Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 13 2010

Primal Fuel Updates for Inquiring Minds

By Mark Sisson
140 Comments

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.

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140 thoughts on “Primal Fuel Updates for Inquiring Minds”

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  1. Hi Mark,
    So awesome – thanks much for listening to your community and responding (favorably) to our concerns. Not only was this move great for us to try the Fuel, but it goes to show us that you’re truly a good person at heart. Props to you and your team. I’m order my samples now.

    SteveO

  2. Thanks for being open to everyone’s concerns, Mark.
    For me, it’s real simple. This sounds like a FANTASTIC product for those who would use such a thing…but it just won’t fit in my current budget. If costs come down later and my need for something like this increases (as well as my income lol) I may reconsider.
    Good luck!

    1. Agreed. It’s too pricey for me but it sounds like a great product!

    2. This is also true for me. I would love to support Mark by purchasing some of his products, but they’re mostly outside of my budget.

      It’s good to see that he responds to the concerns of his customers.

  3. You might be the fairest business owner I’ve dealt with. Thank you for listening (and responding to) your customers. It is rare, and greatly appreciated.

  4. That was a pretty good reply. I’d imagine many people either wanted to try a sample or a single canister without autoship, both of which will be cheaper now.

  5. Mark,
    Whilst I was disappointed in the original price point of Primal Fuel, one of the things I’ve always liked about this blog is you allow everyone to have a voice (even if it might be negative) and you address people’s concerns instead of ignoring them. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a 15 serving size of PF when it’s out.

  6. I just have to take a moment to thank you for being open to criticism and honest in your response. I am always 100% impressed.

    I will certainly be taking you up on some of your new offers that you have listed today, and am looking forward to your smaller size tub, which I’ll definitely be odering on autoship.

    Thanks for being such a class act!

  7. Easily the most responsive and well-though-out way to deal with the complaints. Well done – I’m sold!

  8. Mark – This is what makes you different from everyone else. You have built a vibrant primal community that people love from the very beginning when they dive in. You have shown to listen to your readers in the past and you just came through big time after countless complaints.

    You are one cool dude whom I will always respect.

    I was one of the taste testers and the product is fantastic. It is still out of my price range but I hope to purchase it someday down the road.

    Grok on!

  9. When I first went through the comments on the announcement page for Primal Fuel I was shocked at how ridiculous people where being about the price or ingredients. That crap belongs on YouTube or something, not here. Anyways, despite how ridiculous people where being you still listened rather than ignore their comments. Just shows how awesome you are. Grok on Mark!

  10. Well this has been entertaining. I was wondering if you expected the response you got? I’ll note this was the first time I’ve noticed a hard promote of one of your products in the blog area (I remember the post about supplementation, but there was an appropriate amount of tip-toeing as to not push product) besides the books/free programs. It’s almost as if you broke the “separation of church and state” this time:)

    As someone else said, props to you for addressing “this community” instead of ignoring it. You and the community both have the right to do as each pleases, but courtesy does go a long way.

    Maybe you should put together a post arguing that beneficial foods can be processed/ground up (hello spices) and/or assembled in a factory under certain conditions.

  11. I must live in some alternate, bizarro world universe where gum/fiber thickeners are undesirable, and coconut milk, water, whey protein isolate, and various flavorings mix up just fine with nothing more than a plastic shaker bottle.

    1. I must live in an even more bizarre world where when I’m in a rush in the mornings an apple, a few handfuls of almonds or a piece of leftover chicken (easily eaten in the car) suffices until lunch. I’ve never used a protein shake in my life, I don’t understand why people are so excited by them they can’t really be more convenient than real food? I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I do love this site but I am a bit disappointed. Primal to me is about eating food, not formulas 🙁

  12. Sounds good to me. And I’ll just repeat what I said in the other comment thread — it really is delicious! I have never before found a whey shake that I was able to choke down… I was rather shocked to find that this is an actual, enjoyable treat!

  13. Woo hoo! I can now seriously consider getting a bottle or 10 of this!
    Thanks Mark ! You Rock

  14. Mark, as others have said, thank you for listening! The main concern I had with autoship is that I wouldn’t use a product like this every day. So, with autoship I would end up with a backlog of primal fuel in my cupboard. Now I can try it and have it on hand when I need a quick on the go meal. Can’t wait to receive the coupon!

    Thanks!

