There is a youtuber called Mike who does vlogs where he does 7 days on particular diet, this week he is doing Huel. What ya’ll think?
He doesn’t seem too impressed so far.
I’m also quite surprised by all the Huel hate in the comments. Sure, it’s not for everyone but nobody is forcing anyone to drink it!
you’re surprised about armchair keyboard warriors on YouTube expressing the hate - for anything?
Out of curiosity, I had a little peek at the videos. Here’s what I took away from them.
He initially ordered around £150 of Huel products. Only half of his order showed up. He assumed since it’s a big order, they may have split it into 2 shipments. However, when he checked, there was no second shipment. Half of his order had just vanished into thin air. He ultimately had to chase them up to get his remaining order delivered. That’s not a good first impression. As you can guess, his opinion only became more negative throughout the course of the videos.
And for Mike's experience (I think it's irrelevant)
- The shakes were “alright and filling” with a “flour” taste from the oats (his best product)
- The RTD had a good texture but horrible taste, especially the chocolate which tasted “off” (he wished they tasted like the shakes)
- The bars had an underwhelming texture and by the end, he was skipping them outright (he concluded they were “a disappointment”)
- Salted Caramel had a subtle taste, his wife found them “too salty”
- Choc Orange was “by far the best”, his wife said “they taste like toilet cleaner”
- The flavour boosts needed to be “at least 2-3 times stronger” to be called a boost
- He tried some with the RTDs, unaware he’s not supposed to do that
His viewers found it weird that they expect first-time customers to commit to such a large order. One person even called it “scandalous”. Mike’s experience from then on was downhill and his viewers adopted the same negativity too.
In my opinion, the two issues are:
Large order volume for first-time customers. Jimmy Joy (just an example) does this better with more friendly marketing and a wide range of sample boxes. If not a full 1.7kg bag or the small pouches like back in the day, how about a 1kg bag? JJ do sample packs that give you the basics and even sample boxes with a bit of everything (bars + RTD + shakes) chucked in.
The shipping issue. He was concerned about other customers perhaps not following up if they had the same issue. Huel could’ve pocketed £75 from an unsuspecting customer and gotten away with it.
Those are just my 2 cents. I’m interested to hear further discussion
Why on earth did he buy so much (or rather his sponsor did) stuff just to try it out for a week? 36 RTD’s, 2 bags of powders and bar singles - thats like 10 meals a day plus snacks? Other than the two sample boxes JJ offer which is nice, the smaller bags are wasteful - you have to have a minimum order of 5 bags (25 meals) so would need 7 bags to match the meal content of the minimum order of Huel - which seems a lot less eco friendly considering the extra resources involved and non-recyclable waste.
I agree that he could’ve split the order up a bit more. I watched Day 6 and he’s basically beating a dead horse now. His mood is grumpy because he’s hungry but doesn’t want to have any more Huel. It’s tragic but he continues for “entertainment”
And about wastefulness, there has to be a compromise. Will it be eco-friendly? Or will it be getting new customers in on Huel easier? Getting people on board with the concept benefits everyone using Soylent-type meals. And Huel has already done a lot to reduce waste as it is.
Another factor is that not every customer likes Huel. Their first order could easily go to waste. Imagine this: a new customer ends up buying 2 bags starter kit for £45. One bag gets opened, tried a few times and sits in the cupboard because the customer didn’t like it. Eventually, it goes out of date and is thrown away. The other unopened bag gets binned too because the customer never bothered returning it. That’s over 3kg of Huel gone in the bin.
If there was slightly less (for example 1kg) then it would seem less daunting & reduce how much gets thrown away if the customer ends up not liking it. Too much environmental concern can risk being pedantic.
if someone would rather wilfully waste food and throw it away than get a refund and allow it to be used by someone else - then thats more of a poor reflection on a social behaviour rather than logistical or marketing issues.
Whilst the option to buy smaller volumes of powder currently isn’t available - bars and RTD’s can be bought as singles at Sainsburys/Ocado etc so people can at least try those out.
Edit: they did do sample bags in the early days - but cant find why this was stopped - presumably because it wasn’t taken up much which is the usual reason Huel drops products.
@Phil_C Yes, I remember the sample pouches. This is why they stopped them:
But bear in mind these were one-shot samples. They could give it another shot with larger sized pouches or bags. I think it could help with encouraging people to give Huel a chance. They already don’t know where to start. The big 1.7kg bags (not just one but two) are daunting and can turn potential customers away. Not to mention the CO2 from a wasted delivery + return.
For your following points, I will take data from LatestFuels Complete Foods Survey 2019. It’s an interesting read with charts too if you want to check it out.
The survey asked “Where Do We Buy Our Complete Food?” and only 10% of the respondents said that they bought their products in the supermarkets.
Whether we like it or not (I’m on your side here), new customers aren’t too concerned with environmental impact. In this survey asking “Why Do We Decide to Try Complete Foods?” for new customers, environment is second from last.
I know Tim put the feelers out a while back on suggestions for potential other outlets that would increase consumers exposure to Huel and let them try it, from what I recall there were some food ideas such as: pop-up stores in malls/airport departure areas, vending machines in sports centres/gyms/fuel stations/convenience stores etc.
I have found reading and watching them, that a lot of youtubers and journalists doing these ‘I tried living off (insert brand) for a week/month’ etc. also tend to go into these things with some pretty negative preconceptions which I guess is partly down to human nature.
