I know that all these food substitute powders feel pressure to expand and grow sales, so they try to make it taste yummy. Well screw yummy: In my mind, that’s not the point of these meals. This is about FUEL. It’s about getting the cheapest and healthiest thing in your body, and that means real food, blended. Veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, whatever. Not sugar. Not thickeners and stabilizers. If I want yummy, I’ll make real food.
Thanks for your message. Discussions like this are exactly what has helped us shape the product and future versions further ever since our early open beta versions and crowdfunding in 2014 - and will help us - improve Ambronite further now and in the future.
I absolutely see your point on the extremely important and evergreen “fuel vs enjoyment” topic and wanted to open up our thinking here.
We work hard to help people thrive with the world’s best real food ingredients in a form that fits a modern lifestyle. This is what we set out to do, and we think about this a whole lot when trying to think of new ways of helping people more, and creating products that we think are missing from the world. After all, that was the starting point for our whole journey - creating an awesome Supermeal that we felt didn’t exist.
We started off with very rough versions in 2013. Whenever we’ve found new awesome real food ingredients to improve the taste with, we’ve managed to help more people.
We’ve learned and proven that taste and real food ingredients can go hand in hand, which we’ve been working on for the past years, consistently delivering new versions with improved taste, mixability and texture. We’re committed to keeping Ambronite nutritionally unparalleled, while consistently making it more delicious and easy to enjoy for everyone.
The best Supermeal should be both delicious and nutritionally excellent. Maintaining the functional benefits is essential while improving taste and texture simultaneously, like we’ve done with v5 with ingredient improvements, several source upgrades and eg. the introduction of the high-grade, patented oat protein quality that produces a silky smooth texture compared to the earlier Ambronite versions. Many of the fans we’ve had since our early crowdfunding chose to overlook the rougher texture and earthier flavor we had in our early versions in 2014, but have applauded the vast improvements we’ve made in both fronts after that, up u
This is simply a bar we’ve set ourselves, and the reason is clear: in order to grow our mission to help more people thrive and access the superpower of superior foods - if many people feel the taste isn’t delicious, or at the very minimum a pass in terms of their own, personal flavor preferences (which are, of course, many), we must work harder to make Ambronite an option for them. With the new v5, we managed to fix much of that by a serious of deeply researched recipe tweaks, ingredient source upgrades and substitutions, introducing the unique oat protein quality, adding a new berry into the mix, and also with a small increase in total sugar content from real food sources, zero artificial additives, staying non-GMO, and without major changes to the macro breakdown, and keeping the healthy fatty acid and protein content excellent.
Short comments and reasoning for the points you mentioned:
Guar gum is a plant based real food fiber from the seed of the guar plant. Our guar gum comes directly from dehusked guar. On the recipe side it improves texture, and on the functional side it adds to the fiber mix and has been shown to eg. improve cholesterol and blood pressure, much like similar great plant based fiber sources like psyllium husks.
Ambronite v5 has a bit more sugar than v4, from agave syrup, berries, fruit and other real food sources. Even after the change, the amount of sugar in an Ambronite meal is still very low. The amount and breakdown of sugars in a 165kcal Ambronite meal is still very low, roughly the equivalent of one third of a small apple, and the amount of a small apple for a 500kcal Supermeal.
The macro breakdown and carb and sugar content are things we give a lot of thought, and have also discussed in eg. this episode on Ben Greenfield’s podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/04/what-is-ambronite/
I believe it’s discussions like this are what makes Ambronite better. We started off via crowdfunding to spearhead a movement and ever since day one, feedback like this has genuinely helped our product team make even better new versions and product launches in the future, and make sure we are in tune to what you need and want from your Ambronite. Happy to discuss and answer any further questions or points you may have!
Have an amazing week,
Superhero & Cofounder
Really appreciate the quick and thoughtful response!
And I think your mission is great.
