Also not a fan of this change. Protein as one of the main reasons drinking Queal, this change makes me consider switching. I do understand your rationale. It works out - especially for Average Adam - when consuming your whole nutrition through Queal, but that is somewhat misguided. Most people or at least most people I know use Queal for supplementing one or two meals per day and for the purpose of not only replacing meals, but rather supplementing the other meals. When I want a premade drink instead of a meal, I want A+ nutrition, so much so that it offsets "worse" decisions for the other meals. When I drink one of my meals, I want to eat some tasty stuff for my other meals and that oftentimes correlates with lower protein and especially higher fat content. With the last Queal version, a shake would offset that, high protein and low fat in my Queal would offset that delicious spaghetti carbonara with a bunch of fat and low protein. Now it further accentuates the problem. With the new formula, it does not give me any leeway. So the problem does not lay with the nutrition per se, but with the fact that it does not work for it did earlier. If it is just a replacement that is not better than what it should be, but just hits the macros, there are better alternatives. For a cheap, convenient and nutritious alternative, I'd just eat some oat meal with whey directly. Costs a lot less, has lot less fat and more protein. Queal was nice for being basically, but tastier and more convenient with the added bonus of vitamins and other goodies.
As a last point, I do not really see the point of staying at the same price. Protein is the most expensive part and I do not see how reducing protein by a third is leveled by higher quality fat ingredients. To get the same level of protein, I have to change to the higher priced Ahtletic Queal? I mean I can basically add a scoup of whey to my shakes and I have Athletic Queal at a much lower price point, but that kind of eliminates the convenience factor. At this point, I'd much rather just eat the oat meal & whey shake combo. I see your points, but I think you are handling it from the wrong perspective.