestion of a community member, we’re calling it Super Fiber, because it consists of a prebiotic fiber (Acacia Gum) combined with a ketogenic fat (Medium-Chain Triglycerides). The cool thing is, you can now easily create your own ketogenic meal shake by combining a flavored protein powder and a fat source such as heavy cream with our Super Fiber, Super Electrolytes, and Super Micros. And that’s just the start. ;) I look forward to even more ways of making DIY cheaper, easier, and more effective over time.

Lastly, our warehouse manager Ben has moved to the East Coast to go back to school, so Jamaica has stepped up to take his place shipping orders, buying ingredients and replying to emails. You may hear from her if you send us an email in the near future. So, good luck to Ben and congratulations to Jamaica on her new role! :D

Coming soon:

  • Himalayan pink salt instead of sea salt!
  • Insoluble fiber: any volunteers for testing?

One imminent update that some of you may be excited to hear about is replacing our Sea Salt with Himalayan Pink Salt. Not only is it a nifty pink color, but it has trace amounts of nearly every element, so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting enough, say, gold or silver in your diet or any other as-yet-unknown dietary requirements that may or may not be necessary in very tiny amounts.

Finally, the biggest update we have on the horizon is adding some form of insoluble fiber, to go along with all the soluble fiber we’ve been adding in the form of Acacia Gum. We’ve got a few candidates in mind for this addition, but we’d like to test them first, to make sure they don’t have any unintended side effects like gas or bloating. You never know with fiber. :p That means we need some brave volunteers to help us test it out. If you’re up for ingesting two or three fiber samples over the course of a week and recording your results, let us know! And make sure to include your current shipping address. ;)

Thanks as always for your continued feedback and support!

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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July 2017 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy July! :) Hope you all had a great Fourth of July weekend, if you’re in the States, and a great normal weekend, if you’re not. ;)

We have a bunch of good news to share:

  • The best rice protein: finally here, hopefully for good.
  • Keto Fuel: now with MCT powder already included!
  • Better-tasting potassium: Potassium Bicarbonate.
  • Super Electrolytes: finally available for DIY!

First of all, after many delays and stopgap measures, we’ve gotten our hands on a new rice protein that is the best we’ve seen so far, both in taste and texture. With any luck, we’ll be able to maintain a reliable supply of this year-round, and next year as well! For rice-protein-based recipes especially, like Keto Fuel and Light Fuel, this should have a big positive impact on the taste.

Perhaps more excitingly for the Keto Fuel fans, we’ve also finally received our custom acacia-based MCT oil powder, and based on our test batches this week, it’s working great! Not only does it mean that you no longer have to buy your own MCT oil or coconut oil, it also eliminates the dustiness that made scooping Keto Fuel powder so annoying. We’ve just started manufacturing batches with the MCT powder, and over the next few weeks our stock of the old MCT-less Keto Fuel will be replaced with the MCT version, so you can look forward to that! ;)

One thing we’re finding, though, is that the big bags of Keto Fuel will now barely fit all the powder required, with the addition of MCT oil. Because of this, we’re planning to phase out the big bags and update ongoing subscriptions to have two small bags for every big bag of Keto Fuel. Same amount of powder, same price, just twice as many bags and recyclable plastic scoops. If you have any thoughts about this change, please reply and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

The last improvement we’re excited to share with you is a new form of potassium, for a much more neutral flavor. We’ve phased out Potassium Citrate, which is very bitter and sour, and replaced it with Potassium Bicarbonate, which is the most neutral-tasting potassium source we’ve found, according to our taste tests and the feedback of our volunteers. This should make a big difference in Keto Fuel and Light Fuel especially, as they are high in added potassium. Not only that, but it has allowed us to reduce the amount of Monkfruit Extract used as a sweetener, which should reduce the sweetener aftertastes that some people experience.

