With the recent release of version 3.0 in the US and with enough time for me to consume three bags over the past month, I wanted to share my experience as a long-time Huel user.
A little background
I have been using Huel since September of 2017 back when you could get vanilla, chocolate, or U&U V1.0 Huel. There were no flavor boosts, no bars, no RTD versions, a referral was worth $5, and $59.40 would get ya two bags of the powdered food. I began consuming Huel as I study mechanical engineering in upstate, NY where the on-campus food left a lot to be desired in both quality and options. I’ve always been very health conscious and performance-oriented playing competitive hockey through college as well as maintaining a very active lifestyle both in and out of the gym. I was already actively supplementing my meals with protein shakes and more to ensure I was getting the proper macros/micros so the switch to Huel was easy for me and I began to swap my first meal with Huel. The flavor was just fine, the convenience was amazing, and the nutrients proved invaluable. Huel quickly found a place in my life and I haven’t turned back.
Fast forward to today
I no longer reside in on-campus housing, I have my own apartment with a kitchen (dorms never did and I was limited to a mini-fridge), I still train for around two hours per day, I have switched to a plant-based diet for around a year now and am on my second to last semester studying mechanical engineering. A lot has changed, but I still see Huel as a crucial part of my day and well, I have my “it’s not a protein shake, more of a food similar to a meal replacement but it’s actually a complete food” speech down for when people ask. I now consume two servings of Huel Black Edition and a Huel bar on a daily basis. Being in the US, I have tried every flavor of versions 1.0, 1.1, and now 3.0 Black Edition as we never have any iterations after V1.1 and before V3.0 and so it’s safe to say I know my Huel.
My thoughts on the move to new versions
I have read a lot of user’s posts of how they’re upset that the company moved to a new version and some even exclaim as if they had no option but to move on from V1.1. I’m not targeting anyone, but I think it’s important to remember that Huel is a business and is in a market with growing competitors such as Soylent, Kachava and every other brand making meal replacement options. Had the company remained stagnant, it gives every other option a competitive edge. Every year, new studies and trials are done to see how diets affect individuals. Every year we push to improve sustainability and incorporate more plant-based options. Huel is well established and growing allowing it the time and money to bring us a better product. While not entirely the same, just because a 2020 Jeep gets you from A to B just fine, just because it can traverse the most difficult obstacles in Moab, doesn’t mean there won’t be a new and improved Jeep for 2021. This is the nature of business and just like every other business, Huel needs to make, and continue to make, money. This doesn’t address the product, but more the people who are so flustered with the move to 3.0 as I see there are a countless amount. But Huel has had many iterations in the past, albeit more in the UK, and are no strangers to listening to their consumers. If there is a problem, it is in their best interest to fix it and they understand this.
My experience with V3.0 Black Edition
As mentioned, I have had the chance to consume three bags of Black Edition now. The Black Edition is extremely useful for me. I’m 5’11" at 185lbs with an athletic build as I spend a lot of time training. With the macro split of Black Edition, it’s so easy for me to hit protein goals for each day which is very difficult on a plant-based diet. I lift fasted and immediately break my fast with the Huel Bar, drive home and enjoy a bowl of rolled oats and quinoa as well as a serving of Huel. Had this been a regular version, my macro split would be heavily saturated with carbs. I like having the low GI properties of oats separate from my Huel as I’m much more satiated by the end of the meal if I had the oats that are in regular V3.0. As for the taste, I think it’s an improvement from V1.1. My girlfriend never liked Huel V1.1 (she studied abroad in Scotland and I tried so many times to get her to try the RTD found in Sansbury’s local to her), but now I always pour her own Huel every time I make some for myself. She even is considering adding a bag to my order for herself as she loves the taste along with the convenience. While nine times out of ten I blend mine with ice cubes and a spinach blend, I find that mixing 15 ounces of water with two ice cubes and shaking in the provided bottle gives a 100% clump-free and smooth texture. This may not be the same, though, as regular V3.0 as I’ve heard many people are getting a clumpy texture.
Huel took on the challenge of improving their already great product. Taking the feedback we provided, they made a less gritty (I didn’t have a problem with their previous texture, but many did) and more nutrient-dense product. It didn’t come without flaws and a relaunch of V3.1 won’t come without ample testing and feedback, but V3.0 is a great product and improvement nonetheless. Since their launch, they have come a long way and are no strangers to taking feedback and providing iterations of each version to accommodate the needs of their consumers. I’m sure for those who are worried with the future of their diet that Huel will remedy any concerns before you know it and we have to understand it was a huge jump to 3.0. I hope this was a good read for everyone and if anyone has any questions or concerns, please let me know!