Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 Oct

Primal Fuel Updates for Inquiring Minds

There was quite a response to the Primal Fuel release on Monday. Numerous early adopters were quick to order a canister or two of Primal Fuel. Others were vocal about what they thought was wrong with the product (for some it appeared that the sky was falling!), most notably that it was out of their price range. I’d like to respond to some of the feedback and make a few announcements you might be interested in learning.

First of all, I did in fact design this in response to the hundreds of people who have been requesting a convenient, delicious Primal-approved drink. While many consider me to be the “guardian” of the Primal lifestyle, I am and have always been intent on finding ways to honor our Primal genes in the context of a realistic, comfortable, pleasurable 21st century lifestyle. This is simply another tool to use as part of a Primal lifestyle for those who want one. Not everyone needs or wants such a tool, but I did, so I designed it with me, my family and my friends in mind.

The $99 price point certainly ruffled a few feathers. I note that people have been commenting, “Well, it’s just whey and coconut milk. You can make your own for much less.” Sure you can. I did it for years, but I could never get the flavor exactly the way I wanted or the soluble prebiotic fibers to provide the right mouth-feel and/or not cause gas. And I always had to be near a blender; otherwise I couldn’t get the ingredients to mix well. This isn’t like some protein powder you choke down or have to mix with milk or juice. Primal Fuel tastes exceptionally good when shaken and mixed with plain water. And for some people (Atkins or other non-Primal low-carb dieters), this might be the healthiest thing they consume all day. It is also intended to be convenient, so anyone on the run or on the go can put a few scoops of dry Primal Fuel in a blender bottle and take it with them for later use (and just add water).

But yes, it’s not cheap. Of course, neither are the bulk ingredients (more than just whey and coconut, BTW!), the lab testing of every batch, the labor, packaging, the cost of shipping and doing business and everything else involved in bringing a top-shelf meal replacement to market. At the end of the day, Primal Fuel needs to be priced competitively, so what gives?

While this is somewhat unorthodox, I think it’s important that the facts are made clear and you understand how I originally arrived at the $99 price point.

The product is made in an ISO 9001 GMP-certified manufacturing facility. Raw materials are required to have a certificate of assay when delivered and are still tested for microbial or heavy metals before they are released to manufacturing. The product is tested again before I can sell it. The ingredients are all the best of the best. The flavoring and sweetening systems were intended to assist people in weaning themselves off the typical cravings for sweet drinks and represent a unique combination of some very expensive ingredients – no cheap, artificial sweeteners in sight. Ultimately, the retail price has to be based on the cost-to-manufacture, which I do with all my products. This costs a lot to make.

The price point also compares favorably to other products I have seen in the marketplace, most notably Shakeology® which sells for $119 for 30 servings and offers 17 grams of protein per serving. Primal Fuel offers 20 grams of protein, healthy fats and far fewer carbs. I think it tastes better, too.

I came to the final price point of $99 based on a few other factors:

  1. It was designed to be an autoship-based product; hence the larger tub size and 30-servings designed to last a month. I could have introduced a smaller container and fewer servings for under $50, but shipping is expensive and I pay for shipping on all my autoship products. For this product (which weighs over 3 lbs when shipped) the cost of USPS Priority shipping averages around $12.
  2. I believe maintaining gut health is critical for good health, so I designed Primal Fuel to work synergistically with Primal Flora. The prebiotics in the Fuel coupled with the probiotic blend in the Flora can help support a healthy digestive tract. A full bottle of Primal Flora (retail value – $26.95) shipped each month was built into the $99 autoship price tag. The early feedback I have received suggests that you guys are more interested in a reduced price on Primal Fuel than receiving a discount on Primal Flora when purchasing the product. It appears the value of the Primal Flora is not fully appreciated. This doesn’t fall on deaf ears. See what I have in mind below.
  3. Autoship customers also get a free Blender Bottle (retail value – $8.95).

That’s nearly $40-50 in value built into the total price of Primal Fuel when purchased on autoship.

I believe firmly that Primal Fuel is the best meal replacement on the market and that many people are going to benefit from using it – myself included. But I have heard your thoughts loud and clear, so here is what I’m going to do going forward.

