Chocolate flavor change?

I did already send an email to Huel, but I was taken aback when I made a shake fom my latest order of Chocolate (v3) where it had no flavor :crazy_face:
And reading these posts makes me wonder if it was intentional because people didnt like the new flavoring.

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I have personally messaged you about this to get more information on it. :blush:

I will get back to you soon with the numbers.

I too feel the flavor has changed. It used to be my absolute favorite flavor but now it seems rather tasteless.

One note that may add evidence to a change or poorly mixed batch is a completely different mouth feel added to the fact this first new bag is mixing perfectly and I’ve never not had clumps when drinking (it was sort of fun to crush them) and then later rinsing/washing out of a 20+ bags.

And because I wanted to change my subscription and forgot that if you touch anything it reships I’ve got 26 bags for this same lot. No worries about staleness since I range from 3-7 a day (depending on how much running I get in) and at least 25 a week. But if this is a bad batch then I’ve got a TON of it.

Double post but almost a month later. I am now completely convinced there are some bad bags of white huel chocolate. FYI No response to this post results in wider sharing and loss of a customer. Using my birthday month Best Buy coupon I bought a KitchenAid stick blender. I thought that fixed the problem, but it was also a new bag day. I’ve gone through three more bags and they have been great but then yesterday I opened another new bag. Even with the stick blender it is thin and bad but almost tasteless with some sort of husk left behind. If this continues then why not find a cheaper but less tasty brand. So it’s been like a couple of good then 3-4 bad, then 3-4 good and another bad one. I grab randomly from the first order here (I have a 10 bag and then a 16 bag from where I dropped and recreated my subscription). They all have the same codes. They are stored in a clean, dark, and dry location (under the bed with a skirt - most in a sealed light locking storage bag, but the overflow on top is still in the dark. Every bag I’ve opened has been properly sealed.

I have no visible husks with a normal bag, it is possibly they are there since I do usually have a thick chocolate flavored residue. Just to make sure the husks and weird taste were not a water ratio, I used 3 oz less and mounded both scoops. Even with less water and more powder it is messed up. [Anyone else notice that a full non packed and non rounded scoop is < 50g?]
I’m already planning on experimenting with a >70% vegan protein for strength training (still Huel for endurance runs), so I can change this all around. In the end with a good bag I love the product and have no issues with the price point, but even one bad bag is unacceptable,

And the worst part of this is, what got left out to make it so runny. Am I hurting my body with poor nutrition with a horrific macro balance because on of the machines got clumped, jammed, or ran out early.

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The mystery deepens. Even though I only opened the “bad” bag yesterday, After the second hour of fast jog/slow run and then a strength hike I was due another recovery shake (chest strap said I’d burn more than 400. On a treadmill, I’m ridiculous allergy to pollens even in the middle of a second round of shots). I decided to gamble on opening another in hopes I was good.

The new bag (randomly selected from 10+ bags with same day from two shipments days apart) is good. They do have a different time (unless that set of numbers that looks like a time is some other data [in which case fire the person that chose a commonly accepted format to mean something else])

The water is in my stick mixer cup and is to show I’m using less that what the bag says (less than 2 cups and that is an ounce low).

This cup picture is before my refrigerator after nozzle side clean and swirl. There is no after because it was clean after I drank the rinse (vs the residue show with “bad bag”

I’m posting instead of PM because there was already a thread and others need to know that if they chocolate tastes off it might not be them. I’m posting here instead of Reddit because I actually like this product and would prefer to limit reputation damage.

In the end though I’m wondering if this isn’t an FDA issue. The products are clearly different but the listed ingredients are the same. Something has been added or removed and not updated in the ingredients. Also has this (likely accidental) change been tested for safety? Should perhaps Huel issue a recall before the FDA forces one?

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We apologize for not getting in touch with you sooner and I have replied back to your personal message to get more information on your bags and sort it out too!

@Domenique_Huel That’d be super swell if you would post the Huel study/findings for all consumers to be made aware…for health and safety purposes.

Thank you for such a thorough investigation

I hope Huel uses the information you have provided to fix quality control issues for the sake of future production.

I hope Huel compensates you with replacement product for the sake of customer satisfaction snd service excellence.

