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Factor Review

Friday, December 9th

2022 Prepared Meal Reviews

Factor Review 2.5 Star Rating

Factor

2.5 Star Rating
  • All meals delivered fresh
  • $5.49 to $15 per serving, depending on discounts
  • Menu options include Chef's Choice, Keto, Calorie Smart, Vegan & Veggie, and Protein Plus
  • Add-ons include breakfast bundles, smoothies and shakes, and more
  • Nutrition coaching available
  • In business since 2011
  • "A-" rated by the BBB

There are lots of people trying to use food to support their health and fitness. Factor's prepared meals are along those lines, with menus that include Vegan and Veggie recipes, Keto, Protein Plus, and other nutritionally-balanced options. Each meal comes fresh, not frozen, and should last under refrigeration until your next box (approximately seven days). And, there's no complicated heating instructions: a few minutes in the microwave (or a few more in the oven, if you like) and it's ready to eat.

See what's on the menu for the next two weeks

Want to know what Factor's got for you? Click on the Current Menu tab and take a look. Each week has about 30 "healthy, restaurant-quality" choices. Some of their most popular recipes include:

  • Red Chile Pork Tamale Bowl with Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Pickled Jalapeno Crema
  • Chicken & Mushroom Tetrazzini with Garlicky Green Beans
  • Creamy Pesto Pork Chop with Spinach Cauliflower "Rice" and Roasted Green Beans

You can't filter for allergens here, so be sure to check out all of the nutritional info and ingredient lists if there's something you need to avoid (or that you just don't like).

Can be spendy without a discount

Factor's per-serving price is usually about $11 to $15. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to get a discount on your first few purchases here. Initially, a pop-up told us we could get $120 off for entering our email address. That sounded incredible - until we got further into the order process and found out that the savings would be spread out over our first five shipments. However, that offer was updated later to give us $241 off those same five boxes - as long as we completed the purchase in 30 minutes. We're not huge fans of the time-pressure marketing tactic, but whatever.

Your preferences can help you get set up

Ready to try Factor? The first step is to choose a menu preference: Chef's Choice, Keto, Vegan & Veggie, Calorie Smart, or Protein Plus. Those recipes will show up first in your selection list, but you'll always be able to see the other meals too. Then, set how many meals you want each week: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 18. You'll make specific choices after you've paid for the first order.

Watch out for the automatic renewal

Notice the fine print when you click on the "place order and select meals" button. See how it says that you're signing up for a weekly auto-renewal, either at the current regular price or with the discount you might have gotten earlier? Yes, you can cancel (or skip) anytime, but it has to be at least five days before your next scheduled delivery.

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Get some variety with add-ons

It wasn't something we noticed right away, but Factor also has a selection of a la cart extras you can use to round out your eating. Who doesn't need the occasional treat, a savory snack, or a smoothie for those busy mornings?

Need some guidance?

This prepared meal company goes a step further by giving you a complimentary 20-minute consultation with a dietitian. Sign up for this online session anytime. Factor also offers to connect you with a 1- or 3-month nutritional coaching program (paid) that comes with food and lifestyle journals, several consultations, unlimited messaging for additional support, and complimentary nutrition courses.

Solid BBB rating

Factor's reputation starts out strong, with an "A-" from the Better Business Bureau. There were 36 complaints registered there in the three years leading up to this evaluation. That's not a huge number, but the majority of them came from the most recent one-year period.

Recent feedback is almost always poor

Unfortunately, that trend continued when we looked at comments from Factor customers elsewhere. Yes, there were more than 15,000 five-star reviews since 2011, but almost all of the ones left in recent months said the prepared meal company was "poor" or "bad" . And, it's not about the food itself: the problems seem to be consistently related to delivery and the customer support response. When people's food doesn't arrive when promised, and they have to go to the store to feed themselves (or their family), they're going to be unhappy - and the best customer service response is usually "we're so sorry, let's fix that" . However, Factor's "fix" tends to be a $5 credit - on a $15 meal that got spoiled by a leaky gel pack or a delivery so delayed that the food wasn't even cold anymore? That's not going to lead to happy campers.

Just okay

We're all about healthy meals for healthy lifestyles, and we really want to like Factor. While acknowledging the company's numerous five-star reviews, we still caution prospective customers to look at other services because of the more recent reviews. You could keep Factor in mind if you're not able to find the prepared meal types you need with another company, but we wouldn't make this our first choice.

Which Prepared Meal Company is the Best?

We've all got so many tools at our disposal these days when it comes to mealtime: the traditional drive-thru run on our way home, getting our groceries delivered by Instacart, or even having our favorite take-out brought right to our house by DoorDash or UberEats. But, let's face it: many of those options are unhealthy, expensive, or both. And even with getting our shopping done online and our supermarket hauls delivered, we still have to do the cooking. Ugh!

