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Hello Fresh Review

article by Sandra Trentino author July 08, 2020
our score
So your grandmother was a great cook, your mom is a great cook, dammit, even your sister’s a great cook but, somehow, somewhere along the line that culinary flair didn’t make it into your genes.
  • Affordable prices
  • Separate plan for vegetarians
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Easy to follow recipes
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Limited choice on the veggie plan
  • Refunds not necessarily forthcoming
  • Less variety than other meal kit services
HelloFresh meal plans offer a convenient alternative to home cooking and eating out that is both cost-effective and tasty
Sandra Trentino, author
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Good variety of recipes Good variety of recipes
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Highly nutritious meals Highly nutritious meals
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Sustainable and environmentally friendly Sustainable and environmentally friendly
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Offers some of the cheapest meal kits Offers some of the cheapest meal kits
Classic Plan Try Now >>
$7.49 - $8.99
  • Save up to $80 in Total Per Order
  • 17 Chef-Curated Weekly Recipes
  • Free Shipping On First Box
Try Now >>
Veggie Plan Try Now >>
$6.99 - $8.99
  • Save up to $80 in Total Per Order
  • 17 Chef-Curated Weekly Recipes
  • Free Shipping On First Box
Try Now >>
Family Plan Try Now >>
$7.49 - $7.87
  • Save up to $80 in Total Per Order
  • 17 Chef-Curated Weekly Recipes
  • Free Shipping On First Box
Try Now >>

While you dream of cooking up a storm, it usually ends up a complete catastrophe. But don’t despair, help is on hand in the form of HelloFresh. This affordable meal delivery service will not only take the stress out of menu planning and give you a reprieve from the aisles of the supermarket, but it will also give you step-by-step instructions on how to concoct a delicious, healthy meal that all the family will enjoy. As one of America’s most popular meal delivery services, HelloFresh meal options are designed to bring you great flavors and affordable meals without the hassle of finding the right ingredients and racking your brain for inspiration. All you have to do is select a plan, choose your menu and wait for a box of fresh surprises to arrive on your doorstep. Almost sounds too good to be true… but is it? Read our HelloFresh review for the lowdown on everything from price to flavor.

Ease of Use Ease of Use

Despite their recent popularity, meal kit delivery services aren’t for everyone. If you not only feel you can’t cook but also hate the sight of a saucepan, it’s probably best you stick to takeouts because, although a HelloFresh box will include everything you need to create a tasty and nutritious meal, you will need to get your hands dirty preparing it. If, however, you simply feel uninspired about what to cook, disinclined to join the throngs of people at the supermarket each weekend, HelloFresh delivery could be the answer to all your problems.

With a good range of meals to choose from, HelloFresh not only sends you all the ingredients for each meal but also plenty of useful information on how to prepare the meal and what you’ll need in the way of kitchen equipment. They also provide useful material about the nutritional contents of each meal, in terms of carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat, as well as calories.

There are three HelloFresh plans, which you can select with a click of the button on their bright, friendly website. The classic plan is aimed at households of two or four people and caters for those with a diet that includes both fish and meat. A vegetarian option is available with the veggie plan which is also suitable for either two or four people. The family plan is aimed, unsurprisingly, at families, supplying four portions of family-friendly meals, two or three times a week.

On receiving a HelloFresh box, you’ll find the ingredients for each meal are packaged in a separate box within a box. If this seems rather excessive, don’t worry – all the packaging materials used for HelloFresh meals are fully recyclable and the company even provides a whole page of recycling instructions on their website.

Each HelloFresh meal comes with a dedicated recipe card that gives illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to transform the raw ingredients into the impressive-looking dish on the card. While it may seem like an impossible task, most of the recipes are very simple, meaning you’ll only have to dedicate about half an hour of your day to creating a delightful culinary experience for your loved ones.

Everything from signing up to selecting meals, skipping weeks or cancelling your plan has been made as simple as possible, making the HelloFresh delivery experience as smooth as possible for the customer. HelloFresh meal options are traditional but not dull and the portions generous, although some of the recipes included in the family plan are possibly over-priced. After all, how hard is it to find a flatbread pizza with tomatoes in the supermarket and will it really set you back nearly $8 per portion?

