Melanie Leyshon is the editor of Healthy Food Guide magazine. She's a flexitarian and couldn’t get through the week without yogurt and yoga.

You could earn £35,000 a year for a new food trial, but there’s a catch – it’s the Huel powdered food product, not real fuel, for 365 days…


With £26,500 being the average UK wage, a recruitment advert for a person to test a powdered food supplement for a year for £35,000 was bound to catch the eye. Give up commuting and long days in the office for a trip to the kitchen tap to dilute your meals – even this happy health journo was tempted. Until I read the small print…

The tester has to consume the Huel brand of ‘nutritionally-complete powdered food product’ for 12 months – no solids, no cheating, no sweet potato chips! You check in weekly to check no solids pass your lips, and are medically monitored to make sure you don’t expire or die of boredom!

We’d never heard of, until today. Guess you hadn’t either – what a great publicity stunt. We imagine hits to its website went through the roof.

According to the company’s PR blurb, this product has the ‘flavour of vanilla porridge’, but it’s ‘purposely designed not to be too flavoursome to minimise the risk of users overeating’. Lovely. It has been ‘rigorously tested’ and ‘delivers 100% of the government-recommended nutrition that the human body needs, all the while being vegan-friendly with no added sugar’.

But health wise?

Professional dietitians are up in arms. Liquid-only diets not only take the joy out of life and mess with your head and social life, but mean you miss out on the sensual and social aspects of eating and, more crucially, the health benefits that come with getting our nutrients naturally rather than in supplement form.

So what exactly is Huel made up of?

We found this breakdown of ingredients on their website.

Huel_real_food_ingredients_grande (1)

Photo credit:

Research shows us that the body seems to gain more benefits from the nutrients found in mother nature’s food package than from a lab-created supplement. In other words, the nutrients in fresh, natural and tasty foods seem to work together when it comes to protecting our health – something that supplements simply can’t replicate.

The aim of the experiment is not to see if it works for weight loss, as those without a healthy BMI need not apply. Huel wants to know: ‘What would life be like with no solid food?’ I think we know the answer to that one already…