Asking for a democratic Huel

My experience with v2.3 left me with the strange taste of authoritarianism…

I would have appreciated a warning about the new Huel formula that I ordered. I was unaware the taste would be so completely different from the previous version. The annoying thing is that I believe I will eventually get used to this version and forget what the old version tasted like…

I hope that you understand the power that you have over people who are seriously considering this as a food replacement. I was offered no choice, or opinion on the matter. I could, as you may suggest, continue to order v2.2… but this leaves me choosing a product which is not “improved”, thus my choice is of an inferior product. I hope that consideration is carefully taken when adjusting the flavour of Huel recipes. You have a massive responsibility in accepting the power that you have on people’s tastebuds and only through transparency and involvement of the public in the changes you make, can accountability and democracy be achieved. I feel it very undemocratic to have this new flavour thrust upon myself.

I understand the need to continually develop and improve the Huel formula, however I ask that taste, as subjective as it is, be altered as little as possible. People will get used to flavours, people may even prefer new flavours! However the process of adjusting to a new flavour can be a difficult one, especially if this is a choice you have not made. I chose to adjust myself to the flavour of Huel v2.2 vanilla - this was the first Huel I chose. It was a difficult one, but now, ultimately I enjoy the taste. Huel v2.3 however is not one I chose.

Imagine one day you woke up and bananas tasted different! this would be strange and unusual however, after a week or two of eating bananas, you would accept the new taste (and forget what old bananas tasted like, possibly). However that experience of adjustment, was not one you chose, if on the other hand you chose to eat a different variety of banana, that new experience is yours. Having choice removed is undemocratic, or more accurately in this case “having choice devalued by making the choice between an inferior product and a new and improved product”.

I understand that you believe you are offering freedom of choice by developing flavour sachets and that by continually improving your nutrition blend your are better meeting the needs of the human population. However I hope that in future you consider the impact these changes have on the people who are considering this as a viable food replacement and become as democratic as possible in your visions of the future. Your choices as a company affect the lives of your consumers in ways, at this point in time, i believe you are struggling to see.

I hope to be a continued supporter of the vission Huel has for the future.

You’ll be glad to know that v2.3 Original Vanilla tastes the same as v2.2 Vanilla so you can swap any unopened bags for that :slight_smile:

@ElectroDan I cannot find v2.3 Orginal Vanilla flavour on the Huel website. I have three options available - Vanilla (new), original, unflavoured and unsweetened.

Can you point me in the right direction?

Original 2.3 is what you are after.

Thank you for pointing me in the correct direction.

I wish this had all been made a bit clearer during ordering. I feel this has been an oversight which may have impacted a number of Huel customers more severely than is being considered by the company at present. A major reason for many people switching to Huel is to reduce food waste. I now have the dilemma of a full, but opened bag of Huel which my conscious is preventing me from binning, and my tastebuds almost preventing me from consuming. I will proceed to replace the unopened bag for an original bag and attempt to mix the formulas to reduce food waste.

Unfortunately this whole process has left me wondering if Huel are seriously considering the impact their decisions have on their customers at present. I would like to see a more democratic Huel, and less of a consumeristic Huel that looks to capitalize on things such as flavour boost sachets…

Actually this really did happen, prior to Cavendish bananas becoming the standard breed, it was the Gros Michel cultivar before this. In the 1950s Panama disease caused a huge wipeout, and they were subsequently very problematic to grow, so the Cavendish species took over. There are rumours that “banana flavouring” was intended to mimic the Gros Michel, which allegedly tastes more “bananary”, and hence why anything banana flavoured anything tastes fairly unlike a real banana. When old people say “bananas were better back in my day”, they might actually be telling the truth!

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Huel-talk.


HI Nathan

Sorry you feel this way, but I don’t understand your issues.

v2.2 ceased to be avilable on 27th December 2017. You can still buy the same Original vanilla flavour on the v2.3 formula. You can also buy the new Vanilla on v2.3 formula. So this statement makes no sense:

could, as you may suggest, continue to order v2.2… but this leaves me choosing a product which is not “improved”, thus my choice is of an inferior product.

Three things happend (in respect of Huel powder) on 27th December:

  1. We launched a new formula (more choline, more potassium, more folate, vegan D3, even better omega3:6 ratio) in both Original vanilla and UU varieties
  2. We launched a new Vanilla flavour as well in the same new formula
  3. We stopped selling v2.2 altogether in all varieties

We did it this way to give MORE choice. If anything, Huel is now less authoritarian. Oh, and we were democratic: many Huelers voted for the new Vanilla flavour…


I am sorry that you do not understand my issue. I will outline it below:

When I ordered my new subscription for Huel I encountered v2.3 new and improved. I then ordered this new and an improved formula, unaware that the Original flavour actually meant - Vanilla (the one we had before). I therefore ordered vanilla (new), expecting the same vanilla flavour as previous but with a new and improved formula - v2.3. It was not made clear during the ordering process that this was not the case. I therefore believed the flavour had been altered. However upon posting this statement I was then pointed in the correct direction and now know that I should have ordered Original.

However I am still left disappointed by the way in which you have rolled out the new formula which may have caused unnecessary food wastage in homes. Your ordering process should be crystal clear to avoid this.