Nevertheless, HelloFresh offers an efficient and convenient service that can help you diversify your weekly menu, cut down on unnecessary expense and unwholesome meals at the local restaurant while boosting your healthy eating regime. It can also save you both time and money.

Plans Plans

Although not as diverse and adventurous as rivals such as Plated, who add real flair and global flavors to their menu, HelloFresh plans contain a good variety of recipes, each containing fresh ingredients and providing generous portions. If you’re trying to feed a family of four, you’ll appreciate HelloFresh’s dedication to classic cuisine. After all, with a daughter who won’t eat Brussels sprouts and a partner who hates sweet and sour, a dish like Plated’s Hoisin Chicken Buns with Brussels Sprouts and Crunchy Slaw, really isn’t going to go down well.

So, although variety is a little more limited that Plated, who offer 20 different meal choices per week, there’s still plenty to choose from and a profusion of inspiration for new challenges and tastes. Looking at the classic plan menu for a week, you’ll find chicken, beef and pork dishes alongside vegetarian options such as Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous Veggie with Zucchini and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes.

The veggie plan is a little more limited, in fact, as it’s only available for those wanting to order three meals a week and there are only three options per week, you won’t actually have any choice at all. Nevertheless, HelloFresh meal plans are varied enough so, over the course of a week, even those on the veggie plan will discover flavors and dishes inspired by cuisines from all over the world, including Asia and Argentina.

Subscribers to the family plan find themselves somewhere in the middle, with six meal choices for the week – a few more than the three vegetarian options and few less than the 15 choices available on the classic plan. That’s really not bad when you consider that these HelloFresh meal options are all designed to appeal to a range of tastes and usually require less than 40 minutes’ preparation time.

With a nice variety of fresh ingredients, the HelloFresh delivery service will make sure your family is happy and full of healthy food while providing the inspiration to create new and exciting dishes.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Tasty Taste

Just as you can’t bake a cake without cracking an egg, you can’t produce tasty food without good quality ingredients. Although HelloFresh avoids the specialty items that some of their competitors are so addicted to, they do ensure that the fresh ingredients are just that and the company claims to be dedicated to following “every stop of our ingredients’ journey”. HelloFresh works with smaller, local suppliers in order to source the very best and reduce their carbon footprint.

In an average HelloFresh box, you can expect to find fish caught off the coast of Cape Cod, avocados from San Diego and fruit and vegetables from the farmer-focussed Growers Express.

As committed as they are to sourcing ingredients that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, HelloFresh doesn’t compromise on taste and the meals really are of a standard comparable with most restaurants and a damn sight better than many takeout services. Whether you’re trying to feed a family of picky eaters or a partner with an anything-goes attitude towards food, HelloFresh meals can help you answer that dreaded question – “What’s for dinner?”.

A lot of research goes into the design of HelloFresh meal plans, including customer research into popular recipes and preferred tastes. With many customers being working parents, the dishes need to appeal to a wide spectrum of palates, from the least daring to the most. As a result, HelloFresh includes recipes from popular chefs like Jamie Oliver who creates traditional fare with a little extra flair.

While other meal delivery services are so caught up in catering for dietary niches, like gluten-free or vegan, HelloFresh has kept their options a little more open which enables them to focus on flavor as well as ingredients. Rivals at Purple Carrot have come in for a bit of a roasting over their strange textures and bland results, while HelloFresh seems to have consistently happy customers all over America.

The recipes are simple and, in many instances, may not be that dissimilar to something you’ve tried before. The results, however, are often surprising. It’s amazing what one additional ingredient can do to transform a dish from ordinary to spectacular.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Convenience Convenience

During the course of our HelloFresh review, we found that setting up an account, selecting a plan and choosing menus were all very straightforward. The website is easy to navigate and laid out in such a way that your mouth will be watering just from looking at the week’s HelloFresh menu. As with most similar services, you can choose to skip a week whenever you choose – all you have to do is log into your account and change the delivery dates on the calendar. Similarly, making changes to your meal selections can be done quickly and easily through your online account.

HelloFresh is one of America’s most popular meal delivery services, distributing HelloFresh boxes to 95% of America. You don’t have to be at home to receive your HelloFresh delivery either – the insulated packaging and cool packs will keep the contents fresh even if it sits on your doorstep during the heat of the day. Alternatively, you can request that the parcel gets delivered to a friend, neighbor, family member, or even your place of work.

