Non-vegan Huel Without the Digestive Issues

Hi all,

I, like many others, appreciate the fact that Huel manages to not only be a healthy meal replacer, and manages to be vegetarian, but that it goes the extra mile and manages to even be vegan. I do care about animal welfare, and it’s nice to know that I’m causing them as little suffering as possible by eating Huel, as well as having a lower impact on the environment.

However, I do have to ask - is it possible that the strict adherence to veganism does in some way damage the product? Specifically, the granola and the bars. Many users have talked about problems with digestion caused by these products, and even the packaging indicates they can’t really be used as meal replacers like the powder can. The is to do with the binding agent, apparently.

If Huel had decided to allow use of some animal products (still being at least veggie), would this be a solvable issue? Plenty of vegetarian cereals are out there that manage to bind perfectly well without causing these digestive issues (I’ve definitely had more than two bowls a day for 3+ days in the past of those).

I’m pretty sure there are quite a few of us that would be perfectly happy with living off the granola and the bars if that were an option, but can’t because of the issues already mentioned. We’ve tried the powder, and just not been able to like it enough. Is this really such an unsolvable issue in general or is it because of these self-imposed restrictions?

I’m not suggesting replacing the vegan options with vegetarian ones, rather just letting the others be an option if they work better in this sense. It could still be a net good if it allows people to have more of a product that makes an effort to be good in this way.

Edit: As an extra point, it need not be the case that ‘merely’ going vegetarian need cause additional suffering. I will admit I am not aware if there are agents derived from e.g. honey, but for instance if that were the case then that would be a vegetarian option that was still very moral, and which did not aversely impact the environment. If these options are not available, it is still possible to use eggs, for example, without being incredibly immoral. You would need to take care when choosing the sources, of course, but I trust the Huel people. I have made this edit to make clear that I am not asking this out of a lack of understanding of the moral issues many vegans would have with this request. I just feel they are outweighed, for example, by being able to make this an attractive option to a wider audience. It would benefit me as well, and those similar, I will admit.

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Great post.

I feel sometimes Huel is sort of imprisoned by strict Veganism and in this case, being simply vegan could open some possibilities.

I wouldn’t mind a non-vegan Huel, by the way, but I understand the need to appeal to a broader audience.


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This might be an unpopular reply but I would say it regardless, I love Huel as a product and as a company and I’d be very disappointed if this was to happen, vegan products are about more than just a life style choice, a diet or even animal welfare.

All I can say is that if you have disgestive problems with any type of food, in this case the Huel granola, you should probably stop eating it, it is not for you, you’re not the only one with stomach issues with certain foods, just have regular granola and regular Huel shake on their own, and if you feel that dairy or an egg would somehow make the Huel granola digestive problem you have go away (really unsure how) then add it yourself but don’t have it built into the production line.


What else are they about?

They should be about animal welfare…that is the definition of veganism. Nothing to do with health or lifestyle. That’s more correctly defined as plant based.

This is the definition: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”.


After reading a bit (some Peter Singer stuff) about animal welfare and ethics, I have started to become convinced than Vegetarianism is not an incredible amount better (though it is, of course, better) than meat eating, and really Veganism is the logical conclusion if you care about the issue. I do still think that it would do a lot of good to do what I suggested (it isn’t a case of adding animal products to granola, it’s a case of replacing whichever alternatives they use that aren’t fit for purpose on average), as it would allow more people to at least become vegetarian, and so reduce suffering in that way. I do not think that any vegan that lives as such for ethical reasons could really oppose that view if they really want to minimise suffering in the world.

That being said, I do understand more now that for Huel to change its stance on the issue could be seen as somewhat unethical. I see the objections. I decided to give the powder another go, and have been coping a bit better, but that isn’t going to do for most people.

Global warming

Hi there, thanks for the post. I too and a little confused here. I could be wrong but I don’t believe we have said that any digestive issues that some, not all, people experience are caused by the binder. If you mean the fibre in the bar that gives moisture I can kind of understand, but I’m unsure why you believe that using something that is non-vegan would help this?


Ah, maybe I misunderstood a different post that I had read - I really was quite sure I had read that that was the issue, so it may even have been someone else stating that falsely and I had not noticed a correction. I suppose my question then becomes (and forgive my ignorance, here) why this affects the granola and the bars but not the powder?

The granola says on it “warning: excessive consumption may cause laxative effects”. This is not a warning I have seen on other cereals, and it is not a warning that I have seen on the powder. Assuming the same warning is on the bars; this is a not a warning I have seen on other (superficially) similar products. One big difference between these products and other similar ones is that it is vegan, so I wondered if that was why there was a difference.

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I make my breakfast and lunch shakes the night before and refrigerate them overnight. If that helps any.

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Nothing stopping you from eating meat

Not really. It’s a diet choice. Anything else is “branding” or your choice.

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How is that relevant to assisting with the digestive issue Huel give some people?


and how is meat going to solve that problem?

No one said it would. Heck, no one mentioned meat. What they’re saying is, we could perhaps look at a non-vegan version for those who suffer digestive issues whereby we attempt to use non-vegan version of ingredients that can upset people’s digestive system.

We’re just collectively suggesting a non-vegan alternative with replacement ingredients could alleviate digestive issues and open Huel up to more potential customers.

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You could have a Huel with 98% animal derived ingredients and 2% plant derivedingredients…and it may be those 2% that cause the issue…back to the drawing board again…if it is the binder, what are they gonna use, and if it is something else, what are they gonna use, and after which revision will they find the naughty ingredient. I’d bet good money that whatever version using whatever ingredients would still get some people moaning of digestive issues. Dairy is notoriously bad for adverse reactions for example. You read the threads on the forum and people have all sorts of digestive issues using Huel, and I don’t know which tweaks need to be made to alleviate (some/any of) them, but I expect behind the scenes, the Huel development team are looking for improvements…they want repeat, happy customers, not one time users who have adverse reactions.

BUT for a small company every revision; every additional variety; every different product takes development and a lot of expense; at the moment the products work for many people, alas not all.

I am a vegan (yeah…I’m f***ing telling you again as the tired old joke goes :-P); I know that none of the founders behind Huel are; heck I don’t even know if they have any vegan staff, but common sense tells me that a vegan product is a good starting point because it can be consumed by everyone [who doesn’t have an adverse reaction], whereas a non-vegan product can be consumed by everyone who doesn’t have an adverse reaction minus all the vegans and possibly vegetarians.


Yeah, I guess you’re right. Very measured and reasonable response!

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Damn, I was expecting at least a mild resistance to the “vegan agenda” :stuck_out_tongue:


Nope, that’s not common sense, just typical poor reasoning.

For what you subsequently say to be sense, common or otherwise, you have to equate the two groups defined as “those who do not have adverse reactions”. You can’t do that. They don’t refer to the same group as in each case the adverse reaction is against a different product, that being either existing vegan Huel or our imaginary omni Huel.

Apart that though A+ so overall A-. There are arguments to support your case so just keep trying!

Whoa, that’s a relief. I’ve not had a good patronising outburst for a while. Cheers :wink:

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