    1. I offer an autoship plan that ships every 60 days instead of every 30. You can get set up on this and still get the lower price. My team can help you at 888-774-6259. It’s not available on the website.

  15. Was the Atkins slam really necessary? I’m a former Atkins patient and a low carber, and I assure you that I eat healthy food all day long. I guess you were feeling a bit defensive.

    I am interested in buying this product, but for some reason I couldn’t find a complete list of ingredients last time I looked. Is that somewhere I didn’t see? I already buy most of your products, so will probably buy this one too.

    But not if the Atkins insults/misiniformation continue. Please reconsider.

    Thanks!

    1. Hello, Kim,

      It wasn’t meant as a slam so much as an acknowledgment. I wouldn’t touch many of the Atkins products with a ten foot pole. If you eat healthy food all day long great job. The Atkins reference wasn’t addressing you personally.

      You can view the nutrition facts by clicking the “Nutrition Facts” tab on the product page:

      http://www.primalblueprint.com/products/Primal-Fuel.html

      1. Thanks! That’s what I was looking for. Previously, I only saw the nutrition label.

        FYI, the products sold at Atkins Nutritionals are not what most people who follow Atkins eat (at least not most of the time). Personally, I don’t think Dr. Atkins would have either. 😉

        I think the price of this product is definitely worth it for the quality ingredients and CONVENIENCE! I miss having smoothies, but rarely have the time to assemble all the quality ingredients I would want in one. If you have done all that for me, then it is well worth the money.

      2. So, you’re not actually slamming Dr. Atkins or his diet, but you are slamming Atkins Nutritionals, the company that took over Atkins died? That’s fitting. They have wandered pretty far from the Master.

        Granted, Atkins-the-man also sold some ‘stuff’ such as protein bars and the like. He was trying to create — as you now have — a reasonably healthy alternative to the crap in the stores. Please keep the man and his diet separate from the corporation that has taken over… Thanks.

      3. The original 1972 Atkins is the ONLY real Atkins. Mostly meat based, and not afraid of fat. No frankenfood products. This is what happens when you start turning a whole foods primal movement into an industry that needs “supplements.” Gut flora? Fuel? How about healing with real foods? I don’t consider anything after the 1972 Atkins book to be Atkins and many of us don’t.

    2. Oh great, you’re one of THOSE people who takes offense at everything. Please, do yourself a favor and grow some thicker skin if you plan on using the Internet for much longer!

      1. She made a valid point. There is no reason to slam the Atkins lifestyle or diet, when it is just the Atkins Nutritional products he is really bashing. (And I agree with him, however, the Atkins Diet, especially in maintenance, is Paleo in every way.)

        1. Uhh, no, Atkins is not paleo at all! Atkins and South Beach tell people to avoid natural foods such as carrots, due to their carb count. Paleo says all veggies are fine.

  16. I can honestly say I’ve learned something from the way you handled this, Mark. It’s not easy to respond to customer concerns like this without getting defensive, and I think it shows how strongly you believe in your own product.

    I really don’t think $3 a day is a lot for something like this; an “extra value meal” at a fast food place costs $6 nowadays. As a college student I would have said I couldn’t afford this, all while eating fast food five times a week and spending more than $99 a month on beer.

    But beyond all of that, if somebody honestly thinks they create a similar product for lower cost, please let me know because I’d love to go into business with you. I really don’t think it’s possible.

    1. You put a little bit more into perspective here: thanks!! I’m sure in my pre-primal days I spent more than $99/mo on non-nutritional food items. Heck, I can spend more than $3 on chocolate even now 🙂 So, for the same (or less) cost of a premium chocolate bar, I can get a chocolate protein power slurpee!
      Mark did not need to do this. He did because people (enough of them) requested it. Then, in response to some negativity (and some of it perhaps a little harsher than neccesary) he made some adjustments to his initial offering. I agree with the others who have stated this: Mark, you just demonstrated again that you really do care for us poor schlubs on the other end of the wires & you really & truly want us to be healthy.
      So this isn’t a product for everybody. That’s ok! We have the freedom to choose this or something else.

    1. I think Mark was taking a shot at the Atkins labeled products, not the man and the diet, who has done more to advance low carb in the public’s mind than almost anyone else.

      I think a comparable product would be All Pro Science’s Grass-fed Whey. I feel like this is a good source of whey that is high quality and its low in sugar, but its not sugar free, it’s not really meant as a standalone drink, and it doesn’t have fat or prebiotics. Its $60 for 20 servings, so roughly the same price per serving.

