It is Küik, Smooth, Sweet & Complete. Intrigued? (Review)
A brand that aims for continuous improvement and is quick to evolve.
In this Kuik review, I want to have a good look to the Spanish meal replacement company.
It’s been a while since I last reviewed Kuik shakes, and I have always said that they used to have one of the smoothes meal shakes you could eat.
However, since I’ve last had them, they’ve removed the Original line (whey based) and have made all the products vegan friendly. Thus, Kuik now offers two meal replacement powders: Sport and Vegan (I liked them both last time).
Plus, they now offer a meal replacement bar (220kcal), ideal to snack on or have it after your workout.
Therefore, I have a tons of new things to rediscover in this Kuik meal replacement review. Let’s get started.
Kuik Review at a Glance
- Ships to: EU
- Price/mealFrom €1.88/400kcal
- Nutrition Profile:Non-GMO, GF, V*
- User Opinion:Very Positive
Küik is a brand that is currently growing. The main strength of the Spanish brand is the smoothness of the shakes, which has no rival in Europe.
Besides the smoothness of their powders, Küik also excels in making good tasting shakes. However, I was a little disappointed in the nutritional angle, not seeing any source of essential omega-3s.
Furthermore, I would’ve loved to see more pre-mixed flavours for the powders, and sincerely, a more easily navigable website, too.
What I like
1. Vegan and Sport formulas are pretty good. Both offer slightly different nutritional profiles for different needs. I enjoyed them both equally, though.
3. The new bars are really tasty.
4. Now they also offer a RTD.
5. Focus on the Spanish market. It is good to see that they are trying to penetrate their home market.
6. Rich in micronutrients. On top of that, each Küik shake also gives at least 45% of each micronutrient, more often than not even more.
7. Great beginner shake. The texture and the sweet flavours are very easy to like. The lack of lumps or mixability issues makes it a great shake for those that are put off by these.
What I dislike
1. No bulk discounts. I feel that this will be fixed with time, but right now with the introduction of the vegan range there is no way to get any discount on them.
2. Prices. In general, I felt that the pricing was a little too high for what they were offering.
3. Lack of omega-3 on the powders. This is an essential nutrient, you cannot skip it.
4. Too sweet? If you have a sweet tooth, like some of my friends do, you are in luck. You are going to love Kuik Vanilla and the rest. However, it is just too sweet for my taste.
5. Issues keeping me full. The vegan shakes are much better at this, but in general, I will be hungry in about 2h of having a Kuik shake.
6. The site is hard to navigate.
1. Improved pricing and introduce subscription. Hopefully this will come with time, but I would love to see bulk discounts.
2. Make the site more clear.
Kuik Powder Taste Review
I will review all Küik products, since I have been fortunate enough to try them all.
One thing to remark is how smooth all the shakes are (0 lumps), with the exception of Kuik Vegan. This last one has oats, which are noticeable in the shake (not a bad thing, per se).
|Best Flavour||Vegan Vanilla|
|Taste||I think that all flavours (pre-mixed) taste good, fairly sweet, but easy to like. None of them are excellent, though.|
|Texture||The Sport version is one of the smoothest shakes that I’ve ever had. Vegan one has more bits (fibre), but it’s equally pleasing to drink|
|Easy to Mix||You’ll have no issues mixing.|
|Satiety||In my experience, on the weak side. Each shake kept me full for about 2h.|
|Easy to Clean||Really easy to clean.|
|Afterthoughts||The vegan version has a oaty sweetness, whereas the sport feels more artificial, but it’s also smoother. I think both are good drinks and pleasant, but I tended to mix them 50/50 in the end.|
Küik Vegan and Vegan Sport
Despite both being Vegan, and both being available in two flavours: Original (Vanilla-cinnamon), and Chocolate; the taste is fairly different.
The Vegan powder is the tastiest of both, with a nice touch of vanilla, oats and cinnamon. Despite the fibers adding some bits to the drink, I think it is pleasant to drink.
