Has Huel had its day?


#1

I’m a relatively new user (a few months of twice daily powder use) but have been tracking the website/FB/forum for 6 months.

It seems that although Huel was initially targeted at long term health conscious users, each new iteration changes the taste and viscosity in such a way as to lose longer term users.
It might just be me, but to my mind this undermines the integrity of the Huel brand in that it’s become more important to widen the base than to support the regular users.
In the space of six months I have gone from the mindset of ‘Yes! Huel is a permanent addition to my daily meal structure’ to ‘Oh well, it was fab while it lasted but now I’ll shop around for something that mixes and will meet some of my requirements’.

It’s hard to let go of something which brought me so much satisfaction, but brand loyalty only goes so far!

I’ll keep following the forum in case a previous version makes an unexpected comeback, but other than that; I’m out!

NB Huel is a business; I do understand that they have to follow the money!

NB2 Anyone else slightly worried by the number of diarrhoea posts from using Huel??


#2

Personally I haven’t tried 2.2 yet. Sounds like you haven’t either?

So you are a happy user but you won’t even try a slightly changed version? That seems odd to me.

The trick with forums is to read between the lines. Is something a common experience or not? But that would be how I approached it before I tried it. I have tried it and I am very happy. I hadn’t even thought of doing anything other continuing with the 8 bag subscription.

I think you are making a false distinction between existing customers and widening the base. If they try to improve the experience then it is for all of us isn’t it?


#3

I have tried 2.2 as I’m lucky enough to have overlapping orders with a pal or two locally :wink:
It’s a tricky business continually changing a product isn’t it? I can’t think of anything that’s comparable!


#4

Apple do OK


#5

I have the complete opposite mentality.

I love that Huel is frequently improved and updated - it’s good to know that the Huel team are constantly researching and finding improvements to the formula and it’s exciting to know that will continue. I feel great having Huel, and if further improvements can enhance that feeling then even better.

Would much rather deal with a product that is constantly improving rather than being stagnant.

Also - I think the diarrhoea issue varies - I’ve been consuming Huel 3 x a day for 5 days and no issues at all, in fact my bathroom experiences have probably been the best experiences I have had in a long time.


#6

Yes - Apple is a great example. Imagine if Huel became as big! I wonder who the adverts would be ‘against’…are you a Huel or a Jimmy? And we’d all be wishing we’d bought shares early on!
Personally I’m a Mac not a PC and I do resent that not everything is compatible between the two. At least with food products you’re not stuck with one and can easily try other options.
Food products which change frequently do invite the comment that they were somehow incomplete in a previous version though.


#7

Hmmm… To be honest, taste or ease of mixing is not really important to me. It is what inside and how does my body react to it what matters. Otherwise, I will have pizza and burgers followed by ice creams, chocolate, and coca cola…
I see a difference in my body composition; both my skin and my nails look better now.
I do exercise 4 to 5 times a week consuming 5 meals a day. At least 2 of them are Huel. Huel, in my personal opinion, is perfect as a post-workout drink - I recover quicker.
Just to wrap it up: we should be looking at health benefits first and worry about the flavors later. At least that is how I look at this.


#8

I wouldn’t say Apple are a great example, some of their changes aren’t always for the best (I own and iPhone and mac). Sometimes they seem to make changes and tell people what they should be doing, instead of listening to what people want. In some ways it means they can progress and implement what they feel is a better design, but then it can also annoy customers. i.e. no headphone sockets, removing ports (hey buy more cables and adapters $$$), no memory card slot, unable to change battery etc etc.

Technology is very different to foods though, when people love the taste of a product they don’t like change.

Look back to when Coke changed their recipe, that didn’t go down too well, although they did get more sales when they changed back so in the end they managed to save themselves.

Cadburys got a lot of bad press with their changes, especially their creme eggs.

What makes changes more difficult for Huel is that it is a lifestyle changing product, people alter their lives wellbeing and diet around it, so any changes which have a negative outcome for a customer can have a huge impact.

As the market gets bigger for products such as Huel, will they ever consider widening the range rather than just two main products plus gluten free variations to cater for varying tastes? Look how many variations of soft drinks there are now, if the market and demand was there for a v1.2 type product why not consider it rather than just dismiss it?


#9

Our regular customers are so incredibly important to us. You all on the forum are incredibly important to us. I don’t agree at all that Huel is chasing the money and only thinking about new customers - every change we make is for the collective improvement of Huel and all your experiences. I’m thrilled @Kate_G that Huel has been such a fundamental part of your nutrition and I’m sorry that your feelings are so strong about v2.2.

In general people do not like change and this is true of almost everything in technology and food. Remember when Facebook released Timeline? The reaction initially was overwhelmingly negative, or it seemed so to me, now we couldn’t imagine Facebook with it. The same applies to Huel, I don’t think there has been a single iteration of Huel that has not been met with some criticism.