But it’s vague: “Read food” is anything. Palm oil is real food. There’s no doubt you’ve done a great job, and have a fantastic product. So kudos on that. I’m just saying that ultimately, you will need to make hard decisions to determine where on the "fuel vs enjoyment” spectrum you want to be. It’s nice to say “we can be both” but marketing aside, it’s not completely true. That’s why so many food startups start making micro-compromises as they grow, in the name of 'making it more widely available and accessible’ as they feel increasing pressure from stakeholders.
My (admittedly non-solicited!) advice is this: There’s always room in the market for the cheapest product. And always room for the most expensive product. Because being at the end of any spectrum helps you stand out and gets you exposure, and loyalty from users. Similarly, there is always room at the top for the “yummiest" product (Snickers/Doritos) and I believe, there is also room for the “healthiest”. Right now, there is no well known product taking this position. Basically, the “healthiest” is something you make yourself - chopping up fresh ingredients. It’s highly personal, highly perishable, and time consuming. I think there’s a big opening here if you stood your ground - philosophically - and said that taste wasn’t an issue. That would let you mock everyone who ‘matures’ and moves towards more preservatives, more sweeteners (like your new version), more thickeners and stabilizers like guar gum, etc.
It’s true that some people won’t love the taste. I say ‘so what’? Tell them to go get a snickers.
Sorry for the rant - clearly I’m projecting my own vision on you
But appreciate the dialog, and will definitely be trying Ambronite.
Thanks Scotty, I really appreciate your candid feedback and input. I hear what you’re saying, and feel we’re very much on the same page here. Also, I’m very excited to hear feedback like yours, when we look into our next products and iterations. This was, after all, a starting point for our journey to create the ultimate food for thriving back in 2013.
You’re right that in some cases, food producers from chefs to sports nutrition experts to food product creators like us definitely do need to take a stand and may need to find a compromise on the scale of “full emphasis on taste, and nothing else” to “Full emphasis on health & functionality, and nothing else”. Luckily, with the ingredients and expert knowledge we’re lucky to get to work with, most decisions don’t have to be as binary as this, and many more can be solved by learning even more about eg. ingredient variants, new sources, drying methods and formulation techniques (we even have a renowned wild food chef, Mr. Tallberg [Video interview] in our community, among the many people who have helped us out with creating and improving the taste).
We’ve though about this a whole lot when creating and developing Ambronite Supermeals.
Ambronite is arguably the most complete “all-in-one” food on the planet, when it comes to nutrient density and covering all nutritional bases for human thriving.
If there’s any relationship between a food’s degree of nutritional completeness and its ability to support human health and thriving, and “be healthy”, which is a generally accepted fact in today’s research, Ambronite is probably the best product in the world.
While there are countless entirely sugar free products, entirely carb free products, products with different fatty acid profiles, products with a different amino acid breakdown etc, there currently doesn’t seem to be one as complete as Ambronite. We’ve developed Ambronite with world class experts and optimized all of these, including the fatty acid balance (perfect mix of omega 6’s to omega 3’s) and amino acid balance (all essentials & hefty amount of BCAA’s), all from plant based real food sources, without supplements or artificial additives.
This includes quenching hunger for hours and covering all nutritional needs while including the plant based compounds and enzymes our bodies need that synthetic ingredients in products not based on real food can’t provide.
We’re very confident that Ambronite is the best, most complete product out there, and encourage everyone to compare our nutrition and ingredients to any and every product out there. It’s a bold claim, and I sincerely hope that it will inspire other leaders and creators in food to up their game and join our mission to help more people and our planet thrive.
Of course, people have different preferences - and that’s ok! “Perfect” for some might be an entirely carb free product, a product with 0 sugar, a different fatty acid balance, in which case there are other, arguably larger, tradeoffs, not primarily with taste (which is of course affected as well), but with the range of foods used to cover all nutritional bases.
What would be the perfect mix for you? Just the current v5 formulation with no agave and no guar based ingredients?
