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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.