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The sludge wars: nutritional drinks go head to head

In all facets of the technology industry, there's rarely one standout company – more-often a pair of giants go at it. There's Nvidia and AMD in the world of graphics, Android and iOS in smartphones, and now there's Soylent and Ambro, in the realm of nutritional drinks that give your body everything it needs, but without the hassle of having to cook or prepare anything.

Soylent kick started this latest conflict, by announcing itself via a crowd funding campaign, where it quickly surpassed its goal. A brown, sludgey, shake like product, Soylent is designed as a low-calorie, highly nutritious meal replacement, that can be stored for long periods or time and allow for quick hunger satiation without the loss of quality that often comes with quick food. Soylent is also designed to be as affordable as possible – the creators have lofty goals of halting world hunger.

Now though, Ambro has stepped up to the mark, promising a different product and experience than Soylent. “Soylent's goal is to be synthetic and affordable,” argues Mikko Ikola, co-founder of the company. “Ambro is organic and premium”.

He's not kidding when he says premium either, as a 1.1Kg bag of Ambro, that's good for eight meals, will set you back just over £40. Each portion is 144g and is mixed with three parts water to create a sludgey, brown shake like drink. Once opened, a bag lasts for about two months.


While Soylent is designed with mass market appeal, Ambro is designed for a more health concious individual. Soylent has been said to contain most of what the body needs, but Ambro takes it a step further, with its use of organic ingredients. As Wired describes it, carbohydrates come from brown, full grain rice, the healthy fats from nuts and protein via whey. With all the body's macronutrients covered, Ambro also takes care of the micro-nutrients, with the inclusion of large quantities of wild berries, spinach and spirulina.

The marketing is different too though. While Soylent aims to help the world, starting with busy tech-heads that don't have time for food, Ambro is marketed as a meal replacement in a pinch, but not as a single dietary intake. “Ambro is for the times food needs to work around you,” said Ikola, suggesting that “family meals,” were still very important.

Ambro is already on sale in limited quantities, but has a planned run of crowdfunding set for next year in order to help publicise it and give it a better springboard for expansion.

KitGuru Says: What do you guys think of this sort of product? Is it something you'd consider buying? It would probably be great for a bug-out bag. If it lasted longer too, it would be handy to have around the house on the days when cooking for one just seems like too much hassle.

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