I was recently approached by Hello Hungry, a brand new company who are in the process of developing a drink for busy professionals – a healthy alternative to beat hunger. The concept is interesting because at the moment, if you need a really quick lunch, the only meal replacement drinks that spring to mind are milk-based weight loss ones, which aren't ideal if you're not watching your waistline or if you're dairy intolerant. Even the weight loss ones and most other smoothie-type drinks are usually packed with sugar, which isn't great either. Hello Hungry drinks are vegan friendly, gluten free, lactose free and contain no GMO and no added sugar.
So what do they contain? Well, they're basically fruit/vegetable juices mixed with buckwheat, with added minerals, vitamins and Omega-3. As well as being a healthy and quick working-lunch option, they are designed to fill you up for hours and look after your vision, brain and heart health - the most common health issues that office people face. All sounds great on paper but what would they taste like?
I decided to start with the Tomato/Basil one, as it sounded the least sweet option so I wasn't sure I'd be too keen. I poured it into a glass expecting a bright red tomato-like juice so I was surprised when it came out looking more like mango juice. As I lifted the glass to my lips, I was sure I could even smell mango so I checked the bottle - no, it was definitely Tomato/Basil flavour ! On closer inspection, I wasn't going crazy ! The first ingredient on the list (for all three flavours in fact) is green tea - 38% water & green tea extract - followed by water then 18.3% mango puree. Tomato puree only represents 8.1% of the composition, followed by 4% buckwheat whole grain flour, banana, lime juice, and basil extract way down the list, along with all the added minerals. So, what about the taste? Well, it tastes more of mangoes than a tomato and basil pasta sauce, so don't expect a savoury hit ! The mango gives it a thicker texture, which is great for filling you up, and the tomato flavour does come through after the initial fruity sweetness. Not bad at all for 135 calories because it did keep me going until my next meal. Not quite the tomatoey flavour I was expecting though.
On to the next one - Mango/Peach/Spinach. So what colour would this one be? The green that I was expecting ? Yes ! This time I headed to the ingredients list before tasting it - as for the first one, the top ingredients are green tea (38%) then mango puree (16%), peach puree (10%) and spinach puree (5%), followed by 4% buckwheat wholegrain flour, and a bit of banana and lemon juice plus the minerals. This time, the ingredients list is more in harmony with the flavour marked on the bottle. Tastewise, it's not bad - I would have preferred it without the spinach to be honest, but I know it's bang on trend to add veggies to juice and I know it ups the vitamins big time. The peach, mango and banana provide sweetness which helps to counterbalance the strong flavour of the spinach.
I saved the best till last, as the one that appealed to me the most was Strawberry /Banana /Carrot/ Beetroot, all of which are sweet. I had noticed that this one contains a lot more sugar than the others (25g) but I supposed this came from the sweeter fruit and vegetables. Checking the ingredients list, I discovered that this one, unlike the others, contains almond milk, which contains both sugar and glucose syrup. I'm not sure why they added it to this one and not the others as I would have preferred it without (but it probably wouldn't have been as filling). So, back to the ingredients list - 38% green tea, 34% almond milk, 10% strawberry puree/juice, 6% banana puree, 5% buckwheat, 3% carrot juice, lemon juice and 1.2% beetroot juice. The colour of this one surprised me too to begin with - it's a slightly off-putting grey/pale purple colour - but it's logical, if you think about the almond milk and beetroot. Flavourwise, it's not bad - I love the sweetness of the strawberries and bananas (but couldn't taste much of the carrot and beetroot) but it seemed diluted by the almond milk which gave it a bit of a strange flavour/texture - slightly "chalky", for want of a better word.
So, would I buy them again? Well, maybe but, as I'm not keen on green tea, I think I was at a disadvantage (and I also think it would be better to mention green tea on the front of the bottle, as it's the biggest ingredient but doesn't feature prominently on the label). I see my bloglovin blogroll full of people raving about detox smoothies, Nutribullets and homemade vegetable juices all the time so I know that Hello Hungry will really appeal to lots of people. I love the concept - a quick healthy option that you can drink in front of your computer screen or when you have a lunchtime meeting without falling back on junk food or sugary, fatty snacks - so I definitely think they have potential.
They're currently at the crowdfunding stage and trying to get honest feedback (I was a beta-tester) so if you fancy giving them a helping hand, head over to their Indiegogo page.
for more information : http://hellohungry.co.uk/
Disclosure : I received the products in order to write an honest review.