Plants have been with us pretty much since the beginning of life on earth. Now, due to global food shortages and a desire on the part of many eaters to consume less animal protein, plants are becoming increasingly a part of our diet. Back in 2017, AppleEats’s Margaret Whitfield conducted a taste test of faux gras, a foie gras substitute. In 2018, we told you about White Castle’s “Impossible Slider,” so named because it is 100% meatless. Earlier this month, we informed readers about a new line of plant-based frozen delights now marketed by ice cream moguls Baskin-Robbins.
Now we’re back to report on the latest “plant” food. It is a nutrient-dense beverage made from plants that constitutes a meal in a glass. Huel contains all 13 essential vitamins, plus a wide array of minerals, making it the perfect meal whether consumed on-the-go, at home, in school, or at the office.
Available either in powder form with a 1-year shelf life or as a ready-to-drink beverage, Huel produces zero food waste and contains no lactose, no soy, and no GMO. It is also affordable, with a base price of $2.35 for a 400-calorie nutritionally complete meal. Bulk and subscription discounts can bring the cost down as low as $1.95 per meal.
So the big question: How does it taste? Although the company recently introduced a ready-to-drink chocolate version our panel of ten taste testers were provided with access only to the basic vanilla version of the drink, along with a half-dozen or so “flavor boost” packets, more on which presently.
The consensus was that vanilla Huel, which is best drunk chilled, has a mild flavor (panel members into weight training described it as tasting like a protein shake) and the texture of a smoothie.
Some panel members found the product lacking in sweetness, a condition that can be ameliorated through the addition of any of the ten aforementioned flavor boost packets (chocolate, strawberry, banana, caramel, and more).
Huel is now the fastest growing meal replacement beverage worldwide, having sold over 50 million meals across 80 countries, so the company must be doing something right.