Huel's First Sustainable Nutrition Report 🌎

the latest UN report on food waste is out and as usual, it makes for increasingly grim reading. The global per capita average amount of food wasted per year is over 70kg with the majority of that being in the household, that basically works out at about a tonne of food per person the UN and WHO identifies as not having access to food supplies in their last World Hunger report.

It definitely makes a mockery of the myth that we can’t physically produce enough food to feed the world but attitudes towards it seem still to be very much in the sweep it under the carpet pigeon hole.

This week was the first national Food Waste Action Week in the UK and I can’t recall seeing a single post from any of the food companies I follow on LinkedIn and other social media engaging with it.


Thanks Phil!

This echoes previous research that food waste could feed another 2 billion people (2100kcal/day)

We’ve got a great article coming on food waste that the team has been working on this week so I think we’ve timed it pretty well!


I’ve never heard of this. I keep an eye on the multitude of ‘days of the year’ in case there is anything we should join the conversation on. I haven’t seen anything about this on any website I check summarising sustainability days. If their promotion isn’t good enough then it’s difficult for brands passionate about reducing food waste to join those conversations.

As Dan says, weirdly coincidental as we have a bit of food waste content planned for a few weeks time! Huel are doing some really cool stuff in this space, as you would have read in the Sustainable Nutrition Report!

its organised by Tim - they are a charity that partners with the UN and some big brands - they announced it in September but to be honest, 6 of their main brand partners are also clients of ours and I’ve seen nothing from them either. I know it got picked up as trade journals such as The Grocer and the likes of the BBC published the story - but it seems it fizzled out after that.

@Tim_Huel I read the new waste article - it was nicely done :slight_smile:


Just to clarify, when you say “in the household”, this means people buying food, not eating it, and then throwing it away because it’s no longer edible?

If so, that’s crazy. It wasn’t until I read Huel’s sustainable nutrition report that I realised that I’m not that bad at all. My partner and I don’t throw anything away on average per week. The odd item might catch us out every now and then, but on average, nothing is thrown away.

Cheers Phil, @Dan_Huel and the team have smashed it. So much interesting stuff. Link is here for those interested.

There’s a few additional pieces of info on our Instagram. Particularly about our work with FareShare and the ingredients in Huel that help prevent food waste.

Yes that’s right. About 30kg on average per person, per year in the UK.


More articles like this please! I love this. I think the environmental benefits and reduced food waste are huge selling points of huel. Remember kelp gate? People care a lot about where our food comes from and simplifying it as much as possible. I didn’t even know many of huels ingredients are by products of other food production but that’s a huge deal to me, you guys should be singing that from the rooftops.

Part of the reason I’ve been vegan for 5 years is for the environment, but before huel I was still terrible with wasting food- even though I hated it. Buying bread for sandwiches was always the worst because I live alone and can’t get through that much bread quickly enough. I also hate how fruit and veg come in so much unnecessary plastic packaging. Huel has solved all of that for me, and I love that it fits 17 meals in a single bag, I basically never have to take the rubbish out anymore. (A plus for the environment and my own laziness)

I think facts like this should be more readily available when it comes to huel because it’s not immediately obvious. I understand focusing on health because it’s probably a job to convince some people that they can live on “liquid” but for those of us who aren’t losing weight or building muscle, the convenience and environmental points are massive. I originally thought huel wasn’t for me because I wasn’t on any kind of health journey, and I wonder if there’s other people out there who feel the same and aren’t seeing this kind of thing. This is a great start in the marketing for us lazy environmentalists :sleeping::seedling:

So long as you guys keep reading them, we’ll keep writing them :blush:

We will certainly be talking about it more. I agree, I think this point around the multi use of ingredients/by-products/using the highest value product is really really interesting. It’s crazy, but when dehulled rice is sold in packs, if it’s broken in half and not a whole grain it’s classed as ‘out of spec’ and won’t be used (kind of like wonky veg). As brown rice protein is an ingredient where appearance doesn’t matter these out of spec/broken rice grains can be used here. The key thing though, and something I couldn’t fully explain in the instagram post due to design/word count is that’s not to say all our brown rice protein is made from out of spec brown rice it just means that higher value product (brown rice protein) is used instead of a going to a lower value product (like animal feed). Very interesting.

