Huel modernizes mission with botanical Daily Greens supplement

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

© Huel
© Huel

Related tags Huel botanical botanical extracts

Huel has "bent its mission statement" to launch Daily Greens, its first powdered supplement, which aims to fill nutritional gaps identified in competing products on the market.

The new product is a blend of botanical ingredients, including antioxidants, phytonutrients, adaptogens and plant-based proteins, intended to be mixed with water and consumed daily to provide 91 vitamins, minerals and whole food-sourced ingredients.  

From meal replacements to supplements​ 

Huel has traditionally focused on complete food products and meal replacements but has branched out with the launch of Daily Greens and the Daily A-Z Vitamins drink (introduced in 2023). 

In response to the growing interest in supplements over the past two decades, the company says it recognized the need for options in a fast-paced world with suboptimal food choices that lack sufficient essential nutrients. 

"We have sort of bent our mission statement slightly to make these products, but as long as we’re producing a nutritionally-sound product that's going to benefit people and their health, that works well for me," James Collier, Huel’s lead nutritionist and co-founder, told NutraIngredients.

While the new products target a different audience than the typical Huel consumer, he said: "consumers trust Huel’s quality and attention to detail, which I think is a consideration in purchasing our Daily Greens as opposed to competitors". 

Making claims​ 

Daily Greens is promoted as an immune system booster; a claim Huel is legally allowed to make based on the micronutrient levels in the product. But as Collier believes, claims shouldn’t only abide by legality in marketing a product. 

"There's legal, and there's also honest," he said. "We don't market Daily Greens to be a cure-all like some brands advertise their products, but it provides what people are lacking in their diets."

Striking a balance between effective marketing and transparent communication is crucial, he noted, and ensuring that potential customers are informed about the product's benefits without resorting to misleading tactics. 

"Nobody's going to buy a product if they don’t know about the benefits, but you've got to be honest with people. Don’t bullsh*t," Collier said.

Competition in the market

Huel identified a nutritional gap in competitors' products, specifically in D3 and K2 quantities, so made sure to incorporate additional K2 (in MK7 form), key micronutrients and omega-3s into its Daily Greens.  

Additionally, some companies include excessive amounts of some micronutrients, Collier explained. 

"They have pretty massive amounts of some added micronutrients, and it made me consider why," he said. "We didn't want to beat them in quantity, and sometimes more is not better." 

A lot of the micronutrients in Huel’s product are naturally occurring from the ingredients, so there is less need for added vitamins and minerals, Collier added, noting that this has enabled Huel to offer a competitive price for its Daily Greens at £1.50 a serving, less than half the cost of competitors' products. 

Finally, taste was a key driver as Huel strove to design a better-tasting product that that offered by its competitors.  

"Reviews suggest our product tastes better and, being both tastier and more affordable with added nutrients, we believe our Daily Greens product appeals to a broader consumer base previously unconsidered for such supplements,” Collier said.

When mixed with water, the powder predominately tastes of sweet but tart green apple, cinnamon and galangal.

"People stay for the taste at the end of the day," Collier said. "We work in partnership with three different flavor houses, all very collaborative, and they know the science behind the natural flavor systems."

Product development

In collaboration with Huel’s new product development team, Collier worked on many iterations of the formula to optimize both nutrition and taste, ensuring the inclusion of key ingredients like fruits high in vitamin C.

Despite the rigorous testing, he noted that there are always improvements that could be made. Even after the product experienced early success and demand outstripped supply in America, he said the company still needs another six months worth of data to see what is working for the consumer. 

"Our product is now a serious market contender," he added. "But we wouldn't have launched it if we didn’t know we could do that."

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