Mana, Queal and Huel

Hey guys,

I’ve been looking for a decent meal replacement to use when travelling and when backpacking in the mountains. I also work as airplane crew and I’ve been looking for a replacement of the disgusting meals we get on the plane and something to occasionally eat on layovers.

My introduction to powder food was Mana since it’s a local company for me and I’ve heard a lot of recommedations. It wasn’t very practical for the following reasons:

  • Taste – It isn’t particularly delicious, okay maybe for just one meal per day.

  • Oil bottles – Unnecessary hassle and they’re 111 ml, which means you can’t bring them on a carry-on luggage (not good for travelling). It also makes the food really greasy which means the bottle is way more difficult to clean (not good for backpacking).

My second experience was Queal. The package size is perfect for travelling. It doesn’t have any of the sortcomings that Mana has but it still isn’t perfect.

  • Taste – It tastes alright. Flavours don’t taste too chemical but it’s extremely sweet for me and it leaves an aftertaste from the sweetener.

  • Glycemic index – While I’m not a diabetic or anything a GI of around 70 seems a bit excessive and unnecessary.

My third experience was Huel. I ordered the Original Vanilla and the UU and I am extremely fond of the UU version. Since the Vanilla is very sweet I mix it with UU and the taste is just perfect. Unfortunately not all things are perfect for me.

  • Package size – While I do like the big bags + flavour bags concept I’d also appreciate if I could buy smaller 1-day portion bags. It’s impractical to take the whole 1.75kg bag on a 1-day trip and it’s impractical when you go backpacking for 4 days and the bag only contains meals for around 3 days. Of course I can always just refill the Queal bags that I already have but that’s a bit of a hassle. Also it would be cool to have smaller flavour bags.

  • Thickness – My main problem with Huel. I need 150 ml of water per scoop of Huel while I only need 70 ml of water per scoop of Queal. This is a big thing for me when travelling and working. Basically I can barely fit 1/3 of my daily meals into one shaker with Huel while I can easily fit 1/2 of my daily meals with Queal. It feels like I’m just eating extra thickener. It’s impractical to take extra Huel in a small bag with me to the airplane and it’s extremely impractical when backpacking outdoors with limited amount of water available. With Queal I need 1 litre of water per day, with Huel it’s 2 litres just because of the thickener.

While Huel seems sligtly superior, right now I’ll keep ordering both Huel and Queal as each one has something different to offer. Queal has a decent taste, good packaging and a really good mixing ratio for travelling. Huel has a good taste, better ingredients and with UU it’s just tasty enough for me. I love that I can mix in only the amount of flavour that I want (so far tried Matcha which is great and Banana which tastes like a cheap bubble gum…).

Unfortunately both products still remain suboptimal to me right now.



I agree about the huel thinkness

I just want to say mana is a sick name haha, hope it was blue!

You could make red ones for health potions too lol

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Thanks for the feedback. Sorry that you aren’t keen on the thickness of Huel, the thickness is something we’ve worked on and are pleased with. It’s difficult to please everyone and the thickness of U/U has been surveyed before. The idea is to fit one meal into a shaker. We find that the thickness also aids satiety.

Packaging is difficult and I understand your point. We want to balance convenience with environmental impact. Small packages = more packaging overall. But obviously in some cases this hinders convenience for Huel’s key market - busy people with busy jobs!

With better biodegradable packaging solutions that we are working on it’s a question that can certainly be raised.

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I have travelled with pre-portioned Huel and had no trouble getting it through the airport by measuring the scoops into small, stackable tupperware containers. I also bought an extra shaker that came with little chambers that screw into the bottom and I can fit 2-3 scoops into each chamber, remove and use them as needed. To keep it interesting, as I portion out 2 or 3 scoops per tupperware, I throw in a little flavour with each one. It takes a tiny bit of planning, but it’s definitely less cumbersome than trying to bring a big bag of powder in your carry-on.

Bit off topic but…

I hate the brand name ‘Queal’. It sounds too much like ‘queef’ (please google, but perhaps NSFW).

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:laughing: oh dear

Queal like a piggy boy.

He got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he?