HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service known for easing the burden of grocery shopping by delivering fresh and delicious meals to your door each week. If you enjoy a home-cooked meal but dislike meal planning, HelloFresh may be the answer to your prayers.
I decided to test HelloFresh for a month to see how this meal delivery service will perform. This review will go over HelloFresh’s features, benefits, costs, and much more
What is HelloFresh and How Does it Work?
HelloFresh was founded in 2011 in Germany, expanding to 15 different countries in as little as ten years. It arrived in the U.S in 2013, and it remains one of the most popular meal delivery services available today .
According to the HelloFresh website, the company's mission is “to change the way people eat forever.”
They do this by providing food enthusiasts and home cooks with new and diverse recipes each week, allowing you to create your own meals without a trip to the supermarket.
Every week, HelloFresh gives customers a choice between 27 meals catered to different dietary preferences and lifestyles. These meal kits come with pre-portioned ingredients, designed to take around 15 - 40 minutes to cook.
HelloFresh currently ships to 48 states in the U.S., excluding Hawaii and Alaska.
Benefits and Highlights of HelloFresh Meals:
After testing out HelloFresh for a month, here are the key highlights and benefits that stood out to us.
#1 Easy to Sign Up
HelloFresh has made the sign-up process as straightforward as possible. Before signing up, they allow you to view the upcoming menus for six weeks. However, you will only be able to view the recipe in detail once you have completed your sign-up.
The first step of subscribing to HelloFresh’s meal kits is to personalize your plan. This consists of choosing dietary preferences, how many people will be dining, and how many meals per week you would wish to receive.
The options are as follows:
- Meat & Veggies: Features a variety of meal options
- Veggie: Plant-based meals, with more vegetarian options than vegan
- Family Friendly: Contains kid-approved recipes
- Calorie Smart: Meal choices under 650 calories per serving
- Quick and Easy: Meal kits that take 30 minutes or less
- Pescetarian: Meal plans with seafood and no meat
The number of people dining:
Meals per week:
When you select your meal plan, you aren’t anchored down to one category. Unlike other meal companies that only let you choose one, HelloFresh allows customers to choose all six dietary types if they wish to do so.
Once the meal plan has been selected, you can then go on to register your email address and select your delivery date. You will be given a time between 8 AM - 8 PM and the days of delivery depending on your postcode.
HelloFresh also makes it easy to change delivery dates, skip weeks, and cancel orders together. I realized that I wouldn’t be in for one of my orders, but thankfully I could easily arrange delivery for the next day. My box arrived 2 days after placing an order.
#2 Huge Selection of Meals
Something that really impressed me about HelloFresh was the large selection of meals on offer.
Those who select the “Meat & Veggies” category will be given more than 25 recipes to choose from each week, while the other options provide slightly fewer recipes.
If you have strict dietary needs, such as gluten-free or soy-free, you may have a more challenging time finding something that suits you. They have various tags under each recipe that state whether they are plant-based protein, spicy, calorie smart, etc.
“If you're cooking and not making mistakes, you're not playing outside your safety zone.” - Guy Fieri, Chef
The diversity of meals goes pretty far and wide too. During my month of ordering with HelloFresh, I came across Indian, Japanese, Mexican, and Mediterranean dishes. HelloFresh recipes get preselected for you depending on your meal plan; however, you can easily swap out dishes if you want to do so.
You will be able to find “Gourmet Meals” and “Gourmet Plus” meals for an additional price. These meal kits use higher quality ingredients and fancier proteins. HelloFresh also offers a selection of add-ons such as breakfast, lunch, and pantry items.
During my month on HelloFresh, I never saw any repeat meals. All the meal kits on offer felt fresh and exciting.
#3 Easy-to-Follow Recipes
Thanks to the amount of information on offer, I found the HelloFresh meals to be straightforward to follow. I was given a full-color recipe card for each meal kit with my HelloFresh order.
The front of the card features a large, bright picture of the dish and the recipe's title. Down the side of the card, you will find the ingredients that come along with the delivery, as well as a short introduction about the dish. The recipe cards show the prep time, cook time, and calories along the bottom.
The back of the card has the prep and cooking instructions, accompanied by step-by-step photographs. If you need any extra equipment or ingredients, they will be listed on the left side of the card.
If you happen to misplace your recipe cards or prefer to view things online, you can find all recipes on the HelloFresh app and website. You will also find additional information such as allergens, cooking levels, and nutritional information.
I found the instructions very easy to follow. I also think novice cooks would have an easy time following these instructions too.
#4 Well-Organized Recyclable Packaging
The materials used by the HelloFresh meal delivery service are designed to keep your ingredients fresh for up to 48 hours after your weekly delivery day.
I found recipe cards, a seasonal magazine with future meal highlights, and a few coupons from HelloFresh’s partners when opening my first box.
All three recipes were individually packed within paper bags, labeling which meal is which. This made it easy to keep all of the ingredients together. There was also a note reminding me to check under the ice packs for forgotten ingredients.
HelloFresh sends their meal kits inside mostly recyclable packaging. According to the website, they are continuously working to reduce their packaging waste and make their boxes more sustainable .
Their boxes can be discarded with other household recyclables, while their separators and meal kits are 100% curbside-recyclable. The ice packs require you to separate the liquid contents from the actual plastic pack, but it’s a straightforward process.
