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08th Nov 2019

The founder of Huel explains his vision for the future of food

Wil Jones

Brought to you by Open Money

“If we continue to eat the food we currently have, there’s a big problem”

Julian Hearn, the founder of powdered food product Huel, is the latest entrepreneur to sit down with John Amaechi OBE on the Pioneers podcast.

Hearn launched Huel, intended for busy, time-poor people, a little over four years ago. Revenue reached £14.1 million in 2017, with the aim to create a £1 billion business over the next four years.

He has been quoted as saying that he thinks “Huel can be the food of the future,” and on the episode he explains why he believes that’s a real mission statement and not just a good marketing tagline.

“As we grow from a population of seven billion to nine billion, we’ve got a problem,” says Hearn. “If we continue to eat the food we currently have, there’s a big problem.”

“So we do need to find different ways.”

“The majority of the Western world uses meat as one of the primary sources of nutrition. Meat is incredibly inefficient. You have to grow food, and give it to an animal, and most of it comes out of its back end, wasted.”

“I didn’t realise when I first started Huel, but more greenhouse gases are produced by livestock production than by all the cars, planes and trains in the world combined.”

“So we need to get nutrition a different way. And powdered food is a logical way to do that.”

“It is probably the oldest method of preserving food. As soon as you dry something, you take away water. If there’s no water, there’s no bacteria.”

“We’ve got pea protein in ours. If you took a fresh pea, it’s got seven days, fourteen days life. If you dry a pea, it’s got a year, two year, three year life. So why wouldn’t you do that?”

Elsewhere in the episode, Julian explains why he was motivated to leave the rat race, and how he responds to haters on social media.

Catch the full episode now on YouTube and on your podcast provider.