European Business: Huel is used for replacing a meal. Is your final goal to replace food?
James Collier: We don’t think of Huel to replace a meal or a meal replacement. Huel is food and provides a complete meal. We understand that 'traditional' meals are enjoyable however there are times when it's not possible to get access to a nutritious meal when you’re running out the door, on the road or at work. Huel offers a convenient and healthy solution with nutrients to have, for one or maybe two meals a day when you're short on time.
European Business: The powder ingredients seem artificial. How do your shakes provide essential nutrients and vitamins the body needs?
James Collier: 98% of Huel is natural. It is based on six main ingredients: fine powdered oats, flaxseed, peas and rice proteins as well as sunflower powder which is like oil and coconut MCTs. MCTs are a type of natural fat founded in coconut and are a very healthy source of energy. These are the main ingredients. On top of that, Huel includes a bulk of vitamins and minerals which are derived from natural ingredients as well. For some of the vitamins and minerals the nutritionally optimal form maybe not be the natural form. Indeed, the form is often the form people are used to, for example, as in the case of vitamin C supplements, Huel contains the same source: ascorbic acid.
"Huel is complete food and not a meal replacement." James Collier
European Business: What about the calories?
James Collier: Think of Huel as a food and you can have as much or as little as you want according to your appetite or diet. If you feel hungry, you can have a bit more. So, the calories can be what you want them to be.
European Business: Having a meal together with friends is good for your social life. Doesn´t consuming Huel mean a loss of enjoying cooking and eating dinner or lunch?
James Collier: Some people enjoy cooking, some people don’t. I get social aspect of cooking or eating together aspect. I like a full traditional meal as well but sometimes when I am busy, Huel feeds me because it is a quick meal I can grab. Huel is nutritious convenient food. If I wouldn’t work for Huel, I would have Huel anyway. I would have it as a meal during the week, probably not at the weekend when I like socialising a bit more.
"With the climate change and the increasing population to 9.5 billion in 2050, it is tough to live sustainably." James Collier
European Business: More and more people live the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. What do you think, how will we nourish in future?
James Collier: That’s a good question. More and more people choose the plant-based way of eating. I wouldn’t call that vegan, because vegan is more like a lifestyle. A plant-based diet is for having less meat and animal products in your diet. With the climate change and the increasing population to 9.5 billion in 2050, it is tough to live sustainably. My vision is: have less meat in your diet. You don’t have to cut it out completely. Evolutionally we didn’t have as much meat as we have now. But if you decide to live completely vegan, that’s amazing.
European Business: What is your personal tip for preparing the perfect Huel shake that you can take with you to work?
James Collier: I just put the powder into a shaker and mix it with cold water. Some people prefer to mix with a plant-based milk such as almond milk. I think it's best to mix Huel powder with cold water. We do also offer Huel Natural Flavour Boosts which people add to mainly the vanilla and original to change things up. You you could also blend Huel with natural fruit such as berries or banana. For your information, we also offer the Huel Ready-to-drink which is even more convenient as you can take it from the fridge and go. It's available in three flavours, and as it's nutritionally complete, it can be much better than grabbing a sandwich on the go. Huel ready-to-drink is also available online, however it has just launched in the UK in Sainsbury's retail stores. For more information and to purchase Huel visit huel.com.
Interview: Vera Gaidies | Photos: Huel