Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s in the making for Huel?
I remember talks about changing countries from where ingredients are sourced, getting rid of the gluten free powder version and making all products gluten free by default, aligning the micronutrient content with the latest RDAs (finding the intersection between USA, EU and Nordic recommendations), changing the form of supplemented micronutrients to a superior one (e.g. amino acid chelates), expanding to Canada, unifying the US and European version of Huel powder, and so on.
For the micronutrients, I am using this wonderful resource from Genesis foods for reference:
Being caeliac I’d like to see the entire range become gluten free. The RTD and bars are already all gluten free. From the outside perspective it makes a lot of sense and would reduce costs as all the powder could be produced in one factory.
As the company grows though, I don’t know how realistic or possible it would be to consistently guarantee procurement of gluten free oats in a very large quantity.
I assume sourcing of high enough quality and quantity of gluten free oats is the existing reason for keeping the range and production separate.
The price difference of regular oats and gluten free oats is pretty substantial as well, although I don’t know how much this can be minimised by purchasing in huge quantities.
It would be interesting to know whether this is a direction they are planning to move towards in the future.
@ChristinaT did you ever try the “standard” range? If I recall correctly the gluten is low enough to be considered gluten free for all but the most severe coeliacs. Not sure how it would affect you of course but you could always try it
"The criteria for gluten free is 20ppm (parts per million) gluten. Huel (non GF) is around 17ppm, hence can be categorised as GF. However, as batches of oats vary in gluten content, a GF version is necessary to be sure."
@Bee I have caeliac disease, but also have dairy intolerance. In fact if I do not stick to my gluten free diet I develop intolerances to a huge list of foods. I also suffer from IBS intermittently but this also seems to be resolved by sticking to a gluten, dairy and soy free diet.
I don’t envy you then. I’m lucky. My food intolerances seem to be linked to IBS but since I’ve been on Huel I find those intolerances diminishing. For instance, I ate something with cooked onion in recently and it hardly affected me (prior to this my guts would have been upset for days). Will still be careful and take it a step at a time, but this is a bit of a breakthrough with me
@Bee I’ve found that if I can stick to the diet that suits me best, for at least 4months, then occasional slip-ups no longer affect me.
However, if I then get a false sense of confidence and start to introduce these foods back into my diet (even slowly), I am back at the beginning again quite quickly
It may not be the same for you, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
It’s great the point you are at now well done. It’s not easy is it?!
This will be ongoing forever really as we look to improve and ensure we always have the best for Huel. We are in the process of updating the How Huel is Produced article to provide more information on this.
At the moment having two separate product lines works best as only around 1% of the population require the gluten-free version and it allows a cheaper price for the majority of consumers.
We already do this, for example with calcium we go for the US amount which is higher than the EU. We also stray away from the RDAs when we feel they are outdated and to account for bioavailability e.g. iron and vitamin C. You can see more here.
We already use the best forms available, which takes into account more than bioavailability. Chelates can be good in certain circumstances such as iron but I think it’s easy to forget a large proportion of the micronutrients in Huel are naturally occurring in the main 6 ingredients so iron doesn’t need to be added in the vitamin and mineral blend. It’s just one reason that sets us apart from others.
Until Canada updates it’s regulations it’s likely there is little that we can do.
We are working on this in some areas but not for others e.g. unifying flavours doesn’t make sense because of varying tastes The US prefer a sweeter product. Regulations of what can and can’t be included also vary in some instances too.