Basically, our recipes are getting better than we could have imagined, and we’re excited to hear what you think of them. :) As some of you may have noticed, we’ve started sending out feedback surveys to see how we’re doing with these improvements. Keep your eyes open for a survey email about a month after your order ships. Thanks to everyone who has already participated! :D

And finally, for those of you into DIY or who just want to supplement your electrolytes, we’re now making our optimal electrolyte mix available for sale as Super Electrolytes! This includes the new Potassium Bicarbonate, Sea Salt, Magnesium Malate, and Calcium Phosphate in the amounts that we target in our recipes. Have it with water or juice for your own homemade sports drink or combine it with Super Micros for an easy DIY meal shake. If you do try it, please let us know how it goes – we want to hear your feedback! :)

Thanks for celebrating these achievements with us. Here’s to a healthy, better-tasting summer! ;)

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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May 2017 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy May! :) In honor of International Worker’s Day, I’d like to take the opportunity to plug one of my favorite books of the last few years, Reinventing Organizations. Decentralized, self-organizing businesses really do exist, in industries from manufacturing to healthcare, and this book shows how it can be done. As an idealist who has found myself suddenly running a manufacturing business with a growing team of employees, I find this vision extremely inspiring and I hope that someday this business can have as big an impact of empowerment and liberation through the lives of the people working for it as it does through the products it sells.

Anyway, here are the updates:

  • New rice protein that doesn’t taste awful!
  • Back to next-day shipping, or close to it.
  • Free US shipping on orders over $100!
  • Bimonthly subscriptions now available.

The biggest good news is that we’ve been able to get a better placeholder rice protein that doesn’t have the awful burnt taste of the previous one. All the products made in the last month or so have been made with this new rice protein. Phew! :p Still no updates on availability from our preferred supplier, but the worst is over.

Part of the reason we didn’t announce this earlier is that we were also a bit backlogged over the past month as well. One of our manufacturing technicians, Justin, had to stop working due to (unrelated) health issues and production slowed as we filled in for him and looked for a replacement. Fortunately, he is recovering and we have hired Julia, who, along with Jamaica, is now cranking out batches at an impressive rate. So we’re happy to say that the shipping delays of the last several weeks have been resolved, and we’re back to shipping next-day, or close to it!

Now that we’re caught up with our backlog, I’m excited to finally introduce something I’ve wanted to do for a while: free shipping on larger orders. As we’ve honed our process and seen sales stabilize at a sustainable level, we are finally at a point where we can begin to pass cost-savings back to you, our customers. So, to start with, we are offering free shipping on orders and subscriptions over $100! :D This is only for US orders – unfortunately international shipping is still prohibitively expensive, though international expansion is part of our plan, as soon as we have the volume to make it work, logistically.

As part of this update, we’re adding the option to have your subscription delivered every two months, so that you can consolidate your subscription into a larger order to save on shipping. If you’d like to change your subscription, just tell us in an email and we’ll take care of it for you. ;) Or, you’re always welcome to cancel your existing subscription and set up a new one yourself.

Coming soon:

  • New, odor-free vitamin mix just arrived!
  • MCT oil powder for Keto Fuel coming in June.
  • New electrolyte mix for better nutrition and taste.

We just received our first shipment of our custom vitamin mix from our new supplier, reformulated to be free of the sulfurous odor of the original batch. It was the L-Selenomethionine, the active selenium compound that gives garlic and onions their characteristic odor, and to a lesser extent the particular brand of Choline L-Bitartrate, that caused the smell after all. We’re now using the odorless amino acid chelate Selenium Glycinate instead, and a more expensive but relatively odorless Choline L-Bitratrate in this version. You can expect to start receiving product with this new mix over the next few weeks.