On the opposite side, Vegan Sport strikes to me as a little more artificial. It is the smoothest out of both, and thicker than original, but not by much. The Vanilla flavour, however, it is less sweet than in the original, and easier to like.
The Kuik RTD
As far as Kuik’s ready to drink meal replacement goes, it felt fairly average. This is not a bad thing, since the median RTD is very tasty, incredibly smooth and super pleasant. However, I felt that there was not enough distinction with some other competitors (like Plenny Shake).
All in all, it’s a rather sweet, strong vanilla drink that I could easily drink, if I were in a hurry.
Kuik Snack Bars
Lastly, let’s talk about the bars. These are perhaps one of the highlights when it comes to taste. While the powders are rather good, the bars are almost excellent when it comes to taste.
They are crunchy, coated with a thin layer of chocolate and taste a lot like biscuits with chocolate. Even my brother, who’s not usually one to praise meal replacement bars, enjoyed the Kuik bars.
Kuik Nutrition Breakdown
Küik Original offers a very nutrient rich product, which is heavy on fats (but low on saturates) and fairly low in carbohydrates.
While they used to have a whey based version, all their meal shakes are vegan right now. This includes the bar and the RTD, too.
Furthermore, the Küik powder is non-GMO, gluten-free, nut free and without any added sugars.
|Contains All Micronutrients||Yes|
|Controversial Ingredients||Maltodextrin, isomaltulose|
Kuik Powder Ingredients
Vegan: Whole grain oats flour (22%), maltodextrin, pea protein isolate (20%), sunflower oil in powder, isomaltulose*, rice protein (2,9%), minerals (calcium salts of orthophosphoric acid, potassium salts of orthophosphoric acid, magnesium carbonate, manganese sulfate, cupric sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenate, ferrous fumarate, zinc sulphate), inulin, flavours, thickener: guar gum, vitamins (C, biotin, E, niacin, A, calcium pantothenate, B12, D, B6, K, B1, B2, folic acid), thickener: xanthan gum, colouring: carotene, sweeteners: acesulfame K and sucralose, antioxidant: extract rich in tocopherols.
Sport: Maltodextrin, pea protein isolate, sunflower oil powder, rice protein, minerals (calcium salts of orthophosphoric acid, potassium salts of orthophosphoric acid, magnesium carbonate, manganese sulphate, cupric sulphate, potassium iodide, sodium selenate, ferrous fumarate, zinc sulphate), inulin, flavours, thickener: guar gum, vitamins (maltodextrin, C, biotin, E, niacin, A, calcium pantothenate, B12, D, B6, K, B1, B2, folic acid), thickener: xanthan gum, colouring agent: carotene, sweeteners: acesulfame K and sucralose, antioxidant: extract rich in tocopherols.
Kuik RTD Ingredients
Maltodextrin, milk protein, canola oil, fructooligosaccharides, minerals (sodium citrate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, potassium hydroxide, sodium phosphate, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), inositol, vitamins (C, niacin, E, calcium pantothenate, B2, B6, B1, A, folic acid, K, biotin, D, B12), aroma (vanilla), emulsifier (soy lecithin), choline chloride, sweeteners (acesulfame K, sucralose), taurine, antioxidants (tocopherol rich extract, ascorbyl palmitate).
Kuik Bar Ingredients
Glucose syrup, dark chocolate cocoa coating: 60% minimum [cocoa paste, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: lecithins (SOYA) and polyglycerol polyricinoleate, flavourings] (20.5%), SOYA nuggets [SOYA protein isolate, thickener: tapioca starch, salt] (11.2%), oligofructose syrup, SOYA protein [SOYA protein isolate, textured SOYA protein], mineral salt preparation [potassium citrate, calcium phosphate (calcium salt of orthophosphoric acid), sodium citrate, magnesium oxide, maltodextrin, ferrous fumarate, zinc sulphate, manganese sulphate, cupric sulphate, potassium iodide, sodium selenate], pea protein, cocoa powder, humectant: glycerine, sugar, sunflower oil, chicory root fibre (Cichorium intybus), maltodextrin, vitamin preparation [maltodextrin, L-ascorbic acid, DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, nicotinamide, retinyl acetate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, phylloquinone, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, pteroylmonoglutamic acid, D-biotin, cholecalciferol, cyanocobalamin].
