What's are the Huel Academy & Pilot Plant?

@Julian’s latest post on linkedin lists a lot of great achievements for Huel in 2019 but the last two points sound interesting

Built our own pilot plant
Started Huel Academy

I presume that the pilot plant is a system to try new ideas in-house in small batches or otherwise just test new production methods for problems before scaling up, but I’m curious what that means for Huel products and if there’s more to it.

Also very curious about what the Huel Academy is?


The academy is a hollowed-out volcano where @Julian is training his secret army of super soldiers, probably. I wonder what they learn there (apart from murder).


here you go


That “Hueligan” has become part of the company language leads me to believe they’re planning a campaign of ultraviolence, and their customer base is being primed to go along with it. Dark times ahead in the complete food sector.

Imagine a Huel vs Jimmy Joy war. Huel would flatten those hippies.


I’d imagine it is like Police Academy. I bet @Tim_Huel is Huel’s own Larvell Jones.


I think the Huel academy is an abandoned ww2 bunker in a secret location in eastern Europe with undead Nazis in Huel hoodies and all look like @hunzas being trained up for Huel customer service.

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Believe it or not, I excel at customer service. I’m the best* male escort in town.



So the Huel academy is a way of training and developing prospective staff to work within the companies ethos and operating procedures?

It sounds way less exciting when you put I like that :frowning:

Jiust for you @Tristan: So Huel academy is a talent development hub creating opportunities for its members to thrive and specialise within the firm.




Much better :wink:

It makes a lot of sense for a company the size of Huel to do this especially given the nature of their products. External trainers are very expensive and often have no relevant experience of your own type of business often leading to only partially effective training.

I work in a very large global organisation and the HR departments often just make external training selections to keep their numbers up and increase their own budgets for the following fiscal year without worrying about the training effectiveness too much.

I’d estimate that the 6 years I’ve been here, less than 30% of the training sessions I’ve attended have been relevant or useful to all of the attendees. In fact – I think I’ve walked out of nearly as many as I’ve completed. This kind of training model is hugely wasteful in money and time for people who rarely have that time to spare.

Last year we set up a similar localised ‘academy’ style internal solution to try and combat this and so far, its proving more efficient. Some examples of poorly chosen ones we’ve had on the past would be:

  • Management colleagues sent on a ‘7 habits’ course in an attempt to make them work more effectively together. Sadly, 7 habits is a thinly disguised way of preaching the Mormon churches beliefs – the primary one being that an individual is a god and everyone else can fend for themselves. I think that one I managed 4 hours into the 3 day training before I rumbled what was going on.

  • We have over 16 different nationalities in our facility alone so we organised some language training to help with accent reduction on our client facing staff where English is their second language. We noticed after 2 months there was no real improvement so dropped into one of the classes to discover the trainer was a very jovial Welsh guy who had a VERY thick Welsh accent himself and was almost impossible for people to understand.

  • A local six sigma expert who spent half a day of the two days booked trying to be everyone’s ‘pal’ in his introduction by sharing jokes in Bahasa that only half the room can speak and sharing snaps on the projector of his latest family skiing trip to Japan. I bailed on that one too but still managed to get a certificate from him for completing the course.


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You’ve pretty much nailed this. This was a big one for us, the pilot plant is process equipment/technology that basically allows us to replicate the manufacturing process used for making RTD but at a smaller scale so we can do R&D work, speeding up new product development and optimising process efficiency. It will keep us constantly iterating and improving our RTD.

Thanks @Phil_C for linking to the LinkedIn post, let me know if you guys have any follow up questions on it.