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Best meal replacement shakes UK 2022: Reviews & comparison

A selection of Purition whole food nutrition samples, with a person holding a smoothie glass.

We’ve tried our competitors’ products and taken a deep dive into the quality of their ingredients to bring you a complete review & comparison of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK in 2022.

Nutritionally complete meal replacement shakes are a tempting concept. Time is precious and we’re all looking for meals that are quick, healthy, tasty and don’t break the bank or harm the planet; as well as simple, healthy and effective ways to lose weight.

Soylent, based in America (est. 2013), was the original ‘nutritionally complete’ meal replacement shake. This idea was quickly copied by Huel in the UK (2014) and later Feed in France, Jimmy Joy in the Netherlands and YFood in Germany. Each of their products promise to meet all of your nutritional needs and aid weight loss, whilst saving you time and money.

It all sounds good on paper, but are complete meal replacement shakes actually bonafide healthy? Are they really a more optimal way to get the nutrition you need? Plus, how do they compare to Purition (that’s us), who champion a more natural, real food approach to meal replacement shakes?

Here’s our review of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK in 2022.

We will be basing all ingredients and nutritional information on the following meal replacement shakes and flavours…

  • YFood powder in Smooth Vanilla
  • Huel Powder v3.0 in Vanilla
  • Feed Original in Vanilla
  • Jimmy Joy Plenny Shake v3.0 in Vanilla
  • Purition Original in Macadamia & Vanilla
  • Purition Vegan in Vanilla

Meal replacement shakes review & comparison

Purition sample sachet of Chocolate Orange.

1. Meal replacement shake ingredients

Key ingredients

Top 2 or 3 ingredients that make up 70% of the formula
YFoodSkimmed milk powder, vegetable oil powder70%+
HuelPowdered oats, pea protein 70%+
FeedPowdered oats, vegetable oil powder70%+
Jimmy JoyPowdered oats, soy flour, sunflower oil powder70%+
Purition OriginalWhey protein isolate, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and coconut72%
Purition VeganPea, sunflower*, hemp & pumpkin* protein (*organic), flax seeds, coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds71%

Powdered oats and oils make up the bulk of most popular meal replacement shakes, but they are some of the cheapest, most industrialised and (in the case of powdered oils) least nutritious ingredients on the planet. No health professional would genuinely say that it is healthy to make these refined, ultra-processed ingredients a part of your everyday diet.


“There’s nothing wrong with oats”, we hear you say. True, but these companies use powdered oats, not whole oats. Whole oats have a low glycemic index, meaning they digest slowly and release energy slowly. Powdered oats are heavily processed, which increases the oat’s glycemic index, meaning they’ll digest quickly and could spike your blood sugars.

Plus, with some of these powders costing over £20 per kg, why not just buy your oats whole, from £1 per kg, from any UK supermarket?

Powdered oil

Powdered oils like sunflower or vegetable oil and MCT powder (from coconuts) are highly refined seed oils, mainly from China. Because they are powdered, they digest and enter the bloodstream quickly, which may increase hunger and promote overeating.

Artificial ingredients

Non-food ingredients usedArtificial sweetener(s)?
YFoodMaltodextrin, powdered oils, modified starch, synthetic vitamin & mineral blendYes – sucralose
HuelPowdered oils, synthetic micronutrient blend, xanthan gum, sunflower lecithinYes – sucralose
Feed Powdered oils, silicon dioxide, modified starch, glucose syrup, synthetic vitamin & mineral salts, artificial flavourings, maltodextrin, guar gum, xanthan gumYes – sucralose
Jimmy JoyPowdered oils, synthetic vitamin & mineral mixYes – sucralose
PuritionNoneNo  a small amount of Stevia to balance flavours

Most of the meal replacement shakes on our list are made up of unnatural gels, gums, artificial flavours and synthetic sweeteners and nutrients. This does have some advantages, such as reduced costs, lower-calorie and sugar content and often a smoother, sweeter taste.

