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Cost of ingredients are going up, what that means for the price of Keto Chow

We were notified a few months ago by our protein supplier that the cost of the Milk Protein Isolate would be increasing in 2020 and the change is now already here. It’s something that’s happening across the industry and, frankly, sucks. We received the final updated costs and the average (median) increased cost for the various flavors of Keto Chow was 20% higher due to the variations in the cost of the protein, the vitamins we are using, the flavors, and more. Some flavors are going up quite a lot more, with others the increases are only 19% or so. We’re also going to be switching from regular salt to Redmond Real Salt, fortunately, the price difference on that one is only 4 cents for 21 meals (yay!). The base powder had its costs increased by 31%.

So: what does this mean for the price of Keto Chow?

From the beginning, the goal of Keto Chow has been simply to make getting proper nutrition easier for people (mostly me, but you all get the benefits too =). It wasn’t started as a money grab, and the original recipe to make it yourself is still available for anyone to use. We are going to be raising prices, but it will be less than the 20% we are getting hit with. The Soup flavors that use the beef protein will be unaffected by this increase so their prices will be unchanged for now.

The Sweet flavors and the Savory Chicken will have their price standardized to $70 for the 21 meal bags and $4.75 for the sample size (everything’s the same price as Chocolate Peanut Butter), Base Powder price increased to $44.

This represents a 6-8% increase for the 21 meal bulk bags, a 12% increase for the sample size (as opposed to a 20% increase on all sizes which would have seen the prices go far higher), and a 4.7% increase for the Base Powder. Any cost increase sucks, but we decided that we could absorb the costs of passing on a far smaller increase to our customers.

When? Tuesday, April 14, 2020. EDIT: change is LIVE.

We waited on making the change until we started receiving product at the higher costs. Today we received our second higher-priced shipment of Chocolate Peanut Butter and we recently received several thousand of the Chocolate, also at the higher price. Those two flavors make up the bulk of our sales so it’s time to make the change. This change will go into effect throughout the day on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. It won’t be at any specific time as many of the changes take hours to implement. EDIT: the updated prices are currently live now..

It’s not a lot of heads-up, but it’s some. It’s a sucky time to be raising prices but it has to be done sometime and now is unfortunately it.

By |2020-04-14T16:18:51-06:00April 13th, 2020|Categories: Keto Chow|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Update on Keto Chow 2.0 – another delay, but there’s hope!

To recap for those who don’t live and breathe this stuff:

  • I’m in the final stages of having Keto Chow produced at a contract manufacturer.
  • Keto Chow 2.0 differs from Keto Chow 1.9 on the protein/flavor/sweetener – I’m not able to get Dymatize Elite in 500KG batches so by necessity we have to get our own stuff to replace it. The most obvious difference will be the flavoring in KC2.0 will be our own stuff.

Anyhow, we ran into a problem with the manufacturing. I had the co-packer make me some new test batches and the flavors came back really weird. Initially, I thought it was the potassium chloride we added but after extensive testing, it turned out to be a problem in the protein powder. The initial tests they did were with a random equivalent protein powder and the new samples were straight from the bulk powder they purchased for our batches. We’ve gone back and tried some different flavoring and some bitter masking agents but to no avail.

I’m not going to sell a product I don’t love. It has to have a “wow, that was really good, I want more!” going for it or it’s not going to be released.

So, as of today, we’re going to use a different protein powder from a different manufacturer. It’s likely this will add some to the cost, I’m hoping it’s less than $1-2 and we’re still aiming to have KC2.0 cost less than KC1.9. This means that Keto Chow 2.0 is going to be delayed. If we can find a direct drop-in replacement for the protein powder it may be as little as a week before we get things going.

We’re coming up on almost a year since I decided to start this endeavor – I hope we can be shipping 2.0 well before Fed 15th.