More excitingly, we’ve just put in an order for a custom MCT oil powder made with Acacia Gum, which we are expecting to receive by the end of May. The plan is to add it to Keto Fuel, at a dosage equivalent to about half a tablespoon of MCT oil per meal, so you’ll no longer have to buy and add MCT oil yourself when using Keto Fuel! Even better, this reduces the dusty lightness of the Keto Fuel powder that is so annoying when trying to scoop and pour it. :p And crucially, we’ve been able to get the costs of this extra ingredient down enough that we won’t be raising the price of Keto Fuel at all – it will just be a better product, at the same price. So we’re really looking forward to rolling this out in June. :)

Also, we’ve just finished lining up the last suppliers for our electrolyte upgrade, and will be getting our hands on these new ingredients by the end of the month if all goes well. We’ve found that the electrolyte Potassium Citrate is responsible for the majority of the unpleasant flavors in our products, especially the potassium-heavy Keto Fuel, and we are cautiously optimistic about the opportunity we have here to significantly improve the taste with a few formula tweaks. So, we’ll keep you posted on that – and if you want to help out with taste-testing, definitely let us know. ;)

Last but not least, thanks for your help with our branding survey in February! We’ve been glad to hear that the qualities that we’ve been most proud of, in terms of our product and service, are the same qualities that you notice and appreciate. However, it’s also clear that neither “Schmilk” nor “Super Body Fuel” do a good job of expressing that brand identity. So we’re going back to the drawing board as far as articulating our brand and coming up with a name and visual identity that will really speak to what is unique about us. Stay tuned! ;)

Thanks again for sticking with us!

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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February 2017 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy Valentine’s Day! :) We’re overdue for an update, so here are the highlights for February:

  • Vegan vitamin mix is in, placeholder vitamin is out!
  • Now selling vitamin mix as Super Micros for DIYers!
  • Placeholder rice protein due to rice protein shortage.
  • Phasing in new, nicer bags for samples.
  • Help us define our brandtake the survey!

Yes, we’ve completely switched over to our custom, optimized, vegan vitamin mix and sold off the rest of the old stock! You can now look forward to enjoying the most optimal micronutrient profile currently on the market, right here at Super Body Fuel. :) Please be aware, however, that this vitamin mix has a strong smell, which could be described as medicinal, meaty, and peppery, and that this smell can come through in the final product. We’ve been working to identify the ingredients responsible (most likely the L-Selenomethionine and Choline L-Bitartrate) and are in the process of adjusting the formula with our new manufacturer to use odorless equivalents in the next batch.

Bottom line is, don’t worry if it smells weird, that’s normal – it’s still vegan, and it’s not spoiled – and we’re working on reducing the odor in the next batch, for your increased olfactory enjoyment. ;)

We’re also making it available as a standalone product for DIYers, which we’re calling Super Micros. If this goes well, there are other ingredients and blends we could make available to DIYers who want to experiment or save money by making it themselves. :)

In other news, our usual rice protein supplier has been out of the usual brand of rice protein we’ve been using (Gabiotein) and sent us a different brand (RisaPro) to hold us over in the meantime. Unfortunately, while the RisaPro is theoretically a higher grade, with a finer particle size and supposedly the same taste and nutrition, we’ve found that it has a very distinct “burnt” taste and a “drying paint” odor when mixed with water. Doubly unfortunately, all the other rice protein suppliers seem to be out of stock at the same time, thanks to the seasonality of the global rice crop, and we’ve been unable to find an alternative. :( From what we’ve heard, it will be at least another month before any of our preferred rice protein brands will be available again.

So, all I can say is that I’m terribly sorry about the paint-like taste you may be experiencing, and I am anxiously awaiting the new rice protein crop along with all of you. If you end up needing to pause your subscription or get a refund, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

On a somewhat brighter note, we’ve upgraded our sample packaging to use the same kraft-and-mylar material as our usual packs, which is pretty cool. :p

And here’s what we’re currently experimenting with:

  • Alternative potassium sources for a better taste.
  • Increased sodium in Keto Fuel to prevent keto flu.

Once the rice protein supply issue is sorted again, the best thing we could do to improve the taste would be to change the potassium source. Especially in Keto Fuel and Light Fuel, there is a lot of Potassium Citrate, which can lend a sour, bitter, and salty taste that is not always masked well by the other ingredients. To that end, we’ve been experimenting with as many different potassium sources as we can get our hands on, which we hope to finalize and put into practice as soon as possible.

