A plea to Julian and Huel management

Huel was life changing for me, for so many of us. There are repeated posts on forums about what a significant difference Huel has made for people. Huel is a miracle product. Julian so many of us owe so much to you for bringing an allergen free meal replacement to the market. In my case it gave me energy I hadn’t had since I left the military. As a disabled veteran with an extremely limited diet this was literally life changing. It opened a world I was missing out on. As a commercial pilot we typically have to live off airport food and there isn’t much in the way of healthy eating. With Huel I can just throw a single bag in my luggage and I have all the food I need for my trip. This has been a life changer for so many of us in the aviation industry and I know so many veterans with IBS and Gulf War syndrome that have been helped by Huel.

With recent changes, mainly adding corn (maze) to the mix I have had to cut back. I know the amounts are insignificant but for someone like me who have an intolerance to corn it makes it a challenge. This morning waking to the news of the addition of tapioca and caffeine (ironically as I was drinking Huel) with version 3.0 I am now completely cut off from Huel.

I completely understand it’s impossible to serve everyone’s individual needs. Especially with a global market to serve with such an awesome and life changing product. So I would be crazy to ask that you cater to my personal food intolerances and allergies.

However I have a suggestion I’d like you to consider. If you are no longer going to produce earlier versions of Huel such as version 1.0, open the recipe to the community. Like you I have a background in software development and from my understanding of the open source licensing used by so many of the software developer community it would be possible for you to keep ownership of the recipes while allowing those of us who can’t tolerate the new formula to continue to benefit from the original recipe and Huel could benefit from the open source recipes.

This has been tried successfully with Soylent and there is a thriving community modifying the Soylent recipe to suit individual needs. There are hundreds of DIY versions of Soylent found at https://www.completefoods.co/ As I am allergic to Soy as well I’ve not been able to use Soylent but ironically researching a DIY allergen free version of Soylent is how I stumbled on Huel.

Julian and co would you be willing to do this for your loyal community who are now cut off from what for some of us is literally the elixir of life. I am so passionate about Huel and its benefits I would volunteer my time to helping to develop the community. If you won’t do it, I’ll gladly develop the website and manage the community but only with your blessing.

So as your ever loyal customer and biggest fan would you consider this as an option?

@Julian-Huel
@TimOfficialHuel

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I also am allergic to corn and cannot have caffeine due to chronic insomnia. Huel was amazing because it was free of all my problem foods. Corn and caffeine are both deal breakers for me.

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Thank you for your message Jack, we’re so happy to hear that Huel has been able to help you.

There’s been no caffeine added to Huel, we are confirming the levels but we know it’s below 1mg per 100g of Huel Powder, i.e. undetectable like previous versions.

Tapioca is there for texture and mixability to improve the overall quality of the product. You can still order v1.1 at least for another couple of months.

This is very unlikely to happen. Huel is all about nutrition first and to make any recipe open source will only cause damage to the company.

We love our community and it we have a few people who are regulars on the forum and consistenly help Hueligans. It would be fantastic if you’d join them Jack.

There was a small amount of corn maltodextrin in previous versions of Huel such as v1.1 as a carrier for some of the vitamins and minerals, we are talking tiny amounts. There has been no increase in the amount of corn in Huel so if you had no problems with v1.1 you shouldn’t have an issue with v3.0.

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I don’t think you recognize the significance of even the smallest amount of allergens for allergy and intolerance sufferers. Heck as allergic as I am to soy I can’t go near certain candle stores as a result of most candles using soy wax. Just being exposed to the particulates in the air will mess me up. So a small amount of tapioca or even corn can cause problems for many of us.

I never said I didn’t have problems with 1.1, in fact I did. I don’t want to go into detail how i got around it here publicly but it was short term at best and a result of having purchased a significant amount of product that I had to get through. There are 6 bags in my closet of 1.1 that I expired this month that I still need to get through.

Sadly with the recent changes I am out completely. I think Huel is a great company but as I was concerned when I first became a Huligan a few years ago, Huel would change the formula. You have, and its forced me out as a customer. I was really excited for the ready to drink until I saw it had tapioca. Now that it’s in all of your products I won’t be able to be a customer.

Again I can’t stress this enough I am a big fan of Huel and its products but I am no longer able to tolerate it with the recent changes. I certainly can’t expect you to change your company to suit one person’s needs I just hope for your sake as you continue to refine your product you don’t push away too many of your customers. Maybe consider making a allergen free version in the future?

We’ve seen other companies change their formula to meet what they think the market wants only to realize they made a mistake (New Coke, Cadbury, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Frito-Lay WOW chips). Since such a significant part of your market seems to be people who are trying to escape allergens and food intolerance in the normal food industry there might be a large enough market for an allergen friendly version of your product. You already make a gluten free version. Maybe expand that to exclude all of the major allergens?

In any case I wish you guys all the best and hope for your success. Huel is a great product and want nothing but success for you.