  17. Thank you again for making this available. I ordered the samples and am looking forward to a taste.

    Question: What is sodium caseinate and what is its function in Primal Fuel?

    1. Sodium caseinate is used to keep the fats from separating after you add water.

      Wilderness Family Naturals includes both maltodextrin and sodium caseinate in their coconut milk powder.

    2. All coconut powder has minute amounts of maltodextrin (glucose polymers from cassava in this case) and sodium caseinate to ensure the stability of the powder and to keep it from clumping (it is, after all, mostly fat). The only reason either appears on the ingredient panel is because of its presence in the coconut milk powder.

  18. Mark

    You have went above and beyond the call of duty. This is why you have so many people that flock to your blog each and every day. Most companies do not provide half the transparency that you just did, nor do they take into consideration the myriads of requests that they receive. I was happy with my initial purchase, this is just icing on my coconut flour cake.

  19. Mark, would you be willing to publish the results of the tests for heavy metals? Consumer reports did an article showing the incidence of heavy metals in many of the popular formulations. I’d be interested in seeing how Primal Fuel stacked up.

  20. I’m glad to see people seem to be happy with the changes. I was a bit sad for Mark to see the negative comments when the product was initially announced. It’s always hard to receive negative criticisms.

  21. I’m very impressed at the quick response and the respect you’ve shown this community.

    I’ll be tempted to pick up a 15-serving size when it’s available to give it a try….I’m down to about 1 smoothie a week and intend to stay that way, but this could be great for those rare occasions when I don’t have time to make the real thing.

  22. Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I’ve got to say, that Monday launch was tough. I’ve really just tried to give the Primal community one of the best shakes around; with a great macronutrient profile and top-shelf ingredients, that offers everyone a convenient tool they can use to get healthy (and lose weight if that’s what they’re after), and that is undeniably delicious to boot. I think I’ve done that. I understand that the price is a barrier for some people. I hope these changes can help. Thanks for all of your feedback and Grok on!

    1. Mark, I must say you’ve made a very impressive mark on my thoughts towards this site, this community, and towards you as a person! Most business associates that I know of would say “Deal with it”. But you listened to the community, the good and the bad, and made a business decision that would change the way people look at your site, and your company. I love the idea of a trial packet, as well as the smaller version for those who do not solely rely on a meal replacement. This has been an intriguing event, that I am glad to be a part of. You can count me in for future purchases of your products!

    2. Thank you so much Mark! I applaud you for caring so much about your readers that you have found a way to compromise that everyone can digest ;).
      There is no one else I can think of that stays in such close proximity with their readers and tries to address every request. You definitely are the guardian of the primal lifestyle and
      I know I will continue on my primal journey thanks to you.
      Cheers

      ps: Any possibility the protein powder will ever be offered in plain form for us weirdos that do not require sweetener?
      Thx! & Grok ON!

    3. Why don’t you come up with a completely unsweetened version? Real paleo eaters don’t need sweet or want sweet at all-in fact, it makes us sick.

  23. Mark, glad you responded. I’ve tried to eliminate all the naysayers in my personal life… I guess it’s much more difficult in the online world.

    I’m definitely picking some up.

  24. Thanks for listening, Mark. Some of the responses were pretty brutal but I think most of those people don’t understand how a product like this can be used. Being able to carry a shake’s worth of powder & a blender bottle with me in case I get stuck on the road or in a meeting is a HUGE convenience. I’m very impressed with the ingredients too. Thanks again.

    1. I think they were brutal exactly because a lot of people here do understand how a product like this can be used – and how much products like this one normally cost.

      But props to Mark for responding to the criticism.

    2. Ooh. Seriously. This is the perfect item to bring to those professional conferences that feature sandwiches, chips, and cookies for lunch every day.

  25. I made quite a few comments on the primal fuel page and many of them were about how you had sold out to me. The past month was tough because of all the thirty day challenge posts which I just wasn’t that interested in. Then to top it off, you released your product the next day and it just seemed like you were turning to more of a profit oriented goal instead of preaching the primal lifestyle like you had previously done. After reading this post and seeing how you have changed the price and catered to your customers needs, I have changed my view. You are simply trying to provide your followers with something convenient and trying to make a bit of money while you are at it. The past two articles have also helped sway my views as they are the same informative articles I am used to and have been craving for the last month. I see now you havnt “sold out” and would just like you to know that the product does look great but just with a steep, although warranted, price tag. I did not think about the fact that you made primal fuel in response to people asking for it and that it would naturally cost much more for you to produce since you are not a huge supplement company. I’d just like to say again that I’m sorry for the remarks on the primal fuel page and would delete them if I could. Good luck with our new product and I look forward to more awesome daily articles.

