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Making Ample: The Algae Story

By Connor Young on

Hey Team Ample,

Let me tell you why algae is awesome.

It happens to be an amazing source of monounsaturated fat, has fiber and protein, is low in carbs, and actually tastes like creamy deliciousness. Originally, macadamia nut was the sole source of monounsaturated fats in Ample, but we felt algae was one of the few ingredients worthy enough to share the limelight. So you can bet that when we found a company that we liked and trusted, we jumped at the opportunity to work it into the Ample formula.

Fast forward to last week.

We were one day away from flying to our contract manufacturer to begin making our first 100,000 units of Ampley goodness, when we heard that the algae used in our product may be linked to intolerance, or difficulty in digestion for some people. And although there is no solid evidence and the investigation is ongoing, we had to make a decision.

We faced two options:

  1. Move ahead with production, and ship by the end of November. Chances are that the algae, as data and in particular its use in Japan for over 50 years suggest, is fine. You are our family, our friends, and our customers, and you’re expecting to receive an awesome product soon. And of course, our business only really begins when we have a product to sell.
  2. Proceed with an abundance of caution, and reformulate the product without algae, knowing there may be a significant production delay. Sure, we disappoint customers and friends anxious to get their product, but it gives us time to work with our algae supplier, get the facts clear and compile new supporting data so we can re-introduce algae in the future.

Frankly though, there wasn’t really a choice here. We could not in good conscience proceed with our launch as scheduled. Sometimes it’s great to take risks. To “move fast and break things” as Mark Zuckerberg would say. But when it comes to the potential food sensitivities of our consumers, taking a risk, as low as it may be, just isn’t an option.

So for the rest of last week, the Ample formulating dynamic duo (Julie and Connor) rejiggered Ample back to gaining its monounsaturated oils almost exclusively from the macadamia nut we know and love. Late Thursday night, that mission was accomplished, with Ample delivering the same great nutrition! Check out the new labels below.

Reformulation complete, production was the next thing to take care of. Given a whole new reformulation and thousands of kilograms of new raw material to purchase, transfer and test, we were expecting to lose months. Yet, due to the hard work of Rona and our awesome contract manufacturer, we were able to push our production to just a few weeks from now.

On one hand, it’s a major bummer that we can’t ship as fast as intended. On the other hand, we’re supremely fortunate to have still had the chance to eliminate any potential risk. Our goal is optimal, and you deserve nothing less. Thanks for your continued support as we roll with the punches and make sure we deliver only the best.

We’re working hard to try and ensure ol’ Saint Nick will be packing some Amples in your stockings for Christmas. : )


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