We’re also getting ready to test some alternative calcium and magnesium sources as well, but that’s a little further out. In the meantime, we’re experimenting with increasing the sodium content of Keto Fuel using the not-so-salty-tasting Sodium Citrate to help prevent symptoms of “keto flu” without an overwhelmingly salty taste.

I’m really looking forward to all these upcoming product improvements (not the least of which will be getting our old rice protein back), and I’d like to thank you all for bearing with us in the meantime.

In anticipation of this tantalizing state of near-perfection that now beckons (present setbacks aside), we’ve also started thinking about how to define our brand and communicate what we’re all about, through words and visual design. I have my own ideas, but I want to understand what you actually think (and feel). To that end, I’ve put together this little branding survey so you can tell us who you are, and how you relate to Super Body Fuel.

If you have a few minutes to spare, please check it out – we’d really appreciate it. :)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSev82WEjS45F7rFigmLKuZO1GytjCf2XvWVb_uNVsZB6ZxrgA/viewform

Thank you!

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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January 2017 Update

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year! :) This past year has been quite a trek for us at Super Body Fuel, with a lot of milestones and changes – not the least of which was the business finally breaking even halfway through 2016! :p

I’m really looking forward to 2017. I think it will be a lot more fun. ;)

Here are the headlines:

  • Sale! 10% off this week with coupon code: TAKEOFF
  • Our vegan vitamin mix: finally shipping. Again.
  • DIY support including ingredients and published recipes.
  • Vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract: no more sugar!

Read on for the full story.

Things have been coming together. The product has improved so much, from better packaging to smoother rice protein and lysine to fart-free fiber sources and monkfruit with no stevia aftertaste. And soon, we’ll have our own custom vitamin premix again, providing an optimal micronutrient mix that I’m really excited to experience for myself and share with you.

Production is now a smooth and streamlined process, with an awesome team. Ben is now shipping your orders and managing the warehouse and ingredient supply, while Justin and Jamaica are manufacturing hundreds of bags a week with William’s part-time help. With daily operations safely in their capable hands, I am finally able to direct my attention to new initiatives and improvements for 2017, which I cannot wait to share with you all. :)

But first, we’re doing a New Year’s sale, just like last year, to help you out with your diet-related resolutions (or intentions, if you prefer) this year.

Use the coupon code TAKEOFF to take 10% off everything this week at Super Body Fuel.

And here’s some good news: After a delay of over two months, our second shipment of the custom vitamin premix has just been released from final testing and will be arriving soon. We hope to start using it within a couple weeks, instead of the Paradise Herbs vitamin we’ve been using in its place.

Even better, we’ve found a new vitamin manufacturer that will be able to process our orders much faster and provide us with a more reliable supply of the premix. So we look forward to not running out of it in the future! ;p

That also means that we can start selling the vitamin mix as a standalone product, as promised. A big part of what I want to do this year involves supporting the DIY community, starting with making the vitamin mix available, and then publishing our finalized recipes along with better educational content about nutrition and the practical side of getting started with DIY.

And yes, there are some recipe updates on the way. Aside from the vitamin mix, that includes using whole ground vanilla beans instead of a sugar-based vanilla extract for our vanilla-flavored variations. That way we’ll really have no amount of added sugar at all in our products! Plus it has a more complex, authentic flavor when you use the whole bean (or technically, the whole seed pod, for those of you with legume allergies). It’s kind of floral, actually.

More to come. In the meantime, enjoy the sale. If you have a subscription, feel free to cancel it and start a new one with the coupon code so you can get that 10% off. ;)

Thanks for your support, and best of luck with all your new endeavors in the new year. :)

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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October 2016 Update

Hi everyone,

We’ve got a lot of news to share with you, some good, and some not so good.

Here’s what’s happened in the last couple months:

  • Started using our new, vegan vitamin mix, but ran out!
  • Hired two manufacturing technicians, Ben and Justin.
  • Monkfruit instead of stevia: no more weird aftertaste!
  • Added lysine: for a more balanced amino acid profile.
  • Acacia instead of inulin: fiber with fewer farts!

