Please let us mix and match different products when ordering

If I am honest, and I can’t remember if I have said it before. I was put off from buying Huel for a while because of the minimum order value of 2 bags. Back then there was just original vanilla and unflavoured; now there is more choice which may have made me hesitate less. I appreciate the shipping cost issue, and the fact that single portion pouches (introduced for a while) are wasteful, and so I think a mix and match minimum order is definitely the best way to attract new customers.

I suspect there are many out there who have not ordered because of the initial outlay. Huel say you can return unopened bags (which is also cost heavy), but if you buy 2 different bags to try then it is likely you will open both making them unreturnable.

4 Likes

Abel&Cole (a grocery delivery company) have a pretty good system.
They have lots of products - some perishable eg veg boxes and refrigerated goods, and some cupboard items eg cleaning products, tins, pantry items, health food powders and vitamins etc.

Every item can be added to your basket and when you get to your basket you can choose the subscription option for each individual product: every week, every fortnight, once a month for example, or you can set it to ‘one-time order’. This can be different for every single item in your basket.

Their minimum for delivery is £20 I think and they charge £1.25 for delivery.
Their delivery is on a set day each week though so Huel’s delivery system would work differently as it’s via DPD, not their own vans.

But the subscription / check-out could work in a similar way: add all the products you want to your basket and then select your subscription options or one-time order options.

For Huel I would like it to be a minimum order value instead of two of everything. So i can buy one bag of powder and one case of bottles and one box of bars, and also be able to buy single bars and bottles would be good too.
This would be a really good change.
@TimOfficialHuel

Samples would be nice - to test the flavours. I’ve not tried many flavours of premixes as I tried the vanilla and didn’t like it so I’m scared to waste my money so little 200g samples would be very good to taste test the flavours please @TimOfficialHuel

5 Likes

Here you loud and clear. Thanks for the suggestions all.

5 Likes

I’d definitely buy a mixed box of bars, 2 of each flavour as a trial.

2 Likes

That’s a pretty good idea, instead of individual bars. I think @bee suggested a mixed case of RTDs too, quite a while ago.
Personally I wouldn’t buy a mixed case of RTDs as I don’t like the vanilla and I guess the same may be true for a mixed box of bars: if there’s a flavour you dislike, you’re not going to buy a mixture on an on-going basis.
It would be a good way to try all the flavours out though.
Being able to add single bars like you can (sometimes) add single RTDs has been talked about and I think they are already working on adding this functionality (?)

Mix and match would be good. Where you can choose what flavours you would like in a case of 12 RTD. If I was going to purchase such a thing I would have 4 of each flavours and you could have 6 Choc and 6 Berry or even better maybe you could choose 8 Choc and 4 Berry. That would be a cool set up if they could do it.

But I want 9 berry and 3 chocolate

1 Like

I will chime in and say that having a minimum order value makes a lot more sense than having to order a minimum of 2 bags of something as Huel has many different products.

5 Likes

The website could be more flexible, definitely. As a software developer myself, while it might mean re-configuring the Orders database, it’s going to work better by allowing the customer to select any of the items available for sale across the whole website and (if appropriate) applying a ‘subscription’ discount to relevant items in the list.

Hi @biker99, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

If you run huel through builtwith.com it looks like they’re using Shopify and the Order Limits plugin MinMaxify to manage restrictions on the cart. Adjusting that from a per product minimum to a cart value minimum (or indeed just removing minimum requirements) would take minutes.

But… I can see how the conceptual side of any changes would take deep consideration and a lot of thought since it’s not something easily walked back once changed, but technologically speaking, it’s definitely not difficult to update things unless they really go all out and introduce single servings of everything. For me though that’d go way too far.

I’d like to see everything kept available as it is, but let us buy one of things. IE: A single bag of powder, one box of bars, one pack of RTD and apply a minimum value to the order - when the minimum is hit, and where it makes sense (bars/RTD) allow single addons added like you do already with the RTD.

If the minimum isn’t hit, charge £5 postage.

3 Likes

I can second the conceptual side of things being challenging.

There are also other technical aspects behind the scenes that aren’t directly visible and are not as simple as a couple of lines of code for a shoppify configuration. There are likely entire production and order workflows involved in the manufacturing side that might unintuitively make a simple change not as practical or as easy as we’d like. Weird things like how much of the huel bags are already pre-packed in sets of two to account for lead time and ensuring that supply meets demand for new orders end up getting in the way of quickly changing something. I know when Soylent first came out, it took them a few months to iron out their production line and supplier relationships to ensure that people could subscribe to them reliably. Add in the possibility of different manufacturing/shipping facilities having to be adjusted for all of this meet sustainability goals?

The possible impacts of changing out the plugin’s setting are mind-boggling to contemplate without having more insight into Huel’s operation. None of this logistics complexity is visible in a 5 minute change in a front end framework, and I think for most people this kind of thing is hidden from us.

I’d also imagine that all the new products mean they’ve either had to build up some in-house expertise here to set up something akin to an ERP/CRM system to help with international billing and inventory projections, or are depending on integration of shoppify’s limited ERP offerings. Going in and changing some of the order settings could be tricky to orchestrate if they’re also still greasing the wheels that have allowed them to offer these new products to begin with.