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Well put. Dealing with professional dieticians in managing my father’s fructose intolerance, their advice often makes nutrition science seems more of a dark art tempered by ignorance. Given the large number of underpowered, poorly design, and/or biased studies that they base their claims on, I suppose it’s not all their fault…

Thank you. I’ve had medical professionals tell me I am crazy too. That no one could be that reactive to a chemical. I was able to show empirical evidence to one who was shocked at how quickly the result. I dragged her down to the local mall (took some convincing to get her to agree) and just walked into the Yankee Candle store and just stood there for 5 minutes until my nose started to run and my eyes turned bloodshot right in front of her eyes. Even the rash presented within a few minutes. Within about 2 hours I was in the bathroom with it coming out both ends.

I think there is a lot about the human body we as a species just don’t understand yet. Couple that with the changes we have made to our nutritional system and it throws a lot of science for a loop. And I say that as a engineer and pilot and the furthest thing from a vegan tree hugger . My life revolves around empirical evidence. There is a lot of crap in our diet that we just don’t understand.

In addition I am a veteran of the gulf war and suffer from Gulf War illness (whatever that is). I interact with a lot of veterans with the same, who just can’t tolerate preservatives. Try and find prepared food these days that doesn’t have any chemical preservatives. I think a lot of that stuff is screwing people up (Likely the source of the US population weight issues). Even so called insignificant amounts can be a serious health issue. Need proof? Look at people with peanut allergies. Even being in a pressurised aircraft can be life threatening to someone the entire plane away from someone eating peanuts. Ask me how I know! That was one scary flight. This kid was 30 rows away and went into anaphylactic shock. Southwest here in the US has now banned all peanuts from their aircraft.

I don’t think there is a vast conspiracy by alien lizard people to ruin our diets. I for one welcome our new overlords :wink: I think in most cases it’s just a cost saving issue (soy is incredibly cheap in comparison but has horrible side effects for men) or in Huel’s case an attempt to align with multiple countries regulations on food. In their case I would most likely make the same decision.

(No offence to vegan tree huggers but I love me a good grass fed steak and more than a few animals have been harmed in the pursuit of my perfect dinner)

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Apologies Jack, it looks like I’ve just misunderstood where you are coming from. As you’ve said even a tiny amount of an allergen can cause a reaction. My advice would be even with your minor solution to not consume Huel v1.1, it’s not worth the risk.

It’s a great suggestion, and thank you for your support over the years.

I was really surprised to see kelp used for the iodine source as it is a potential allergen for those allergic to various seafood. Thankfully I don’t have any allergies (yet…), but that seemed like a much riskier addition from a business standpoint compared to tapioca or kombucha.

I feel like HUEL should just keep the different versions to accommodate different people. I haven’t seen many people excited about the changes, so why risk losing a lot of customers by cutting them off from the powder they can have.

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“Huel is all about nutrition first”
Please stop adding more and more to Huel, it was great before. Have add-ons be optional, like flavor packs.

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I’ve read the article on the new Huel 3.0. To be honest, the changes seem to be overall very small. It’s like 95% the same as the current version. (The comparison to “New Coke” is not accurate, IMO, since Huel 3.0 should give no noticeable taste difference.) Not withstanding any allergies or philosophical objections to specific newly-introduced ingredients, these changes will go unnoticed by most Huel customers (most of which never post on these forums). It will allow the company to unify and standardize their product, regardless of geographic region, which should help improve their bottom line and might make shipping/dispensing better for customers.

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I have Tourettes, so I also minimize caffeine. However, the amount that will be in Huel 3.0 will not be of any physiological significance. It’ll be like 1 or 2 mg. Not enough to affect anyone, even caffeine sensitive people. It will still have less than a fifth of the caffeine of a small hot chocolate. It’ll have the same amount of caffeine as found in a half cup of Sanka. It will have less caffeine than one or two Hershey’s kisses.

A cup of coffee has between 60 to 100 mg of caffeine, depending on the size and darkness. Just for comparison. It’s not even the same ballpark.

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Remember that the forum is a small proportion of customers and a lot of people use it to voice concerns or find out more information.

Fair enough, hopefully the article made sense as to why the additions are there?

There will be changes in taste to berry and chocolate because we feel we can do better on the flavor. Our development team have worked hard on this and it’s partly why tapioca starch is included, for better flavor delivery.

It sounds like you are a good candidate for DIY. Why not give it a try? At worst it would be an interesting experience. I know there are forums and recipes online for people doing that. Good luck!

And here is one of those DIY sites: https://www.completefoods.co/

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The taste and texture difference between my last bag and this “V3.0” is extreme.

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There is a huge difference in both taste and texture, even for vanilla. 3.0 is much sweeter and is thin like soylent.

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Agree with the sweetness. FYI, I bought a large, BPA free storage container, dumped in a bag of V3.0 vanilla and a bag of Unflavored / Unsweetened, shook vigorously, and have been much happier with the result.

Interesting. I did that with V1, because I found it far too sweet. But with V2, I was happy to have it the flavors on their own. It’s surprising to hear that V3 is that much sweeter than V2.

In any case, I have Black Edition on the way, and reports say that it is milder in sweetness than V2. We will see.