Things aren’t looking too good for Complete Food aficionados in Canada. Early 2017 brought an unexpected Soylent price rise and the year ended with CFIA (the Canadian Food Inspection Agency) stepping in to force a cessation of all Soylent shipments to, well, all of Canada.

With Soylent suddenly unavailable a few people started crossing the border to collect their orders in the States but the majority simply shifted to other brands. There are a few Canadian Complete Food products and they surely picked up a lot of custom, but many jumped to Jimmy Joy‘s Plenny Shake and found that they really enjoyed it. Even with higher shipping costs and import fees – Plenny Shake wasn’t far off Soylent’s costs and was/is pretty delicious.

Time ticked along and all was good; then out of the blue Canadian shipping costs seem to have increased ever so slightly from €30 ($45 CAD) to €120 ($182 CAD) for orders over €50 and a whopping €150 ($227 CAD) for smaller orders.

There was no announcement, no email letting Canadian customers stock up or get one last order in before the change, and the news broke to much surprise on reddit.

Complete Food orders tend to be pretty heavy so international shipping is never going to be cheap, but a €90 increase goes a lot further than a slight change and looking at the Jimmy Joy shipping costs it seems that the reason is Canada being demoted to ‘World 5’.

I’ve a history with eCommerce and looking at the other World 5 countries I know that they’re difficult to ship to for one reason or another. Usually due to distance, limited shipping options, problematic customs setups or a combination thereof.

Has Jimmy Joy started running into problems with Canadian customs? CFIA’s issue with Soylent suggest that it’s possible but they clearly haven’t fallen under the same ban hammer that Soylent did. It’s unlikely to be historic under-charging or recent carrier charge updates because the USA is still €10 or €30 shipping (depending on order size) and that’s the same distance from The Netherlands and along a similarly busy shipping route.

An admin error perhaps?

We’ve reached out to Jimmy Joy for comment but at time of writing haven’t had a reply.

UPDATE

JimmyJoy’s Otto broke cover on reddit today and explained what was going on, and… we were wrong.

No issue with customs, rather a change in carrier and JimmyJoy paying customs fees up front to help Canadian customers avoid unexpected surprises.

The problem is that the €90 increase works out to about $140 CAD, but looking as reddit it seems that a lot of Canadian weren’t paying any import fees on their order to begin with, and those that have; aren’t paying more than around $70 CAD fees on their order.

So at least until the shipping value is properly linked to order size, Canadian customers seem a fair bit out of pocket unless they’re getting in a lot of Plenny Shake.