What are real foods? The real foods choice, for us, comes from the advantages of real foods as a source of human nutrition is well established - thus ruling out demonstrably less useful and less beneficial, refined ingredients, eg. palm oil and processed oils, in favor of wholesome ingredients like almonds. Nutritional science research (and its links to genetics and epigenetics, and their respective effects on what people should eat to thrive) are constantly developing, as new findings of essential compounds found in foods and required for human thriving are found regularly, but the following is clear: For maximal human thriving, health, longevity, immunity, strength, speed and cognitive capabilities, real foods are the scientifically based option.
Here’s a short video of our scientific advisor C. Mueller, M.D. and geneticist, explaining this fact
All this forms our mission basis: we are committed to creating the best, most nutrient dense, hunger satisfying product in the world. We’re currently the only truly nutritionally complete Supermeal, as synthetic products don’t provide all the compounds our bodies need. We’re also carefully listening to feedback, like yours, eg. for products with zero sugar, or other macro breakdown choices, as long as they bring tangible benefits we and our fans can feel and benefit from!
This is especially true in combining flavors of 20+ real foods. Anyone who uses whole food ingredients in cooking, blending smoothies or creating novel foods, knows the fact that they have a whole lot of taste on their own, especially the most nutrient dense ones, like arctic berries and dark green veggies. Everyone from a wild food chef to a company in the food space is going to have principles and values (and in our case, a team of experts from M.D’s, nutrition experts, to lead-user athletes) to guide striking this balance.
Thanks again, and have a fantastic day! Let me know how you like your Ambronite
Fantastic response Simo, thanks. I love this sentence of yours:
"If there’s any relationship between a food’s degree of nutritional completeness and its ability to support human health and thriving, and “be healthy”, which is a generally accepted fact in today’s research, Ambronite is probably the best product in the world."
As long as you are able to sincerely say this, you’re doing an excellent job. You’re right - when it comes to food stuff, everyone seems to be an “expert”, so I do not envy you’re position of constantly having to defend every choice. But I’m glad you have health and ‘real food’ as a core, because from what little I know about nutrition, it’s probably best to keep things as basic as possible. That’s why my dream food (and this will sound gross) when I am “on the go” and can’t prepare and eat “regular food” would likely be some sort of paste - organic veggies, fruits, nuts, berries, seeds, roots, grains, herbs, spices, maybe even a little dairy, or some fish or hemp oil. Different amounts of different combinations of these things smashed together and put in toothpaste tubes. Hell, maybe you put what you want in there, like Subway, and we ship the tubes! When it comes to meals, if I’m not sitting a socializing or preparing something that I really want, then I just want to ‘get it done’. Not sure how may of me are out there, but I was a huge Soylent fan when it first came out, as they seemed to “get it” that food is sometimes just fuel. And sometimes I just want the cheapest/best fuel. But I have since become a bit turned off by the powdery processed feel of these projects, and think there may be a “medium” solution between actual food and “just add water” powders. Again, appreciate you letting me rant, and keep up the good work!
I would like to second this. I can imagine a lot of (ex-) raw foodies or very health conscious people (like myself) are trying Ambronite for the ease of not having to deal with blenders and fresh veggies at work. You can be amazed at how resilient we are to non-sweet tastes and weird textures :). I would opt for the non guar gum and non sugar one anytime.
We’re currently the only truly nutritionally complete Supermeal
Well, this is arguable. There is another company that does not add minerals/vitamins, but gets all of them from food only, too (at a much lower price). Their protein content is lower, but still within the official recommendations.
Also your interpretation of “real food” is arguable. To me real food doesn’t have any ingredients extracted (except water, for this purpose). Oats are real food, oat protein to me is not. If it is, then beet sugar is, too.
I would like to see 1 product on the market that does without such extracts. I haven’t found one yet. This is what I would wish for from a highly priced product like yours.
