Soylent working to resolve ‘categorization issue’ that has halted Canadian sales
In a letter to consumers about the “unfortunate situation” in Canada – a market Soylent entered in June 2015 – Rob Rhinehart, CEO of brand owner Rosa Foods, said the company was “unable to continue shipping Soylent products to Canada” after being informed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that the products “do not meet a select few of the CFIA requirements for a ‘meal replacement.’
“Although we feel strongly that these requirements do not reflect the current understanding of human nutritional needs, we respect the CFIA’s regulations and will fully comply with any regulatory action they deem appropriate. Unfortunately, this means we are unable to ship any additional product to our Canadian warehouses or sell Soylent to our Canadian customers until this is resolved.”
Soylent products already in the Canadian market do not have to be recalled as the CFIA has not identified any immediate health risk for consumers, he added: “I want to reiterate that we are absolutely committed to working with Health Canada and the CFIA to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
What is a meal replacement?
Soylent has not commented on why its products – which were looked at as part of routine import inspection activities – were not in compliance with CFIA rules on meal replacements, and did not respond to a question asking if the issue related to fat levels.
According to CFIA rules, the maximum amount of energy from fat for a meal replacement is 35%, whereas 47% of the energy is from fat in Soylent’s flagship 2.0 beverage.
In FAQ on its website, Soylent says: “We were made aware of the CFIA’s decision in early October. We immediately worked with Canadian regulators to find a way to continue distributing Soylent in Canada.
“Unfortunately, it became clear that this effort would not be successful in the short term, and we notified our customers as soon as we learned that an interruption in Soylent availability was inevitable.”