The conceptual issues are complex here too. Even something like your simple suggestion of a £5 fee might induce psychological barriers. Maybe stuff like loss aversion and order complexity issues that increase friction to someone actually doing the order.

They might be aiming for simplicity on the shipping fee side of things. With retail companies like Amazon in the states, more and more people tend to scoff at shipping costs in general. To make this more complex, there seems to not only be an age related shift in consumer’s response to shipping issues, it also seems to vary based on what country you are from, at least if you trust surveys. So you’d have to balance this out with complex demographic information to ensure that people aren’t being dissuaded before they even get a chance to buy the product. I believe you’d also have to account for the us/uk version of the site and challenges around ensuring things like VAT (on the merch) and taxes etc are accounted for, which all impact friction.

Suddenly becomes a bit more complex if you want to include verification that the order changes don’t affect that kind of thing. While the code change is trivial, planning and strategy around stuff like this takes more than a few minutes to get right. A poorly timed 5 minute change to a configuration file could even make or break the company if it means the growth of new Huelers ends up evaporating and they aren’t able to attract any new venture capital funds to cover losses.


I can’t speak for everyone, but the amount of social proof I needed to even consider buying a food product as fringe as ‘powered meal replacement’ was pretty high. I only jumped over to huel because I had already been on-board with Soylent in the past and was looking for more GI friendly options. It’s a hard sell already to get people to try out this stuff, so any increase in friction on the website needs to be thought out extremely carefully.

I’m all for the ethos of “move-fast and break things” when it comes to software startups, but when we’re talking about supply+logistics of manufacturing retail food? I’d rather they drag their feet a bit if it means reliable product quality and a steady supply.

7 Likes

I’d like to add that the order restrictions are annoying for me as well, but for a different reason. Mostly because I have been very limited on funds and shelf space.

Accessing quality food has been a game changer for my ability to function. I’m out of the financial rough patch I was in, but still find I have very little space to store large quantities of huel at a time. At the moment I’m enjoying the flavor variety packs as it compensates for needing to get two bags of huel at a time. If I have to order a minimum, I’d prefer to mix-and-match to ensure variety. I’d love to get 1 bag and some RTD (or the bars).

:smiley:

1 Like

I’ve a tendency to think hard along digital lines but you’re right of course, lots of fulfilment tasks to work though.

The £5 postage is more a nominal amount just to cover those that must order small for whatever reason, the idea being of course that a majority hit the minimum and get free postage as now.

Is there a way I can mix’n’match Huel Powder and Huel Black into one subscription?

Ideally I want 2 bags of Huel Powder (v3) and 1 bag of Huel Black in one subscription every 4 weeks.

Looking at the website it appears I can’t do that. Instead, I’ve had to create two separate subscriptions - one for 2 bags of Huel Powder and one for 2 bags of Huel Black (because 2 bags is the minimum subscription order). Or am I missing a trick?

It’s no biggie but one subscription is easier to manage. I’ll go through the Huel Black slower than the Huel Powder so the 2 subscriptions will go out of sync.

(TBH, eventually I’ll bulk order in larger quantities, to cut down on deliveries and to get economies of scale.)

PS I should have done a search first and found this thread, which Tim has merged my new post into.

1 Like

Just to update. So I cancelled my previous subscription (3 bags of Vanilla v2.3 every 4 weeks) and started up 2 new subscriptions: 2 bags of Vanilla v3 and 2 bags of Black v1.

Received those yesterday. Notes:

All four bags in the same box. So even though 2 separate subscriptions, all bags came in the same box. So it feels like Huel are halfway there! I’d still prefer to be able to mix and match in one subscription though.

Also received two new shakers (even though I’m not a new customer). And 4 scoops.

It’s always worked like that. I would sometimes “merge” subscriptions by setting them to the same date. They became a single transaction too.

2 Likes

But you don’t get the quantity discount :frowning:

Oh I’ve never had two subscriptions running for the same product line. It was just so powder and granola arrived on the same day.

Of course, the point being that you shouldn’t have to do that. Ordering two separate subscriptions to arrive on the same day doesn’t actually guarantee they will arrive on the same day (and in the same box), no?* But having one subscription (containing all the powders and bars you want) should, yes? Cheers.

*My experience of Huel deliveries has actually been 100% positive and I’ve had all my packages delivered on the days they should have been. But my subscription until recently has been straightforward (3 bags of v2.3 every 4 weeks). Going by threads on here, others’ experiences have been variable…

I think it does. They charge you once and send you one email. From Huel’s side of things, the two subscriptions trigger on the same date, and become a single “order”. If one product was out of stock, the whole order would be delayed until it’s ready.

edit: have a look at the Upcoming Deliveries page in your account. You can see all the subscriptions appear as a single delivery. It’s also easy to add something else from that page, including a subscription to another product (which defaults to the same delivery day, but doesn’t automatically use the same delivery frequency, so you’d need to edit that if you want to keep everything in sync moving forward).