Küik Vegan Sport
- Total Fats: 16g. 22% of the DRI.
- Saturated Fats: 1.3g. 6% of DRI.
- Total Fats: 15g. 21.4% of the DRI.
- Saturated Fats: 1.4g. 7% of DRI.
Küik Vegan Sport
- Total Fats: 5.8g. 8.3% of the DRI.
- Saturated Fats: 0.5g. 2.5% of DRI.
As far as fats it’s concerned, it’s surprising not seeing a clear omega-3 source in either of the meal replacement powders (vegan and sport).
On the contrary, the RTD includes some canola oil, which is commonly used as omega-3 source in meal replacements. This contains alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is broken down into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – not very efficiently. EPA and DHA are primordial in proper body functioning and decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases
On the other hand, it is good to see that the drinks are low in saturated fats, unlike the bars which have 3.7g per 220kcal (19% of DRI).
- Total Carbs: 29g. 11% of the DRI.
- Sugars: 8g. 8% of DRI.
- Fiber: 3.3g. 15% of DRI.
- Total Carbs: 45g. 17.3% of the DRI.
- Sugars: 6.8g. 7.6% of DRI.
- Fiber: 5.1g. 25.5% of DRI.
Küik Vegan Sport
- Total Carbs: 53g. 20.4% of the DRI.
- Sugars: 4.3g. 4.8% of DRI.
- Fiber: 3.1g. 15.5% of DRI.
The main carbohydrate source in Küik is maltodextrin. This complex carbohydrate is usually less than ideal, due to its high glycemic index (GI 85). This is, even if it is a complex carb, it breaks down rapidly in the digestive system into glucose, causing a rapid increased in blood glucose and bigger insulin response increasing risk for diabetes.
Nevertheless, Küik claims that the Gi of its shakes is under 55 (without specifying a number). The reason for this is that there is relatively low carbohydrates in relation to fats and proteins; and these slow down the break down process.
Each serving also provides with 6.2g of fiber, mostly from fructooligosaccharides. Soluble fiber helps slowing down digestion, lowering cholesterol levels and facilitate healthy bowel movements.
Oats and Isomaltulose for the Vegan Mixes
On the bright side, Kuik Vegan contains oats, which is one of the best complex carbohydrate sources. Full of fiber and other beneficial compounds, it slows the digestive process.
However, it is interesting to also see isomaltulose. A sugar with low glycemic index that breaks down into fructose.
Bars Are High in Sugar
If you are looking at the bars, it’s worth considering that the first ingredient in the list is glucose syrup. As such, they contain 16.5g of sugar per 220kcal (16% of DRI).
On the plus side, they are quite rich in fibre with almost 7g per bar.
- Total Protein: 17g. 33% of the DRI.
- From soy isolate.
- Total Protein: 22g. 44% of the DRI.
- From pea and rice protein.
Küik Vegan Sport
- Total Protein: 27g. 54% of the DRI.
- From pea and rice protein.
High protein diets have been found benefitial for weight loss (or weight management), increased lean mass, or help athletic performance, among other things. Kuik Sport tries to please this and the bar is pretty high in protein too, but the other products are average.
In case of Küik, the RTD contains soy protein isolate – while the powders opt for other vegan sources. I have nothing against soy protein, and in fact, it’s a complete protein source. The bars also contains soy protein isolate.
For the vegan mixes, pea and rice will provide you with all the amino acids your body requires.
Perhaps one of the most astonishing facts about Küik is how nutrient rich it is.
Each serving provides you with at least 45% of every micronutrient, while often is higher than that.
