Huel launches ready-to-drink banana flavour

Meal replacement giant Huel has added a new banana flavour to its ready-to-drink bottle range.

Now available from the brand’s online store either by the bottle or the case, the new piece of NPD was announced this afternoon, with Lee Boakes, head of NPD and innovation at Huel, taking to LinkedIn to share the news.

“Countless hours in our development kitchen and the end result? A delicious, decedent and smooth RTD [ready-to-drink] that has a fantastic velvety texture with unmistakably ripe, yet creamy, sweet banana notes to make this a real knockout breakfast/on the go occasion,” he said.

“Thanks to everyone on the project team for this one but an especially big shoutout to our very own NPD whizz [Huel’s senior NPD executive] Andri Neocleous for spearheading this project.”

The new flavour joins the existing chocolate, vanilla and berry options, with a Huel insider telling PURE NPD that banana flavour was a logical next step for the range as there is a clear ‘milkshake’ direction with the flavours.

Huel launched their Ready to Drink range, which offers their signature 26 essential vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre and phytonutrients in easy bottle form, in November 2018.

That’s just over two years ago, with Huel saying that their fans “have been asking for this [banana flavour] for as long as we have made ready-to-drink.”

Curious it took them so long, but then again, has there ever been a better time for Huel to go bananas?

Banana was a standout flavour in 2020 due to the banana bread boom that swept the UK, as part of the lockdown home baking trend, with PURE NPD trends analyst Hannah Atton also citing nostalgia and comfort food as key drivers.

“The idea of a tasty, foamy banana milkshake ties into nostalgia and comfort food trends that we’re seeing due to lockdown,” says Hannah.

“These trends are moving into numerous categories; bakery, dairy and protein powders, giving the opportunity to reinvent classic offerings.

“Along with the banana being synonymous with fitness (which is high on the agenda with gyms still shut), the lockdown banana-bread baking movement has further elevated the British love of comforting flavours – with banana obviously one of the frontrunners!”

Tom Gatehouse
Tom is the editor of Pure NPD Insights. He previously spent three years at William Reed’s food insight platform Food Spark, was the co-founder and editor of The Cream, is a former Restaurant magazine columnist and has had chef training in fifty of the best restaurants in the UK and Europe.

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