    1. YOU, are also a very classy individual for saying what you just said.
      cyber-hug..

  26. This was a very interesting thing to observe. I must say that when I first saw the announcement about Primal Fuel, I didn’t even read into it after I noticed the price tag. Today I got a bit curious and went on the blog to see what everyone thought about Primal Fuel.
    In my opinion, there wasn’t enough marketing research done before launching PF at such a price point, so Mark had to get it done the hard way:) It’s upsetting that so many people lowered themselves to get very personal with each other, but it did offered Mark a new prospective on his marketing strategy I think.
    All in all, I think that the new reconsidered price and the fact that there are going to be more size and shipping option will result in higher profit margin for Mark’s team in the end.

    Good luck, Mark!

  27. It takes a lot of courage and integrity to come out and face your criticism head on. However, I’m not surprised you handled it this way. You’ve always conducted your-self as a total professional amongst this community.

    Unfortunately, I was REALLY excited to see this product until I saw the price. I use the whey protein as a supplement to my Primal Diet in order to maintain a very competitive athletic schedule. I use several scoops a day and would go through 30 servings in two weeks.

    Maybe this just isn’t the product for my purposes.

  28. I was one who had a negative response originally. Although I will not be purchasing the Primal Fuel (I’m in college, moneys just a little tight right now. Maybe in the summer when I’m working) I really appreciate your response. I hope the product is successful though.

    Thank you Mark for being a classy person… I think that’s why so many of us don’t hesitate to suggest your site.

  29. I have been an avid European follower right from the start and I love the basic ideas of the BP.
    Thanks for being in touch with ‘your” people out there.
    I would love to buy Primal Fuel, but due to location it is not feasible to me.
    M

  30. Cool beans.

    You’ve built such a strong and smart community here and offer great easy to read nutritional information. I think that the reason that you got so much flack yesterday is because none of us are comfortable with being TOLD something is good for us. We need to know WHY it is good for us. This is just part of the personality that accepts the Primal/Paleo life and we treat all information with the same caution.

    That said, this does appear to be a great quality product. I hope that with the problems you addressed today, that this product is successful for you. 🙂

  31. I really wanted to try this but the price kept me away. With these recent changes, ill be giving it a go. Starting with the samples! Grok On Mark!

  32. Kudos to you, Mark! I admit that my jaw dropped at the $99 price tag, but I felt terrible about all the bad-mouthing you got about it. This was a great effort to reach out to your community and make Primal Fuel within reach of more people.

    I feel everyone needs to earn a living, and with the AMAZING amount of free information you give out, more power to you if you sell expensive supplements to support yourself. People can gain so much from you and never spend a penny. THANK YOU for everything you do for us!

  33. Mark, you are the man! I’ve only been following you for a few weeks and I have been impressed every step of the way. I have referred many people to your website because of my experience so far.

    A class act, inspirational, and a great business man.

    Thank you!

  34. Mark, you are truly a class act. I already get some of the supplements. All are excellent products – no fishy burps! I’m not going to autoship the Primal Fuel, but I am going to invest in a canister to split with my law school daughter who has a tough time getting in proper paleo meals all day long, especially breakfast.

  35. I’m another reader who questioned the original pricing of Primal Fuel. Kudos to you, Mark, for responding to the comments in such a positive and considerate way. While it’s still outside of my budget right now, I may give PF a try in the future.

  36. Wow, you’re an awesome businessman. Good stuff. I think I may just buy some now, I’m just that impressed in your honesty and your response.

  37. Hey Mark,

    Sounds like a great product, would you recommend it as a post workout as well as a meal replacement?

  38. Wow, what a change two days makes. From “vitriol” as some people were using to describe the scornful comments on Monday to gratitude, appreciation and praise on Wednesday. Primal lesson from all this – it is human nature to tunnel towards polar extremes, then completely renege the next moment. Boy we are a flighty bunch. I still don’t know what to think about this whole primal shake thing.