However, science has only scratched the surface of food composition with regards to how it relates to human health, so to believe that a powdered meal in a bag made from ultra-processed ingredients paired with added artificial extras can replace or replicate ‘real’ whole foods is worryingly wide off the mark.

In contrast, Purition refuses to dabble with any gums, artificial ingredients, emulsifiers, additives or preservatives which aren’t natural or healthy. We know we don’t know better than mother nature, which is why we look to fields, orchards and trees for our ingredients, rather than science labs.

2. Meal replacement shakes nutrition

Nutritional values per meal

Meal size (g)Calories (kcal)Protein (g)Fibre (g)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Sugar (g)
Jimmy Joy96400208.215433.2
Purition Original4019815.66.2143.41
Purition Vegan4018715.17.11230.9

Spot the difference in recommended meal size? You might wonder why we (Purition) suggest a serving size of 40–50g (around 200kcal), while some of our competitor’s meal replacement shakes recommend a serving size of 100g+ (around 400kcal).

The truth is, the ultra-refined (powdered) carbs and fats add calories to our competitor’s products, without adding any valuable nutrition. If 70% of the recipe is made up of refined ingredients, it’s not going to fill you up for very long! High in calories, but low in natural nutrition – the very definition of junk food!

Although Purition is a 40g serving, 100% of the calories come from natural, whole food ingredients. Whole foods are filling and nutrient-dense, which is why a 40–50g (200kcal) serving of Purition is comparable to a 100g+ (400kcal) serving of a highly-processed shake. It’s nutrient-density that fills you up, not the calorie number on the packet. Trust us, you couldn’t eat 100g of Purition, even if you tried.

Purition is low in carbs and sugar, but high in protein, fibre and healthy fats from seeds and nuts (not refined oils). This means it won’t increase blood sugars, won’t introduce sugar cravings and won’t stimulate insulin production (the fat-storage hormone), but will provide sustained energy throughout the day.

Synthetic vs natural nutrition

Here’s the difference between natural and synthetic nutrients.

  • Natural nutrients are obtained from natural, whole food sources and typically have high bioavailability
  • Synthetic nutrients are usually made artificially and often have low bioavailability

Bioavailability = the ability of a drug or other substance to be absorbed and used by the body

Contains synthetic vitamins?Nutritionally ‘complete’?
Jimmy JoyYesYes

Most nutritionally complete meal replacement shakes add synthetic vitamins and minerals blends to their products. On paper, synthetic nutrients are almost chemically identical to those found in whole foods.

But your body can tell the difference between synthetic and natural nutrients, even if a microscope can’t. Natural nutrients contain a huge range of phytonutrients that work together to support health in ways that we are still discovering, which synthetic vitamins lack entirely.

For this reason, synthetic nutrients are often poorly absorbed by the body. Natural vitamin E, for example, is absorbed twice as efficiently as synthetic vitamin E. Often, your body will excrete synthetic nutrients as waste. That’s money straight down the drain… yep, literally.

Purition doesn’t use any synthetic vitamins or minerals. We’re not nutritionally complete, but we don’t need to be. Enjoying Purition once or twice a day, combined with healthy, home-cooked meals, will provide you with a variety of naturally occurring nutrients from a diverse range of real whole foods. And that’s all the nutrition you need for optimal health!

3. Meal replacement shake pricing & samples

Price per meal

Price single purchase (no subscription) including deliveryMin UK order value to achieve lowest price
YFood£1.76 per 85g (milk powder and vegetable oil powder)Min £30 (17 meals)
Huel£1.47 per 100g (oats and pea protein)Min £50 (34 meals)
Feed£3.04 per 115g (oats and vegetable oil powder)Min £61 (€70) (20 meals)
Jimmy Joy£1.29 per 96g (oats and soy flour)Min £51.68 (30 meals)
Purition£1.40 per 40g (whole ground seeds and nuts plus whey protein isolate/plant protein)Min £67.20 (48 meals)

Most UK meal replacement shake brands are cashing in on blending cheap oats, cheap protein and cheap sunflower or vegetable oil powder, blended with synthetic vitamins and minerals.