I just tried chocolate for the first time and I too think it tastes weird - but it’s my first time trying chocolate, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It doesn’t taste like chocolate to me at all. I’m not sure what I would say it tastes like.

I definitely don’t hate it, and I will drink it, but I probably won’t order this flavor again (then again, I said the same thing about the berry flavor but I grew to love it and just ordered another bag lol so who knows?)

I also have a good bit of that white grit in mine, but that didn’t appear unusual to me (there’s always some stuff left behind in the cup no matter the flavor, I’m not familiar with chocolate specifically).

So side note I did order the only two flavors I hadn’t tried. Original is actually very good. Right up there with chocolate and banana. And to be honest I didn’t find unsweetened/unflavored so bad (of course it was very similar to those bad chocolate flavors). I actually just had a shake of u/u straight up and it was fine. Not going to win any awards for taste but still very drinkable. I should warn though YMMV as I love both raw/steamed peas (common field peas aren’t as good as snow or sugar snap of course) and steel cut oats cooked as porridge in a Zojirushi rice cooker with just a splash of honey. Berries (especially blueberries) and soymilk/ricemilk/oatmilk (don’t like thinness/blandness of almond milk) get added when I have them of course, but they are treats because of cost/spoilage.

Ok, so as an update I was refunded for all but one of the bad bags of those I still had in my possession. Those that I drank before realizing there was a problem and not just a flavor change were not included. Was promised a follow up once quality control was contacted…. Did NOT receive. Problem has been swept under the rug.

So because of my subscription changes without remembering to tweak the date for max discount I had 26 of rom this time frame.

33 of 33 prior bags have been fine. Then suddenly 17 of 26 were known bad, 2 of 26 were seemed good, and 3 of 26 were close enough to taste and thickness. Of the 4 left I can only say at least 1 good and 2 bad, but can’t positively classify all 4 I drank before deciding this wasn’t just a change, but rather an error.

Follow up post double post for extra visibility.

Because of various issues recently I’ve had a lot of Huel. Between 4-7 based on cardio training.

Two nights ago I had to go to the ER because I just could not breathe. It wasn’t asthma related as my albuterol inhaler didn’t help. My Blood pressure was 87/42. My red blood counts and hemoglobin were low. This all points to anemia, but apart from a tearing toenail into the quick I’d had no bleeding at all.

So first question: we’re the numbers for iron and b12 on the labels ever true?
2nd: are they supposed to be still with the current formulations?
3rd: how often are you checking?

Given the appalling lack of quality control before I have to ask did drinking your shake just land me in the hospital.

Hi Jeneva,

Firstly, we hope you feel much better today and we are sorry to hear about that recent experience. I can assure you our team in the US is in the process of sensory testing in collaboration with our UK based quality team to understand what occurred that led to the inconsistencies in the batches you reported so that we can provide you with accurate insight.

I’ve also spoken with @Charlotte_huel and @Dan_huel from our nutrition team who have given a bit more insight into your nutrition questions below:

As Huel is plant-based, the iron in Huel is non-heme iron from the food ingredients themselves and the vitamin B12 is in the form of cyanocobalamin in our vitamin and mineral blend. We have this page that details more on the micronutrients in Huel.

We regularly test our products and we’re also required to be within specific ranges as stated on the label due to laws and regulations, so we’re certain you’re getting the nutrients listed on the label.

In addition, Huel meets daily value recommendations for the 27 essential vitamins and minerals per 2000 calorie intake of Huel alone. If you’re not consuming Huel as 100% of your intake, you must be sure you are getting nutrients from other sources as well to meet your needs.

Lastly, individual needs can vary for both macronutrients and micronutrients daily. Depending on the individual and physical activity level, you may have different requirements for certain macronutrients and micronutrients.

Ok, this is masterful marketing speak/spin/doublespeak

In addition, Huel meets daily value recommendations for the 27 essential vitamins and minerals per 2000 calorie intake of Huel alone. If you’re not consuming Huel as 100% of your intake, you must be sure you are getting nutrients from other sources as well to meet your needs.”

