LONDON, United kingdom — Huel has taken the title of the world’s best-selling ‘complete nutrition brand’ after hitting a record-breaking 100 million meals sold, with one Huel meal now consumed every second.
The powdered meal startup, which launched in 2015 is currently sold DTC across 100 countries, demonstrating the global market for products that fundamentally change the way food is made and eaten.
“I keep meaning to find the people who said this idea will never go anywhere,” Huel’s founder Julian Hearn commented.
But, “sales of more than 100 million meals across 100 countries demonstrates the trend towards more convenient and nutritious food choices that don’t cost the earth is here to stay. It has the potential to be as big as the likes of previous challenger brands such as Red Bull who created then dominated a completely new category,” he added.
Having started as a favourite of the time-pressed, bio-hacking Silicon Valley crowd, Huel attributes its continued success to the fact that its meals offer the perfect solution to help people save time and money, improve diet, or sustainably manage weight.
The brand’s mission of making nutritionally complete food with minimum impact on animals and the environment, however, has also gained traction among consumers searching for ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
In a recent survey of over 1,000 consumers in the US and UK, 96% of respondents said they felt their actions, such as donating, recycling or buying ethically, could make a positive difference to the world. A whopping 88%, however, felt that brands needed to do more to help, which is where Huel comes in.
“I set up Huel because I was troubled by the sheer amount of food we waste as humans. I hoped that Huel could go some way to combating the global food crisis we are now facing in offering a functional and convenient food in an alternative format,” Hearn told Welltodo in a previous interview.
More recently he explained that, as more people choose to adopt plant-based eating — whether that be full time or just a few days a week (which is shown to be one of the most effective actions that individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint) — Huel is increasingly helping them achieve this.
Despite strong competition from competitor Soylent, US demand is also helping to scale the business, with sales of Huel meals jumping by 50% in America, in 2019.
The UK currently sits as Huel’s largest market, however, the brand predicts that the US will soon overtake it, following a year of incredible growth that’s helped to boost the company’s annual turnover, which sat at £40 million last year.
With continued expansion into retail also a priority — following Huel’s initial launch into UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s last year — Hearn hopes to establish more on-the-go buying occasions that can’t be achieved via Huel’s website, boosting revenue streams further.
New DTC products, such as Huel Black Edition, a core powder formula containing half the level of carbohydrate and 40g of plant-based protein are also enabling the brand to target new demographics based on different lifestyle needs. The most successful launch for Huel to date, it already accounts for 28% of all its orders.
“As we grow and expand, we need to adapt products to provide more flexibility, meet taste preferences, as well as accommodate lifestyle goals,” Hearn told Welltodo.
By doing so, he’s confident that Huel can sustain its growth and leverage the enormous opportunities present in the multi-trillion dollar global food market.