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Chris Bair holding bacon
May 14  ·  2 min read
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The Fate of the Top Secret Product

Top Secret

To start off: the RTD and the regular Chocolate powder you mix from the bag are EXACTLY the same thing – just one was mixed with 41% heavy cream and pasteurized. Frankly, I like it better mixed by me with salted butter.

Keto Connect just did a review of the “Top Secret Product” prototype we had manufactured back in November 2018. For those unaware: it was a “Ready to Drink” version of Keto Chow with the fat already mixed in, shelf stable for a year, 50% of your daily nutrients in each bottle, cool stuff. We had it made by a local(ish) company but they only had two sizes available:

  • Teeny tiny juice box size – would give you 1/6 of your daily nutrients
  • Massively gigantor 32oz size – half a day’s nutrients

With a ketogenic diet, it’s simply better to eat fewer times during the day – small frequent meals and/or snacking can stall you out and only serves to keep insulin elevated throughout the day. We decided on the big bottle with 1000 calories in it since it more closely aligns with what I would consider a better eating pattern.

I want to pause for a second and point something out: a 1 quart container of regular 2% chocolate milk has 780 calories with 95g of sugars, 19g of fat, 30g of protein. I think it’s odd that most people would think there’s nothing weird at all about someone drinking a 32oz bottle of chocolate milk, but just about faint when they would read the nutrition info on the RTD bottle of Keto Chow. Odd.

So, we had the prototype batch manufactured. We stuck labels on them, so they would look decent, and started sending out free bottles to people that ordered over $200 (and therefore qualified for free ground shipping). It was a good learning experience. We learned how to ship liquid without people knowing what the surprise was, or expecting a certain level of service so when (not if) something went wrong, they were generally super chill about it and just excited to get the bottle. We decided we wanted to do an actual production run and have them come in cases of 6. So I contacted the manufacturer so we could get the packaging printing (in Spain!). And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, we learned that Tetrapak, the people that make the multi-million dollar aseptic packaging machine, had discontinued support of that machine and it was being sent back to Europe. Dang. So now we’re looking for an alternative solution. Dry powder is still our core competency and WAY less expensive to manufacture and ship; but we want to have an RTD product. It took nearly a year to get the last prototype ran, I expect it’ll take that long again to find another place to do it; ideally in a mid-size package so it can be 3 a day instead of gigantor massive bottles.

As for the original prototype run? They’re all gone. I sent some of the final ones we had left to Keto Connect, mostly because every time they review Keto Chow they seem to mix it up wrong ? – wanted them to try it the way it’s MEANT to be!

Here’s our Facebook Live from March 27, where we explain the issue and such (in thinly veiled terms). I’ve fast-forwarded it to the point where we talk about it.