Goldbelly and ButcherBox are two meat delivery services that offer customers a range of meat types, cuts, and monthly subscription boxes. While ButcherBox deals exclusively with pasture-raised, high-quality meat, Goldbelly sells everything from spare ribs to chocolate cake.
We decided to test both of these companies to figure out which has the best meat delivery and whether it is better to order from an online butcher or a company that deals will all types of food.
ButcherBox vs Goldbelly Bacon: Key Differences
The main difference between these meat delivery services is the way they work.
While ButcherBox is a subscription-based service, Goldbelly works with a range of independent companies to provide meat subscription boxes and subscriptions such as pizza and cookies.
Goldbelly also provides a la carte shipping, meaning customers can freely shop all categories available on the website.
Another difference is that ButcherBox is very open and transparent about its sourcing practices.
While they don’t let customers know exactly what farm the meat is coming from, they do list all the information about how they are raised and what they are fed.
Due to Goldbelly working with many small and large companies, it is almost impossible to find this information directly through the Goldbelly site. If customers would like to learn about the individual practices, they would have to research it themselves.
Comparing Their Features Head to Head
After testing both of these companies and doing in-depth research, we compared their features to find out which is the better meat delivery.
1. Menu Options
Goldbelly is home to hundreds of different meat types and cuts from various companies, whereas ButcherBox has a very selective menu and sources all meat themselves.
ButcherBox is home to grass-fed beef, sustainably sourced seafood, free-range organic chicken, and humanely-raised pork. Depending on the season and availability, you may also find other meats such as ground turkey and uncured hot dogs. Items such as their ground beef will be available all year round.
ButcherBox works with only subscription boxes; therefore, their menu items are subject to change each month. This is good for customers as they will not always receive the same items each month.
There are two options on the ButcherBox website. Customers can select the custom box, allowing free choice of all cuts and meats available on the website. Each month there will be around 20 - 24 items to choose from. The other option is a curated box, where all meats are selected for you.
Compared to other online meat delivery services, the menu at ButcherBox is quite small. While this can be seen as a downfall for some, we believe this allows ButcherBox to focus on the quality of their meat rather than the quantity. Therefore, we have found that the best meat delivery services usually have a smaller inventory.
ButcherBox menu items include:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Ground beef
- Top Sirloin steaks
- Boneless pork chops
- Filet mignon
- Wild salmon
- NY strip steaks
As previously mentioned, Goldbelly works with a range of businesses that provide all types of food. Goldbelly isn’t a manufacturer of their own products, but more of a marketplace where customers can get all their meat, sweets, cakes, and drinks in one place.
As for the meat on Goldbelly, there are tons of options available. The a la carte menu is full of BBQ items such as ribs and brisket and meats such as ground turkey, beef, and lamb. There are hundreds of menu items and companies to go through, so browsing the menu can get quite overwhelming.
Compared to ButcherBox, there aren’t many options for subscriptions. Goldbelly only has two subscriptions centered around meat: the Goldbelly bacon subscription and the monthly BBQ subscription.
You can also find gifts, foods for special occasions, and meal kits on the website, which are all great options.
Some items you can find on Goldbelly include:
- Japanese wagyu
- Italian salumi
- Wagyu burgers
- Sirloin steak
- Dry-aged beef
- Wild boar
- Cured meats
- Dry-aged steaks
- Filet mignon
- New York strip steaks
- Dry-aged ground beef
- Boneless pork chops
2. Meat Quality and Sourcing
ButcherBox is very open about where all their meat is sourced. In contrast, the information is pretty hit or miss on the Goldbelly website, with some products listing some info while others nothing.
ButcherBox prides itself in free-range, grass-fed, and humanely-raised meat. This meat delivery service has made it their goal to produce meat that is not only environmentally friendly but hits all the animal warfare goals and fair labor practices .
“We partner with people who are dedicated to doing the right thing—never cutting corners, and always looking for ways to improve.” - ButcherBox.
According to ButcherBox, all of their meat is hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and synthetic-free. The chickens, cows, and pigs are all raised on pastures, fed either a natural or 100% grass-fed diet. This is great, as grass-fed meat has been proven to be healthier than grain fed .
- 100% grass-fed beef: Most of the beef from ButcherBox comes from family-owned farms in Australia. They are fed a grass diet and are allowed to roam free on the pastures. ButcherBox partners with Australian farms and not the US because Australia has high animal welfare standards, a suitable climate, and appropriate land to allow the cows to spend their entire lives grazing.
- Humanely-raised pork: ButcherBox partners with small farms around the US to produce pasture-raised pork. They are fed an all-vegetarian diet and spend most of their lives outdoors. ButcherBox also has a line of humanely-raised pork, including Doric, Chester White, and Berkshire. This special line of pork is said to be extra tender due to the fine marbling developed during the slow maturation process.
- Pasture-raised chicken: All the chicken available on the ButcherBox website is USDA-certified organic. It also has a grade-3 GAP rating (Global Animal Partnership) for animal welfare. According to the website, this rating means that all chickens live in an enriched environment with yearly access to the outdoors with plenty of shade and natural sunlight.
- Sustainably sourced seafood: The seafood sold on ButcherBox is sourced from wild and sustainable seafood farms all around the US. The seafood are sourced from their natural habitat and are free from any artificial chemicals.
Finding the sourcing information for the meat on Goldbelly is quite difficult due to the number of independent companies on the website.