In fact, a single serving will provide you with enough copper, molybdenum, vitamin D and vitamin E. You should not worry about overdosing on any of these, since the toxic levels are a lot higher than the Daily Recommended Values.
Antioxidants and Active Ingredients
Küik meals also include an antioxidant blend rich in tocopherols (vit E family) and ascorbyl palmitate (related to vit C). However, they do not provide an ORAC value to judge the antioxidative power of Küik.
Something that is fairly interesting is the inclusion of taurine (0.055g) and carnitine (0.046g). While these ingredients are common in energy drinks, they appear at much lower levels in Küik (a can of 250ml of Redbull contains 1g of taurine, for instance). The levels at which this components appear is almost insignificant.
In Kuik Vegan there is some gluten, but in Kuik Vegan Sport is gluten-free.
On the other hand, the RTD and the bar contain soy.
More about Kuik
Three enthusiastic entrepeneurs founded Küik in December 2017, after they were introduced to meal replacements by Enric’s brother.
After trying some of the brands available in the market without much success, they decided to create their own brand in collaboration with Grand Fontine Labs. They developed a product of pharmaceutical quality, without sacrificing the taste.
The founders set 3 main values for Küik: eco-friendliness, power to creativity and don not stop. They will need all of them in order to succeed in the market. To expand from Spain to the rest of Europe, since many bigger brands have had a head start.
Since, the team has evolved and some of the founders have left. However, the positive energy and the sporty vibes are still present.
One remarkable aspect about Kuik is their friendliness and good vibes. Their team is really active in social media and is often out in the street spreading the word. As a consequence, their customer service is top notch. Friendly, attentive and fast.
One of the Küik values is zero-waste and being as environmentally friendly as possible. The 1kg pouches certainly create minimal waste, but I would’ve liked if they kept the 1.5kg bags, instead.
In fact, Küik bags are sturdy and are made of recyclable plastic, thus the environmental impact is much much lower than the treding RTDs. They also require less storage space.
On the contrary, the RTD is not very eco-friendly. While they are made of tetra-brick and this is widely recyclable; I would opt for the powder if you are concerned.
The shelf life for Küik is 12 months according to the brand. I would expect that this is the point were some nutrients will start deteriorating and it should be safe to consume up to 18 months.
Now, let’s talk about Küik’s pricing model. Being affordable is one of their key values, as a matter of fact.
For Küik Vegan and Vegan Sports there aren’t any discounts available yet, sadly.
- Küik Vegan comes in bags of 10 meals, and each (418kcal) costs €3.9.
- Küik Sport Vegan also comes in bags of 10 meals (378kcal), and each costs €3.9.
- The Kuik RTD is €2.98 per 330kcal. It comes in 8 packs.
Sadly, when you compare Kuik to other meal replacements, you realize that the powder is not as affordable as advertised (although the RTD is).
|price (€)/400kcal||Kuik V||Plenny Shake||C360|
Küik delivers all across Europe with free shipping in orders above €69.
Regarding subscription options, Küik currently does not offer any subscription discounts. I generally think that these programs are a must in the industry, since they benefit both the customer and the brand.
The brand acquires a loyal fanbase that will be source of feedback and support; whereas the consumer gets the benefit of better rewards, discounts and not having to worry about re-ordering.
Yes, all Kuik meals are plant based, including the 2 powders for vegans: Vegan Sport and Vegan Complete.
Yes, most Küik products are gluten-free and safe for celiacs.
You can use the vegan products that the Spanish brand offers.
None of the products is organic, nor they have many ingredients of organic origin.
You can check the tasting section, but overall Küik shakes are incredibly smooth and sweet. The bar is a lovely snack, and the RTD is quite nice, too.
Perhaps, I should have addressed this earlier. The diaeresis or the double dot above the “u” is an important part of the brand image. They are tied together to represent the infinite symbol, representing the continuous drive for improvement (semper ad meliora) and left empty inside so you can fill them with your creativity.