  39. Mark,

    Can you please include a list of all the ingredients? All I see is the nutritional info with no full ingredient list. I currently use Shakeology which seems to have an exotic ingredient mix. And you saying it tastes better is BOLD, because Shakeology is the best tasting meal replacement, protein, shake, anything, that I have ever had. Much Thanks

  40. Mark,
    I’ve always been impressed that you sold almost nothing on this site. It’s been give, give, give. Eat real food and get some exercise. You’re on a mission to help people get and stay healthy.
    So I’m not worried about your selling a drink. I want you to make a living.
    Buying Omega 3 for most of us is a big deal and it’s not your Vital Omega’s.
    My question is do we have to have money to be at our healthiest? Does it bother you that most people can’t afford your products?
    Sincerely,
    Dana Law
    El Cajon, Ca

    1. Why should it bother him? Most people can’t afford organic grass-fed meat and dairy and organic vegetables; that’s not going to stop him from encouraging people to eat them. These foodstuffs are more expensive because they cost more money to grow/produce/husband. Just as Mark’s fuel is more expensive because the ingredients and process to create it are more expensive than your usual whey protein. Do you understand that you have to have money to be healthy because you have to have money to buy food? This is a pretty simple lesson to learn.

  41. nice! thanks.
    the price tag albeit high is ok with me as i can’t find anything that does NOT contain soy lecithin & this one has enough saturated fat.

    i normally don’t drink this type of drinks or shakes (i just don’t drink cold & sweet stuff — i prefer hot & warm & unsweetened). but maybe they can make great gifts for my family.

  42. I’m also one of those who would like a shake that is less sweet. Being off of sugar for so long has taken my sweet tooth down a few notches……just don’t enjoy that sugary taste so much anymore……love vanilla and chocolate flavors though.

    1. I designed it to not be overly-sweet. Using cocoa and vanilla bean with just a touch of sugar and no artificial sweeteners accomplishes this. The feedback from the dozens of people that tasted-tasted PF has been that it achieves a nice balance.

  43. I’m pretty excited to try this out! i’ve been trying to fanagle my budget to fit it in and your generous offer to give out that coupon is really helping me out. I’m very new to this way of life, but the benefits for me are amazing. I was going to try this as a breakfast alternative, because I wake up hungry but always late for work. this way I’ll be a happier morning person. Thanks so much! Also, I agree that you faced the really harsh criticism very well. As someone who works in retail who is not allowed to discuss with customers why something is the way it is I am happy to find a business that is so forward. Keep up the fantastic work!

  44. Oh, my goodness…the Walmart mentality! You are all the same people who spend $5 on a foo-foo coffee drink. I once worked in retail…once for a sporting goods store…and people would ask why one inline skate was so much more expensive than the others…and the answer was always…QUALITY OF THE COMPONENTS! Mark has designed a great product at a good price, should leave it as is, AND offer the new ones as well…I would have used it, but am dairy intolerant. Keep up the good work, Mark, thanks for at least listening to your customers…most companies don’t. TaTa.
    The skater.

    1. Basic economics are not well understood by the general population.

  45. Jeez, no wonder some politicians get elected; the knowledge of basic economics of most commenters are sub-par. Bringing a food product to market is expensive as he11 even if one uses cheap ingredients. Using high-quality ingredients will send the production costs into the stratosphere. I am of course ignorant of Sisson’s costs but I’d be willing to bet his profit margin is less than the margins of other protein-shake products.

    The worst part of the more negative comments are the shameful assumptions and the ad hominem attacks. I’ve been reading Sisson’s stuff for almost two years and I do not detect even a whiff of conman. If you don’t like the price then don’t pay it but for crying out loud, quit acting like Sisson stole your lollipop.

    1. Ffs, this is basically whey with coconut. Not “the ultimate low-carb meal replacement”. You can get excellent quality whey much much cheaper than this and then add some coconut, olive oil etc, cocoa, spice etc.

      The worst part of this is all these attacks on “negative comments” with strawman arguments.

      Off course people don’t have to buy it, but people deserve to know the truth, which is that this is just whey with coconut.

      1. PF is more than whey with coconut. Yes, you can make your own concoction however I don’t know about you, but I don’t travel around or go into business meetings/seminars carrying a supply of coconut, olive oil, cocoa, spices, etc. in case I need a better meal replacement than the carbage offered. 🙂

        1. Well, you’d still have to carry around a 1300 gram bucket of PF and/or a shaker to mix it in either way, so …

  46. Do you have a version without coconut? I don’t like the flavor and my wife and I tried to make pancakes with coconut flour and I ended up feeling lightheaded and got a headache from it.