For example, a company that works with Goldbelly is Snake River Farms, an online meat delivery service that we have reviewed in the past. While the Goldbelly website does provide a little information about Snake River Farms, such as the meat has no added hormones and is pasture-raised, it fails to mention that it is also additive and synthetic-free, as well as grass-fed.
To get all the information on the meat available, you must visit the Snake River Farms website separately.
While this is to be expected with such a large platform, we do wish that there was more information about the meat available, as they are missing some vital points.
3. Delivery and Packaging
Most meat subscription boxes require customers to pay for shipping; however, with ButcherBox, it is entirely free, no matter how much you order.
Most items on Goldbelly, especially the meat subscription boxes, offer free shipping; however, prices vary depending on the company.
This meat delivery service offers free delivery on all orders and currently delivers to all states in America, except Hawaii and Alaska.
When shopping with ButcherBox, you do not have the option to select a specific date and time. They do, however, provide you with a tracking number so you can watch your delivery every step of the way.
Most items on ButcherBox will arrive frozen, but some will be chilled. Ice packs will be included within the packaging to keep the meat box cold during shipping.
These ice packs are also designed to keep the meat frozen for up to eight hours on your doorstep, so you do not have to be in when the order arrives.
ButcherBox uses 100% recyclable packaging on all of its boxes, including the box, ice packs, insulation, and plastic bags. According to the website, ButcherBox works hard to minimize waste and improve sustainability .
Certain cuts and meats may be out of stock, so you may receive an item that you didn’t order. In this case, ButcherBox will swap your item out for something of higher or greater value. If the item is of lesser value, customers will be given credit into their accounts.
Customers who shop the meat subscription boxes on Goldbelly will receive free delivery, and this subscription service only ships to the domestic United States.
“We highly recommend ordering your items in advance, especially during times of high demand like the holidays. You can place an order up to 8 weeks in advance through our checkout.” - Goldbelly.
When signing up for the subscription on Goldbelly, your announcement will be sent on the 15th of each month, with deliveries taking 3 - 5 days to arrive. During holidays, it may take as long as a week for your order to get to you.
Whether or not you need to be home to get your delivery is a little blurry. According to the Goldbelly website, you do not need to be home to collect most orders. However, whether or not your box will be left is up to the drivers' discretion.
If your driver decides not to leave the box due to no one being home or a possibly unsafe environment, Goldbelly is not liable for any damages to your meat.
Unlike ButcherBox, who seem to be very forgiving and helpful with damaged orders, Goldbelly includes a lot of disclaimers to say where they aren’t liable. Since you can’t choose the day of your order, and deliveries may sometimes take a week, it is possible customers may not be home to collect orders .
Unfortunately, we could not find much information about the packaging used at Goldbelly or if it is recyclable or sustainable.
4. Boxes and Prices
While ButcherBox offers customers the choice of five subscription boxes, there are only two meat-related boxes available on the Goldbelly website.
This subscription service allows customers to choose from five boxes, one customizable and the rest curated. While this may not seem like many options, the selective menu makes it much easier to navigate the website.
All of the boxes follow the same pricing, except for the customizable box. The Classic Box is the standard size, whereas the Big Box is the large option.
- Custom: $159 for 9 - 14lbs, $288 for 18 - 24lbs
- Other: $137 for 8 - 11lbs, $253 for 16 - 22lbs
Customers can arrange their deliveries every four, six, and eight weeks.
- Custom Box: This is the only box that allows for complete customization of your order. Customers will be able to choose 6 or 12 cuts (depending on the size selected) and will have around 20 - 24 options to choose from.
- Mixed Box: This box is very similar to the custom option, as you will receive a mix of humanely-raised pork, grass-fed beef, chicken, and sustainably sourced seafood. The only difference with this box is that all items are selected for you.
- Two Meat Box: This includes a beef and pork box or a chicken and beef box. Just like the mixed option, all cuts are selected for you.
- All beef Box: Customers who are only interested in receiving beef can choose the all-beef subscription box.
There is also the option of including add-ons to your order. This includes ground beef, ground pork, tender belly bacon, and boneless skinless chicken breast.
This company only has two meat delivery boxes on their website, each containing meats from different companies, but fulfilled by Goldbelly. Subscriptions can not be altered to fit any food, dietary, or flavor preferences.
- Monthly Bacon Subscription: This box includes approximately 2-5lbs of bacon from a range of meat processing facilities. This will serve at least six people - $65 per month.
- Monthly BBQ Subscription: This box includes a range of BBQ items hand-selected by the Goldbelly website. Items may consist of Wagyu beef, BBQ ribs, pulled pork, and sausages. This box will be enough to serve 4+ people - $99.
With this company, there isn’t much flexibility with their subscription boxes. While ButcherBox lets customers skip, pause, or cancel their subscription any time, customers will be required to pay either 3 or 6 months upfront with Goldbelly.
ButcherBox vs Goldbelly Bacon: Which One is Better?
Both ButcherBox and Goldbelly are worthy competitors; however, we have to give ButcherBox the crown for the best meat subscription boxes.
We love that ButcherBox has a high standard for the quality and sourcing of their meat, ensuring that everything is humanly raised without any added hormones or synthetics. Since they stock a range of meats, it is the ideal solution for any meat lovers looking for the ultimate subscription.
If you want to learn more about ButcherBox, click here.