Hello all, I have been giving Huel a try for the past couple of months or so and I am enjoying it overall. Just recently I have run into a problem though.
My most recent order contained a bag of Original (Vanilla) which I had assumed would taste the same as the Original that I had had before. However, when I first tasted some from the new bag (albeit with some Banana flavour boost), it tasted distinctly different. So then I tried some just on its own and… yuck. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the difference, but it tasted sweeter and the flavour was generally overpowering.
I had previously rather enjoyed Original (although Berry is my favourite), so I was very disappointed but most of all, puzzled. Had my taste buds changed somehow since I last tasted it? Was it a bad batch? Had the recipe changed?
I initially ruled out the last possibility, as the packaging clearly says ‘v2.3’. However, on actually looking at the ingredients list, I was very surprised to see something that I’m sure was not there on my last bag of Original: ‘Sodium Chloride’. And indeed, looking at the Nutrition Information, the Salt content has increased from 0.7g per 100g (per the label shown on the Huel website, which shows the original Original formula without added salt: https://uk.huel.com/pages/nutritional-information-and-ingredients ) to 0.9g per 100g. The ordering of some of the other ingredients has also changed too as you can see in the photo below:
Original v2.3 with added salt:
Original-recipe no-added-salt Original v2.3 (for ease of comparison):
This raises several questions:
(1) Why has Huel made a fairly big change to the recipe without changing the version number and without communicating the change to customers? Surely the whole point of version numbers is to convey whether or not changes have been made. If in one order I receive Huel v2.3 and in my next order I also receive Huel v2.3, it is surely reasonable for me to assume that I am receiving the same formula and that no ingredient changes or reformulations have occurred?
(2) Why is it necessary to add salt at all? The minimum necessary intake level of sodium is estimated to be as little as 200–500mg per day according to the WHO . Given that 500mg of sodium is equivalent to 1.25g salt, and Huel Original v2.3 originally contained 3.7g of salt per 2000 calories before the recipe change (therefore almost three times the highest minimum requirement), I can’t see any justification on health grounds for increasing the salt content. Surely there is enough sodium from the other ingredients already without having to actually add salt to the recipe?
(3) This one is obviously subjective, but I enjoyed the taste of Original (Vanilla) when I had it before, and now, with the added salt, I think it tastes pretty terrible and I won’t be ordering it again. Did taste testing really show that people prefer the new, saltier Original v2.3 as compared to the original, no-salt-added Original v2.3?
(4) Are you planning to add salt to any of the other flavours? Please don’t ruin Berry as well, otherwise I will have to give up Huel altogether.
So, what’s the story Huel?
 “Although the minimum intake level [of sodium] necessary for proper bodily function is not well defined, it is estimated to be as little as 200–500 mg/day”
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sodium_intake_printversion.pdf page 5
EDITED: To add second image once I was allowed to, a question about other flavours and a plea to leave Berry alone.