  47. Supply and demand, competition, and target audience.

    This is obviously being positioned as a high-end product. The price point is about right.

    Mark knows exactly how many units he needs to sell at that price to keep the product on the market.

    The question is are there enough people in the MDA community to buy and sustain it? Is he providing a product that reflects the values and resources of his existing and potential customers.

    We’ll see. Launching a product always requires some trial and error, and you have to start somewhere!

  48. Wow! I just went a looked at Primal Fuel when it was released, but yes, the price was too much for me, and I dont really do shakes that often. However, I am in search of a new fave protein powder, and was really excited about PF. I was not UPSET at the price, because I know the ingredients are expensive, I just figured I’d have to wait.

    I will definitely be purchasing some now, when I’m out of what I currently have on hand, simply because you have handled this with such class.

    I admire your ability to listen and care about what your community has to say.

    I wish you much success now and in the future.

  49. Another thing to keep in mind (which I don’t think has been mentioned yet) is that Mark still needs to have a profit margin on this product. As good as a guy he seems to be (don’t personally know him), I doubt he’s in this to lose money. I can totally see how this product is not cheap to manufacture. Unfortunately, good high-quality ingredients are not cheap, only the crappy mass-produced one’s are.

  50. Does anyone have feedback on how long this shake holds down your hunger? Most of the protein shakes I’ve used in the past only last 1-2 hours before I’m feeling hungry again. Thanks!

    1. Reports vary and depend on body weight, but on average people are reporting 2-3 hours or more. I find that if I drink a single serving mid-afternoon that I either eat a smaller dinner, a later dinner, or no dinner at all. Hope that helps.

  51. THANKS Mark. I ordered some samples, to try before I buy. Really appreciate it.

  52. Ok, can’t keep my mouth shut on this one…

    Let’s see: Mark has built a company, that offers FREE informative and fun articles every day; he (and his worker bees) keep the web site running for FREE; they keep the forums up for FREE; they organize and execute 30 days of FREE giveaways for FREE (which must have been a huge amount of effort); etc. etc. etc.

    His efforts, which we get for FREE, have helped thousands of people, including me, greatly improve our health and lifestyles. For FREE (if I may repeat myself).

    And people are upset that he offers a product that he might make a profit on?? Mark (or anyone else) doesn’t OWE us all these services. And I’d guess, like 99 out of 100 of us, he like to make a living.

    If it’s too expensive for you, then don’t buy it. But to paint what Mark is doing in a negative light, after all the FREE services you’ve probably partaken of (since you are reading this), is hypocritical in my view.

    My view: thanks Mark for all you do. I hope you make a good profit on your products – you, your family, and your worker bees all deserve the rewards of your efforts. And please keep it up: you set a shining example of how businesses should be run.

    1. @ “And people are upset that he offers a product that he might make a profit on?? Mark (or anyone else) doesn’t OWE us all these services. And I’d guess, like 99 out of 100 of us, he like to make a living.”

      And we don’t owe mark to buy overpriced products. 99 out of 100 of us probably also like to get value for our money, which is why is legitimate to point out that this is essentially whey, which can be bought much cheaper.

      The free information is the price Mark pays for building an audience (and mailing list), so he can push his products (and since he’s still continuing it must be worth it). So please stop pretending that people who read the site and argue against this product is somehow doing something bad.

      Btw, I already bought the book (as did a lot of other people), so please drop the leeching-off-poor-mark-whining.

      1. Well Louis Vuitton bags are also essentially cloth and/or leather but they cost shit loads of money and no-one moans thay they are just pieces of leather. You don’t have to buy it if you don’t like/afford it. That’s is free market for you….

      2. A product is only overpriced if there aren’t enough consumers buying it to cover the cost of production and to provide at least marginal profit for the producer. This would force the producer to lower the price to a point where enough units are being sold to cover the cost of production and allow for profit (because producers don’t work for free). You seem to lack a basic grasp of this concept. Mark has never once stated that because the people use this site for free that they owe him money. He advertised a product; that’s not exactly expecting (or feeling owed) site viewers to buy it. If you want to buy low-quality whey then do so; there are plenty of consumers in this market who want a high-fat whey protein powder made with high-quality ingredients that mixes instantly and are willing to pay for it. There are others who are unwilling to pay for it. BFD.

