- Watch: Curative Sends 240K COVID-19 Tests to Texas
- Pandemic Panic Buying is Bringing Soylent a New Kind of Customer
Pandemic Panic Buying is Bringing Soylent a New Kind of Customer<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjc1MzEyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDU5NjAxOH0.5ALA1TijAICIW5Tq7bmknZBFEumVy5lBG64QczuqHOo/image.jpg?width=2000&coordinates=0%2C508%2C0%2C508&height=1500" id="93c26" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8de0284e40f035a5aac00784623f85c4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />upload.wikimedia.org<p>Pandemic panic buying is opening up a new customer base for Soylent.</p><p>The meal replacement startup says it saw a spike in new online customers in March and April when COVID stay-at-home orders began. </p><p>"It's a completely different consumer than what you might think about — the gamer, techie, Silicon Valley profile," <a href="https://dot.la/soylent-ceo-crowley-out-as-meal-replacement-startup-looks-to-re-focus-strategy-on-core-products-2645144207.html" target="_self">CEO Demir Vangelov</a> told dot.LA "That validates the strategy we've had to expand the profile of our consumers and reach into different demographics."</p><p>That panic-buying trend, the company said, coupled with Soylent's move into some traditional retail outlets is changing who they're selling to.</p><p>Soylent debuted in 7-Elevens in July 2017. As demand in traditional brick-and-mortar stores expanded, they added more national chains in October 2018, including Walmart and Target. Walmart remains their best-performing retailer. </p><p>Now, the Los Angeles-based company is working to keep those shoppers in the Soylent community.</p><p>"Some of these [customers] bought 20 boxes of powder, a significant amount of food," Vangelov said. "It was very interesting to see how many of those folks are actually going to stick with us."</p><p>In June, Soylent released two new flavors, banana and creamy chocolate, and revised their original recipes to include fewer carbs and a lower sugar content per bottle.</p><p>"It was a nice way to follow up on all these new consumers," <a href="https://dot.la/soylent-ceo-crowley-out-as-meal-replacement-startup-looks-to-re-focus-strategy-on-core-products-2645144207.html" target="_self">Vangelov</a> said. "March and April were the crazy months when people were buying and over-buying. In May, we saw stable consumption. Now, we're starting to see an extremely strong performance in the retail channels."<br></p>
Watch: Curative Sends 240K COVID-19 Tests to Texas as Infections Spike<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg5Nzc5Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDk2Nzg2Mn0.Ki8xT8fLlHdcwCjlXShYqglSxI1PfTlRQagEHrNjIyQ/image.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C84%2C0%2C84&height=700" id="9c55f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7be927b8752d3ee8bd460a531424fa86" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />assets.rebelmouse.io<p>Fred Turner, the twenty-something leading the charge behind coronavirus testing across L.A., posted video on Twitter Tuesday showing 240,000 tests getting ready to head to Texas to support the state's COVID response. </p><p> The tests, produced by Turner's company Curative Inc., will land at 11 Texas A&M System universities across the state, <a href="https://www.kbtx.com/2020/07/14/texas-am-university-system-secures-free-covid-19-testing-for-all-students-staff-and-faculty/" target="_blank">according to Texas TV news station KBTX</a>. About 15,000 tests will be shipped to campuses each month, a plan that offers students, faculty and staff access to testing free of charge. </p><div class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" style="display: flex; max-width: 550px; width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><iframe id="twitter-widget-5" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true" class="" style="position: static; visibility: visible; width: 550px; height: 499px; display: block; flex-grow: 1;" title="Twitter Tweet" src="https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-5&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1283275232317304833&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fdot.la%2Fr%2Fentryeditor%2F2646416137%23publish&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px" data-tweet-id="1283275232317304833"></iframe></div> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> On Wednesday, California <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-15/california-shatters-record-with-more-than-11-000-new-coronavirus-cases-in-one-day" target="_blank">reported its highest daily count yet of coronavirus cases</a>, reaching 11,000 confirmed infections. Texas saw its <a href="https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/texas-highest-single-day-covid-cases-record-15408346.php" target="_blank">highest daily increase</a> on Tuesday, reaching 10,859 cases. </p><p> Curative has been supplying L.A. with their FDA-approved saliva-based test since March. According to the company's studies, Curative's product has a 10% false negative rate — a sensitivity as good if not better than the nasal pharyngeal swab tests, dot.LA's Rachel Uranga reported in her <a href="https://dot.la/coronavirus-rapid-test-curative-los-angeles-2645906983.html?utm_campaign=post-teaser&utm_content=jye65akv" target="_self">interview with Turner.</a> </p><p> Turner, an Oxford dropout, stepped down as head of Shield Bio in January and moved to Southern California for an opportunity to build a lab for coronavirus tests. He now operates labs out of San Dimas and Washington D.C. </p>
L.A. Venture Capital Firm MarsBio Scrambles to Secure Cash, Resources for Coronavirus Vaccines, Test Kits
The terrifying stories of Italian doctors running low on respirators as COVID-19 patients overwhelmed hospitals inspired Joe Wilson, a partner at bioscience venture capital fund MarsBio, to create a way to quickly fund new coronavirus' vaccines, testing kits and other lifesaving ideas.
Over the last week, the fund launched by Soylent Nutrition co-founder and biohacker Rob Rhinehart, has fielded more than a dozen calls and made connections with startups and scientists that have ideas about how to quickly combat the spread of the deadly virus.
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Soylent, the Los Angeles-based meal replacement startup, has shaken up its top ranks with Chief Executive Bryan Crowley stepping down and replaced by Chief Financial Officer Demir Vangelov.