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Friday, March 1st
HelloFresh may very well be the most popular meal kit worldwide, with a whopping 1 billion meals delivered last year alone. It started in Germany in 2011, expanded to a few other countries in 2012, and hit the US in 2013 - acquiring several other services along the way (like EveryPlate, Factor, and Green Chef, who you will also find in our reviews).
Provide your email and mobile number if you want a discount
As you shop on the HelloFresh site, you might get a "reveal your deal" offer. Ours gave us 16 free meals across 7 boxes and free shipping on our first delivery, but we had to enter not only our email address but our phone number. Not our favorite marketing strategy, but no one said we had to provide our actual email and number... The promo was automatically updated at the top of the site, and there was a helpful scroll bar that showed us exactly how much each of the seven boxes would cost.
Excellent variety in recipe choices
Before you get too far into the ordering process, you should take a look at the menus posted to the site. We really like that HelloFresh lets customers see not only the current week's options but also more than a month in advance: no nasty surprises here. The variety is awesome: more than 50 recipes to choose from, across six different menu categories. These categories include:
Each recipe shows upfront how long it will take to make (usually 10-40 minutes), if it's spicy, and if it's a "Hall of Fame" recipe that was so popular they've brought it back across several weeks of menus.
Some recipes are premium - with a surcharge per serving
When you get to the stage of selecting your actual meals, watch out for "Premium Picks" . These recipes come with a per-serving surcharge because they are "top of the line recipes with the highest quality ingredients" . Sometimes these may be labeled as Taste of Summer (or another seasonal tagline), Cookout Collection, or Date Night.
No filters for unwanted ingredients (like allergens)
Another factor to keep in mind is that it's up to you to avoid any allergens. HelloFresh doesn't let you indicate any ingredients to filter out of your selected meals (shellfish or peanuts), so you'll need to go through each recipe and make sure not to choose any that might be problematic.
Most meals are about $8/serving
As you configure your HelloFresh boxes, you can indicate which recipes you'd like to see first in your list, from those menu categories we mentioned - but you're never limited to just those options and will always see the full list of available meals for any given week. You'll also select how many meals you'd like each week (from 2-6) and whether you want meals for two or four people. It's not always clear how much you're paying per serving, especially when you've got a discount applied, but expect that most meals work out to around $8/person.
"A" from the BBB - but 850+ complaints
With HelloFresh being one of the original meal kit delivery services, you might be curious how they measure up reputation-wise. As far as the Better Business Bureau goes, this company gets an "A" rating. We thought that was surprising, given that there were 400+ complaints filed there in the last year and a total of nearly 900 over the most recent three-year period. All of those issues received a response, but there's no way to tell the specifics because it's always a canned "We have reached out directly to the customer" message on the BBB complaints.
Numerous five-star reviews, but declining in recent months?
On a more positive note, almost 25,000 customers give HelloFresh a perfect five-star score, and over 85% of subscribers would describe the service as "great" or even "excellent" . We noticed that the more recent reviews tended to be negative, though, leaving us wondering if there's been a decline in service lately - similar to the trend of the BBB complaints. People often said that the first box was fine, but later deliveries started to have missing ingredients, veggies frozen solid, no recipes included, and other issues that led to disappointment.
Not really keeping up with the competition
We've dropped HelloFresh's rating by a half-star since our last review. The fact of the matter is, the meal delivery marketplace is full of competition, and more recent subscriber feedback gives the impression that maybe this service isn't quite holding up to the pressure of its rivals. In fact, HelloFresh even has a sister service (that you'll find under EveryPlate in our review) with a better track record - and much lower prices. You may want to give a different meal kit a go before committing to HelloFresh.
Isn't it amazing how many ways we have to make our lives easier, from Instacart grocery deliveries to DoorDash dinners from our favorite restaurants? Meal delivery services fall in the middle of that spectrum: you save the time and hassle of planning a menu and buying the ingredients, while not spending tons of money on weekly (or nightly) take-out meals and the corresponding gratuities. These services include heat-and-eat meals that arrive either fresh or frozen, as well as kits that come with all the ingredients necessary to make a gourmet-style meal right at home.
You may have noticed that meal delivery recipe choices are abundant. From classic, hearty favorites like chicken parm and burgers to exotic dishes from around the world, there's something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Following a special diet for health or medical reasons, like keto or diabetic-friendly? You've got possibilities!
Many of these services are subscription-based: you choose the types of meals you prefer (or pick specific entrees), how many servings in each one, and how many meals you'd like in a week, and your deliveries will come like clockwork unless you pause your membership, skip a shipment, or cancel altogether. If that's not your preference, there are some meal delivery companies that let you place your orders whenever you like, with no ongoing commitment.
With almost every meal delivery service, you'll get big discounts on your first order (and sometimes several ones thereafter) - you could pay less than $2 per meal at the start. Just be aware that the regular pricing is higher, typically ranging from $6 to $20 per serving; you'll pay more for premium options with higher-quality proteins and ingredients (maybe for a special occasion?).
It's easy to get overwhelmed as you try to figure out which service to pick. Want some help? Here are a few factors to guide your decision:
To help you simplify your life with regular meal deliveries, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular services available today. We're confident that this will make it a breeze to choose the one that's right for you. Bon appetit!
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