Why so much "caramel"?

A question I’ve always wanted to ask is why in the world there are 2 different caramel flavours for black edition? When you introduced the coffee-caramel flavour it made sense, but now that there is another caramel flavour I don’t see any need for it - quite the contrary. Those who want a less-sweet, pure coffee flavour can’t take the “caramel” part out, but mixing one scoop of coffee with one scoop of caramel would be easy - the minimum amount one has to order is two bags anyway…

Of course this is not possible for RTD and the bars…but even there you also offer a caramel flavour. It masks the coffee flavour due to the pronounced sweetness anyway, so people who have a slight preference for the caramel part would be happier with the salted caramel product than pure coffee lovers who don’t like the excessive sweetness of caramel.

I would be really happy if you could introduce more pure coffee flavours in your products, or remove any additional parts from it that are available as a separate product anyway. Thank you in advance!

I’ve never bought coffee caramel - and probably never will. The flavour I buy the most of is guess what…Salted Caramel (although to be honest I may soon be buying more Cinnamon Swirl), so I’m glad that was launched.

I only bought coffee white once.

I expect there are plenty of people out there who buy coffee caramel but not salted caramel.

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@mbs Why don’t you just buy unflavoured and add your own coffee?

I tend to stick with salted caramel and add a spoonful of instant if I want coffee caramel.

Sorry for delay replying, was just getting some input from Jess who was the new product development lead on this launch.

There were a couple of reasons we went with coffee caramel in the end:

  • depth of flavour of caramel (there is a very strong base of flavour in Black Edition because of the high amount of protein). The extra sweetness of caramel helps mask that, as well as carrying the coffee flavour

  • we did blind testing in house of a number of coffee products, from dark roasted coffee to the latte’s of the world and this flavour profile was the preferred flavour profile from this internal sensory testing, it also aligned with our bar flavour profile

  • there are so many coffee flavour profiles, syrup and milk options - just look at Starbucks and other big coffee brands! So we know that not everyone will love this coffee flavour, but the general reaction to Coffee Caramel BE has been positive. Once we have the right nutritional profile, we will then always be led by the best tasting product, validated by sensory testing

Why not just mix with Salted Caramel? Well, obviously you can do this, but actually Coffee Caramel launched before salted caramel so we didn’t have a ‘sweeter’ one in the range at the time. Salted Caramel was a really requested flavour so we also launched that separately.

The best hack for you would be to add espresso or instant coffee to your Vanilla to make it as strong as you like!

Thanks for your detailed reply.

This is in accordance to what I have read about why all protein powders do have a sweet taste - because of the bitterness of the protein. And BE is relatively high in protein. On the other hand you offer BE unflavoured/unsweetened. And you add a sugar and sweetener - is that not enough to mask the ground flavour?

Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that you have put a lot of thinking into the design of your flavour options. Normally I would not have encountered this “problem” because I prefer the macro-split of white edition anyway, the problem is just that it is very rich in oats and gluten. I have always disliked any type of grain, and although I don’t have celiac disease I feel worse if I consume gluten. Yes, you do have a gluten free (but nevertheless oat based) option, but when I see that it has the same price as the black edition powder (which contains more antioxidants and more valuable ingredients) I have problems chosing this one…without the oats white edition coffee would be the perfect product. And no, mixing unflavoured with instant coffee does not give the same result…at least telling from my experience…

Bitterness, earthyness, powderyness. You name it. It’s no secret that vegan protein on their own don’t taste nice to most people!

Unflavoured & Unsweetened doesn’t mask those flavours, it’s been a long time since I tried it, and I’m sure the NPD team have done their absolute best with the base, but I don’t imagine it masks much of the protein flavours.

We add a little sugar and some sweetener but this is in conjunction with the flavour - the whole thing together is what gives the flavour. I can see you’re about to reiterate that a stronger coffee flavour is possible. We know it’s possible but as I said, we found that the coffee caramel flavour was more widely liked. We didn’t make a Coffee caramel because we couldn’t make a strong coffee flavour, we didn’t make one because we thought a coffee caramel would be more popular.

Vanilla + coffee (instant, espresso, black coffee, cold brew) is the answer to your coffee Huel cravings! Honestly!

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I agree. Whenever I want a coffee flavoured Huel I add a spoonful of Millicano instant to the mix (as recommended by @Julian many years ago). I find it better than brewed or cold brewed coffee even though I prefer to drink those over instant.

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I see. Just why is there a regular “Coffee” flavour for White Edition? Why is caramel-coffee more popular for Black but not White Edition? All other flavours are the same for both products.

coffee on its own is very susceptible to flavours from things added to it - so to get a ‘pure’ coffee flavour - you would have to add it to UU - as you said yourself this doesn’t work and I would imagine tastes very bad. so you would have to mask that bad taste with a lot of sweetener. effectively the closest you would get would I imagine, be adding coffee to original. If you like your coffee very sweet and made with oat milk - that would probably work./ otherwise, whatever flavour base you use is going to come through the coffee flavour and/or overpower it.

Because the flavour and sweetness of Vanilla is pretty mild I guess that is why Tim I suggesting it as the best alternative solution.

No they aren’t

They are almost the same. There are only two flavours that are available for only one of the two editions, but only after the most recent new product launch. And the coffee flavour is different.

I don’t really mind the sweetness, it’s the oaty part that I find annoying. A german company offers a “cold brew coffee” flavour for RTD and a very nice and pure coffee flavour for their regular powder - of course it is also sweet, but not unpleasantly much. This applies only for the milk based option, though. Their vegan product is totally different.

It seems that producing good vegan products is way more challenging. At least for customers who don’t like grain. Maybe it would be easier with soy instead - I’ve often wondered why Huel doesn’t use soy. Of course there are people who are allergic against it, but that also applies to grain. And virtually all other vegan brands are soy-based.

There have been various reasons given in the past on these forums – I cant remember them all but I recall one of them being along the lines that the vast majority of the global production of soya is for animal feed so doesn’t fit into to their goals of sustainability and carbon footprint of their business. Im sure there are many discussion over the years on here if you look through them.

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