This is essentially a bunch of low cost, industrially processed, largely unhealthy ingredients, sold to you for a very high price.


Can you buy samples first?
YFoodNo, min order is £30
HuelNo, min order is £50
FeedNo, min order is £61
Jimmy JoyNo, min order is £29.58
PuritionYes, 6 flavour samples for £15 with free delivery

Interestingly, you can’t try most of the best meal replacement shakes in the UK without spending upwards of £30 and splurging on a large order.

Purition doesn’t have a high minimum order value, which means you can try before you buy, without the risk of wasting a large sum of money. We believe that this is ethical commerce. As a plus, it also reduces food waste, in case you don’t enjoy a particular flavour.

Our sample boxes, which are now packed in recyclable paper, cost just £15 for 6 or £24 for 12, with free UK delivery. You can pick any combination of flavours within your Discovery Box, giving you the chance to find your favourite flavour before committing to a larger order.

4. Meal replacement shakes environment & sustainability

Origin of ingredients

Ingredient origin
HuelTheir website says that most of their ingredients originate from Canada, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China. Several ingredients are shipped from India to China for processing and then back to the UK
FeedUndisclosed, but we expect most ingredients will be from China, or processed in China
Jimmy JoyUndisclosed, but we expect most ingredients will be from China or processed in China
PuritionAround 70-75% from the European Union (45% of which are from the UK). Nuts from the USA and coconuts from Sri Lanka.

When taking a deep dive into our competitor’s websites, we noticed that ingredient origin is rarely disclosed.

But our guess is that it’s likely to involve several thousand food miles and a load of shipping containers. Let’s not forget that importing significantly adds to a product’s carbon footprint; an uncomfortable thought if you’re environmentally aware.

Purition is committed to sourcing high-quality ingredients, responsibly. Around 70-75% come from the European Union (45% of which are from the UK). When we do travel further afield, it’s for ingredients like sulphate free Sri Lankan coconuts that give our range an extra edge over our powdered peers.


Product packagingDelivery packaging
YFoodNot recyclableCardboard
HuelNot recyclableCardboard
FeedNot recyclableCardboard
Jimmy JoyWebsite says ‘Recyclable packaging’, but it falls under recycle code 7, which is classified as ‘other’ plastics and is not actually recyclable in the UKCardboard
PuritionAll 40g sachets packaged in recyclable paper packaging. Investigating sustainable options for larger packs.Cardboard – 100% of our cardboard is from recycled material

The future of food is sustainability and that is exactly why we believe that all of our competitors should be working on new packaging and delivery options to ensure a happy, healthy future for all. Unfortunately, while most of these formulations are vegan, we see few signs of further conscious commerce.

Best meal replacement shake reviews

A preson in the kitchen pouring a smoothie into a glass from a blender cup.

Next, we take a deep dive into 4 of the best meal replacement shake players to show you how Purition compares in terms of quality, nutrition, health and price. This is a fact-based comparison, so we’ve left out the subjective factors of taste and texture.

Purition vs Huel


Purition VeganHuel
Protein Blend: (European Pea, Pumpkin, Sunflower & Hemp protein), Golden Linseed (Flax), Sunflower Kernels, ALMONDS, Coconut, Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica), Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Psyllium Husk, Apple Pectin, Vanilla Pods (1%), Natural Flavouring, Sweetener – Steviol glycosides (Stevia)Oats, Pea Protein, Ground Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, Tapioca Flour, Natural Vanilla Flavouring, Sunflower Oil Powder, Micronutrient Blend (Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Corn Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin (as Nicotinamide), Vitamin E (as D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Lutein, Lycopene, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-D-Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Riboflavin, Vitamin A (as Retinyl Acetate), Zeaxanthin, Vitamin K2 (as Menaquinone-7), L-Methylfolate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D2, Plant-Derived Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol), Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin) Medium-Chain Triglyceride Powder (from Coconut), Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum, Acerola Cherry Powder, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin, Kombucha Powder, Sweetener: Sucralose, Bacillus Coagulans.

