I’ve been a 100% (or so!) Soylent RTD fanatic for a year.
I’m slightly concerned with some of the changes happening at Soylent – like their now, entirely, messed up rewards system – and so, to expand my health coverage, and as a protection agains the future, I am looking at Huel as a replacement/co-conspirator to Soylent.
I ordered a box of Huel RTD Vanilla and RTD berry. I am pleased with the experience. Soylent does make better T-Shirts, though. SMILE!
Huel does seem to stay with me longer than Soylent, and the poops are certainly better on Huel than on Soylent.
Price is always a factor. Soylent is easy to coupon. Huel, not so much.
Bulk ordering RTD from Soylent arrives in four 12-packs per box – does Huel ship the same way in bulk for RTD, or does Huel just ship boxes of 12 at a time?
What else do I need to know in the change/move/trade-offs between Soylent RTD and Huel RT?
One small difference is in their glycemic indexes. Not huge, but it’s significant enough to mention.
“The glycemic index of Soylent Drinks ranges from 36 for the Nectar flavor to 44 for the Soylent Drink original flavor (glycemic load ranges from 13 to 14). The glycemic index for Soylent Cafe is 38 with a glycemic load of 14.”
So on a roughly equivalent 400 calorie serving case for each, the carbs in Huel will digest slower and raise blood glucose to a lesser degree than Soylent will. This could potentially make the meal “last longer” and may result in a slightly lower meal insulin response. Perhaps with an all RTD diet, this cumulative effect could be a significant win for Huel over Soylent.
Another potential win for Huel could be the main source of ingredient is oats. The beta-glucans in oats have been associated with several health benefits. Also, Huel uses the whole oat and grinds it up for the formula. Soylent’s source is a much more processed starch called maltodextrin, not the entire grain.
You are probably the 20th person (including myself) who is asking for RTD Chocolate. I am hoping they are testing that. That will be a lucrative market.
I’m gonna partially disagree with you on the caffeinated one. Although I drink very little caffeine myself, I think having at least one caffeinated RTD Huel would be very beneficial for the company. Not an energy drink. But rather a way to completely replace breakfast. Many people use Huel for first meal of the day. A RTD is a perfect way to get breakfast at work. If Huel were to come up with some kind of caramel late flavor and put a modest amount (60 - 80 mg range) of caffeine in it, that would appeal to a lot of people. That’s the amount in a standard cup of coffee. Energy drinks are like 100 - 150 mg caffeine range. But many people want a coffee as part of their breakfast. And most people tend to eat a smaller breakfast while at work anyway. 400 cal + 60 mg caffeine is the ultimate RTD breakfast drink. It wouldn’t be loaded with sugar. It would provide a balanced nutrition and give someone sustained energy through their morning.
As much as I want chocolate RTD, I believe a caffeinated RTD is more important for Huel to establish its foothold. I won’t buy it. But there are a lot of people who will. People who might otherwise not do Huel’s other products might do this one RTD for their daily work breakfast.
And they could just add freeze dried coffee to the RTD. That way it’s a natural source of caffeine plus the anti-oxidants that come with coffee. (Like how they put powdered coffee in the Huel mocha flavor additive.) See, coffee is like a whole beverage. It has caffeine plus many other beneficial ingredients, and there’s some good science to show drinking a cup a day has health benefits.
I know Vanilla is the #1 requested flavor – at least on the Soylent side – but to my taste, both Soylent and Huel do not make good tasting RTD flavors. There’s a fakery aftertaste that just pings the dried creamsicle meme.
Cacao Soylent is the most popular flavor, followed by Strawberry in the Soylent family. If Huel wants to compete with Soylent in the RTD arena, they need to bring a chocolate profile to the sale bin, and I’m surprised it wasn’t the first flavor choice.
Huel also needs a more active incentive plan to buy. Sales. Coupons. Discounts beyond the subscription path.
I don’t take in any caffeine if I can avoid it, so anything that unnecessarily adds caffeine to a meal replacement appears disingenuous to me, and a little to advertising-focused barbaric for me.
All the Soylent drinks with caffeine taste off, and do not appear to be as viably popular with buyers and the non-caffeinated cousins; but I can understand how the caffeine drinks look better on paper than they do in a meal plan.
I would love to see the market research that demonstrates people prefer their morning caffeine fix embedded in their meal instead of in a separate cup.
Hey @Dan_Huel or @Christian_Huel can you tell me how popular the Huel mocha flavor additive is in terms of sales relative to the other flavor additives? I don’t want specific numbers. But, I am curious to see if Huelers are consistently buying your only caffeinated product.
I can understand your stance @boles and I personally wouldn’t drink a caffeinated RTD Huel. But, if there’s a significant enough market, then Huel should explore it. And having a coffee/caffeinated RTD Huel option would not diminish the quality of their other RTD products. They wouldn’t need to sacrifice or substitute one of their RTDs in order to offer a caffeinated RTD.
I don’t see a coffee/caffeine based RTD as “selling out” or changing their overall nutrition-based focus on their products. I see it as a natural combo. Many healthy people drink a coffee in the morning. Many healthy people would like an easy to consume meal. Why not do both at the same time?