  1. As I said, the autoship price of $99 was set to cover the cost of the Primal Fuel, Primal Flora (retail value – $26.95), the cost of shipping and handling, and the cost of the Blender Bottle. Primal Flora and Primal Fuel are a match made in heaven, but I understand that you would prefer a price cut to getting the Primal Flora and Blender Bottle included in the total, so I will be removing both from the original offer and pricing Primal Fuel accordingly, at $79/canister if you go on autoship. And I’ll still pay the S&H. A single canister order will remain at the $99 price point (but see #5 below).
  2. Since I strongly believe that many can benefit from taking Primal Fuel and Flora together, if you purchase Primal Fuel you can still add Primal Flora to your order for only $13.50. The shopping cart will take care of the special pricing if you want to take advantage of that.
  3. Many have expressed an interest in being able to try Primal Fuel on for size before committing to purchasing a full canister. I offer a 100% no-risk, 30-day, money-back guarantee on the Primal Fuel, but if you’d prefer to receive a single-serving sample of each flavor in the mail I will ship them to you at less than cost, just $5.95. This offer is only available to domestic orders. Call 888-774-6259 and my team will get a sample of each flavor in the mail to you. This offer probably won’t last indefinitely.
  4. Also, many have expressed an interest in Primal Fuel being available in a smaller size. In the next 90 days I hope to have a 15-serving version of Primal Fuel available at half the cost of the 30-serving size version.
  5. Because this product was created for you, because I believe that it will do many of you good and that you’ll love it, and because I’m sensitive to some of your concerns over the price, I’ll be sending every newsletter subscriber a $20 coupon code that can be used on the purchase of a single canister of Primal Fuel. (This coupon code isn’t valid for Primal Fuel autoship orders.) Keep your eyes peeled.
  6. This was a small initial production run. In the event I can get the cost of manufacturing down further. I will pass the savings along to you.

Everyone that has already purchased Primal Fuel on autoship will get Primal Fuel at the new price in addition to receiving the Primal Flora, the Blender Bottle and the free shipping and handling they were promised at checkout. Everyone that purchased a single canister will be billed as if they had used the $20 coupon.

This is my attempt to respond to your feedback and make Primal Fuel available to a broader audience. I hope you’ll give it a try and see what you think.

Learn more about Primal Fuel here.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Mark,
    I was amazed at how much negativity you got in response to your launch…i’m sorry :(

    I would have thought it apparent that you weren’t targeting those who were hardcore/strict/raising their own goats already! There’s been plenty of times that i’ve been at work, gone through the primal meal i’d brought with me & thought, “Dammit, didn’t expect to be here so long today…wish I had something quick to whip up.” IFing doesn’t work so well for me & i’ve had better results from avoiding IF.

    So thank you. I’m excited & plan to buy a canister as soon as I get my paycheck tomorrow :)

    Keep up fighting the good fight against CW :)

    LittleNappingLion wrote on October 16th, 2010
  2. Thank You Mark. I will definitely try it with the $20 Coupon Code. You’re the best! I owe you so much. I’ve never looked or felt this good. You’re an amazing guy. Thank you so much. I’m only 23, but you probably added years to my life, good quality years.

    Dave wrote on October 16th, 2010
  3. With all these contests, I always avoid MDA till they over. Hope there won’t be primal ad contests round the year. The only article I read in the last month was about rice. Let’s just download all the content of MDA and freeze it somewhere so it don’t won’t get spoiled :)

    C2H5OH wrote on October 16th, 2010
  4. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for taking all comments so seriously by actually doing something substantial for us! I just ordered a container to be shipped all the way to the Netherlands, using the coupon. Although the Netherlands is not back in medieval times when it comes to healthy and real food, PB approved products such as the Primal Fuel are simply impossibly hard to come by. Even in a larger city such as Amsterdam (where I live). So I consider it worth it and try to save up every month to be able to buy this fine product every once in a while (Is there a possibility to autoship every other month, since I’m just a slender, say max 1750 Kcal. type of person?). In the mean time I hope you keep up the good work and thank you for your commitment to your readers.

    greetings to you all,

    Jeanette (PB-holic for live from Holland)

    Jeanette wrote on October 17th, 2010
  5. I sure am getting this for the days I am on the run and just cannot get a meal organised. heck it will be in my car trunk.

    Thanks Mark for being such an inspiration and i am sorry there was so much hate on your site.

    Carla wrote on October 17th, 2010
  6. When I saw the first post about Primal Fuel I got all excited, thinking there was *finally* a meal-replacement product that contained no fructose. I was pretty bummed to learn that it contains both sucrose (which is part fructose) and inulin (which is fructans, which is a polymer of fructose molecules).

    I have a condition called fructose intolerance, and I’ve long dreamed of a “meal replacement pill” but I’d settle for a meal replacement shake that didn’t contain the offending substances. I guess this girl will just have to keep dreaming!

    janeray1940 wrote on October 17th, 2010
  7. Mark,
    Recently bought your book and enjoyed it.
    Recently subscribed to your newsletter and would like to try Primal Fuel when I get my $20 coupon.


    Mike Kirk wrote on October 19th, 2010
  8. I just wanted to point out to all those who are concerned about the price still that if you choose the auto-ship option at the reduced price, it comes out to roughly eighty dollars. Now, if you’re using it as a meal replacement, that comes out to about a little less that three dollars per meal. Not bad at all.

    tom wrote on October 19th, 2010
  9. Hi Mark,

    This looks like a great product. I was just curious what the source of your whey protein is & how it was processed. from my understanding the better quality proteins are processed using cross micro-filtration and very minimal heat.

    thanks & great job!

