Originally posted on https://blog.soylent.com/post/178540483871.
When we launched our ready-to-drink product back in 2015, we had one flavor — Original. Having one flavor simplifies a lot of things. It simplifies your supply chain, your naming conventions, customer decision making process, and (most relevant to everything you’re about to read) color. Original debuted in an all white bottle with a black cap and emblazoned with a small Soylent logo and the text “400 kcal.” These were simpler times.
As the company has grown, so have our product offerings, and most notably, our flavor lineup. I can promise you much care and consideration goes into how we present these new flavors to the world. This brings us to our newest flavor — Vanilla.
“Why blue?” many of you have shouted at us on twitter. We fooled you with that teaser, didn’t we…
So. Why blue? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I present my case for blue.
Let me begin with a slightly different question: What color is vanilla? Many traditional flavors are tied to a color. And maybe more importantly, many colors are intrinsically tied to a specific flavor in our minds and our palates. See something red? You expect strawberry. See green? Lime. Orange? Yeah, you get the picture. So what about blue? While many may answer blueberry, if you’ve ever made a blueberry smoothie, you’ll know that blueberries are actually quite purple — which is already spoken for by grape drink.
So picking a color for a flavor can be rather complicated, and getting it right is crucial from a design perspective. Ever eaten what you thought would be a lime candy that turned out to be green apple? Gross.
After much research and discussion, we at Soylent determined that the best possible color for our newest, most requested flavor, Vanilla, was blue. Please find my evidence below.
Exhibit A: Vanilla isn’t “brown”
When you ask people what color they think vanilla is, they will often think of the color of vanilla beans, vanilla ice cream, or maybe vanilla extract and give you an answer of something in the brown or beige spectrum. While this is a good starting point, let’s consider Vanilla in the context of other popular flavors: chocolate, coffee, caramel, peanut butter – all kind of brown. So what about white? Our neutral Original couldn’t be packaged in anything but a crisp, white canvas. And beige? That pairs nicely with our creamy vanilla latte-like flavor in Cafe Vanilla. With our Original, Cafe Vanilla, and Cacao filling out the spectrum of white to brown, we have to start thinking outside the brown box.
Exhibit B: Nothing is really blue
With the exception of some minerals, nothing on Earth is actually blue…