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How Social Sentiment Has Transformed for Soylent

Soylent, the three-year-old meal replacement solution startup, came into existence as its founder Rob Reinhart hacked his way beyond meals – tired of shopping for groceries, cooking, and scrubbing the dishes.

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The brand gets its name from the 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room!, which discusses the impact of overpopulation on the Earth and its resources.

Soylent’s fans on social believe that such products have a potential to feed the world, and opt for the hassle-free, smoothie-like drink, which apparently incorporates all essential aspects of human nutrition.

At Simply Measured, we have been listening to the conversations around Soylent in the past month. Here’s what we found.

Who Talks About Soylent on Social

Soylent resonates most with consumers between 18-24, especially men.Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 4.28.38 PMEarlier this month, there was news about Soylent bars making consumers sick. Prior to that, conversations on social about the brand were mainly about Soylent being the future of food, and they primarily had positive sentiment attached to them. They were driven by discussions about Soylent products being easy to use and healthy, and there was excitement for their new coffee-flavored drink, Coffiest.

While the majority of sentiment was positive for Soylent before the news about their bars making people sick broke, mentions about some of their products being moldy at times and Soylent not being real food contributed to negative chatter.Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 9.57.46 AM

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This news about Soylent making people violently ill transformed the conversations about the product on social media. The bars dominated over 50% of the conversations in weeks after the news broke, as compared to just 7% before.

Reports of people falling sick and even being hospitalized after consuming Soylent bars forced the brand to recall the new product. This news was shared extensively on social, spiking the volume of mentions that jumped over 200% in the two weeks after the news spread.

How Brand Sentiment Has Evolved

This news has resulted in high negativity for the product. It has not only highlighted the issue with Soylent bars, but has also fueled conversations about the product being made of GMO ingredients, a fact that Soylent has publicly accepted, and is proud of.

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 10.35.39 PMSoylent is still investigating the reasons behind the mysterious cases of illness amongst its bars consumers. We will be listening in to how these conversations about Soylent shape up, and we’ll post updates right here on our Simply Measured blog.

If you have any questions, reach out to us on Twitter, or if there is anything in particular that you want to learn about about social listening, download our guide below.

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Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!

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