I wanted to take a moment and address each of the “benefits” of the new v3.0 and why I’m making a case for Huel continuing to manufacture v1.1 alongside v3.0.
“The good news is that v3.0 is our seventh improvement since launch and our best ever Huel which I think you will love. We have improved the taste and texture, it has all natural flavours, more natural vitamin sources, plus added probiotics and kombucha.”
Of course, taste is subjective, and there’s no way to confirm the taste is improved without knowing what kind of testing was performed, but just based on the feedback in the forums and the subreddit, I don’t believe the taste can honestly be said to have improved. It’s different, and while many people seem to like the new flavor, the general consensus I’ve seen is that for people who enjoyed v1.1, they prefer it to v3.0. Huel may pull in some new customers with their cake batter-flavored Vanilla or Tropical Life-Saver-flavored Berry, but for those of us that liked the old, this has been a rough transition. I’ve had to do 50/50 UU with all the new flavors just so I can get acclimated. I went back to the old Berry today after two weeks of the new Berry, and it was such a vast improvement, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do the new Berry again.
Once it has sat in the refrigerator for a while, it can be argued it’s smoother than the v1.1, but many of us make and immediately drink our Huel because, well, that’s what it was sold as. A quick food option. And when preparing it in this fashion, I can categorically say the v3.0 is much “clumpier” than the v1.1. I plan to do some side-by-side video comparisons for a full review article and will share them when complete, but it’s clear when I finish my bottle that the amount of residue left that won’t fit through the plastic mesh topper is significantly greater with the v3.0.
Huel has added Bacillus Coagulans MTCC 5856, a probiotic, to v3.0. While I personally have no problem with this either way, probiotics should only be taken after consulting with a physician, and individual dosage needs may vary. Adding it to a food source, particularly one that many people use exclusively or almost exclusively, does not allow those people to control their own dosage. For example, people with lowered immune systems, such as those recovering from cancer, or who have had surgery should not take probiotics. These are two specific times where an easy-to-prepare, healthy source of nutrition would be ideal, but having probiotics eliminates v3.0 as an option for these people.
Kombucha and Kale
Huel v3.0 has both of these ingredients. By adding them, Huel has removed a large chunk of the population from their possible customer base. People with shellfish allergies are not going to risk the exposure from the Kale. Those with religious restrictions from caffeine and/or tea who used to enjoy v1.1 will no longer be Huel customers due to the addition of Kombucha. According to Dan, the Nutrition Executive, the reason for adding the Kombucha is, “It’s a source of a natural B vitamins,” yet there are many foods such as black beans and spinach that are great sources of B vitamins.
It seems to me that with all the changes they’ve made, it would not be surprising to see a drop in sales that is equal to if not greater than the number of new customers these changes bring in. For this reason, I would love to see them continue to manufacture the v1.1 for everyone like me who prefers it and everyone mentioned above who cannot consume the v3.0. I don’t care about the price. Make the v1.1 the same price even if it’s cheaper to make. Hell, make it more expensive if you want. Just please don’t take it away from us.
Why Do You Care So Much
Not really addressing the changes, but I think it’s important for people to recognize that for many of us with bad digestive systems, Huel is literally a life saver. The food I had to eat before Huel was less-than-optimal in nutrition and had to be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. My lab work between my last two annual physicals is drastically improved, and I owe it all to a diet of almost exclusively Huel for the last six months. To go back to my old diet or reduce my Huel intake would significantly alter my standard of living. I will personally continue with my Huel diet, even if the v1.1 goes away completely. I will most likely buy the UU and take the extra time to blend it or let it sit in the refrigerator, but I sure wish I didn’t have to.