I’m a huge Huel fan. Lots of my friends laugh at me for evangelising it so much, but I recently just stopped consuming it.
My only real issue with Huel has been how thick, lumpy and goopy it is. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with most of Huels competitors. Most of them however are full of garbage that I don’t want to put in my body, or if I do I’d rather just eat it as regular tasty junk food.
But I’ve now found a competitor which is sufficiently nutritious (probably not as good as Huel, but I feel it’s good enough for my purposes) and doesn’t have the thickness problems of Huel. And over the past month I realised I just don’t want to drink Huel anymore when there’s something much tastier sitting right beside it.
I just wanted to share this here in case it helps encourage the folks at Huel to adopt a more drinkable texture in future. I’d love to switch back to Huel if my taste bugs can handle it.
Oh, and one other bonus of the brand I switched to is that they sell meals in single packets. So I can just rip the top off, dump it into my shaker and turf the packet it out. It’s much faster than messing around with a scooper.
I have mixed views about the single packet servings; for one they create more waste…depends if they are easily recyclable. Not everyone requires the same portion size, but then again commercially produced and meal portioned food you buy in the supermarket isn’t adapted per person. But the convenience is great, especially when travelling, and also it would dispense with my need to measure out 14 portions every weekend for the following week. I did buy a load of Huel single portion packs when they produced them a while ago for ease of use when travelling.
If it was possible to make a single serving packet that could be fully recycled, I would grab it with both hands, I think. A lot of sachets on the market seem to be foil-lined paper which can’t be (at least in my council area?) - but I notice that some oat-based products - single servings of porridge etc - use pure paper sachets, so perhaps it is a possibility?
The question of recyclable pouches was asked at the Huel event last week and the reason the pouches are foil lined is to keep the ingredients notably the vitamin and mineral blend fresh and away from light. Changing to a paper based pouch would not block the light like foil does so there is a consequence there. Huel believe that the overall waste of their packaging is still significantly less than traditional foods.
I remember James talking about a new type of packaging which would keep the product fresh but the strength isn’t there at the moment and would likely lead to more damaged product.
In short, I think the packaging will remain as it is for the foreseeable.
The amount of waste in my rubbish bin is substantially less with these individual packets than if I bought regular food at the supermarket. But aside from that, convenience trumps recyclability for me. The other brands products with the individual packets for each meal use foil lined packets too BTW.
I don’t see the convenience of single packet sizes as they would in fact be inconvenient for a majority of people - especially those who need to measure out their servings as a percentage of their caloric intake.
That serving size also fits into my concerns with the thickness of Huel. You can’t easily put 160 g of Huel into a normal sized shaker as it’ll just clump up. The competitor product I’m using easily blends up. I just turf some water on top, give it a jiggle and it all mixes up just fine; I don’t even need to fill the shaker right up with water if I don’t feel like it. With 100 g of Huel I need to shake the crap out of it and be careful with how I mix the water with the powder to avoid it clumping too badly.
So it’s not just the ability to rip the top off a packet and dump it in without measuring it, the actual process of mixing it is substantially faster as you don’t need to make two shakes, and it requires almost no effort to mix it together.
Is it a vegan product? I don’t know of one that has individual packet sizes. I’m quite happy with Huel, BUT it may be something to keep for reserves when I’d like to sling a few sachets in my bag and go…
v2.1 had a decent ‘loose porridge’ texture, so quite palatable.
v2.2 has a slimey/gloopy texture with weird slimey lumps. A huge shift from v2.1 in my opinion, which the 0.1 increment belies.
One of the Huel staff has told me an announcement is due within the next week (ish) on the widely reported texture issues with 2.2, so if that means a new version/texture, I’m keen to give it a go with a view of returning to Huel.