Speaking exclusively to Nutraingredients.com, Boakes said: “Over the last six years we have successfully focused on meeting our consumers unmet needs whilst keeping up with the ever-changing world that we live in, and you’ll see our NPD continue to do that - focusing on occasions of use that solve a problem and improving current products through existing product development.”
Although the industry has faced challenges in the current global climate, Huel has continued virtually unscathed, according to Boakes. However, recent events have expediated a shift in consumer habits for the better - with plant-based dietary decisions moving “in the right direction”.
Boakes will feature as a speaker at the upcoming Sports & Active Nutrition Summit – Europe, hosted by NutraIngredients, 5th-7th October in Amsterdam. For more information, please click HERE.
Boakes said the trend for plant-based nutrition is championed by restaurants, as well as health and environmental-conscious consumers, and characterised by an obvious “heroing” of other ingredients as the focal point, rather than meat.
“A plant-rich diet is best for the health of your body and the planet. Upping your plant-based intake can half your food-related emissions also. Switching to one plant-based meal a day saves around 35% of greenhouse gas emissions. Two plant-based meals a day saves around 50%,” he stated.
Moreover, health is front of mind in the aftermath of Covid as it reaffirmed the importance of personal health, Boakes added.
“Health is an arbitrary term, it's subjective and the consumers that define this by 'longevity of life and current state of my mental health' are the consumers that will indeed prioritise good nutrition from their fuel source, food.”
The environment and sustainable attributes are important to consumers and must be considered in NPD to increase brand loyalty, Boakes said.
This is why sustainability is front and centre at Huel, which develops and promotes sustainable nutrition that it believes resonates with a global audience.
“Customers want to make more informed decisions and Huel will be making carbon emissions of its products available as part of our sustainability strategy,” he said.
Huel’s Hot and Savoury range is a perfect example of the delivery format consumer are looking for, Boakes stated. The complete meal is 100% nutritionally complete and comprises plant-based whole foods and natural ingredients.
Boakes will address the complex struggles around product launches in his talk at the Sports & Active Nutrition Summit in Amsterdam in October and provide tips on effective strategy.
“Deciphering between subjectivity, senior stakeholder opinions and rationalising the ‘Why’ there's a GAP in the market is quickly becoming a sure-fire way on how not to justify innovation,” he said.
Instead the focus should be on whether there is a market in the gap and identifying the unmet consumer needs; on prioritising the customer rather than internal objectives.
“This logic can help ensure you streamline launches to buck the 80:20 rule & thus achieve euphoria of product excellence,” he said.
Huel ‘nutritionally complete food’ contains 26 essential vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, fibre, and phytonutrients. All products are 100% vegan and made from plant-based sustainable ingredients, such as oats, pea, rice, flaxseed, coconut, and sunflower.
The company uses renewable energy sources, has a low carbon footprint, and uses multi-use packaging ‘wherever possible’. In addition, it aims to ensure all packaging is 100% recyclable by 2025 and recently introduced ready-to-drink bottles made from 51% recycled ingredients.
Products include Powder original complete meal, Black Edition high-protein meals, Complete Protein vegan protein powder and snacks, Hot & Savoury meals, Ready-to-drink, and bars.
“All our products are there to help customers have choice and allow them to utilise Huel into their day-to-day life that works best for them,” Boakes said.