huel product

The European manufacturer of plant-based food Huel managed to raise $24 million during its latest funding round led by Highland Europe with a little help from one of its most loyal customers – the British actor Idris Elba.

This latest funding round valued Huel at $560 million resulting in a $200 million boost compared to its previous capital injection, which was also led by Highland in 2018.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Hearn, who is also the CEO of the plant-based food manufacturer, stated that the company’s top line has been growing at a rate of 40% annually with the firm currently selling around $170 million every year.

What is Huel and What Does Idris Elba Love About it?

Huel was founded in 2015 by Julian Hearn. Its vegan meals contain 26 essential vitamins, proteins, and other positive components as per the firm’s website. Its most popular products are nutrition bars, ready-to-drink meals, and protein shakes.

Huel uses ingredients including coconut, sunflower, and rice to manufacture its vegan products. The firm’s products are designed as plausible substitutes for junk food and highly-processed ready-to-eat meals. To achieve this, Huel has created substitutes that are also ready to be eaten. Its products come in different presentations including bars, shakes, and hot meals that can be cooked in less than five minutes.

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Since the company was created, Huel has sold 200 million meals in more than 100 countries. The United States has become one of its most important markets with the help of “Hueligans” – consumers who have become the most loyal fans of the brand.

Idris Elba, the famous actor who played Heimdall in the saga of Thor – the Nordic Marvel superhero – was involved in the funding round alongside his wife, Sabrina Dhowre as they are both avid consumers of the company’s products.

The actor told the tech magazine that he got to know the products while he was preparing to play his role in the MCU movie.

“I believe in their mission to deliver nutritionally complete food, sustainably. We have some exciting projects coming up and I look forward to spreading the message and raising awareness around healthy, low carbon food”, Elba said in a written statement.

Huel reportedly plans to use the funds from this latest round to keep expanding its footprint in the United States as the company’s consumer base is rapidly growing in the North American country.

Investments in Vegan Startups in Europe are Getting Hotter and Hotter

Startups in the vegan food space have been growing rapidly in the past few years as consumers have become more aware of the benefits of consuming this type of food instead of industrial-processed meals.

Huel was toying with the idea of going public a year ago but the latest deterioration in the macroeconomic environment may have discouraged the firm from pursuing this endeavor.

“We are going to keep innovating with new products, and are really proud of where we’re heading. We’re now the business that we hope can be a truly global brand”, CEO Hearn told TechCrunch.

In late October, Heura – a Spanish plant-based food manufacturer – raised $20 million from various private investors including soccer stars Sergi Busquets and Sergi Roberto to keep funding their expansion in the European region.

Other competitors in the region for Huel include Planted, The Curators, Beyond Meat (a strong player in both the US and overseas), Better Nature, and Jack and Bry.

The faux-meat market in Europe could be worth over $3 billion by 2025 according to data from The Vegan Society. The largest markets by revenue within the region are the United Kingdom, also the largest for Huel, Germany, Italy, and France.

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