Nutrition & price per serving

Purition VeganHuel
Naturally nutritious. A 40g serving of Purition Vanilla contains 187kcal, 15.1g protein, 12g healthy fats, 3g Carbohydrate (0.9g sugar) and 7.1g of fibre and will cost you £1.40.Contains synthetic vitamins and minerals. A 100g serving contains 400 kcal, 29g protein, 13g fat, 38g carbohydrate (2.3g sugar) and 7g fibre and will cost you £1.76.

Huel review

Ingredients & health

⭐⭐ Huel is made with low-grade base ingredients. You can’t just make an industrialised powder made healthy by adding in synthetic vitamins and minerals. While some of Huel’s ingredients are at least derived from whole foods, they’ve all been heavily processed. In reality, there are no fresh green peas, no sunflower seeds, no coconut, no whole oats and no whole flax seeds in Huel, only heavily-processed, powdered versions. We give them the 2nd star, as their choice of synthetic vitamins and minerals are of better quality than the rest.

Value for money

⭐⭐⭐ Huel costs less than some of the other copycat products, at £1.47 per meal, or £1.32 on subscription.


⭐ The company is 100% vegan and makes some big sustainability claims. However, they still pack their products in non-recyclable plastic film and use millions of single-use plastic bottles to pack their ready to drink bottles.

Purition vs YFood


Purition VeganHuel
Protein Blend: (European Pea, Pumpkin, Sunflower & Hemp protein), Golden Linseed (Flax), Sunflower Kernels, ALMONDS, Coconut, Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica), Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Psyllium Husk, Apple Pectin, Vanilla Pods (1%), Natural Flavouring, Sweetener – Steviol glycosides (Stevia)milk protein, vegetable oils (sunflower oil, rapeseed oil), chicory root fibres, coconut milk, gluten-free oat fibres, modified starch, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B1, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, magnesium oxide, ferric diphosphate, zinc sulphate, cupric sulphate, manganese sulphate, sodium selenite, chromium (lll) chloride, sodium molybdate, potassium chloride, potassium iodide, potassium citrate, maltodextrin, sweetener sucralose; natural flavourings

Nutrition & price per serving

Purition VeganYFood
Naturally nutritious. A 40g serving of Purition Vanilla contains 187kcal, 15.1g protein, 12g healthy fats, 3g Carbohydrate (0.9g sugar) and 7.1g of fibre and will cost you £1.40.Contains synthetic vitamins and minerals. An 85g serving contains 400 kcal, 29g protein, 18g fat, 30g carbohydrate (15g sugar) and 7.1g fibre and will cost you £1.47.

YFood review

Ingredients & health

⭐ Y-food claims to be a ‘healthy balanced meal’, but drinking vegetable oil powder is on no health professionals healthy list. We estimate that skimmed milk powder and vegetable oil powder make up at least 75% of the ingredients. These are very low-cost ingredients that offer little in terms of health benefits or nutrition, hence the need for a shedload of added vitamins.

Value for money

⭐⭐ You’re paying £1.76 per meal (or £1.49 on subscription) for milk powder and vegetable oil with added vitamins and minerals.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ YFood’s Powder bag is made from HDPE plastic film, which is not recycled kerbside, but you can take it to a local supermarket and put it in with their carrier bag recycling. Their products are delivered in 100% recyclable cardboard packaging. We feel that this makes YFood a more eco-friendly option than most of our other competitors.

