Huel Black Edition (1)

Source: Huel

Huel has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Agency for making “misleading” money-saving claims about its meal replacement products.

Two complaints had been made to the ASA about a paid-for Facebook ad, seen on 29 August 2022 and 6 September 2022, which stated: “Huel helps keep money in your pockets. An entire month’s worth of Huel works out at less than £50.”

The watchdog investigated whether the claims of the ad were “irresponsible and misleading”.

It also looked into a page on Huel’s website. Headed ‘Five ways to save money on food’, it encouraged consumers to “embrace processed food and meal replacements”.

It stated: “Huel is another great example of processed food being able to help you save money on food.”

The ASA considered consumers would view the ads in the context of the financial backdrop.

As a result, web users who viewed the Facebook ad “would likely compare the cost of a month’s supply of Huel, eaten for every meal, to the cost of a month’s supply of ‘traditional’ meals”, it added

The ad did not make “clear to consumers that the cost saving was only based on consuming one Huel product a day” and “was not the equivalent to a month’s worth of food covering all meals”.

The money-saving claim was therefore dubbed by the ASA “irresponsible and misleading”.

In the case of Huel’s website, the watchdog ruled the text “implied to consumers that the product was being used to replace a ‘traditional’ meal”.

The ASA told Huel, whose core 500ml drink is £3.50 in Tesco, that the ads must not appear again.

The ‘future food’ brand “regretted any confusion that may have been perceived” and “would be taking steps to remove or amend the ads”, a spokeswoman told The Grocer.

“We take our responsibilities under the CAP code seriously and when brought to our attention we pulled the ads and removed the article from our website.

“Since day one, Huel’s mission has been to make nutritionally complete, convenient and affordable food and we will continue to do so,” she added.