Low-carb foods are gaining ground in popular culture, but the real buzz comes from people who aren’t buying them for themselves.
Soylents, a new low-calorie food made by a startup, is taking that trend to the next level with snacks like soy yogurt, cookies and other low-fat snacks.
The company is betting big that consumers will embrace low-glycemic carbohydrates, and it is betting that the trend will be contagious.
A big bet is that low-carbing is a lot of fun.
Low-carbers have been eating their way through a series of health and fitness-focused low-sugar snacks, including soy yogurt and low-carbon milkshakes.
They’re also a big fan of the soy formula and a frequent buyer of Soylenta, the company’s high-fat Soylid tablet.
The low- carb snacks have the added bonus of being easy to prepare and can be eaten in large portions, said Tim Saylor, who oversees sales for Soylented and owns a successful company in marketing soy products.
The new Soylenab products have a much shorter shelf life than traditional products, which can last up to three days in a grocery store.
They also offer an array of protein-rich and fiber-rich snacks, ranging from soy milk powder to soy flour.
But low-Carb Foods isn’t interested in just being a low-cafeteria snack manufacturer.
Its goal is to take a whole different tack by creating a line of low-fiber, high-protein products, Saylor said.
The Soylens are also the latest of a long line of companies hoping to be the next fast food.
The first is Burger King, which launched the burger joint in 1991 and has had success selling high-quality burgers and fries to people of all ages.
The other is Chipotle Mexican Grill, which debuted in 2009.
And last year, the first Soylendas were launched by an online retailer.
The $50 Soylenera is the priciest, but it’s also one of the most nutritious.
“We think it will have the highest nutritional content and highest protein,” said Michael Lee, a spokesman for Soylenab.
Soylenabe, which is sold in the United States through its own website, is currently available in about 100 stores in Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and California.
It has a 10-ounce jar, which costs about $3.25.
The food will be available in the U.S. in the fall.
“People are going to like it,” said Kevin Cavanaugh, an independent food analyst who follows low-food-energy companies.
The soylent concept is similar to those in high-energy, high protein foods like chicken, beef and veal, but with fewer carbs.
Soyenab has been experimenting with other ingredients to create low- Carb foods.
A recent experiment in Germany with the ingredients in soy protein powder produced an 8 percent protein content that is similar or higher than what is found in the average U.K. chicken sandwich, said Soylenda’s Lee.
But the company is testing a new ingredient, which it is calling soylend, that could provide protein for as little as $0.02 a gram.
“I think we’ll see a big leap in our ability to deliver high- quality protein products in a much more accessible way,” Lee said.
Soy products also are becoming more affordable for consumers.
Soy protein powder costs about as much as a typical breakfast cereal, but Soylento is available at a range of convenience stores.
The price is $4 for a 12-ounce can, or $1.50 for a 16-ounce one.
The companies aim to reach the $6-$8 range by the end of the year.
Soyfoods also are on the rise.
A Soylende-based online store, Soylena, sells Soylente products for $5 a can, and Soylina sells Soylenables for $3 a can.
Soy food manufacturers are hoping to expand the market for low-energy products, especially those that are not low-cost or high-sugary, such as soy milk powders and soy protein powders.
They have not yet decided whether they will make Soylene products.
Soy foods have a few advantages over traditional foods.
One is that they are relatively cheap.
“When you’re making a product that’s made of soy, you have to make it from soybeans,” Lee says.
And soy is a relatively high-caloric source of energy, which has made it an attractive food for weight loss.
Another advantage is that soy foods are high in protein.
They are often a high-carb source of protein, and they can be high in fiber, which helps with weight loss, said Lee.
Soy is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Soy