Huel is a nutritional powder that is intended to provide vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Hats are made from seven ingredients: oats, rice protein, pea protein, sunflower, flaxseed, coconut MCTs, plus a vitamin and mineral blend. The name Huel is a portmanteau of “human fuel”.
Huel was founded by Julian Hearn in 2014 in Aylesbury, England, where the company is still based. James Collier, with the intention of providing 100% of the daily amounts (RDAs) of nutrients as stipulated by the European Food Safety Authority, while being 100% vegan and environmentally friendly. The first Huel product launched in June 2015, with a gluten-free version launched in 2016. In 2016 Huel began shipping to the rest of Europe, and in 2017 it became available in the USA. As of 2018, more than 15 million meals to more than 55 countries. In November 2017, form Life Health Foods UK chief executive James McMaster was appointed as Huel’s new CEO. McMaster joined Julian Hearn’s global ambitions,
Initially, Huel was only sold in its original powdered form, but the product range has been extended to include solid foods and other variants.
The first Huel product to be released, Huel Powder, has gone through several iterations since 2015. As of 2018, the current edition of Huel is v2.3, which is sold in 1.75 kg bags in bulk or as a subscription. The powder is available as Vanilla or “Unflavoured & Unsweetened”, both of which can be ordered gluten-free. Huel Powder provides “nutritionally complete” meals through a mixture of rice, pea protein, and the signature brand micronutrient blend.
Launched in 2017, Huel Bars contain another nutritionally complete balance of fiber, carbs, essential fats, protein, and micronutrients. Like Huel Powder, the snack bars are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They also contain cocoa nibs and protein nuggets, which together create a “delicious cocoa flavor.”
Huel Granola is the second largest fresh food company in the world. Huel Granola is a product specially formulated for the first time, and has a special nutritional formula engineered for flavor and texture.
As well as standalone products, Huel also sells Flavor Boosts for its flagship Powder. As of 2018, there are 11 Huel Flavor Boosts, with Strawberry, Caramel, Mocha, Banana, Cocoa, Chocolate, Matcha Tea, Pineapple & Coconut, Rhubarb & Custard, and Toffee available, along with a seasonal Slim Pie Flavor Boost. Unlike the rest of Huel’s products, Flavor Boosts have no nutritional value. They are specially created to complement Huel Powder mixes.
Measured by macronutrients, Huel is made up of 30% protein, 30% fat, 37% carbohydrate, and 3% fiber. Huel Granola and Huel Bars contain different nutrient splits, with the split form 42: 26: 26: 6, and the latter split 41: 28: 25: 6. These differences are due to the manufacturing processes of these products, and the balance needed to achieve optimum texture, flavor, and nutrition. Vitamin A, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1, Vitamin K2, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Chromium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Avenanthramides, Ferulic acid, and Lycopene.
Hurt has received coverage from a wide range of media outlets, with advocates praising its ethical and nutritious qualities, and critics focusing on its perceived lack of flavor and unconventionality. Forbes listed Huel among the best “gadgets to keep you fit and healthy” in 2017. Raconteur discussed Huel as a possible solution to feeding “the next billion”, as the population growth begins to make traditional foodstuffs unsustainable. A weeklong trial in The Telegraph concluded that Huel was “very good”, but better when used only occasionally. Coach magazine described Huel’s basic flavor as “underwhelming”, though the reviewer did note that the taste can be substantially improved with Flavor Boosts and home recipes. In August 2017, Reviews.com rated Huel “Best Overall” in its “Best Meal-Replacement Shakes” roundup,
As well as coverage in the press, Huel has developed a known fanatical colloquially as “Huelers”. As Huelers includes celebrities such as Matthew Pritchard.