Purition vs Jimmy Joy


Purition VeganJimmy Joy
Protein Blend: (European Pea, Pumpkin, Sunflower & Hemp protein), Golden Linseed (Flax), Sunflower Kernels, ALMONDS, Coconut, Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica), Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Psyllium Husk, Apple Pectin, Vanilla Pods (1%), Natural Flavouring, Sweetener – Steviol glycosides (Stevia)oat flour (39%), soy flour (26%), sunflower oil, rice flour, soy protein isolate (13%), inulin, ground golden flaxseed (3%), vitamin- and mineral mix (potassium salts of orthophosphoric acid, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, choline hydrogen, magnesium salts of orthophosphoric acid, L-ascorbic acid, vitamin K2 – menachinon, DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, vitamin B3 – nicotin-amide, ferric pyrophosphate, zinc gluconate, D-calcium pantothenate, manganese sulphate, vitamin B1 – thiamine mononitrate, pyri-doxine hydrochloride, cupric sulphate, vitamin B2 -riboflavin, retinyl acetate, folic acid, potassium iodide, sodium sele-nite, sodium molybdate, D-biotin, chromium chloride, cholecalcif-erol, cyanocobalamin], flavouring, Bacillus Coagulans, sweetener: sucralose. 

Nutrition & price per serving

Purition VeganJimmy Joy
Naturally nutritious. A 40g serving of Purition Vanilla contains 187kcal, 15.1g protein, 12g healthy fats, 3g Carbohydrate (0.9g sugar) and 7.1g of fibre and will cost you £1.40.Jimmy Joy contains synthetic vitamins and minerals. A 96g serving contains 400 kcal, 29g protein, 15g fat, 43g carbohydrate (3.2g sugar) and 8.2g fibre and will cost you £1.29.

JimmyJoy review

Ingredients & health

⭐ 75% of the ingredients are from just 3 ingredients: powdered oats, soy flour, sunflower oil powder. Cheap and definitely not nutritious. Plus, there are much better forms of many of the vitamins and minerals used.

Value for money

⭐⭐⭐ It’s cheaper than most of the other meal replacement shakes out there, but that’s reflected in the quality of the ingredients.


⭐ Jimmy Joy claim they have ‘minimal impact on the environment’, however, they use non-recyclable packaging, the bag contains a plastic scoop and there is no carbon offsetting delivery option. Plus, soy protein has a huge carbon footprint.

Purition vs Feed


Purition VeganFeed
Protein Blend: (European Pea, Pumpkin, Sunflower & Hemp protein), Golden Linseed (Flax), Sunflower Kernels, ALMONDS, Coconut, Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica), Pumpkin Seeds, SESAME Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Psyllium Husk, Apple Pectin, Vanilla Pods (1%), Natural Flavouring, Sweetener – Steviol glycosides (Stevia)Gluten-free oatmeal, plant-based fat (sunflower oil, anti-caking agent: silicon dioxide, natural flavouring, modified starch, glucose syrup), pea protein, rice flour, yellow flax, vitamins and mineral salts*, flavourings, chicory roots, maltodextrin, thickeners: guar gum and xanthan gum, flavourings, sweetener: sucralose, antioxidant: rosemary extract. * vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, B12, C, D, E, K and minerals: potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium citrate, zinc gluconate, copper gluconate, chromium chloride, sodium molybdate, potassium iodide and sodium selenite

Nutrition & price per serving

Purition VeganFeed
Naturally nutritious. A 40g serving of Purition Vanilla contains 187kcal, 15.1g protein, 12g healthy fats, 3g Carbohydrate (0.9g sugar) and 7.1g of fibre and will cost you £1.40.Feed contains synthetic vitamins and minerals. A 115g serving contains 489 kcal, 16.3g protein, 20g fat (from sunflower oil powder), 56g carbohydrate (3.2g sugar) and 8.2g fibre and will cost you £3.04.

Feed review

Ingredients & health

⭐ Feed is, in our opinion, the worst of all the blends. The top 2 ingredients are oats and refined vegetable oil powder, followed by a bucketload of unnatural, chemically synthesised vitamins and minerals, thickeners, artificial sweeteners and gums. It also contains around the same amount of protein as Purition, but costs you double the price per meal.