Kuik Powder vs Other Meal Replacements
Küik battles with in the toughest market there is: the European market. There are dozens of brands trying to be the best meal replacement. Starting from the local rival Satislent, to giant like Huel and Jimmyjoy. Let’s see how Küik compares to them.
Küik vs Plenny Shake
I will compare Küik to the king of budget meal replacement shakes, Plenny Shake by Jimmyjoy.
Price & Range:
Jimmyjoy: Plenny Shake, Plenny Shake Active, Plenny Drink and Plenny Bar.
Küik : Vegan, Sport, Bar and RTD.
Plenny Shake has been the reference for cheap complete foods since its creation. With the cost of €1.50/400kcal it is extremely competitive. Plenny Shakes also offers 10 flavours plus a caffeinated option and a Sport option (Plenny Shake Active).
In Küik’s favour, they have recently expanded their repertoire, and their products are fairly good all across the board..
Both brands currenlty offer fully plant-based ranged of complete food products.
Furthermore, both have a “normal” and a sport version of their powders. Unlike Plenny Shake, Kuik vegan does not contain any soy, which makes it ideal for those who have an intolerance.
Plus, Kuik is also slightly higher in carbs than Plenny Shake, offering a more unique macro profile.
The Plenny Bars are bigger than the Kuik bars, and arguably healthier due to lower sugar content, among other things.
As far as the RTDs is concerned, both brands offer a rather identical ready to drink shake.
What to Choose?
For most, Jimmyjoy will offer the more attractive package: they are more affordable, they offer far more flavours, and they have good extra products. However, if you tend to like sweet smooth drinks, Kuik will offer you better tasting meal replacement powders.
Küik vs Satislent
Finally, “El Clasico”. Both brands are trying to make a space for them in the ultraconservative gastronomical culture of Spain.
Price & Range:
Similarly to Kuik, Satislent also offers meal replacement powders and bars, but no RTDs. In general, Satislent has the more affordable powders.
Satislent offers vegan products with about 670kcal per serving, fairly high in carbohydrates. Küik is heavier in in fats, but also has more protein. Satilent uses pea protein, similarly to Kuik Vegan.
Satislent uses olive oil as a fat source, has a omega-3/6 ratio of 1/4 (heavier in omega-6 than Küik), but has adequate amounts of MUFA and PUFA. Both brands are really low in saturated fats. Regarding to carbs, Satislent uses oats as opposed to maltodextrin as main source, I find this better as it has a lower GI.
Besides, Satislent’s bars are also aimed to replace meals, as opposed to be used as a snack (355kcal).
Which One Should I Buy?
Küik shakes are smoother and sweeter, in comparison to Satislent. Nevertheless, the price for Satislent shakes is lower than Kuik’s when bought in bulk; which could be the tipping point for some. Satislent also offers far more flavours, and an easier site to navigate.
Verdict – Kuik Review
We are coming to an end to this Kuik review. Once again, I’m left with a sweet and sour sensation.
On one hand, I think that Küik has nailed the flavour of their powders. Both are quite deliciuos, albeit rather sweet, and slightly different to each other. I also quite like the bars, and I think they offer a unique texture and flavour.
However, I am surprised by the lack of omega-3 sources on the powders. I’m also not very impressed by the price tag, and I would love to see more rewards for usual customers (subscription, bulk discount etc.).
Furthermore, their evolution has been slower than expected (launching in Spain is hard); and I am sad to only see 2 flavours for their powder. Their English site is outdated, too.
As mentioned, I like the progress done with the RTD and the bars, but I hope to see more.
All in all, I think that Kuik is an interesting option if you live in Spain and mainland Europe; and you are looking for rather smooth shakes that are not full of fats. The snack bars are also worth buying.
- Incredibly thin shake, with no lumps
- Rich in micronutrients
- New bars are very tasty
- Great beginner shakes due to their texture and taste
- Taste is too sweet for the Vanilla premix
- Quite expensive
- Only 2 pre-mixed flavours
- No bulk or subscription discounts