Update: it actually tastes like instant mushroom soup. I am certain the taste was not anything close to this before.
Update 2: After a day or so of drinking it I got used to the salty, mushroom-y taste. It no longer comes across as offensive any more, though I still have not opened more than one bag to check if this only happens with one of them or if it’s an actual change in taste on this batch. Having tasted the “original version” again that I still had at work I found it less appealing as I remembered it was in comparison to the new taste.
So I just got my latest delivery and I’m a bit concerned with the significant change in flavour in comparison to my last order. You mentioned that a slight variation is due to be expected as you may switch sources for ingredients, but this is a change in such a degree at which point I’m unable to tell if this batch missed quality checking, someone puked into it, or just something that is expected.
Edit: I would describe the taste as less lively, less oaty. More in the direction of a food or drink that has gone off. There is also a borderline offensive taste of bicarbonate. First thing I thought was if the water coming from my tap was fizzy (of course it’s not). The smell is the exact same as it was though.
I am not saying that it’s so bad it’s undrinkable, but the degree of change in comparison to the last pouch is akin to it being an entirely different product. I think it is a fair expectation that when you purchase something you had before, you want it to have more or less the same taste. If the taste of said thing changes radically, you should at least be informed of this change so that you don’t end up feeling scammed - being sold something you did not really want.
Please allow me to suggest that you either keep a change log on your website, raising attention to such changes, or just try to stick to a formula that produces consistent results.
A change of similar degree has happened with the sweetened version before, so while it’s sort of within the bounds of what I expected, it was still harsh enough to motivate me writing this here.
Another thing that you may want to look out for is the way you place your product into the boxes. This got a lot worse in the past few months. You can tell that the pouches has been chucked into the box from a distance by someone who clearly does not care if they get damaged or not.