        1. Way to go with the strawman.

          I didn’t use overpriced in a technical-economic sense (which I’m sure you already know).

          Regarding “owing” Mark something it was referring to the original poster implying that because Mark provides blogpost for “free”, we shouldn’t criticise this product, so you’re off again.

          And I’m already buying whey which in all probability has a equivalent or higher quality (and way cheaper) than the ingredient offered in PF, so please drop the implication that not buying PF only gives you the alternative of buying low-quality whey.

          To all: Don’t waste your money on this, when you can get a lot more, similar- or higher-quality whey than PF, and then add the fat and flavor of your choice.

  53. Thanks for offering the sample pack. I couldn’t justify spending that much on a container in case I didn’t like it.

  54. Says a lot about you, your product, and what motivates you when you respond this quickly and compassionately to reader/user feedback. Keep up the good work, this has serious potential to change the landscape of the supplement/protein-shake marketplace.

  55. Just a note, Shakology is not a protein shake, or a protein shake replacement/alternative. Thus, the “low protein”.

    It is a “multivitamin” shake. The $$ for shakeology is more understandable for all the ingredients (primal or not, sugar and all).

  56. So I see that Aussies and Poms aren’t the only whingers in the world. Harden up people. If you want it, buy it. Otherwise…

  57. Glad to see your response Mark, while I won’t be buying it, you have the balls to back your product in an insightful and honest manner. I can dig that.

  58. Glad to see you’re listening to our concerns. At first the price shocked me too, but the phrase “costs less than an egg mcmuffin value meal” got to me. While I won’t be using enough to go on autoship, I like having this option for those times I need something quick or when I run out of salad supplies before grocery day.

  59. Wow, Mark. You know how to get folks talkin! I think I may be beating a dead horse at this point, but I’m very impressed. I think it’s awesome the way that you run your business, Primal Nutrition, hand in hand with this site. You are able to have direct feedback, and address issues HEAD ON. Very noble. Also something that most companies (of any sort) just do not have the ability to do.

    Primal Fuel certainly makes sense to me, but I am already on a budget that works with primal groceries!! Just can’t swing it, though I really don’t think it’s over priced. 30 days of a meal for $100?? Hell I think that could probably save a caveman a buck or two… especially those enjoy some intermittent fasting 😉

  60. Thanks Mark! Wow I didnt think it was too overpriced for the quality. I mean, I spend 60$ on gold standard whey which still has artificial sweetners/fillers and a chemically taste. Id spend the extra 30$ on it. Next month ill plan some primal fuel into my budget w/ some primal flora. My stomach needs it!

  61. Hi Mark. First of all, thanks for the great website and all the fantastic info you keep coming our way.

    Secondly, I don’t feel you (or ANY business person) should feel obligated to ‘explain’ why you charge what you charge for your goods and/or services. Business is business and profit is not a dirty word.

    All of us make choices about how and where we will or will not spend our dollars. One person’s bargain is out of another person’s reach. One person’s ‘must have’ is another’s ‘frivolous expenditure.

    To expect anyone person or business to produce ANYTHING and sell it at below whatever the market will bear is…..well….socialist. But don’t get me started.

    Once again, thank you for all the VALUE you provide for all of us.

    Deborah Wolfe

  62. Mark,

    You don’t owe anyone anything. You are changing people’s lives with all the free information that you provide here.

  63. I got my canister of Dark Chocolate today. It was exactly as advertised. Blended well and tasted good. More coconut flavor than I was expecting but that isn’t a complaint. I’ll probably order a vanilla flavored one now. I’m not sure if I’ll use it every day but it is nice to have on hand when I need something quickly.

    Mark you really are a class act.

  64. I am amazed by the reactions at MDA about Primal Fuel. Flabbergasted actually.

    “Whine” is Primal, but only in moderation.

  65. 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 🙂

  66. 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.

  67. 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 🙂

  68. 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)

  69. 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.

  70. 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!

  71. 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.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  72. 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.

  73. 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!

  74. 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?

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

    regards

  77. 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 🙂

  78. 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.

  79. 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?

  80. 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.

  81. 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?

  82. I tried mixing Primal Fuel with 8 ounces of milk post-workout. It was quite delicious.
    Is there any drawback to that combination?

  83. 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”?

  84. 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.

  85. 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?