Happy December! :) We’ve been really busy building up our team for the last several months, and now we’re caught up with our backlog, shipping out your orders faster than ever before.
Here are some changes we rolled out in November:
- Cellulose: now included for insoluble fiber.
- Increased vanilla for stronger flavor!
- Vacuum-sealed bags: longer shelf life.
- Discounted international shipping on orders over $100!
First of all, with the feedback from our brave volunteer testers, we determined that Cellulose would be the safest form of insoluble fiber to add to our blends. We’ve swapped out some of the Acacia Gum and replaced it with a modest dose of Cellulose in all of our product lines, bringing the ratio of soluble and insoluble fiber into better balance. You probably won’t have noticed unless you’re finding that you have less gas or constipation – we are using the extremely fine-ground “microcrystalline” cellulose, which does not affect the taste or texture.
Also, in response to feedback from you all, we’ve increased the amount of vanilla bean in our recipes by 50% to make sure you can actually taste the vanilla! If you’ve noticed your last order of vanilla tasting better than usual in the past month, that’s probably why. ;) Let us know if you think it still needs more, or if it’s just right!
More recently, we’ve been experimenting with vacuum-sealing our bags with a chamber vacuum sealer, which theoretically should increase the shelf life. If you’ve been wondering why the latest bag of powder you got was rock-hard and kind of wrinkly, then congratulations – you got a vacuum-sealed bag! ;) We do realize that this makes the bags kind of ugly and awkward, though, so let us know what you think – better or worse?
Lastly, we’ve extended our shipping discount on orders over $100 to international customers as well, by offering reduced international shipping ($20 to Canada, $30 anywhere else) on orders of $100 or more, to go with the free shipping we offer to our US customers. We’re paying for this shipping subsidy out of our own margin, so we won’t be making a profit on these discounted international orders. But that’s okay! :) We make plenty of profit on our usual US orders, which make up the vast majority of our sales. ;) So please feel free to take advantage of this discount if you are not in the US but still want your Super Body Fuel.
- Equipment upgrades!
- Any interest in Schmilk Vanilla?
- Ideas for the future? Take the survey!
The chamber vacuum sealer is just one of many equipment upgrades we’ve been experimenting with lately. Thanks to the initiative of our manufacturing team, we’ve been redesigning our space and process to crank out more product in a shorter amount of time, just to keep up with all your orders! ;)
That includes new rolling stainless steel shelves, more stainless steel work tables, and replacing our usual aluminum scoops with stainless steel scoops. But we’ve also been testing out a new automatic filling machine to bag up that powder a lot faster than scooping it all by hand. So far nothing has completely revolutionized our process, but every little improvement has made us just that much faster and more productive.
Oh, and by the way, with all these vanilla increases going around, I was wondering… Would you like to see a Schmilk Vanilla? Either instead of or in addition to Schmilk Original?
I don’t know about you, but I think that could be pretty good. :) Let us know if that’s something you’d want!
Finally, as the new year peeks out over the horizon, we are thinking about where to go next with this whole “nutritionally-complete meal” thing that we’re doing. For example, we know that a lot of you would love a more convenient single-serving option, where you just add water – or even a ready-to-drink liquid that you can just open and drink.
These are the kinds of projects that require a lot more upfront planning and a bigger initial investment, so in contemplating them, we need your guidance as to what direction you’d like to see us go. Please take this short survey to let us know what’s on your wish list. ;) We’ll definitely need some volunteer testers, again, so be sure to include your email address in the survey if you’re interested!
Thanks as always, and happy holidays! :)
Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)