Yes, I accept we live in a “Red Bull” world where many need artificial enhancements to get through the day, and I get it that RTD businesses need to address that false idol with products in the pipeline, and I realize I am not the prime target for a caffeinated meal replacement.
I see food as medicine – so I’m not a foodie – and if I could get my meals in pill form, with all the benefits, I’d do that in a healthy heartbeat. SMILE!
I’m not talking Red Bull. Red bull has caffeine and other ingredients designed to stimulate. Again, I am speaking of a RTD Huel which contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Or, better yet, it could have actual coffee in it, just like the Huel mocha flavor additive.
I avoid caffeine consumption since I have Tourettes and am highly sensitive. However, I drink decaf coffee. Coffee is a whole food/beverage, made by mother nature, containing many ingredients, only one is caffeine. It’s no “false idol”. There are some significant health benefits to drinking coffee according to studies.
It has been speculated by some that the introductions of coffee and tea (another natural source of caffeine) has helped propel society forward. In a society where physical activity labor is no longer the main source of our daily lives, having a natural stimulant is actually good for many people. A moderate amount can enhance alertness and improve quality of life for people with sedentary jobs.
Again, I myself cannot handle caffeine, but I do see the tremendous benefits for most people. Just like I don’t drink any alcohol. It makes me feel too weird. But for many people it can be used in moderation and provide some benefit.
Anway, you and I are clearly the exception. Most people use caffeine and will continue to use it despite what you or I say. I am arguing that Huel could financially benefit from a coffee based RTD which could still be nutritious, not compromise their principals, and not impact people like you or I in any way since they still have non caffeinated RTD. (Or Huel Powder, which is what I use.)
Welcome to Huel David! Let me know if you have any Huel related questions, Deron is always pretty good at answering them.
Mocha is actually our least popular flavor boost. Not sure on the reasons for this but I know Hueligans like to add their own coffee powder to their Huel and so could be down to personal preference and more alternatives being available than say, the Chai flavor boost.
There are some nutritional differences between the two.
Main Ingredients (not all listed):
Sunflower oil, canola oil
Canola oil, flaxseed, MCT
Soy protein isolate
Pea protein, brown rice flour
Tapioca starch, gluten free oat powder
Trans fat (g)
You can observe more fiber from Huel, and less sugars (due to not having isomaltulose). This could be one of the reasons why you feel satiated for longer, as well as
Regarding the rest you propose very interesting questions:
From what I would suspect, bringing multiple flavours at once is not a good marketing move, as well as, it is logistically more complicated. It is better to release a new flavour 6 months (for example), to rehype the product (often done with phones with release of new colors or pro versions).
No doubt chocolate will be next, since they have been adding the flavour in the powder variants (last 3 flavours released in UK and US are choc related).
Not sure what the answer is regarding the caffeinated version. I think powder and RTD should have a different answer here. Also I agree with Deron,
If something, they might offer a “more rounded” breakfast alternative.
I agree with you on the incentives part. However, as far as I am aware, things are going pretty well for Huel in both the UK and EU; so they might be quite happy with the current situation.
I find it curious that Huel market research demonstrated there was more want first for a berry RTD than a chocolate.
Coupons and deals seal loyalty and bring in curious new customers – since Huel is more more expensive than Soylent (RTD Huel is $54 a box without a subscription compared to RTD Soylent at $39 a box without a subscription) there is a higher hurdle for Huel to overcome in terms of affordability in a budget.
I understand Huel provides more FL OZ per box, but is that enough to pull someone in from Soylent without a discount or other incentive?
I’d rather have dollars off a first order than have a free t-shirt.
I wonder that myself. Perhaps they wanted to offer something different or it has to do with the data they had in the UK. If you look at the powder, they also released Berry earlier (in the UK) than chocolate. Or it might be personal preference from the staff. We might never know.
With you on this.
However, understanding the complexity of their pricing, margins and needs is almost an impossible task without insider info. It is also the case that this is the first release of the RTD (1.0 version) so I do not know what they expected in terms of production volumes. Perhaps, their focus was on introducing and testing it with the Huel customers (which might be more inclined to buy from Huel rather than changing companies) and building up from there to gain a share of Soylent’s market. Consolidating the product first and facing the opposition later, seems to be the approach. You might want to say that they wanted to sell them, but they didn’t need it to be overly successful (perhaps a fool’s thought).
You also need to consider that Huel released the RTD in the US and the EU (where competition and demand is different) at the same time. Thus, their strategy (assuming that there is one) for pricing involves many many factors that escape our grasp and “common” sense.
Eitherway, I sure hope that many of the improvements that you mention come in the near future.
In my experience, RTD drinkers and powder users are not usually the same people – there tends to be a bright line drawn between them in purchasing power, logistics, and brand loyalty. Effort vs. Expectation.
Just to be absolutely clear on this, chocolate is a natural source of caffeine. Not as concentrated as it’s naturally found in coffee or tea, but there is enough caffeine in chocolate to invoke a physiological response. So if you are highly sensitive to caffeine, you may need to avoid any chocolate flavored stuff.