This morning we headed down to the manufacturer to work on the problem. We brought along a Keto Chow 1.9 rich chocolate in powder form, a bag of Dymatize Rich Chocolate for comparison, and a blender bottle of mixed Chocolate Peanut Butter. He had complained that it didn’t taste very good and he didn’t feel confident evaluating the mixes so when he had the Chocolate Peanut Butter (with the heavy cream) he was astonished in the extreme “Oh wow, that’s actually really good” – yep that’s the goal! We did a bunch of various tests combining different stuff together but the most telling test was when we tasted the plain whey protein in water… and the bad taste was there! After that, he said he was going to go back to the distributor and get a refund and/or exchange it for a different protein. He said the protein guys may send out a food scientist to work on the problem but ideally, we may have a solution (maybe) quickly.

“Build a Month*” now available

(* not actually a month, it’s 4 weeks or 28 days @ 3 meals a day) Dunno why I’m even bothering to announce this, people are already ordering it =)

One of the issues I’ve had with the subscriptions is there wasn’t a way to allow different flavors in the same subscription order. You could do 2, 3 or 4+ if you wanted but you couldn’t have Chocolate, Banana, Mint and Strawberry all together at the same time (saving significantly on shipping). I figured out how to use the “Bundled Products” module today to made a new option that puts 4 weeks together and gives you a discount (currently 5%) which actually makes it less expensive than getting 4 weeks in a monthly subscription.

The one big problem is that you can’t have variable (different flavor) subscriptions in a bundle so it’s a one-off thing. Order a month and when it starts to get low order again (with different flavors!).

Anyhow, take a peek if you like.

By |2019-09-29T15:24:49-06:00May 27th, 2015|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow, Ketogenic, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Peanut butter, labels and bags

This entry is part 47 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

As I planned to do yesterday, I tried mixing the PB2 powdered peanut butter into my Keto Chow powder all at once while I was mixing a week instead of adding 12g into each individual meal. Worked out great! It simplified making the meals (only had to weigh once, instead of twice) and when mixed up fully there were less clumps (almost none) of peanut butter, comes out pretty smooth in fact. I like it.

I’ve thought about offering it as an option for the Rich Chocolate (it was also good in the Strawberry but I’m weird) but I’m still trying to work out the implications of adding it and the feasibility and costs. This is further complicated by the next bit of news:

Getting rid of the Ghetto

I’ve always been super open (regarding making powdered foods/soylent) about who I am, what I’m offering and all the information I can throw out there. I have been using standard gallon size freezer bags to package People Chow and then Keto Chow. They were inexpensive, sturdy, easy to get more of if I ran out but the biggest feature that kept me using them was: efficiency of space. Because the bags are pliable and compact, I can fit 4 weeks of Keto Chow into a single USPS Medium Flat Rate box, two in a Regional Rate A and one in a flat rate padded envelope. It means I can ship stuff at a far lower cost to the customer and I consider that a huge win. But I’ll see criticism about the presentation often enough that I’m going to do something about it. Last night I bought a label printer and a bunch of 4×8 stock and whipped up a label for Keto Chow:

New Labels

Hey hey, that’s much better already! From here on out, all packages I’m shipping will have these labels on them. But I’m going to take it a bit further: also last night I used the five foil bags I bought last week and packaged up some Keto Chow in it:

Foil Bags H

Foil Bags V

I didn’t have a heat sealer yet so this first group got ironed shut =). The sealed part is tear-off and there’s a zipper closure as well. They’re 5 mil thick (really beefy) and look real nice. My wife thinks I should put the label vertical but I think folding over the top half wouldn’t work as well. Incidentally, anybody have a source for a 2 quart or 3 quart bag? These hold a gallon and are 40% too large, hence the folded over top part. These bags to look MOAR better-er but present some logistical problems: first and foremost they take up more room. I was barely able to squeeze three into a medium flat rate box (that holds 4 of the other packages), couldn’t even fit one in a Regional A box and barely fit one into a padded flat rate envelope. This morning I noticed that I might have better luck with the “tall and skinny” versions of these boxes so I ordered a bunch (though the USPS is terribly slow getting me boxes) and I’ll try them out. I also ordered more of the foil bags and grabbed a heat sealer. Hopefully sometime next week I’ll be doing another round of tests. Ideally I’ll be able to keep the shipping costs the same but I’m not going to hold my breath, doubly so if I decide to do a peanut butter flavor which adds another 15% to the volume of the powder.