I specifically called out iron so let’s us it as an example. Each serving is 45% on the label u/u which per the FDA means for the entire day. That means that if as I said I was eating more than three I’m good for a normal 2000 calorie diet. 5 will cover a 4000 calorie diet. Huel alone should cover iron Regardless of what else I ate was long as I stay under the 2 or 4K limit. The other foods are irrelevant. That quote implies that poor food choices might lead to shortages but your own numbers say it will not even if I eat raw sugar for the rest of the day.

Also as show earlier in the thread I’m not a first time user. I’ve done similar streaks in the past with no issues. I know basic math quite well and for the days in question the Huel ALONE should have provide enough for those vitamins and minerals. Never mind the Vega sports protein I use after runs/hikes/lifting or the Orgain protein + superfoods that I have logged in the Lose It app. (Yes I’m actively shopping around. Yes this product is likely the cheapest out there but seems to have gone downhill lately [not just this thread is about problems] I don’t trust this product as far as I can throw it anymore)

I should note that the willingness to use spin in such a deceptive manner certainly doesn’t mesh with how the company tries to portray itself as responsible and adhering to most vegan ideas to make itself more attractive to a target demographic.

Hey Jeneva,

I’d like to pop in here to assist further with your nutrition queries and if it’s alright with you, I’d like to learn a bit more to see if I can provide additional insight, as well. I know you mentioned you’ve been consuming Huel for quite some time now - I just want to confirm, have you ever had anemia or low blood pressure previously and when did you last have your labs checked prior to this?

The iron in Huel is non-heme iron which is not as well absorbed as heme iron (1). Thus, the increased amount of iron in the form of non-heme iron in Huel is to be sure that it covers the general recommendations per 2000 calories after also taking the lower rate of absorption into consideration (1).

Your individual needs may also differ from the general recommendations and can increase for nutrients such as iron depending on a variety of factors. These factors include but are not limited to prior medical history and exercise (running) and the intensity and/or frequency.

Let me know if you have any additional questions and I’m happy to help here!

Slow reply because I had a follow up appointment. I’ve never had an issue with either low blood pressure or anemia. My blood pressure has been trending downward for a while, but it plummeted.

I have all the diagnostic tests the ER ran, run at least every six months. Plus a test for lithium levels. Both to make sure lithium is at therapeutic levels and to make sure it isn’t causing damage. It has been about 5 months since my last set since I had an appointment at the end of the month, They’ve never been close to low until now

I know I’ve been using Huel heavily before then because I made a point of mentioning it to my PCP who had mentioned trying to lose weight and having to eat fast junk between patients.

I’ve actually been lowering my exercise. I used to try to get at least 2 hours in, but it was causing friction at home because I couldn’t have household chores done before she got home and then I was in the way. I’d only dropped to 1.5 hours, but that is still less and not more.

The day before the nosedive I had 6 servings of Huel, along with 3 of the Vega premium sports protein (to help keep macro balance [more protein/less fat]), 1 Orgain organic protein and superfoods (I had 40% for CVS and decided to try it), and since we just got a fresh picked pint, I had 5 strawberries. The day before was 8/3/1 with no berries. I normally only have 2 or 3 servings, but as I said it’s been hectic.

Hi Jeneva,

Apologies that you’re speaking to so many of us. Charlotte is not working today and I wanted to make sure you got a timely response.

I’m not trying to skirt your concerns it’s just issues regarding nutrition can be very difficult to pin down and there’s only so much we can do to help through online messaging. I’d always suggest following the personalized advice from your doctor who has the most information about you to make an informed decision.

Low lithium levels could be the result of a high salt/caffeine/diuretic intake or low water consumption. Huel is high in fiber so I’d recommend increasing your water intake if you’re not used to this, but honestly, it doesn’t sound like this is an issue for you.

I can’t speak for the other products/foods you consume but there are certain “superfoods” and products that can contain nutrients that significantly decrease the absorption of iron.

I hope this helps and please let me know if there is any more information that we can provide to help you and your doctor provide the best possible outcome for you.

Lithium levels haven’t been low in years. I never mentioned it was low. As I’ve lost weight of past couple of years they actually climbed. I only mentioned lithium to explain while I have such complete blood work done so often.