Fortunately, prepared meal companies can help you eat healthy at the end of a hectic day (or even on the job). These aren't your average grocery store TV dinners, either. Sure, you can opt for frozen meals if you prefer, particularly for longer-term storage, but you've also got the option of having freshly-made, refrigerated meals that only need to be heated for a few minutes in the microwave.

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Prepared Meal FAQ

Prepared meal subscriptions are popular for the same reason your favorite fast food joint has a long line at the drive-through at dinnertime: they're convenient! Imagine never having to go grocery shopping again! However, most people who subscribe to a prepared meals plan use it to supplement their regular cooking rather than replacing every single meal (e.g. just for a few dinners a week, for all weekend meals, etc.).
That depends on the service you select. Some specialize in reheat-and-eat meals similar to a traditional TV dinner, while others deliver all of the ingredients you need to prepare the recipes they provide. There are also options for holiday meals, special occasion dinners, plus sides and desserts if you want to impress the crowd at your next office potluck - without having to do the work yourself!
Two words: convenience and taste. Would you rather come home to another dinner of ramen or PB&J, or to a box of fresh ingredients that you can pull together into a restaurant-quality meal in just a few minutes? Subscribing to a prepared meals service can help you get out of your fast food rut, spare you the agony of yet another week of meal planning and grocery shopping, or just add some welcome variety to your eating habits.
You might be surprised. Most prepared meal services let you see customer comments on each dish - while some might not have been a huge favorite, most have hundreds (if not thousands) of rave reviews. And, if you're not known for being terribly creative or skilled in the kitchen, prepared meals can help you get out of your comfort zone and expand your taste horizons.
It will definitely cost more than if you bought all of the ingredients and prepared them yourself. But, the per-meal cost is typically less than what you'd spend in a restaurant. Expect a cost-per-serving somewhere between $8 and $12, depending on the plan you select.
Most services offering prepared meals have several options to choose from, either as an overall plan (like vegan or gluten-free) or on a meal-by-meal basis where you choose from a menu of meals for the month and can avoid any ingredients that you prefer not to have.
Unfortunately, most prepared meal plans aren't going to be affordable if you're feeding a crowd every night. There are a few that cater to larger families (or that have more portions per delivery so that you can have leftovers, feed houseguests, etc.). These services even have some menus that are designed to be more kid-friendly.
That depends on the service. If your meals arrive in bad condition - rotten ingredients, thawed meals that were supposed to be frozen at the time of delivery, and so forth - you'll usually get a refund or a replacement. A few providers of prepared meals offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a refund or store credit, regardless of the reason.
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Continued from above...

Prepared meals are especially useful if you're trying to follow a special diet. Getting used to "going keto" , managing diabetes-friendly foods, or knowing what to eat on a renal diet can be frustrating and time-consuming. When you choose a prepared meal company, it relieves some of that burden from your shoulders - until you feel confident doing it on your own, or for as long as you like.

Some customers order prepared meals to help out in a time of need. For families of seniors who are struggling to get adequate nutrition - because they can't get to the store, their mobility or cognition is impaired, or they've got other challenges - these services offer them the peace of mind that their loved ones are consistently getting meals that are well-balanced and easy to prepare.

How does it work? Many companies require you to sign up for a recurring subscription: you choose the number of meals per week and the servings per meal, and they'll be delivered regularly unless you pause the plan, skip a particular delivery, or cancel the service. Others allow you to place orders as needed, but you'll often pay a higher per-serving cost for a la carte prepared meals.

Not sure which provider to pick? Don't worry. Here are a several criteria you can use to narrow down the options for prepared meals:

  • Fresh or Frozen. Do you have a preference? Keep in mind that most meals that are delivered fresh can still be put in the freezer for at least a few weeks.
  • Preferred Menu. Are you trying to follow a particular eating plan, like a weight loss diet or a strictly vegan lifestyle? Choose the prepared meal company that has recipes you'll actually want to eat.
  • Flexibility. Will you need to commit to a delivery schedule? If so, how easy is it to change days or skip a shipment? Can the meals be modified to be more to your liking, such as changing fish for chicken or adding more protein? Are there any extras you can add to your box, to save you a trip to the store?
  • Value. How much will you pay per meal, and how does that compare with what you'd normally spend at the store? Is it worth the cost for the convenience you'll get? Are there any discounts or other ways to save money?
  • Customer feedback. What do people say about the prepared meals and the company providing them? Does everything arrive well-chilled or still-frozen, or are there problems with thawed ice packs and other delivery issues? How's the taste? Does the company's customer service team handle problems poorly or professionally?

TopConsumerReviews.com has made it easier for you to find the right prepared meal company for your needs, by evaluating and ranking today's most popular services. We hope that this information will help you spot the perfect menu and take advantage of this fantastic time-saver. Let's eat!

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