When you think of meal delivery services, one of the first names that jumps to your head is Hello Fresh. The question is, are Hello Fresh a justified leader in this industry? In our Hello Fresh Review we aim to find out.
For the purpose of this Hello Fresh review, we signed up for our own subscription box (ordering several recipes across all plans) and aimed to answer the questions that potential customers have been asking.
First though, let’s look at some basic info. Just who are Hello Fresh?
Hello Fresh Review
Meal-kits, also known as meal delivery services, aren’t for everyone. Some find them too expensive, some complain that they are too limited, providing few options for those with specific dietary needs, as well as fussy easters.
For others, however, these services are the only thing that keeps them healthy, the thing that inspires them to cook fresh food day after day. Let’s be honest, we all know we should buy fresh and cook from scratch, but without that helping hand, it’s just not something we’re willing or able to do.
Whatever you think of these services, there’s a good chance you were introduced to them by Hello Fresh.
Hello Fresh have been around since 2011. That may not sound like a great length of time, but when you consider that half of its competitors have sprung up since 2015, it begins to look like an age. In that time they have grown into a giant of this industry, paving the way for many copycat companies to follow and becoming almost synonymous with meal-kit deliveries.
Hello Fresh The Basics
Hello Fresh was founded in Berlin by Dominik Richter, Jessica Nilsson and Thomas Griesel, with Griesel and Richter remaining as CEOs as of 2017. It has a subscriber base of close to a million customers, delivering around 8 million meals every single month.
Hello Fresh have gone through several rounds of funding to acquire the finances needed to grow their brand, and as of 2017 you can order Hello Fresh in all of the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
In the US, Hello Fresh are able to ship to 48 states, excluding only Hawaii and Alaska. Other brands have had issues shipping to some zip codes and are therefore unable to live up to their promise of a “nationwide” reach. But this is something that doesn’t seem to be a major problem with Hello Fresh.
Hello Fresh Review: The Options
Hello Fresh keep things relatively simply when it comes to the meal kits available. There are three options:
Classic Plan: This promises the “widest variety” of produce, from seasonal vegetables to prime cuts of meat and fish. There are 6 different recipes to choose from and the plans serve either two or four adults, with a maximum of three meals per week for the former and five for the latter.
Vegetarian Plan: This contains only vegetarian recipes and contains a higher proportion of fresh veg, beans, mushrooms and more as a result. There are also meat-free proteins available, such as soy-based and nut-based proteins. There are three recipes and this can also serve either two or four people, with a maximum of three meals a week for both.
Family Plan: This plan provides a mixture of foods, much like the Classic Plan. There is enough here to feed two adults and two children. You can opt for two meals per week or three meals per week.
In all cases you can choose your recipes each week. Just log-in, see what’s available and make a selection. Bear in mind that the Family Plan tends to contain flavors that are not as strong as the Classic Plan. There isn’t as much spice and other flavors have also been toned down to satisfy the younger tastebuds in the family.
Hello Fresh Review: Vegetarians, Vegans, Gluten-Free
Our favorite meals have actually been the vegetarian options, as well as some seafood recipes. We find that there is a little more complexity here. Often the meat-based meals focus simply on the meat and a few flavorings, and there isn’t enough going on elsewhere on the plate. And while this is still a great experience (they use very good cuts of meat) it’s something we can make ourselves. The veggie options, on the other hand, have introduced us to more new flavors.
At the time of writing, there are no gluten-free options, nor are there are vegan options. You may have some luck with vegan-friendly meals on the Vegetarian Plan, but your options would be very limited if this was the case.
It’s quite surprising that Hello Fresh has not jumped on the vegan or gluten-free bandwagon, especially when you consider they have been in business for 5 years now. But that will probably change in the near future.
Hello Fresh Review: The Pricing
Hello Fresh works out at $9.99 for their Classic Plan and their Vegetarian Plan, and a little less for their Family Plan. This seems very reasonable when you see those brimming boxes in the Hello Fresh adverts. But that’s not exactly what you get. In fact, if you were to buy the food at the grocery store it wouldn’t cost you more than $6.
However, you’re paying for convenience. You get a recipe to follow and there is little waste. Shipping is also free on all of their plans, although you can’t just buy one meal at a time.
You need to purchase plans that include at least two meals, with some of them offering as many as four meals. On average, a subscription costs just under $60, but this rises if you get more meals for more people. This figure can be a little off-putting, even when you factor in all the food you’re getting for your money. But if it’s too much, then a Hello Fresh coupon (details below) might be able to help you out.
Hello Fresh Coupons
There are a few coupons available. These are used by most meal delivery services to entice customers onboard (with Graze being one of the biggest proponents of this). However, they often require you to make a purchase or commit to a plan. They also can’t be used to consistently save on your plan and are one-time things.
The best way to get a Hello Fresh coupon is to find a friend who is a member. If they invite you then you can get $40 off your first order, and they’ll also get $20 off. After that, you can then get some of your own friends onboard, picking up a saving of $20 each time.
Hello Fresh Review: The Experience
Hello Fresh has a partnership with Jamie Oliver. This has helped them for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are one of the few meal delivery services to partner with a well-known chef, and the only one to partner with a celebrity chef who is known around the world. Secondly, it also helps to improve their meals and the whole Hello Fresh experience.
Hello Fresh, in a way, is very similar to the Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals program. You get fresh, delicious meals, you get all the instructions you need to prepare them, and it doesn’t take you very long. The difference is that in this case, Hello Fresh have done all of your grocery shopping for you beforehand.
We found the recipes to be a little more complex than similar services. The instructions require a few more steps and your cooking and prepping skills will get plenty of practice. But make no mistake about it, this is still very simple and relatively quick, and when it comes to taste, Hello Fresh are one of the best meal delivery services we have tried.
Hello Fresh Rating
All in all, Hello Fresh really is one of the best meal delivery services out there. When it comes to home delivered food that is fresh, delicious and comes with easy-to-follow recipes, you can’t get much better. There are a few issues though.
Firstly, Hello Fresh is toward the higher end in terms of price. All meal delivery services are very similar in price, so there’s not a huge difference, but it is a little more expensive than many competing meal-kits.
Secondly, the options are a little limiting. There’s nothing here for vegans or those on gluten-free diets. And even if you’re a vegetarian, your options are limited to just a few recipes at a time. One of the Secret Menu writers compiling the Hello Fresh review is actually a vegetarian, and a very picky one at that. During one of the weeks he discovered that none of the recipes had anything he was interested in, so he ended up missing a lot of ingredients and then stealing a few extra ones from the other boxes we had.
If you’re open to new things and willing to try anything, then you’ll probably be happy with what’s on offer. It’s not quite as “worldly” as services like Try the World, but there is certainly a lot of new flavors to enjoy.
For us, Hello Fresh is a 9/10, and with a few changes, it could easily be a 10/10.