Whilst I like JJ’s branding and product line – something clearly isn’t working for them. They’ve been around as long as Huel and Soylent and have a broad customer base but their revenue/unit sales and media exposure/awareness is all a tenth or less of that of Huel as of last years figures. Their overheads seem to be a lot higher too so I think using their approach as a template is a bit of a non-starter.
I do think that Huel need to continue to broaden their horizons for sure with products and find ones that work for them and are popular with customers.
Not watched any of his stuff before and doubt I will again. I watched days 1-5 and ended up skipping chunks as a large part seemed to be footage of his cat, him video editing, or walks across local farmland. Even the food related segments seemed to be heavily weighted to his cooked evening meal.
To be honest it seemed a bit misleading to refer to it as being a diary of a week on Huel. Also it’s unsurprising he complains of hunger given he was also maintaining a calorie deficit to lose weight.
In my opinion there are much better reviewers out there who take the time to really give feedback on the product - positive or negative. I found his presentation superficial, irritating and bland at the same time.
How this guy has 100K + subscribers is beyond me, absolute rubbish. I stopped watching when he complained he was hungry on a calorie deficit… while eating kebabs for tea.
Could not make it up.
Although I do think this is an opportunity for Huels marketing team.
Clearly there is a large audience who are undecided and heading to Youtube based on the comment section.
Why are Huel not investing more into Youtube, sponsorship’s ect? might make Huel more mainstream.
I’ve enjoyed some of his videos in the past but this series was poor. His bad ordering experience at the start seemed to have set his opinion even before he started.
In the final video he says he likes the powder and describes the banana flavour as lovely but concludes he doesn’t like Huel. He also implies that the money he spent was for a week’s worth but also states he has a lot left at the end?
I understand not everyone will like Huel but I think this was a very misleading review.
Because he can’t count?
I only mentioned JJ as an example. My point is that maybe Huel should offer taster boxes or some sort of sample pack. There are people who want to taste one of each product flavour but are forced to either buy the whole thing or give it a miss entirely. It’s as easy as selling a box with a few of each bar/RTD flavour. And it seems I’m not alone either.
(From A Week On Huel Day 7 comments)
(From Huel subreddit)
Even Mike Jeavons complained about the minimum order amount in his Day 7 video conclusion. A taster box would be enticing to all customers - new AND existing. Surely I’m not alone here?
perhaps it would but as powder is currently the only thing that cant be ordered in singles, i’m not sure its a necessity. still don’t get why the reviewer complained about the minimum order and then ordered more than that and more than what he needed - seems like he was setting himself up for failure - or perhaps that was the point.
I realise people can add-on bars and individual bags of Black with their existing order through the Cart.
But what I mean by taster box is an individual product listing that offers a whole package of products like:
- 1x Vanilla Powder 1.7kg bag
- 1x Chocolate Bar
- 1x Coffee Caramel Bar
- 1x Chocolate RTD
- 1x Vanilla RTD
- Shaker + free T-shirt if eligible
Something like that for example. It would be for customers who want to try a bit of everything and perhaps even a better first time offering for customers. We know people may not like the powder for the first time but they find the Bars tasty, or the RTD much nicer than the Powder.
A new customer would have to buy Powder and only when they hit the cart will they realise they can add on a few extra bars and whatnot. This hurts the checkout flow and perhaps 60% of people would have already clicked off before that point. Adding a taster box would simplify the purchase process, it’s not hurting anybody.
It seems Huel wanted to do a Start-Up Bundle at some point but abandoned it. Now customers have to buy Huel Powder which offers the same thing but sounds more daunting instead. Perhaps it would be worth bringing back?
I guess that would depend on sales requirement - it seems at the moment that their growth with new customers is still surging year on year so there doesn’t appear to be gap in attracting new business. That of course may change at any time so who knows.
Seems to be a number of flat out wrong statements in the conclusion video. @Tim_Huel don’t know if anyone in your marketing team should be contacting him for a retraction.
He says Huel have doubled their minimum order during the coronavirus pandemic and accuses them of poor behaviour because of this. He also says £140 was a weeks worth of Huel despite saying he had plenty left over. Both of these are in the end section of the day 7 video.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (although he says the powders are good and then says Huel is terrible) but flat out inaccuracies on price and ordering should be challenged.
Thanks for mentioning, will watch the videos. From your comments it sounds like the classic thing everyone who wants a story does: 1 week on Huel . The amount of journalists that have done this (Guardian, Business Insider, other YouTubers, student newspapers) - it’s all a bit…zzz. However, the effort these YT videos takes is huge, so it’s nice of anyone to do one about us, let alone 7! Sure it’s not all wrong, as long as people take some of it as personal preference!
We know the main purpose of Huel is healthy food for your most inconvenient meals.
I’ll take a look though! I don’t believe Mike is affiliated with us, if that was in question, but I’ll chat to our PR team
I don’t think anyone is coming away from the videos with the impression Mike is affiliated with Huel in any way. Not on the basis of his review of RTD or the bars.
He isn’t the most articulate YouTuber out there given his conclusion on RTD is a half formed Nu-uh sort of grunt which he feels the need to repeat.
The major issue though is that at 10:40 in the day 7 video he says Huel is expensive and that they have doubled the minimum order during the pandemic which he refers to as naughty. He also says the Week On cost £142 which is ridiculous as he hugely over ordered. 36 RTDs, 2 pouches of powder and some boxes of bars.