    Shammer wrote on October 19th, 2010
  10. I took a look at the nutrition info but still have a few questions.

    I assume the whey isolate is cold processed and sourced from organic, grass fed, unpasteurized (raw) milk?

    Asturian wrote on October 23rd, 2010
  11. After looking at the canister labeling, I noticed that it does not seem to have the USDA organic label (at least not on the front of the label like most other organic products).

    Hmmm, sure would like to know more about the whey sourcing and processing details.

    Asturian wrote on October 24th, 2010
  12. got my samples.they taste good & coconuty. it’s also not too sweet.

    but I also heated the drink since i normally do not eat or drink anything cold.

    + it has high enough fat & no soy! nice!

    maybe you can come up unsweetened version next time.

    ps. your staff was nice & efficient over the phone.


    PHK wrote on October 29th, 2010
  13. If arrived … and it is really tasty and mixed perfectly with plain tap water the best I’ve come across (and I’ve tried loads of shakes in my former endurance athlete twilight zone years LOL)!

    I’m sending Mr Grok with it when he works night shifts as it’s easier for him to get the calories he needs overnight in the form of a shake rather than having to eat ‘food’ at 2 am, the rich chocolatey flavour really makes it feel like a treat too!

    Thanks Mark, we’ll be regulars :-)

    Kelda wrote on November 3rd, 2010
  14. I just had my first Vanilla Creme Primal Fuel for breakfast. Blended it with ice, water, 1 frozen banana and cinnamon – DELICIOUS! I love the rich coconut taste!

    One question ~ how much calcium is in a serving? The cannister doesn’t state and I assume it surely has some.

    kathy wright wrote on November 9th, 2010
  15. Hi Mark. Greetings from Finland. First post from me to your page.
    Could you answer the question about the origins of the whey. Is it from grass-fed cows? And second thing that came to my mind is insulin response of dairy products (in this case whey) which is very high. Allmost as high as white bread? Any concerns?

    Hannu K. wrote on January 28th, 2011
  16. Damn! People are vultures and quick to judge.

    Mark might have a high price on this product, but he justifies it well. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

    And his JOB is owning Primal Nutrition.
    He is just trying to make a living off his passion. Everyone should be so lucky. Perhaps people are jealous.

    Tony Ingram wrote on February 5th, 2011
  17. how do i order a sample? and is this lactose free? can i take it twice a day for breakfast and lunch and still be able to get ketosis?

    Tucker Kahn wrote on February 10th, 2011
  18. I tried mixing Primal Fuel with 8 ounces of milk post-workout. It was quite delicious.
    Is there any drawback to that combination?

    gbarbee wrote on May 24th, 2011
  19. It seems clear to me that the questions people really want answered are WHAT IS IN THIS?

    Is the whey grass-fed? Are the ingredients organic? Fair trade? What are ALL of the ingredients included in “natural flavors”?

    Bex wrote on October 4th, 2011
  20. I know this article is a few years old but I wanted to comment anyways. I have a 15 year old son who has been begging me to buy him muscle milk or some other protein shake so that he can gain some weight. He is slim with lean muscle but is smaller than most of those football players that all the girls like. I used to do whey protein shakes for breakfast a few years ago and I remember the horrible gas I used to get and I did NOT want to do that to a high school freshman. It’s hard enough for him as it is. When I saw that Mark offered Primal Fuel I thought I would try it out. I though the price was high but figured that because of the ingredients (and lack of ingredients), it would be worth it. I was thankful for the smaller serving bags because I was able to buy both flavors to see which one he would like better. He likes the chocolate flavor and since he is trying to gain weight, I mix his with Almond milk instead of water so that he can have more calories and instead of using as a meal replacement, he drinks this with his breakfast (usually eggs and ground beef). He wasn’t a fan of the vanilla so I decided to try it out. I thought it was too thick to drink with the almond milk but mixed with water and a handful of frozen blueberries, this drink is awesome. We’re usually out of the house by 7am and I just cannot eat that early but I’m usually starving by 9am and am tempted to get the not so great food from our work cafe. I now mix my drink before I leave for work and drink it around 9am. This holds me over until lunch time. I also have not gotten the gas that I used to get from the other whey drinks I used to do. Thanks Mark for offering a product that I’m comfortable giving to my son and offering me with a solution that I didn’t know I needed.

    Angelica wrote on March 23rd, 2013
  21. My daughter is looking for a meal replacement. She is a 19 year old college freshman at The University of Louisville and a member of the national champion Ladybird Dance Team. She is very, very active and is very lean already (about 5’6″ and 111lbs) Would Primal Fuel be a good choice as a meal replacement for one meal a day or do you feel that given her activity level it might lead to her losing weight, which would not be ideal?

    Doug wrote on February 19th, 2014

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