By |2016-10-14T07:18:03-06:00March 19th, 2015|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow, Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

New ketogenic recipe in development, it’s moar betterer

This entry is part 24 of 209 in the series Ketogenic Diet

Several weeks ago /u/kennufs posted his current Ketogenic recipe. I ordered some of the ingredients and gave it a try recently. It’s so superior to KetoFood it’s kinda silly, probably because it doesn’t have chia seeds and does use a generous amount of heavy cream. I did that recipe for about a week and a half whilst changing stuff around before I ran out of the NutraBio whey protein isolate he specifies. That particular WPI is unique in that it doesn’t have any carbohydrate sources in it, like none at all, which keeps the net carbs down.

The problem with the NutraBio is where I’m living (Utah) it takes 9 business days to get a shipment of it from New Jersey. With a 2lb tub lasting approximately 10 days this makes sourcing it and keeping it on hand a logistical nightmare. It’s the same problem I have with getting Cal/Mag/D3 from sometimes it takes them 2 weeks to get me stuff. I’m also working to replace the ketofood I mix on this site with a recipe along the same lines as Kennufs’ so I’ve been searching for a viable alternative to the protein and I think I finally have it.

I wanted to find something that I can buy at – they may not have the absolute lowest prices but my proximity to their central warehouse (Boise Idaho) makes for crazy fast shipping times, like 2 days at the longest with a few orders arriving the day after I ordered. Seriously, they are great; especially in the states surrounding Idaho =). Anyhow I found two possibilities: IsoPure Zero Carb and Dymatize Elite. Initially it looked like the Isopure would work but they include vitamins in their powder making it terribly difficult to get the right micronutrient mix. I had overage on some stuff and hardly anything on others (Iron, Vitamin C) that required adding an additional specific supplement.

Since I have the day off work today, obviously I woke up early and my brain switched on. So I started looking again and found the Dymatize Elite. It comes in a variety of flavors but I’m only going to mess with the ones that come in the 10lb size: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla  and Chocolate Mint. I took the groundwork that Kennufs laid, fixed some ingredients that showed different nutritional values, updated prices, copied over a bunch of the ingredients from my People Chow and my KetoFood recipes and the end result is what I’m going to call Keto Chow 0.7. Feel free to clone it, abuse it, whatever =)

In a few days (or hours, who knows?) I’ll add it as an orderable product on the site with the caveat that it’s going to be changing as it’s very much in active development. UPDATE: that was quick. At first you might even get some NutraBio WPI since I still have a bunch of that en-route. Additionally, except one flavor, I haven’t actually tasted the Dymatize WPI yet so some of the flavors might be awesome or might be completely awful. I’m also still trying to figure out what to do with the fish oil. To hit the right omega 3’s you need 5ml (1 tsp.) per day. You can get that from liquid cod liver oil in a big bottle or you can get it in gelatin capsules and take 5 a day along with the daily multivitamin. Any feedback on which you like better?

Anyhow, how’s that for a New Years update?

Vacation Delay, Other Stuff, Price Changes

Just wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be shipping any orders next week. I’m planning on shipping out everything that comes in before noon on Saturday, September 13th and won’t be doing another round of shipments until Saturday September 20th. I’ll be helping my dad with I get to be the pack mule to lug around lighting equipment and such, then I get to shine lights at stuff. It’s something we’ve done for the last 3 years. You can see some of my previous work:

On a side note: they say never tell people you’ll be out of your house so you won’t get robbed. I personally be gone but the house will be far from empty and the neighbors tend to notice people coming and going so don’t try to rob me OK?

I also raised prices on the mixed People Chow a bit and put on a small handling fee to the shipping, people with subscriptions in place will not be affected. The reasoning for this: my wife told me to do it, that’s reason enough for me.

By |2016-10-14T07:18:07-06:00September 8th, 2014|Categories: Future Foods|Tags: , , , |0 Comments