I have Huel as I like it and have a sweet tooth. But for years its really irked me the dishonest and manipuilative advertising i.e. always portraying young attractive slim fit and sporty people on the advertising material (rather than a variety of average people who must also buy Huel), always or almost always with a bottle of Huel (subliminal advertising connecting drinking Huel with youth, fitness etc). People might say advertising always like this but I hate the dishonesty. While I’m at it - I got a few bottles of the Ready to Drink at a foodbank I work at (I always buy the powder) Immediately struck me how thick the plastic of the bottle is - so much more so than bottles for other drinks (I appreciate Huel is a food). I didn’t like it when the RTD version was introduced as previously Huel stated they were conscious of environmental concerns of producing more plastic (sighting this as the reason for packets of powder) and the ready to drink proved they weren’t but just trying to increase their profits. Now I sometimes see Huel RTD bottles as little in the streets…
What a strange post.
One thing I dislike more than shots of glamorous young people is shots of glamorous old people. Because there’s always a hint of wealth there. Smugness. To be old and fit and attractive is generally to be affluent. It’s easy to be both beautiful and poor when you’re young. Effortless. Oldies, not so much. ‘Silver surfers’? Yuck.
But if there’s a need for more realistic advertising featuring models who aren’t so young, healthy and attractive - but are instead more decrepit, enfeebled and grotesque - I’m sure it could be done. Not sure if it’s the best ‘look’ for a health-food tho’.
People dropping litter cannot be blamed on the company who produced the product. That’s a ridiculous idea.
If you dig into it Huel did a lot of work justifying why “another plastic bottle” and what RTD would replace if someone bought that instead of whatever other pre-packaged food. I’m not saying it’s perfect because it isn’t, the powder is a much more environmentally friendly product, but sometimes you don’t have a powder pre-weighed out in your rucksack waiting for a bottle of water (which also comes in a plastic bottle btw).
That’s the rub really – the beverage bottle market is so huge that the only real viable solution is learning to live with and use plastics responsibly. The industry is scrambling to react to public anger over scenes of plastic waste but they also know that the production and use lifecycle of alternatives like cans pump out far more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than plastic.
A global shift of only 1% from plastic to cans, would mean a surge of 24 billion more cans annually, requiring half a million more tonnes of virgin materials to be mined and smelted - producing an additional 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 a year just for that 1% shift. Similarly with pulp based alternatives – the math doesn’t math – there simply are not and never could be (due to the longevity of their life cycle), enough trees needed to support demand.
As with so many backward steps in our so-called progress: we used to be able to do this, and now we can’t, or won’t.
The house-to-house delivery model of open-sided lightweight low-powered electric vehicles & glass bottles (to be washed and returned for refilling) was the ideal. In a utopian society we’d have our ‘ready-to-drinks’ delivered daily, in reusable glass, just like the milkman used to.
I remember fizzy pop was delivered door to door too, by ‘the Corona man’. We gave him back the empties, he sold us new ones. All in endlessly-reusable glass bottles.
Where did it all go so wrong?
Two main reasons – money, its far more cost effective to have new plastic bottles than returning, cleaning and reusing glass and secondly (and specifically for ‘fresh’ liquids like milk etc) its shelf life is much longer in plastic than clear glass. Things are a changing though – Coca Cola is moving back to this model, by 2030, they aim to have at least 25% of all its beverages globally sold in refillable/returnable glass or plastic bottles, or by BYOB through in-store dispensers (presumably at your own risk).
(not wanting to be the party pooper but as a caveat – always remember, every packaging material or life cycle choice has consequences. Modern commercial bottle washers and sanitisers are very clever and can even remove the existing labelling – but also use huge amounts of water. A typical single unit can clean on average 50 bottles/minute but use 350 litres of water per minute to do it.)
As you probably know (if you know us well) we advertise and communicate with our potential/customers in a multitude of ways across many platforms, not all the same. We have used our CRM campaigns and social media to spotlight some of our authentic customers, and how they use Huel day to day taking a look at their lifestyles. These have included people such as lorry drivers, doctors and outdoorsmen of mixed age range.
As you know Huel is a nutrient-rich product and for it to stay this way the contents of the bottle must be protected, hence the thicker, opaque, packaging.
To confirm, the packaging of RTD, Huel Greens, Essential, Bars, and Complete Protein is recyclable
That’s interesting. I wonder how much water was used back in the day of The Early Bird. Has bottle-washing also been ‘improved’ to be less sustainable? Maybe it was less thorough back then. I remember school milk never seemed very fresh - but we somehow survived.
It’s kind of a miracle that we did with IID rates doubling every decade until they peaked in the mid 90’s when new regulations saw intestinal infection numbers dropping again by abut 20% every 5 years.
I wonder how many of the intestinal infections were down to bottle-washing and how many to managing without everything being wrapped in plastic. They say too clean an environment is bad for the immune system, but it’s also unnatural - and I suppose unsustainable. 350l of water to clean 50 bottles seems crazy.
pretty sure most of it was down to generally poor hygiene in commercial food prep from what I recall - many a dodgy late night take away kitchen reeked havoc on my guts in my yoooof.
I was thinking the same - regulations on restaurant kitchens must’ve accounted for a large part of it. Eating apples off market stalls with dirty fingers probably wasn’t a big deal, nor the washing of milk bottles. But eating in a typical high street lunchtime restaurant in the seventies often needed a strong stomach. Not to mention your late-night burger van.
I think we are going off-topic a bit here!
Don’t you just hate that?
We need Tim back to keep things on the straight and narrow.