Pack Development

So, been laid up a while away from work following some surgery and decided to have a tinker with some ideas on packaging development for Huel products – specifically for reducing pack footprint and improving shipping efficiencies.

As Huel operate on a subscription service – it’s also a good candidate for considering a two-tier packaging solution – branded retail packs and unbranded subscription packs to reduce costs.

I looked at RTD bottles as there’s a good scope for efficiencies (the bags are already pretty optimised). The current cylindrical bottle is roughly 63mm across by 217mm high – switching to a shorter (reduced height of 26%) but slightly wider round edged square bottle reduces the packaging volume by 17.6%.

Less volume = equals greater pallet capacity = less freight requirement. Whilst I did these mock-ups using full colour shrink sleeves on opaque bottles as the current units there is also the possibility to use the same format for unbranded subscription packs which are cheaper to produce and can be inkjet printed with rudimentary regulatory information on the packing line with the detailed branding/information on the corrugate secondary shippers.

This model is becoming increasingly popular with repeat purchasers using online ordering as the reduced costs are passed onto consumers to increase customer retention. Subscription options of the bags could also be considered - such as being shipped in compressed foil packed bricks to be stored in a customer’s own containers.

I’d appreciate your feedback on the format concepts and also out of curiosity – your feelings about unbranded subscription packaging or why branding is important to you even when you’re a repeat customer.


Sqround design FTW!!! I like the design, but I would remove that bottom and top to make a flat surface. The lid is way big, it should be reduced and also the “neck”

Could you reduce the neck and the lid?

Great work

Hi Adrián – thanks for the reply! Making the bottle slab sided would definitely be cleaner aesthetically – but there are different payoffs for different solutions. Having structural features can allow for the wall thickness to be thinner and so use less plastic without the shape distorting when filled. It also acts as a grip as square bottles are a little more awkward to handle naturally than a cylindrical one. The smooth sided option would allow for the bottle to be slightly smaller helping the shipping volume savings further as well as having a more contemporary appearance. Personally, I would prefer this too but it would depend on whether the production cost increased over current bottles. The cap is roughly the same proportions of the current bottle :slight_smile:

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My idea is to use this body:

Reduce the space between the neck and the top of the cap/lid. Also to use and minimal cap to reduce plastic usage. Even more… developing a Huel cap made of steel/carbon/C02/ and make all the bottles capless so you could use one cap for all the bottles. @Phil_C

I just made this comparison and photoshoped the SISTEMA square bottle with a very small cap, the one on the top right is the shape I would love to see in HUEL RTD with the white/black brand design. Sqround has a typo… haha

I like the new look of the bottles, but I don’t like the idea of removing branding. I feel if I’m drinking huel I want people to know. it starts off so many conversations. I like the idea of compressing the powder as I use my own boxes for my huel.

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With the purple bottles I was just talking about the structure or the shape of the bottle, the design of the branding would be the same

Hello Matt – yes that’s a good reason to keep using branded ones in parallel – so it’s why there should always be the choice for the consumer to have, whether they are going to be a brand ‘ambassador’ or if they are comfortable with their brand loyalty and would rather take the cost reduction benefit. One of the customers I work with uses this model primarily for their Babycare line and its proved very popular with repeat purchasers who are already ‘sold’ on the their products.

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I too like the idea of compressed blocks of powder, as I decant into 3.9 litre plastic cereal storers. Blocks would be easier to store than the bags. Don’t know how feasible this is though.


If I am not wrong, it is meant for RTD, not powder, could you confirm @Phil_C?

He mentioned ideas for the powder as well:

Some good ideas here hope @Tim_Huel and @JamesCollier have noticed this thread

Perhaps a quick re-read of the posts might be helpful to you. I would not have mentioned powder blocks/bricks had they not been suggested.


Yep, didnt noticed that at the first read, I didnt thought of blocks, but that I reread it makes a lot of sense, high pressurised Huel powder like the grinded coffee in order to reduce the space. It should be disposed in a Huel can or whatever you like.

@Phil_C @Bee I love it


I made this in just a couple of minutes. Also realised that in a Huel bag could fit like 3-4 bricks of 1kg of Huel, this is worth considering. I would totally order it Huel in bricks, logistically would be way better, with a small cardboard of 6 bricks you could eat for almost 3-4 months
Exterior recycled paper

Interior recycled aluminium

@Phil_C @Bee

@Tim_Huel could you tell us if that is feasible or interesting for you?


Looks good in theory but wondering if it would end up more costly doing it this way.

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I think the granola packs could easily slim down a bit. I know it settles in transit and all that, but the boxes are small and half empty, and the DPD geezer must really fly over the speed bumps because more than half of the boxes had popped open in my last shipment.

@Tim_Huel said previously that customers won’t pay a high price for a big box of granola, but subscribers definitely will! I’d love a giant crunchy sack every couple of months instead of building a Lego castle from a dozen cardboard boxes.

I also want one giant Huel bar slab. We could keep it in a big airtight sleeping bag thing and unzip it whenever we need to carve a chunk off. I’m not entirely serious about this one.


Totally agree… I made this months ago.


HI yes that’s what I was thinking about - just one point it would be hard to use paper as an exterior material as it would have to use adhesives - it would be more suitable to either laminate it with polypropylene or print directly on the foil. The lamination is the better option to give greater print flexibility and extra barrier protection.

That’s a lot of empty space. They should at least include a free gift like I get in Coco Pops.*

*I have no idea if kids’ cereal still contains toys. It did in the 90s!


Thanks for the suggestions. Really interesting. Have you guys got anything concrete that sqround bottle actually reduces impact, beyond just assumptions. I’ve not seen anyone else using scqround bottles - is it patented (or Sistema’s)? I think conceptually it is good but we absolutely wouldn’t use something that looked like the Soylent bottle - that’s a bit of an own goal from a branding perspective so would take some (read: shed tons) of design work to make sure it also works with our production line. We also obviously wouldn’t send out bottles without the Huel logo on, again that’s a marketing own goal – although Huel is doing well, we’re still small fish and most have not hear of Huel, so the more amazing Hueligans having Huel in the wild the more people we can introduce to Huel!

The blocks are interesting. My concern would be that many use Huel for convenience and it doesn’t seem that convenient to have to decant your pouch every time. Keep the ideas coming though, we can always trust you guys to think a little left of field!