Full REVIEW: My thoughts on the Huel ‘food replacement’ powder

Posted on February 12th, 2018 By Allie Lewis in Protein Powder Reviews Read Time: 12 mins.

Recently updated on September 26th, 2022 at 09:47 pm

Huel Shake Reviews are scattered about the internet but today I’m going to share MINE, which is going to be the very best one you will read- I guarantee it! In this Huel review we’ll discuss the weird name, what is in it, and of course the taste. We’ll spend quite a bit of time on taste because that’s the most important thing to MANY of you guys I know from doing hundreds of reviews here on the BPW blog. The last Huel element that we’ll discuss is the packaging, which is a personal passion of mine. So. Why don’t we ‘Huel up’ and get this review started.

Huel. Huel. Huel. What the heck does that even mean? And how do you say it? If I were naming a nutritional shake company, I don’t think I would have named it Huel, I can tell you that much right now. This company seems to have a fascinating story, and it’s origin is actually in the U.K. You know, now that I give it even more thought, this company reminds me a GREAT deal of Soylent– which is a company I’ve reviewed here before. They make bars and shakes with the intention that you would only have to use that one single product in order to survive. Sounds crazy but I’m pretty sure the owner literally said that you could live off Soylent. Now. I atually hated that product but none the less. We are off track. Huel is a funny name, but I think the product is pretty interesting. 

Or is it? 

I look at this product from a formulation standpoint and essentially it’s a vegan protein powder (mostly pea protein), compbined with oat powder. Add in a vitamin mixture and you literally have Huel. Ta-da! It’s really not quite as complex as you would think. It’s interesting to note how different the branding of this product is from the Ground-Based Superfood protein that I reviewed yesterday. I mean. They are both basically pea & brown rice proteins with some other stuff mixed in…but one sits on the Whole Foods shelf while Huel is presented as this food alternative basically. It’s fascinating. Ok. While we are on the topic of ingredients though, why don’t we keep looking at the Huel Macros. 

What is in Huel? And What are the Macros?

Like I said, Huel is comprised mostly of pea protein, brown rice protein, and oats. There is also a little bit of coconut and sunflower oil powder to provide some fat content. The vitamin blend provides the balance of the formulation. And so what do we get from all of that in terms of the macros? Let me show you: 

Calories 500

Total Fat 16g

Sat Fat 3g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 400mg 

Total Carb 47g

Dietary Fiber 9g

Total Sugar 1g

Protein 37g 

Ok so. First thing we notice is that big old 500 calories. That’s quite a chunk of change if you are familiar with protein shakes. I think that’s actually the highest number of calories that I’ve seen in any shake that I’ve ever reviewed. That is because Huel is more of a full meal replacement than simply a supplement- let’s keep that in mind. The other thing to keep in mind is that Huel is 16 full grams of fats per serving. Another big different from other protein shakes. And finally the protein content comes in at 37 grams- which is higher than the standard 20 that we typically see from other proteins. The final macro is the good old carbs– of which there are 47 in each serving of Huel. That also is a wee bit higher than other protein shakes. Like 47 grams higher! So. Ingredient and formula-wise. I do actually like this product for what it is. I don’t often use meal replacements just because I do like to eat so much, but this formula is quite good. I will call out that there are artificial sweeteners in the Huel Nutritional Shake, so if you are trying to avoid those, you should keep this in mind. But yeah. So far I think this is a pretty cool product. Let’s talk about the taste though. 

Does Huel Taste Good? 

So. Huel is very different from other shakes in many ways, as we’ve seen in the Huel Ingredients Review section. But taste and flavoring is another area where Huel has gone off the beaten path a little bit. 

The Huel shakes come in either Vanilla, Vanilla gluten-free, or unsweetened/unflavored, which allows folks to make their own flavor. 

The thing that I like about the Huel vanilla flavor is that it has a decent amount of sweetness, which comes from the artificial sweeteners in it. Some people probably don’t like that, but for me I like the taste of artificial sweeteners. I just do. The only thing I will complain about regarding the vanilla however, is that I don’t really love the actual VANILLA taste. It sounds bizarre but it’s just a very, well, ‘flimsy’ sort of vanilla. Almost has a chlorine-y or chemical-y taste to it that doesn’t rub me quite the right way. But anyways. What else. I did also get a chance to sample some of the flavoring ‘add-ins’ that Huel sells- and a few of them are actually quite good. Basically Huel sells these additional flavoring powders as sort of ‘add-ons’ to the Huel base powder. This allows for more versatility when you want to change up your flavoring regimen. Pretty cool really. But here is how I would rank the flavors of Huel: 

  1. Strawberry
  2. Chocolate
  3. Banana
  4. Cappuccino
  5. Chocolate Mint

Yeah the strawberry Huel is the best flavor of Huel, while the chocolate, banana, and cappuccino are all on about the same level. Chocolate Huel is actually quite tasty though I will say. The chocolate mint is not worth a try. 

And so that’s really it for flavor. The Huel shakes do have an over-arching ‘oat’ flavor that combines with the pea protein flavor to give you something that does have a distinctive flavor on it’s own. You’ll notice the oat taste in Huel shakes right away. I always think pea protein also is quite distinctive so that is something you’ll also note. But overall it’s note such a bad tasting product. I give it an 8/10 on flavoring. Let’s talk about Huel’s branding and packaging now. 

Huel Branding is Kind of Cool. 

I never would say this about Soylent but I think Huel has oddly enough fallen in my good graces from a packaging perspective. It’s an unconventional look for sure, but not an ugly one. In fact I think Huel looks quite handsome in it’s minimalist white bags. The Huel logo is SO basic but it commands attention and conveys legitimacy. All good things when you think about a product as complex as a total replacement for your food. 

In fact the Huel branding and packaging is so minimalist that I hardly even have anything else to say about it. There’s just nothing else going on here. Again, that’s not a bad thing because the ‘less is more’ saying rings true for Huel. I’ll give them a 9/10 on packaging. 

Huel Review Summary

Formula: 9/10 

Flavor: 8/10 

Packaging: 9/10 

Value: 8.6/10

Overall Score: 8.6/10 

Huel is an interesting concept. It really is. I think the product formula is very sound, and the flavoring methodology is pretty cool. It will be interesting to watch this brand evolve. At $60 for 28 servings, I also think Huel is priced fairly, which adds to my overall positive experience and perception of the Huel product. This is one worth trying, for certain.* 

Allie Lewis

By Allie Lewis

Hi, my name is Allie and reviewing products is my hobby. I am passionate about being fit and active, so making a blog about my experience with different products that help me stay healthy made sense to me. Please contact me at any time if you would like to guest post or advertise on-site.