I’d call the Huel way of going and communicating about the discontinuing of Huel bars quite dismissive to customer concerns, at some points even belittling.
Yeah, yeah, the Huel bars were not the best of culinary experiences, don’t still see a reason to cause quite significant turmoil by discontinuing them without an already announced replacement with something reminiscent of a release timeline. This was never going to in any universe work out well. You just don’t discontinue one of your core products people have incorporated into their food habits, and then be dismissive when questioned about the upcoming replacement. I wouldn’t say this was terrible compared to those larger global issues. But, this most definitely was directly caused by Huels own doings and communication style. It caused unnecessary uncertainty and stress to the Huel customers, would think that you’d have at least a bit of respect towards your customers. You probably still want to keep them, alienating them won’t help at that.
Also, this isn’t the first time Huels has done something like this. Here are the most notable recent things as a refresher:
The Huel bars being discontinued. With a replacement soon to come. Couldn’t give a timeline though, or any idea about what the replacement will actually look like.
The Huel Ready-to-drink being constantly out of stock. Couldn’t give timelines though on future availability.
The restructuring of Huel discounts in some regions. And, then being being dismissive and even belittling towards the customers for which this meant a price increase.
The Huel marketing emails. Of little value currently. Little bit unrelated, but these would be a good way to communicate with customers who don’t wish to constantly monitor social media or forums for products being discontinued, others announced, and other news.
I’d say Huel has certainly made a habit of doing stuff like this. You guys over at Huel make excellent products still. It’s also no secret that you are more than capable of being excellent at communicating too. I personally fail to see the reasoning behind the style of communicating you’ve chosen. You aren’t just winging (improvising) it internally, you have timelines internally, visions of the future products, (ability to do the marketing emails right). Don’t need to make them all public, but at least sometimes it’d be nice to have a little transparency or/(and) certainty, where possible. Why not at least try to be fair and respectful to your customers? They literally are your customers.
Good post and very politely conveyed ,have been using Huel for a number of years and have had a mainly positive experience with the company a few being very recently.
My take on it is the company having grown so much over the years are starting to move to a more corporate approach rather than the open indie start up approach.
The lack of clear timelines on restock or new products lately is disappointing to a lot of customers i feel.
They have some great members of staff and maybe the massive surge in popularity of the products is just pushing all the focus in other directions.
I’ve always found the lengths that they go to, certainly in entertaining ridiculous complaints, comments and suggestions on here to be way too far the other way.
Perceptions vary I suppose.
The best thing to do is vote with your feet.
The Mac & Cheese was great, the formula was changed so I don’t buy it anymore. Presumably not enough people cared enough do the same or perhaps preferred the new recipe so Huel have done what is best for them, I’ve done what was best for me and life goes on.
They shouldn’t try to please literally everyone. But you’d think there was a real business interest to communicate with their customers in a sensible manner. Doesn’t cost much to be nice. But it costs a lot to not be.
Let’s not forget that everyone here is pretty up to date on things concerning Huel. Those who aren’t as active on social media or the Huel forum, receive minimal amount of information about things like these if they don’t go out looking for it.
People who aren’t happy with Huel will vote with their feet (me included) if they find a viable alternative to Huel in their region. Huel just does a lot of things well, and is available in a lot of regions where there really aren’t any competitors.
Huel seems to have fallen victim to its own success in some ways
All I seem to find myself doing on this forum is moaning about the company this past year. I’ve been on this forum for years (almost since the beginning) under a couple of different usernames but I’m thinking of jumping ship for good to be honest (I’m sure a few readers on here will be relieved).
As someone whose job at Huel is to communicate with customers, I was very saddened to read this post. I am very sorry to hear you feel we aren’t meeting the mark with communications across the board and that you are generally feeling alienated.
I’ve always prided myself on working for a company that I believe (and see firsthand) is incredibly transparent, more so than any other company I have previously worked with.
I understand that recent stock issues and discontinuations may seem sudden, but I would like to assure you that information has been shared as readily as it has been realized. Production issues can be complicated but keeping you guys in the loop has been one of our top priorities.
I would be interested to know more specifically where you have seen or felt any communication has been belittling or dismissive.
We appreciate your feedback and I will be sharing this with the wider team to consider as we move forward.
I think the 3 points raised by the OP provide enough detail to understand the broad points being made without the need to go hunting through hundreds of posts looking for quotes, especially if you’ve been reading the forum for the last 6 months. It’s clear you have a different opinion to me and some others on some of the recent events, and I think we’ve all spent enough time on these points already so for fear of going over old ground I’m going to leave it there.
Fair enough, I agree it’s not interesting to keep going over old ground. Surprised this thread was started actually, after all the to-ing and fro-ing elsewhere earlier. CuriousEater invited more general discussion but maybe its all been said already.
[quote=“amie_huel, post:7, topic:25416, full:true”]
I’ve always prided myself on working for a company that I believe (and see firsthand) is incredibly transparent, more so than any other company I have previously worked with. [/quote]
Yet Huel won’t release how many grams of sugar alcohols are in each bar.
Only company I’ve heard of in the last 20 years that won’t release that info
It is incredibly common place in food and drink brands to not disclose the volumes or nature of their ingredients. This is especially the case in brands when the product itself is part of their IP and its recipe is believed to give them a competitive advantage over rivals. This is often after many years of development and investment building up the brand and product identity. This is not a case of them not being transparent – they are simply not going to give all that time and investment to a competitor for free.
With these IP’s all that companies are required to do is reveal if their ingredients contain any allergens or hazardous substances when they are then required to provide units with a Safety Data Sheet that would outline the hazards, safety requirements, and health precautions to take.
Notably famous product who keep their recipe IP ‘secret’ would be the likes of Coca-Cola, Hershey’s Kisses, Heinz Ketchup, Campari, Doritos, KFC etc
It is not unusual for companies to protect their recipes/ingredients/measurements from competitors. (rather than restrict from customers) We also make a point of letting customers know if they need certain information to check if this product is suitable for them, they can get in touch and we can confirm if this suits their requirements.