Hellofresh vs Home Chef: Our Meal Delivery Kit Comparison

article by Nicky Hoseck
April 06, 2020
Prepare yourself for a fierce battle between two meal kit delivery giants as HelloFresh vs Home Chef come to blows. Meal kit delivery services offer what some are calling “convenience maximalism” – maximum convenience – and HomeChef and HelloFresh are amongst the most popular and extensively used services of this nature.
Offering home-delivered healthy meals, the best meal delivery services accommodate all types of dietary styles and plan, ensuring you and your family enjoy tasty, nutritious meals without the hassle of grocery shopping and meal planning.

HelloFresh is a solid service offering consistently high ingredient quality and flexibility but, at the end of the day, we’d opt for HomeChef because of its cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and recipe variety and selection.

Read on to find out the pros and cons of each of these meal kit delivery services and discover why, in a contest between Home Chef vs HelloFresh, we’d vote for HomeChef every time.

The HelloFresh vs Home Chef Showdown

 Visit HomeChef SiteVisit Hello Fresh Site
Ease of Use
Recipe Variety and Selection
Ingredients Quality and Taste
Flexibility
Pricing
TIE TIE
Customer Support & Service
Try NowTry Now

Ease of Use

People choose meal kit delivery services over home cooking because they’re more convenient and save valuable time by providing the exact portions needing for each dish. Ease of use is, therefore, a priority which is presumably why both HomeChef and HelloFresh have welcoming, well-designed websites that are easy to navigate.

Signing up for either service is straightforward and how it works is clear thanks to both websites giving step-by-step instructions as you go. Similarly, HelloFresh and HomeChef both have mobile apps so you can order your meals and track your delivery whenever, wherever.

When your box of goodies arrives, it will include all the ingredients you need, separately packaged to make both identification and storage simpler. Both HomeChef and HelloFresh also provide recipe cards detailing each meal’s nutritional value and how to prepare it.

In the head to head between HelloFresh vs HomeChef, HelloFresh gets the upper hand in the box and packaging category thanks to its recyclable packaging. HomeChef isn’t far behind but could cut down on some unnecessary zip lock bags.

When it comes to preparation of the meals, however, HomeChef makes it easier for beginners to understand how it works and its step-by-step instructions and clear explanations mean even those with extreme kitchen-phobia can create a gourmet meal. HelloFresh sometimes provides precooked components to cut down on preparation time, which is convenient, but feel too much like a takeaway to those who enjoy the cooking process.

HelloFresh is also less flexible in terms of numbers so, if you need to feed six people six times a week, HomeChef is the best option. HelloFresh is more limited with a choice of meals for just two or four people up to four times a week.

Although both companies offer flexibility when it comes to both dietary styles and plans and pricing and delivery schedules, HomeChef manages to sneak in front of HelloFresh in this category with its easy to follow menu cards and simple ordering process.

Winner: HomeChef

Whether you’re feeding a family five days a week or just you and a partner twice a week, HomeChef has a plan for you and, if you’re strapped for time, even has some 5-minute meals on offer to make life easier.

Recipe Variety and Selection

Choosing your meals is one of the most enjoyable things about using a meal kit delivery service and browsing through the available options on either HomeChef or HelloFresh is bound to get your mouthwatering. HomeChef’s menu is designed to appeal to everyone, including the pickiest eaters. The menu is far from bland, however, and quirky side dishes and optional extras mean it will satisfy those with more adventurous tastes as well.

HomeChef offers a huge variety of dishes each week and taste bud-tantalizing extras like smoothies and fresh fruits. HelloFresh is a little more limited but not much, although it does focus solely on main meals and does little in the way of added extras.

The process of meal selection is much the same with either meal kit delivery service and you can browse through meal cards, salivating over the photos and planning your week’s meals.

At a glance, HelloFresh’s menu displays the preparation time and other snippets, like how spicy the dish is or if it’s particularly low in calories. HomeChef, on the other hand, lets its customers know if the dish contains any allergens, like nuts or milk, and uses a series of icons to indicate if its calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, or vegetarian.

Both meal kit delivery services offer more detailed information about dietary styles and plans, as well as each dish if you click on that menu option. You will then get a comprehensive list of ingredients, details of what additional items you may need, like a saucepan or olive oil, and nutritional information. HelloFresh and HomeChef both include full recipes as well so even those not ordering a meal kit delivery kit can try their hand a producing Garlic Peppercorn Salmon Scampi or Black Bean and Poblano Flautas.

Winner: HomeChef

It’s a close call in this category of the Home Chef vs HelloFresh head to head, but HomeChef once again seals the victory with its diverse menu, quirky extras, and handy menu icons.

Ingredients Quality and Taste

Convenience is all well and good, but if the meals you end up producing aren’t to your liking, the whole endeavor is pointless. Some meal kit delivery services tend to be a little too exotic for the average person, combining spicy and unusual flavors that most of us find unusual at best, if not downright bizarre. While HomeChef and HelloFresh both maintain more homely menus with a combination of traditional and global flavors, they also ensure ingredients quality is optimum.

HelloFresh provides high-quality ingredients sourced from sustainable, environmentally suppliers. Members of the HelloFresh team visit each meat vendor to ensure they comply with the highest health and safety standards. Similarly, this meal kit delivery service strives to source only ocean-friendly seafood, choosing the best from a variety of wild-caught and farm-raised fish.

HomeChef isn’t quite as thorough, although it does maintain “a rigorous selection process” when it comes to sourcing its ingredients. Ingredients’ quality is high thanks to its commitment to locally sourced produce.

When it comes to flavor, it’s difficult to choose between HelloFresh vs HomeChef as both offer a range of delicious meals that are mouthwatering even when not prepared exactly as instructed. I have, for instance, messed up one or two sauces and don’t always have the necessary patience when it comes to presentation, but the meal is appetizing, nonetheless.

