UK meal replacement brand Huel, whose founder Julian Hearn this week downplayed rumours of an IPO following a surge in sales, is to launch its “Smart Food” products onto the retail market in Germany.
The brand famous for its plant-based nutrition drinks was valued at $560M in 2022 amid a $24 million investment round which included the actor Idris Elba, and reported sales of 270 million meals. Rumours of the company’s potential listing have circulated since 2021 and this week Hearn has noted to press that such a move would not be imminent due to current market conditions, despite the recent sales surge.
German retail launch
In Germany, the market for smart food has grown by around 200% to around 94 million euros in the last three years. The Huel concept has been known in Germany since 2016, when the company launched its offer online. Germany is now Huel’s third largest sales market worldwide thanks to online trading alone and grew by 42% in the last financial year 2022/2023 compared to the previous year.
Now the British brand is launching even more broadly and is bringing its vegan drinking meals to German brick-and-mortar stores for the first time, launching with a ready-to-drink range in four flavors: Chocolate, Berry, Iced Coffee Caramel, and Vanilla.
Supermarket chain REWE has been the first supermarket chain to list its range as of September. Huel is also gradually filling the shelves at Tegut and Bünting with its plant-based drinking meal. By the end of the year, Huel will expand to other retailers, including Quick-Commerce, and in 2024 the brand will also be found in German drugstores.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds!” says Julian Hearn. “On the one hand, it is hard to believe how well Huel® has developed since 2015. On the other hand, I have always known that we are tackling a very real problem by helping our customers to easily eat a balanced and sustainable diet, even when they are pressed for time or on the go. We are an established player in online trading in Germany. Now we are focusing on retail.”
Further information: de.huel.com