Value for money

⭐ This is the most expensive of the lot, but there’s little difference to show for it in the quality of ingredients. The minimum price per meal works out at £3.04 per 115g, for which you receive mostly oats and vegetable oil powder. Dare we say it; Huel is actually much better value for money than Feed!


⭐⭐⭐ Feed claims to have a ‘minimum impact on the environment’ and their website states that they’re actively working to reduce their C02 emissions. Their products are delivered in recycled and recyclable FSC-certified boxes, which means they come from sustainably managed forests. It sounds good off the bat, however, it’s worth noting that their 20-meal bag pouches are not recyclable.

Best meal replacement shakes UK 2022

Smiley person opening up a 40g sample sachet of Purition Vegan Pistachio.

We hope our meal replacement shake review and comparison has given you the steer and insight that you need to choose the best product for your needs.

While processed meal replacement shakes like Huel, Jimmy Joy and YFood might meet your nutritional requirements, we strongly believe that they’re no good for your long-term health. In our opinion, a powdered blend of oat flour, protein powder, sunflower oil, gums, preservatives, artificial sweetener, flavourings and synthetic vitamins and minerals does not constitute a healthy, good-for-you meal. A bowl of oats and a daily multivitamin would supply the majority of the nutrients provided in these products, at a much cheaper price!

We know that convenience is a huge factor for many, which is why we made Purition. It has the convenience factor of a meal replacement shake, can be prepared in under 30 seconds, but is made with nourishing whole foods. Our shakes are free from the artificial junk found in the majority of our competitor’s products—this means your body can recognise, absorb and truly benefit from every ingredient. We don’t see Purition as a meal replacement shake, but as a real food meal upgrade to replace all the processed meal replacement shakes above!

As we don’t have a huge minimum order, why not give one of our Discovery Boxes a try? You can have one shake a day, for the next six days, for £15, or 12 for £24 with free UK delivery. This will give you a chance to choose your favourite flavour and experience how the real food in Purition can benefit your health, energy and wellbeing.

More about Purition...

Ingredients & health

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ When we say Purition is made from natural wholefoods, we really mean it! All Purition blends are made with our proprietary whole food blend of whole ground seeds and nuts (around 70% of the total ingredients). We then add a vegan (European pea, pumpkin, sunflower & hemp) or vegetarian (whey protein isolate from British milk) protein source, some extra natural fibre from apple pectin and psyllium husk and a natural flavour ingredient, such as freeze-dried strawberries or cocoa. We balance these flavours with the smallest amount of Stevia, a natural plant-based sweetener.

Why? We believe that the calories in meal replacement shakes should come from real food, not highly refined powders. Eating real food, instead of refined foods is, we believe, the key to optimal health. Our balanced blend provides protein (including all nine essential amino acids), natural fats and fibre for sustained energy and digestive support, as well as naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals that your body can recognise.

Value for money

⭐⭐⭐⭐ What Purition lacks in weight (serving size), it more than makes up for in satiation. A single 40-50g serving will keep you satisfied for 4–5 hours—great for a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch on your busiest days!

Taste & texture

⭐⭐⭐⭐ It’s subjective, but if you like seeds and nuts, then you’ll love Purition! If you’re looking for something intensely sweet or smooth, or don’t like seeds and nuts, then the honest truth is that you might not like Purition. Purition is only made with whole foods, without artificial sweeteners and flavourings, gums or powdered oils to manipulate the taste and mouthfeel.


⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ All 40g sample sachets now come in fully recyclable paper. Our larger packs aren’t recyclable, but at only 2g ‘plastic waste per meal,’ our waste footprint is lighter than most. We're investigating more sustainable packaging options. We use 100% recycled cardboard boxes for delivery and offer carbon-neutral delivery. Our ingredients are grown mainly in the EU and UK.


Whole foods vs powdered foods

Protein in Purition:
Everything you need to know

The making of Purition

Why we don't use organic ingredients

What you should do next...

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