Winner: HelloFresh

Both HomeChef and HelloFresh turn the blandest dish into a scrumptious supper by introducing spices, herbs, and other natural flavorings but HelloFresh’s dedication to locally and sustainably sourced produce and ingredients quality gives them the edge. When it comes to taste and quality, you can’t go wrong with HelloFresh.

Flexibility

We briefly touched on HomeChef’s greater flexibility in terms of meal and portion numbers in an earlier section and it shows this same quality in other areas of its meal delivery service as well. By giving users the option of feeding up to six people, as opposed to HelloFresh’s four, HomeChef is easily one of the best meal delivery services for families.

With HomeChef, you can also alter your portion numbers so, on Tuesdays when the whole family is home, you get six portions but on Thursdays when two of you have other commitments, you only receive four.

Not even HelloFresh offers this level of flexibility and customization which means HomeChef appeals to a wider range of different people. According to some, there are at least seven types of people who could benefit from a meal delivery kit so why not read our article and find out if you’re one of them?

HelloFresh users can skip weeks and adjust their weekly menu selection easily enough, but the number of portions is set in the plan, and therefore set in stone. The deadline for making those changes is also five days before the next scheduled delivery date so it requires some serious forethought.

If you are but you’re worried that your lifestyle is too chaotic and unpredictable to cope with a weekly meal delivery kit, stop worrying and sign up with HomeChef instead. You can skip weeks, or unskip weeks if plans change, reschedule deliveries and edit your meal selection easily either online or from the HomeChef mobile app.

Winner: HomeChef

When it comes to flexibility, HomeChef romps home ahead of the competition, giving it a clear advantage in the Home Chef vs HelloFresh head to head.

Pricing

HomeChef and HelloFresh are among the best cheapest meal delivery services, with prices starting at $6.99 and $7.49 respectively. While HelloFresh is upfront about their charges, finding out exactly what each meal costs with HomeChef is a little more challenging and makes the whole pricing structure considerably more complex.

HelloFresh has graded pricing plans depending on how many meals and portions you order each week. If you only want two portions and two meals a week, you’re looking at around $10.99 per serving. This drops to $8.99 if you order more meals, and $7.49 if you order more portions.

HomeChef operates differently with each meal having its own price tag. The cheapest meals are generally the smaller breakfasts while gourmet meals such as steak will cost a little more. When signing up with HomeChef, you commit to a plan based on an average rate that assumes all the meals you select will be in the $9.95 price bracket.

On the plus side, HomeChef delivers to 98% of the US free of charge, whereas HelloFresh charges a standard shipping cost of $6.99 per delivery.

Although HomeChef has some budget options available, its complex pricing structure means it fails to secure an advantage over HelloFresh despite the absence of any shipping cost.  With HelloFresh offering a simpler pricing structure that ensures new users know exactly how much to budget for their meal delivery service, it manages to keep pace with HomeChef stride for stride.

Winner: Tie

When it comes to pricing, there’s little to choose between the two services, making this round of the Home Chef vs HelloFresh contest a tie.

Customer Support & Service

The last category in our HelloFresh vs Home Chef comparison is one of the most variable in the meal delivery service industry. While some services, like HomeChef, restrict their customer support and service to a set of online FAQs and a telephonic support option, others, like HelloFresh, are grooving with the online times and offer 24/7 live chat support.

Despite their different approaches to customer care, both HomeChef and HelloFresh receive consistently good reviews online and have been praised for their timeous responses, whether it’s dealing with late shipments or spoiled ingredients. Inevitably, there are a few bad reviews out there as well, but that’s to be expected given that HomeChef alone delivers around three million meals a month.

HomeChef may rely on a rather outdated telephonic customer support service but it manages to respond timeously to most queries and complaints. Its online FAQs are also informative and the help section easy to navigate.

HelloFresh excels when it comes to customer support, however, and we particularly like the estimated response times indicated on its main help center page. Customers can expect to wait three minutes for an email response from a customer support representative, and an estimated one minute when using the online live chat service.

Winner: HelloFresh

While HomeChef’s ease of use could mean fewer inquiries for its customer support and service team to field, it would still benefit from more contact options and a more approachable design for its online help section. HomeChef outstrips the competition in many respects but, when it comes to a clash between Home Chef vs HelloFresh in the customer support and service department, HelloFresh wins hands down.

Overall Winner: HomeChef

HelloFresh is one of the leading meal kit delivery services and dominate s the US industry with a market share of 28%. From sustainably sourced ingredients to delicious dishes, HelloFresh is tough to beat but HomeChef, despite being the underdog in this HelloFresh vs HomeChef comparison has come out on top.

When it comes to recipe variety and selection, HomeChef’s range of meals and optional extras gives it the advantage over HelloFresh and, while both offer popular meals and cover the same delivery area, HomeChef is marginally more user-friendly and offers more flexibility.

A quick glance at one of HomeChef’s weekly menus illustrates its emphasis on homely meals while also indicating the nutritional value of each dish. Popular meals are listed separately so users know they are already tried and tested.

HomeChef is suitable for anyone looking to invest more time into creating delicious and nutritious meals and less scouring the supermarket for unusual ingredients. By sending pre-portioned ingredients, quality and quantity are guaranteed. There is also less waste as HomeChef’s box and packaging are all fully recyclable.

Although HelloFresh gives HomeChef a run for its money, it needs more flexibility, a wider variety of recipes and a more streamlined selection process if it hopes to win the next HomeChef vs HelloFresh bout.

As far as we’re concerned, HomeChef is the clear winner here but if you want to find out more about this meal kit delivery service, and its delivery area, check out our full review here

You can also find out more about HelloFresh and all its pros and cons here.