It’s possible. I was talking to some folks in the marketing team yesterday about this. One of the great things about Huel is of course there are many benefits, you’ve identified loads (convenience, health, environmental etc etc). The problem with our marketing is who do we talk to? We try and talk to everyone a little bit but that can get lost, it’s a challenge but a nice challenge to have.

This winds me up as well and I can’t understand why it’s still happening. Why does a bunch of banana’s need to be wrapped in plastic? I try and buy the loose Apples now but it’s harder than buying a pack of 6. I wouldn’t mind as much if the pack of 6 were in a cardboard tube but then you would probably get people opening the tubes to inspect them. I’m sure I saw a woman a few weeks ago with two boxes of eggs open on an isle moving eggs between them to make herself a “better” box :angry:

honestly - I’ve been away from the UK a long time and didn’t realise it still was. Here, in the supermarkets the only fruit or veg that you regularly see in plastic packaging is usually the ones that are pretty fragile and susceptible to crush damage such as soft berries.

No way to tell if there are any bad ones in a sealed tube. Bring back paper bags so that you can pick your own. As for the egg swapping, some people are completely shameless. So annoying.

I know, but in the grand scheme of things, a few bad Apples is better than reams and reams of plastic film going to landfill. The tubes would offer better protection against bruising than the current film I would imagine. It won’t happen, I know, because people would rather inspect their fruit and throw miles of plastic into landfill than get home and discover they have a bruised Apple every few months.

I waste very little food; avocados sometimes catch me out because they go from rock hard to mush in the blink of an eye.

I don’t take notice of sell by and use by dates, and have never had food poisoning.

I try to not by cello wrapped produce but sometimes unavoidable. We no longer have a fruit and veg shop in town although there is a great farm shop a few miles away, but quite expensive. My local Morrisons and Sainsburys sell cello wrapped broccoli portions for example, sitting right next to weigh your own unwrapped. It’s not as though one is organic, they are identical.

Here is an interesting article about cucumbers.

It’s interesting how this conversation has quickly moved onto reducing plastic packaging when the content is about food waste. It was the same in the comments section on Instagram. Although not totally opposed I think plastic packaging in general reduces food waste, as the article Hunzas has shared says:

Research undertaken by the Co-op showed that the end-to-end shelf life of a cucumber (from picking to disposal by the consumer) when not wrapped in plastic was reduced by 30% when compared with one wrapped in plastic.

When you look at the solutions that will have the most impact in keeping global temperatures to 1.5 degrees increase, recycling or reducing reliance on oil-based plastics are very low down the list, but reducing food waste is right up there.

Food waste = 94.56 Gigatons CO2 Equivalent Reduced / Sequestered
Recycling = 6.02 Gigatons CO2 "
Bioplastics = 3.80 Gigatons CO2 "

While I don’t for a moment think that this gives licence to use as much plastic as anyone wants (and at Huel you know we’re working really hard on a truly recyclable pouch and have increased our use of recycled plastic in our RTD to 51%), but I do think that given a choice between reducing plastic waste, or reducing food waste I would choose reducing food waste every time.

Surely given that we know 1/3 of all food is wasted which is leading to 3.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year, we need to work out ways where we can reduce that waste in the supermarkets (as well as at home, in the field and during transportation)?


always does I’m afraid, because its so heavily demonised by consumers - the majority of which don’t recycle it for one reason or another :slight_smile: wasting and throwing away food in its packaging also has the added bonus of contaminating the recycling process depending on what food it is. Pizza boxes are a good example - you might think great its paper so it can be fully recycled but the greasy food residue that has permeated the board makes it unusable so when they are sorted these go to landfill or incinerators instead.

keep them in the fridge until you (roughly) plan on eating them (it more or less stops the ripening process) and then keep an eagle eye on them - they are so fast they make pears look stoic

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That’s a fair point regarding prolonging the life of fruit and veg but in the case of the bunch of bananas in the supermarket, I can’t see how it does anything to improve the fruit life, it just adds a place for “marketing” to increase the sale price.

Yeah that’s a really good example. I often think a similar thing with pouches (like coffee) which are paper on the outside, plastic inside. I wonder how many people mistake this for recyclable and contaminate the recycling stream. I’d love to know what the merits are of using a paper/plastic composite considering either way it is going to landfill. Is the reduction in plastic, by using half paper better for greenhouse gas emissions, or would actually using entirely plastic (unrecyclable or otherwise) have a lower carbon footprint?

@Coup I can absolutely agree with you on the plastic around bananas!

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