YES!!! My dream food is also a big blend of many organic fruits, veggies, nuts, grains etc. I don’t trust powders. I lump them in with all the other multivitamins and GNC scams and bodybuilding protein powders. The first person to actually create a whole food paste for people who just want the absolute cheapest way to fill up with actual food which is healthy will be a total game-changer. Soylent was “Friendster”. Ambronite is “MySpace”. Who will be the “Facebook” that dominates this category?
Hi Axcelis, thanks for the input!
Love the comparisons would love to hear a bit more about what you mean with “whole food paste”?
We’ve been working hard to make Ambronite even more affordable and accessible, currently at 1.99 € / 1.99 USD per small meal / breakfast (á 160kcal) in the monthly subscription. With making the whole process smarter, we managed to cut costs around 30% and transferred all this into the pricing in May 2017.
We believe the world’s best food belongs to everyone, and we’re not cutting any corners in quality, and functionality either. Exceptional real food ingredients are valuable, but we believe they’re worth it!
Have a great day,
Thanks Scottydot, we definitely will!
Thanks for the input, Dorien!
It’s true that we’ve crammed a lot in one meal, including a wide selection of greens, berries and fruit. The amount of sugar in one Ambronite is roughly the equivalent of a third (1/3) of one small apple - still relatively very small for the massive nutrition you’re getting in each Supermeal.
Have a great day!
The “paste” idea is that the food could hypothetically not be powdered, but real food in a blender - maybe water removed - and put into a sort of toothpaste tube, where you could squeeze it out
That’s a cool idea, thanks!
We’ve given different forms a lot of thought and put effort into researching this, all the way with looking into this with my cofounder and recipe mastermind Arno, our research partners and our scientific advisor M.D., PhD Christian.
So far, adding water in the ready-made product or creating paste-based or ready to drink versions is a challenge, and we choose to provide Ambronite in a low-impact heat treated, powdered and 100% real food format instead of pre-mixes for mainly for 2 reasons:
- MAINTAINING QUALITY, NUTRITION & REAL FOODS ONLY
- STAYING FREE OF PRESERVATIVES AND OTHER NASTIES
As you can imagine, real foods like wild blueberries, crunchy greens, spirulina and almonds don’t become instantly drinkable easily. As you know, we only use real food ingredients, and stay away from preservatives, harsh treatments that cause health harm or harm the nutritiousness of our Supermeals.
Humans have preserved food for millennia. We know a lot about this, both intuitively and scientifically. Drying, which we have chosen because of its obvious superior advantages in nutrient retention, ease of use and transportation plus no need for preservatives and other nasties, is the oldest and least disturbing form of preserving nutrients and flavor.
Moisture is the enemy of freshness and nutrients. In fact, it’s not possible to turn real foods into a paste or a moisture-containing, shelf-stable format without treating them harshly, cooking them, irradiating them, pumping them with salt (NaCl) or preservatives.
Simply put, food does not stay fresh and healthy in a pre-mixed liquid form without making major sacrifices in their quality, health impact and nutritiousness, plus adding preservatives and treating them in really ridiculous ways.
Often in ways that are now showing increasing evidence of harming human health.
For this reason, we’ve opted for a 100% pure, real food only, vegan friendly and plant based, preservative free, no-nonsense powder that’s quick to mix with water for a fresh, delicious and filling Supersmoothie.
Thanks for the idea, I’ve passed it on to our recipe & formulation team to think over
Have a gread day,
"it’s not possible to turn real foods into a paste or a
moisture-containing, shelf-stable format"
True it wouldn’t keep for very long, but neither does “real food”. And
everyone knows it. That’s precisely the marketing advantage - Powder isn’t
food in the minds of most people. The fact that they stay good so long
reinforces that belief. But Blended foods in a tube are like fresh bread or
a fresh smoothie, and they have to be eaten right away. That why you need
to refrigerate, and need a weekly subscription
Good thinking, thanks for the input! Would certainly work on a service like Amazon Fresh (powered by the Whole Foods acquisition… )