In some unfortunate instances, customers have complained that late deliveries or missing ingredients have spoiled their HelloFresh experience. Although requesting a refund in such instances is easy enough – just contact their customer care department – it seems sometimes the company isn’t as forthcoming as it should be. Online customer reviews at Consumer Affairs and highya reveal some unhappy customers who, attempting to be refunded for missing meals, have been informed they will only receive credit on their next order rather than refunded on their previous one. Another customer complained that they received no information regarding their delayed delivery and no refund as a result of the inconvenience.

Like most meal delivery services, HelloFresh delivers seven days a week, between 8am and 8pm, meaning you should receive your HelloFresh box in time to prepare a meal the same evening. Of course, you could simply plan a different meal for the day of delivery and avoid the risk altogether, but the principle still means HelloFresh lose a couple of points in terms of the convenience of their service.

HelloFresh manages to redeem itself a little by providing a selection of wines to accompany your HelloFresh meals. These wines are selected and tasted by a sommelier who then pairs with the appropriate dish. Unfortunately, you do need to have someone over the age of 21 around to sign for your weekly wine delivery but, on the plus side, ss with the HelloFresh meal plans, you can easily cancel your wine order online or by using the HelloFresh app which takes convenience to another level.

Despite our few little niggles over refunds, HelloFresh provides good-quality products and a solid service with good customer support to back it up. A comprehensive FAQ section on the website goes a long way to solving the most common problems customers experience without wasting time with emails and phone calls. We would like to see an online live chat service as well, though.

Pricing Pricing

Quite how HelloFresh manages to keep operating on their seriously low prices is something of a mystery. On a par with rivals Blue Apron, HelloFresh offers some of the cheapest meal kits available.

Taking one recipe at random, we decided to try a little experiment. For a meal of Fiesta Chicken Tacos for four people, HelloFresh will provide 20 ounces of chicken stirfry and 12 flour tortillas, along with all the other necessary ingredients. HelloFresh prices mean you’ll be paying just under $30 for this meal. Now let’s take a look at the average cost of those items in an online store. The tortillas and chicken alone would set you back around $10, not to mention all the additional ingredients and packaging. Looking at it in these terms, it becomes clear that HelloFresh prices are both affordable and competitive.

In comparison to other similar services, HelloFresh manages to undercut pretty much everyone. Home Fresh has always been one of the more affordable meal kit delivery services but even their meals start at $7.99, while their premium meals cost as much as $19.95 per serving. Another rival called Freshly have meals available for as little as $8.99, going up to $12.50 per portion.

Although HelloFresh has received some criticism for their rather cut-throat business tactics, they seem to be paying off for the consumer. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the meal kit industry, HelloFresh has seen sales soar, overtaking former market-leader Blue Apron in the process. This bodes well both for the company and its customers who can be assured of both its cost-effectiveness and longevity.

Bottom Line Conclusion

Carefully sourced ingredients and well-researched menus designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes place HelloFresh in an excellent position to dominate the market for meal kit delivery services. Although their customer service is a little shaky when it comes to refunds and a live chat option would be a welcome addition to their website, they still provide a robust and reliable service.

HelloFresh meals are nutritious tasty and widely varied, incorporating different cuisines from all over the world. Available in three different plans, HelloFresh has made a notable effort in meeting the needs of different niche groups, from vegetarians to families. HelloFresh boxes can be delivered to almost anywhere in the US and delivery times and dates are easy to organize and change as required. Skipping a week or canceling your account couldn’t be easier.

Although those with an appetite for unusual flavors or weird and wonderful concoctions may find the HelloFresh menu a little limiting, for the majority of people, it’s more than satisfactory, introducing new ideas, and techniques to home cooking. An affordable service that is dedicated to meeting the needs of its consumers and providing consistently high-quality ingredients from sustainable suppliers, it’s little wonder HelloFresh has grown exponentially since its establishment in 2011.

If your life is simply too busy to find the time to plan menus and scour the supermarket shelves for specialist ingredients, HelloFresh is definitely worth a try. Although options are a little limited within the HelloFresh vegetarian plan, the classic plan offers plenty of variety, while the family plan focuses on more traditional dishes that will appeal to adults as well as children.

HelloFresh meal plans offer a convenient alternative to home cooking and eating out that is both cost-effective and tasty.