Posted on 15 Comments

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. ;)

15 thoughts on “Less Bag, More Scoop

  1. So now each mylar pouch contains 5 days’ worth? Then it might take 10-20 days for me to finish a pouch, and I would be worried that the powder will go bad after the pouch is opened. How long can it last? Should it be refrigerated after opening?

    1. No need to worry about the powder going bad – it’s like protein powder, it can last for months without going bad. The main thing to watch out for is humidity and moisture. Don’t refrigerate it – just keep it dry and it will last.

  2. It’s tedious to make 8 small scoops for an entire day’s portion of Schmilk. I would find it helpful to add the approximate equivalent in cups to the label for a day’s portion.

    1. Hmm, not a bad idea. For Schmilk, it’s just under 2 cups for a day’s worth of powder.

      For Athlete Fuel, 3 cups. For Keto Fuel, 1 1/2 cups. And for Light Fuel, 2 1/3 cups.

      I’ll see if I can fit that in. :)

  3. They look awesome to be honest! Did your cost go up much by doing this upgrade?
    In my family we just tried your product, here in Mexico and we loved it. I loved it more than the official Soylent since it’s so tasty! (Schmilk)

    1. The costs are a little higher, but the difference is barely noticeable. And it’s worth all the benefits that come with it. :)

      I’m glad you liked the Schmilk so much! Cool! :D

  4. These mylar bags can be a real pain! It was nice being able to dump a bag in for a day’s worth. Can you list the weight of the 1/4 day meal as well as the weight for the milk/etc we need to put in? Its usually easier to weigh the stuff than to scoop and hope its right, its tough to tell because stuff settles in shipping and can compact.

    1. Hey Travis, the masses are listed in the instructions alongside the volume measurements. For milk, milliliters and grams are basically equivalent. Not sure which particular product you’re asking about, otherwise I’d also let you know right here. :p

      1. Thank you sir :)

        1. erm. athlete fuel :) I suppose I can just do it myself :)

          So do these zip up pretty well when there is powder on the “zips” I have a lot of problems with this with protein powder.

          1. Athlete Fuel? 85g of powder, 480ml of milk.

            You can just tap the zip locks a few times to get the powder out before resealing the bags. Works pretty well for me.

  5. I know I’d be happy with checking how the scoop compares to the target weight since I already have a scale to check against. Hopefully cross-country shipping doesn’t end up affecting the resulting powder density significantly from your test environment. :)

    Could you share the mass of the bag itself (with the labels already on)? The most painful thing of using the big mylar bags (which I’ve been doing with Keto Chow for a while) is dealing with the last day of powder since trying to fill a scoop evenly as you get to the end is quite difficult, at least for me.

    If I can measure the bag to figure out the mass of powder left, hopefully when it comes to the last day there will be close enough to the target weight of powder left that I can avoid the painful scoop wrangling and just do my usual routine of cutting away the ziplock top and then trying to cram the open part together enough to fit it into the top of the 2L pitcher I use for making my days’ worth. That was a lot easier with smaller bags! :D You can get the gist of it from this part of a terrible video

    1. If I remember correctly, the mass of the Keto Fuel bags with the label on is 26g each. Keep us posted on your scooping results. :)

      1. Just posted the weights of my first 4 scoops. I still hate these bags (and, to be fair, I hated them with other brands that used them too :) but I tried to be as unbiased and factual as I could, attempting to contain my seething hatred and longing for the good ol’ days of sealed individual-day bags. :D

        1. I appreciate your effort in testing and documenting the results with the scoops and new packaging.

          And, of course, your restraint. ;)

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