As a company that put nutrition first, where would we be if we never changed anything? Imagine if we just ignored all the research being released about new findings in science and stuck with v1.0 because we believed that this was the best it could possibly be. I personally think that would be incredible arrogant of us. Hence why we are constantly moving to further improve Huel with every iteration.

Many people on the forum (regular customers) expressed concern about the use of carrageenan in Huel. Some of the more scrutinising potential customers too were being put off purchasing Huel due to the inclusion of carrageenan. So we set to work and removed a fundamental part of our gum blend - no simple task. Gums are all different and give different qualities, it’s not a case of being thick or thin.You cannot just remove one, up the amount of the other two and expect it to be the same - believe me I have tried. If that was the case there would only be one gum in Huel.

So New Product Development worked tirelessly experimenting for months to create a version of Huel without it in. After a few months they succeeded - the change is slight, not major, and the benefits of not using carrageenan far outweigh the slight change in texture.

So to answer your question, no Huel has not had its day!


#10

How did you manage to make Huel v1.2 work then? It contained no carrageenan and the texture was (apparently in most people’s opinion) superior.


#11

I was very surprised to read this thread. I don’t often post but felt this shouldn’t be left without response.

I’ve been using Huel regularly (twice a day) since August. I’ve noticed no real changes to the product, especially as I mix mine with other things.

I’m delighted Huel has a forum; clearly reads what its customers say about its products and acts on their requests when they’re reasonable.

No company succeeds these days by standing still. It’s great Huel is being continually tweaked to make it better.


#12

v1.2 was a great formula. However, we sold a lot, lot less of it than we have 2.1/2.2. Most people’s? I’m not sure I agree. Huel forum users are a micropercentage of Huelers and are often the most passionate.


#13

Increasing popularity of soylents and Huel taken into account? Could it be that you would have a continued growth regardless?


#14

Obviously there have been numerous reasons. I was responding to Rikefrjut’s comment.


#15

I feel ‘invested’ in Huel these days, it is part of my daily routine - well breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri

My biggest fear now is-
Huel disappearing
Huel changing significantly - Price, Service, Simplicity etc

I would like the convenience of finding ready made Huel in every supermarket Milk aisle and on the high-street, as sometimes its just not convenient or practical to carry a self-mixed bottle around town - much like the single servings available of aptamil (ready mixed baby milk) etc
People will comment about the waste/eco impact, but when offset by the majority of Huel use being the current ‘bulk’ system - Huel can still achieve/hold a significantly lower foot print.

While you’re at it, compress the Huel powder into dissolvable blocks like a dishwasher tablet so I don’t have to scoop it in powder form.


#16

If the goal is to have as many people eating healthily as possible, isn’t broadening the base a necessary step?
Also, the version you hate is the version someone else loves, and vice versa. And this will always be. I’m not saying they should end up with some cowardly mix, afraid to offend anyone, but it should have an appeal to many people. That’s why some powdered meals add some gum for instance because their formula needed a better consistency. Custom tailored products and mass production are generally not fond in the same sentence, so it might never be perfect or just right for you. But if you’re not willing to try a new formula then how do you know it’s not the one you might prefer over others?


#17

I did try it; that’s why I decided to look elsewhere because it no longer tastes nice to me and it’s not practical to keep adding enough water to thin down the consistency to what it was the last time I bought it.

The original post was written out of surprise that a food product is tinkered with so much, but as many (many) people have pointed out that’s because Huel aims to be nutritionally complete rather than simply taste nice (which I guess would be the aim of most other food products!). And of course that’s a laudable aim!

My original observation was that this necessary stance of Huel to keep changing the formula as knowledge on what will make it nutritionally complete grows, does have the risk (I would say result) of losing customers who expected to be in it for the long term. I didn’t mean that this is what the Huel team set out to do - but I still believe that it’s an unfortunate consequence in this relatively new food business model.

Incidentally, I’m still working my way through a mountain of Huel bars which are bloody gorgeous with a cup of Lapsang tea!


#18

@TimOfficeHuel I do remember the introduction of timeline to Facebook, and if there was a choice of the pre and post timeline versions I’d choose the former! But I still use Facebook crucially because I don’t have to pay for It so it’s a different kettle of fish really.
However, there have been other subsequent changes to FB which I like, and they are all part of its evolution; it may be that the same happens with Huel.
An advantage of the ‘refer a friend’ system is that as a group we have staggered orders so that when something changes we all get to try it before we buy it :blush:


#19

that’s exactly why I thought that they were a great example… :green_apple:


#20

Jeez.
It’s great to have open discussion and to share experiences.
But where is the line ?

Huel are clearly committed to a great product. Updates are fantastic

If it works for you, great. It does for me. Never had any problems. Only saying so in order to redress the profile which can be created by others.

If it does not work for you, then quit bleating and go buy something else.

Part of the problem is stupid attention-grabbing headlines which seek to generalise massively from an individual experience. This post would be more accurately and more helpfully titled “Does Huel still work for me?” Possibly less likely to generate attention for the (apparently needy) OP. But a lot more helpful for other forum users.

This forum has so many moaners, it’s quite depressing ((((