I do not appreciate the tone that you take when you claim not to understand my issue and therefore repeat the point that - I am currently struggling to believe Huel have the capacity to fully understand the impact it has on its customers lives who take seriously the idea of a complete food replacement product.

I will continue to purchase my v2.3 original but I hope my concerns are considered and that in future you try your very hardest to understand your customers issues.

Hi @nathannathan

I’m sorry that you didn’t like my tone. Please let me know where in my original post I went wrong; I was merely trying to be clear about the changes.

Although I’m naturally disappointed that you feel this way, I am actually flattered that Huel does have this major effect on people’s lives, meant in the best way! It shows how much people love Huel; that’s great!

I have noticed from a number of posts that people do see to be consfused as to what v2.3 is - many seem to think it’s a flavour change: it’s not; it’s the formula that’s changed. But you were certaoinly not the only one thinking this. I will speak with the team to see where we communicated this wrongly.

We do want to listen to our customers, but I’m still unlcear where in our order process you feel we fell down. Woould you mind just highlighting this point for us again?

Thanks :slight_smile:


Having a major impact on people’s lives does not show that people love Huel… very odd conclusion to come…

Anyway I will again explain the issue, please try very hard to see this from a customers perspective -

Before the new version I was enjoying v2.2 vanilla flavour. It tastes like vanilla.

I go to begin my subscription and notice there is a new and improved version, v2.3. I therefore order some of this. Now I order v2.3 vanilla (new). Expecting the same Vanilla taste. I was not expecting a change in taste. I ordered v2.3 vanilla (new) because I was currently enjoying a vanilla flavoured v2.2 huel and expected the same taste from v2.3, just a new and improved formula. At no point during my order process was I told the taste would be different or that if i had been enjoying the v2.2 vanilla flavour I should order the v2.3 original.

You see the confusion?

Tasting vanilla and ordering something called original is not an intuitive step. If it said original vanilla this would make much more sense.

The fact it has taken a number of attempts to explain the confusion probably highlights how confusing the whole process is. You have two vanilla flavoured Huels but one is called original and one is called vanilla… this in itself is confusing. Why would there even be two vanilla flavours? Saving the environment and ending world hunger really doesn’t require two flavours of vanilla, or flavour boost sachets.

I believed initially that only the formula had changed and was therefore surprised when the taste had also changed. Now I realise that a new flavour was also created which is where the confusion comes from. especially since the new flavour is Vanilla. and the old flavour was also vanilla… just a different tasting vanilla.

I can’t help but feel you’re being harsh by blaming this misunderstanding entirely on Huel.

Huel released a new (read that again - New) product and advertised it across this forum, the website and social media. Heck, I think I even received an email.

You seem to have missed all of this advertising and naively jumped into ordering a ‘new’ product before understanding what it is.

Accusing James of ‘taking the wrong tone’ is incredibly patronising. He was evidently trying to empathise and understand your issue above.



You have not provided any help, you have only accused me of being patronizing. I am not here to be accused of anything, I am looking for support and guidance in avoiding these mistakes being made in the future. Your comments are unwarranted and unhelpful.

James was being very helpful and I was letting him know where the confusion in ordering Huel is. My issue has not been with any person, merely a confusing ordering system that I feel could be made clearer, and a hope that Huel, the company, can fully appreciate the impact it can have on people looking to completely replace “normal” human food.

Please try and be more supportive and less accusative.


A well thought out and balanced argument warrants useful advice and assistance from me. I think many here are the same.

Inflammatory, high horse approaches do nothing but alienate you against those who wish to help and answer constructively.

I hope you get your answers here, but I feel a lot of members stay away from posts such as this with passive aggressive tones.

Also - The title is “Asking for a democratic Huel”. What are you asking for help with? It’s an open forum where we will all have our own input, regardless of whether you view it as useful. Isn’t that democratic in its own right?


I’d tend to agree

I don’t think you did to be honest.

I saw the message about the update to 2.3, read that there was the old flavour and a new one, saw both on the product page and ordered what I wanted - and liked what arrived.

From a web guy perspective… Perhaps the product page could be better worded as

  • New vanilla flavour
  • Original vanilla flavour
  • Unflavoured and unsweetened

Just to add a little more clarity, but it’s such a minor change I wonder if it’s worth it.


Agree with both these statements.

I also do not think that there was a “tone” when James Collier answered earlier, Huel staff normally answer either seriously or with some humour, never seen an answer with “tone”. Must be the way people read things.


This kind of just sounds like you failed to read this, failed to look up any information about the new and improved vanilla (including the little blue information dot on the product order page which clearly says “new and improved vanilla flavour”), failed to read all the other FAQs are now looking for someone to blame other than yourself. I agree with others sentiments that you’re being very patronising, and at this point condescending to just about everyone who has replied. I’m baffled as to how much clearer Huel could have possibly made this to you. I’m a very new customer and I was able to acquaint myself with the fact there existed 2 distinct vanilla products very easily by reading the website.


Hi @nathannathan. I’ve tried to help you in two posts and failed both times. My apologies.

Thanks for your constructive feedback; we do take it on board.


Yeah I also ordered a new Vanilla (2 bags), really disliked it, so I returned one unopened bag to get the original Vanilla flavor and I’ll mix the opened bag with the original, so I don’t waste it.

1 Like