The first Meal Replacement drink

The first Meal Replacement drink

The first time I heared about a powdered mix that would ease preparing food and would give you more time to do usefull stuff, I got worried about the concept.

Homes without kitchens? And what about all the various delicious ingredients my mom used to put in food that made eating such a pleasure? What about the gathering we had every evening where the whole family came together and saw eachother every day? 

And what about the dates I went on with the ladies? A date meant for me an evening in one of my favourite restaurants with a great bottle of wine.

But reading into what others had to say about it, I soon realised that this was truly a great idea. Not to replace food… Not to make kitchens or restaurants obsolete. But to keep getting the exact amount of healthy food to get going on during the activity you have to do… Be it an office job, an irregular job, or activities like hard-core-gaming.

It was an ideal solution to the problem all young doctors who had to attend late shifts or night shifts, had during their activities. I had never seen a young doctor take his food with him from home. Whenever we had the chance and we would be on time, we would order kebab or pizza from the late night snack bars. But usually we were also too late to order a greasy, unhealthy, delicious late night snack. The rest would return to the wards around 2 o clock in the night and this would be the time to go get something to eat. Of couse we would go visit our ward nurse. Some of them had the habit of saving some little snack for the doctor. Sometimes there was a cooky or a chocolate from a satisfied patient (or from satisfied survivors). 

At some point, after a good chat with one of our dietitians (maybe a dinner at a local restaurant was also included but this part I do not remember clearly), I learned that the refrigerators in the ward kitchens were full of food: Nutridrink. This drink contained a very well balanced nutrient profile and contained all the vitamins and minerals that was required. The dieticians prescribed it to our patients that were too tired to eat food. So they would get this bottle. When asked, the patients would always complain about the filthy taste of Nutridrink.

One morning during my morning visits I took a bottle from a patients table with me to try. I was hungry. And the dietitian had no problems with it. I tried it. It was not filthy but had just a chemical taste. After finishing the bottle, I was not hungry. It stayed until the end of the day. I started consuming Nutridrink during my evening and night shifts, until the dietitians started complaining that too many bottles were “disappearing” during the night. This was only after I told my colleagues about the use of this drink.

This was the year 2004. Ten years before a computer programmer in Silicon Valley had thought of commercialising the concept of complete meal replacement.
Since I had already consumed a product more than 10 year before it came back to me under a different name. And with the same purpose… Not to replace all food, but to get something in your body that is healthy, tasty and would help you continue doing what you needed to do at that moment!

I would have no problems selling this idea to others. Now the only problem would be… to make it taste better than Nutridrink tasted 15 years ago.

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