I can’t tolerate much higher than a baseline therapeutic dose without extreme nausea so I drink well over a gallon of liquid a day. Now as long as I wear my psi-bands when being driven I can stave it off). Usually I’m pushing two. (Of course with all the side effects that causes). I alway have at least 64oz of plain water (nice double walled jug with steel straw). Sometimes I fill it twice but not always (depends on cardio load). I usually have a liter or two of well.

As far as fiber for a long time I was eating at least a cup of uncooked steel cut oats a day as porridge in the rice cooker. I’ve actually been doing that recently because it helped with the cold and is a great source of iron too.

I hate to say it and I’m trying to hold back the paranoia that is my primary mania symptom, but it really looks like Huel staff is trying to cherry pick my comments to find something that I’ve not said is a problem and then twist/spin it to talk about it was the problem and Huel couldn’t be the source. Or it could just be everyone wants to defend and they don’t bother to RTFM or post in this case and the context is lost. Either way it doesn’t look good in the company. It doesn’t look like help is being offered but rather like an issue is being buried under unrelated topics. And before you pull a google/nest and just delete the thread remember I put it here instead of more visible on purpose to help Huel learn of a problem without a lot more public visibility. There are much more public places it could go. And keep in mind I played along until I ended up in the ER, even after being shorted but I do still have the bad bags and I’m sure the FDA would be glad to test then. I’m trying to be nice and let Huel identify and fix the problem moving forward, but if it’s just being buried then I have no reason to hold back. And you can’t claim those are all your bags and can’t be sent for testing because I was only refunded for one less which means one is still mine. And given I was drinking the bad for a month or two (on my dime. These are not directly traceable so wasn’t reimbursed - acceptable given I did consume them even if I didn’t realize they were bad and thought it was a formula change), I actually want the issue to be found by someone so I can be reassured it won’t have any lasting effects.

It’s a shame I have to wonder but my blood pressure plummeted and I had anemia after drinking the bad for a while and then some full days of in theory correct bags.

I really want to get across Jeneva that we are listening to you and we want to help you however we can, because it’s not nice what you’re going through.

Apologies Jeneva, I took your comment “They’ve never been close to low until now” to mean that your lithium levels are now low.

If you’d like you can send these bags back to us (we’ll cover shipping costs) and we can test the iron and vitamin B12 levels.

I hope you can understand, but from our end, there isn’t a problem with the micronutrient levels of our products. As Charlotte mentioned we regularly test all our products (I personally send off these products for testing myself and analyze the lab results) and we are confident that they are within acceptable levels according to what’s stated on the label and according to FDA regulations.

Again, based on the information you’ve provided, there’s no way of knowing what has caused your low blood pressure and iron levels. If you feel it will help we can talk with your doctor and provide any information they require to further assist you.

I’m really sorry you feel this way, but we aren’t trying to do this at all, we’re really trying to help. What is it that you’d like from us and how can we provide support that will be of benefit to you?

A follow-up question to this - what can we improve on to make your experience with Huel better moving forward?

This is the key issue and what prompted my concerns about recent QC on anemia related vitamins and minerals.

The 26 arrived within 2 days of each other’s 10 and the 16 due to a overzealous subscription editing page that defaults any change at any time (even after a shipment has just been made) to ship again. It’s my mistake for not noticing, but it’s exceptionally poor website design. No biggie I could have used them before expiration. But then I got caught in the middle of the bad ones

In the end regardless of how much corporate assurance is made, I cannot believe that a suitable level of quality control could have let out so many bad bags. Further I’m astounded that the lot(s) around that time haven’t been recalled. This isn’t the only QC issue thread either, I never said anything about it because it was so obviously the right thing to do. The visual evidence in this post alone shows a problem. If there was a problem then, is there another problem now,

As I have moved to just using up what is left of the recent order to try the last two flavors, and have fallen back on my old standbys, my lab numbers and how I feel have come up as well. I see a direct correlation and strongly suspect causation. Even though Huel is the cheapest calorie metrically perhaps this old adage is fitting, “You get what you pay for.”

In any event I’m done. I’ve so little energy as it is, even though it is gradually getting better, that I simple can’t afford to waste time on a product that not only I, but everyone around me has said, to write off and move on,