So, the biggest news is that we finally started using our vegan vitamin premix, after an unexpected month-long delay with the manufacturer. Awesome! The bad news is that we just ran out, after a surge in orders following a feature on Good Mythical Morning and another unforeseen delay with our second shipment of the premix. :(

According to the manufacturer, it should be ready in another couple weeks. From now on, we’ll expect a significant delay and plan accordingly. :p

In the meantime, we’ve rush-ordered a bunch of the vegetarian vitamins from Paradise Herbs, which some of you may remember from our Custom Body Fuel days. They are listed as vegetarian, but not vegan, most likely due to the Vitamin D3, usually derived from sheep’s wool. We’ll be using them as a stopgap measure for the next couple weeks until the second shipment of our vegan vitamin premix arrives.

If you’d prefer a refund, let us know and we’ll take care of that for you.

In other news, Ben and Justin have joined the Super Body Fuel team as of September, and are doing a great job as our new manufacturing technicians. You can thank them for cranking out all the orders you’ve gotten in the last month! :) Richard has been accepted into programming school and is now a full-time student here in San Francisco.

Here’s what is coming up:

  • More magnesium: based on estimated paleolithic intakes.
  • Bigger bags: 40-meal option for Schmilk and Keto Fuel.
  • Selling our vegan vitamin mix as a standalone product.

We’ve been transitioning our recipes to use acacia gum instead of inulin as a source of prebiotic fiber. Based on our tests (thank you, volunteers!), inulin is much more likely to cause gas than acacia gum, so we’ve phased it out along with the potentially allergenic psyllium husk and the similarly gas-inducing tapioca flour in Light Fuel.

Please let us know if you notice a difference! With any luck, it will be a good difference. ;)

Thanks as always,

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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August 2016 Update

Hi everyone,

We’ve been overdue for an update. There’s a lot to say, but most importantly, we’re hiring! :D

We’re looking to add two people to our manufacturing team over the next few weeks, so if you know anyone in San Francisco who might be interested, please spread the word! :) Here’s a link to the job description:
http://superbodyfuel.com/blog/manufacturing-technician/

So, here’s what happened this summer:

  • Started selling sample sizes of all our products!
  • New rice protein supplier: milder flavor, still organic.
  • Adjusted scoop sizes: corrected for compacted powder.
  • New supply tracking system: no more ingredient shortages.

We switched from Ortiva rice protein to Gabiotein after getting a couple complaints from customers who thought the taste was worse than before, when we were using Oryzatein. Now, I don’t think anyone could say that – the flavor is about as bland as you can get, and when it comes to protein powder, that’s a good thing. ;)

We also implemented an automated system of ingredient tracking, which calculates the amount of each ingredient we have in stock based on our batch records and our receiving logs. This solves the problem of suddenly realizing that we’re out of potassium citrate and then being backlogged for a week while we wait for a new shipment. So you can look forward to more reliable turnaround times for your orders!

And here’s what is coming up:

  • Hiring two new manufacturing technicians.
  • New vegan vitamin mix: just waiting on testing…
  • Monkfruit instead of stevia: no more weird aftertaste!
  • New fiber sources: iterating toward a fart-free formula.

Our eagerly awaited vitamin premix was manufactured in late July. But it has been stuck in testing… literally. :p Too much xanthan gum for the lab equipment to handle, apparently. We are anxiously awaiting resolution of this issue.

Also, we recently discovered that a nontrivial fraction of our customers have experienced a lot of gas from our products (more from Light Fuel, less from Schmilk). We’re currently running experiments with as many brave volunteers as we can muster, in order to find the fiber sources that cause the least gas for the most people. If you’d like to be a guinea pig as well, please let us know! :)

Richard has been transitioning from manufacturing to a part-time scripting role with Super Body Fuel, and is now applying to schools to pursue a career in programming! His brother Matt started working with us this summer, and you’ll probably be hearing more from him in the coming months.

But we still need to hire two more people, just to keep up – and to free up my time from shipping out your orders every day, so I can finish up the website like I’ve been promising for the last few months! ;)

So please check out the job description and share it with your SF friends. Thank you! :)

Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)

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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)