I found some of the plastics inside the box hard to recycle, so I do hope they strive to be 100% environmentally friendly in the future.
#5 Sustainable Ingredient Sourcing
HelloFresh prides itself on sustainability; in fact, there is an entire page dedicated to it on the website .
Among these programs is the sustainable sourcing of fresh ingredients. Their seafood ranges from wild-caught to farm-raised fish, depending on the type of fish, catching season, and method. They have paired with suppliers who are rated Best Choice, Good Alternative, or Eco-certified.
Their meat comes from suppliers who adhere to USDA inspection guidelines, and they personally visit each supplier to see if the suppliers are up to standard. All pork and chicken supplied is hormone-free.
#6 A Delicious Meal Made Easy
The cooking process for HelloFresh meals is relatively straightforward. They are easy to prepare since all ingredients have been pre-measured.
A few meals I received from this meal kit service took a little longer than anticipated, but they still turned out to be tasty.
One of my favorites was the Thai Ginger Curry with Mashed Potatoes; the chicken was very fresh and packed full of bold flavors.
Five recipes inside my meal delivery were Gourmet Meals. They did feel a little fancier than the regular meal plans, and I liked that they had the option to use more expensive ingredients if you wish.
You did need to have a few kitchen essentials on hand, such as olive oil, but I didn’t feel like they were expecting too much from their customers. Since all the ingredients were measured to fit each meal kit, there was very little food waste, which is always a huge plus.
What Can Be Improved?
It is hard to find anything disappointing with HelloFresh. That being said, there are one or two things I would like to see improved in the future.
While they offer a wide range of dietary preferences, I feel like the categories are quite broad. For example, the veggie section contains a lot of vegetarian meals, but not many vegan meals.
There is also no option to customize things like gluten-free, nut-free, or soy-free, so some customers may have problems when it comes to that.
I also found clean-up to take longer than expected since ingredients don’t come to you pre-prepped. Therefore, there is a lot of chopping and peeling involved. There is also a lot of packaging to sort out once you’ve got everything unboxed.
HelloFresh Pros and Cons
- A wide range of recipes to suit many dietary preferences, such as vegetarian and family-friendly
- Easy to prepare with detailed cooking instructions
- Most packaging is sustainable and recyclable
- Offer a range of add-ons for breakfast, lunch, and the pantry
- There is no option for specific requirements such as gluten-free and dairy-free
- Clean-up can take longer than usual
- Usability: 5/5
- Selection: 4/5
- Sustainability: 4/5
- Taste: 4.5/5
How Does It Compare to Other Meal Delivery Services?
If you’re not sure that HelloFresh is the right meal kit service for you, here are a few other meal kit companies that I’ve tested.
Just like HelloFresh, HomeChef delivery offers over 25 menus per week, each with customizable proteins. They cater to both beginner and seasoned cooks. They have three main categories which are calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian. While this creates some room for dietary preference, it certainly doesn’t cater to all.
HomeChef is one of the cheaper meal kit services out there, but that may be down to not sustainably sourcing their produce.
Sunbasket meal kit delivery is home to a whole range of cuisines such as Korean, Japanese, Mexican, and Mediterranean. Customers have the option to choose from categories such as dairy-free, soy-free, and family-friendly.
The downside to Sunbasket, however, is their steep price per serving.
Freshly is great for customers who have specialized diets to follow. They allow customers to choose from many categories such as gluten-free, dairy-free, calorie-conscious, and more. You can order up to 12 meals each week, which is impressive until you find out they only offer single-serving dishes - a problem for large families.
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of HelloFresh depends on how many servings and meals you order. If you decide to add Gourmet options or add-ons to your box, you will also be required to pay more.
The more meals or servings you purchase, the less you will pay per serving. For example, if you buy two meals each week for two people, you will pay $11.99 per serving.
If you order six meals each week for four people, you will pay $7.49 per serving.
Depending on your location, you will also have to pay a shipping fee of $9.99 per box.
Other Users’ Experiences
After checking out a few reviews on ConsumerAffairs, it seems that the majority of people enjoy what HelloFresh offers.
Most reviews commented on the freshness of ingredients, while others thanked the company for taking the stress out of cooking.
Unfortunately, a few people had commented that they couldn’t get through to anyone when they called customer service. It seems like HelloFresh may have to improve on its customer service in the future .
Is HelloFresh Cheaper Than a Grocery Store?
No, HelloFresh isn’t cheaper than a grocery store. However, the convenience that this meal delivery service offers is worth the price.
Do HelloFresh Offer Single-Serving Dishes?
No, the entry-level subscription for HelloFresh is for two people. However, you can always have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Is HelloFresh Worth it?
HelloFresh offers quick and easy recipes sent straight to your door, made for cutting out the hassle of shopping and meal plans entirely. Even picky eaters will be spoilt for choice due to the wide selection of delicious recipes on offer.
While HelloFresh offers a wide range of foods for various dietary options, some customers may find it difficult to effectively meal prep due to the website's usability. If you’re looking for a more controlled meal plan service, you should check out Trifecta.
Trifecta offers a range of meal kits catered to different diets such as clean eating, vegetarian, keto, and more. With each subscription, you will receive support from nutrition experts, and the option to track your fitness goals and progress through their specialized app.
If you want to find out more about Trifecta, click here.