As she wrote;
5 quick facts about Ambronite:
- It is real, nutritious whole food that satisfies hunger for 4-5 hours.
- Ambronite contains 100% of all daily nutrients, fulfils US and EU nutritional guidelines for all nutrients: healthy fats, carbs, protein, and all 24 vitamins and minerals + fiber
- The product is Vegan, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Non-GMO, Additive-Free, Complete Protein Source. See our ingredients here: http://ambronite.com/pages/ingredients
- Used by competitors in world series like Volvo Ocean Race, Adventure Racing World Series and Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. Also recommended by outdoor & world travellers: http://bit.ly/1G2HOOy
- We became most crowd-funded food product ever on Indiegogo http://bit.ly/1iP1Mj6
So we did try it.
How did we like it? Mmm.... we were quite unanimous that it was not the best processed food we had ever tried. Far from, actually. But before I tell you why, I'll start at the beginning.
About a week and a half before I would leave for Finland I received a package from Finland. Upon opening that I found this; neatly packed, very professional looking. No screaming ads, just a no nonsense sturdy box and pleasing color.
The contents; one box with 10 sachets/meals, a large, sturdy plastic shaker with drinking opening and a sturdy, almost cardlike sheet of printed, glossy paper with a lot of info on minerals, vitamins and energy breakdown. The backside of the sachets also shows much of that information, including a very simple, but effective diagram on how to use the product. One sachet is claimed to hold 500 calories.
Now to the field test. As I said we did a double test. Matt kept to the "recipe", adding 550ml of water, but since I did not bring the shaker, he had to stir it. That was not that easy, since the power builds clumps in the water. He managed after about 5 minutes.
I used a standard issue, 750ml military canteen. Many out there use those, so that might be a good reference. So I poured the contents into the canteen, added water to fill it and shook it. No problems here at all.
The color of the "meal" was a non appealing olive green. It reminded us of the backpacks and such we use. The consistency looked and felt a bit course and we unanimously dubbed it "liquid canvas".
After I had finished a little over half my canteen I couldn't take anymore. Feeling full is not the best description. Having a lump in my stomach comes close. Matt wouldn't budge and was determined to have the whole lot. He added squashed banana to it to make it more palatable. Adding the equivalent of 2 bananas to 1 sachet made it acceptable, according to him.
After that we went for a hike through the woods, to see if we would indeed feel fed and energised. We were full yes, but not in a pleasant way as I previously described. We kept burping all the time and that lasted into the evening. I brought my partially filled canteen with the thought of finishing it during the hike, but the very thought of drinking it became revolting. The canteen did not leave my pack.
We did feel an appetite for something real coming up after 2-3 hrs.
Did Ambronite live up to the promises they make at their homepage, like "ready to upgrade your life?" and "taking the hunger away for 4-5 hrs, reaching optimal productivity in 2 minutes"?
No. Not with us.
But in all fairness neither Matt nor I use or are used to products like this. No (freeze)dried, powdered or other quick fixes in a bag. Matt does occasionally use ready meals in cans. I do not.
Will I use it? If my life depended in it, yes. In any other case a definite no.
Matt kept 2 bags for emergency cases and that is what this product would be to both of us; an emergency food only. Emergency as in nothing-to-eat-starving or as an extra boost to an already existing meal or soup.... maybe.
Would I recommend it?
And at €89 for a set of 10 meals.... For that kind of cash I can put together more and much more satisfying meals with whole foods. I'll just have to lug the (lot of) extra weight, since 1 sachet weighs only 120grs. A regular meal would easily be 3-4 times that, preparation weight (pots, pans, fuel) not included.
I can see there might be a market for it and looking at their webpage it is not so much the active outdoor community they seem to be targeting, but more the busy citydweller. I really do applaud Ambronite's effort for creating and marketing a "healthy" version of processed ultralight (hike)foods, but I feel that they tried to compromise on too many things; vegan, healthy, nutritious, (too) easy to use, lightweight and to me important things like taste or appeal got pushed too far into the background.
Many thanks to Valerie and the Ambronite-team for providing me with the product.