Hello Fresh Review
I’ve been curious about meal delivery kits like Hello Fresh for years. Originally, I was a bit snobbish about meal kits. I thought that obviously anyone could easily make these meals MUCH cheaper by going to the grocery store and buying the ingredients. On the other hand, I was very interested the logistics of it all. Meal kits did seem a little fun!
As we’ve been stuck at home for months and responsible for all of our meals at home every day, it’s become somewhat exhausting deciding what to cook. And because we are trying to go grocery shopping much less frequently, we don’t always have the ingredients we want on hand. It felt like the right time to test one of these kits out and give it a review.
I chose to review Hello Fresh simply because it was the first brand that came to mind and a quick Google search revealed an extremely good coupon code. I was able to get my first box of three meals (two servings for each meal for a total of six servings) for about $30 or $5 per serving. It was a no-brainer to give it a go at that price. So, what did I think?
The Hello Fresh packaging was impressive. The box was fun and cheerful which obviously adds nothing to the function, but leaves a good first impression. The box was insulated and, in addition to the insulation, there were two large freezer packs at the bottom of the box. Even though it sat on my front porch for an entire afternoon in August, everything was still cool when I opened it.
Each meal came in it’s own space-efficient brown bag. I really liked this packaging. It was easy to store the meals in the refrigerator without much trouble since the bags were flexible enough to be smooshed into open space. The individual bags also made it easier to grab all of the ingredients necessary at once when making a dish.
Each meal came with a recipe card that was visually stunning and made following the recipes easy. I could imagine myself collecting these recipe cards in a binder and using them often even if I were no longer receiving the meal kits. I also thought that the cards were awesome for people just learning to cook because there were photos for each step which helped make the instructions very clear.
I was impressed with the quality of food that came in the kits especially the produce. I’m very finicky about choosing produce and I like to do it myself. I want to be able to pick the freshest looking items possible. But, Hello Fresh didn’t let me down. All of the produce in my boxes was very fresh.
I chose mostly vegetarian meals, but one meal did include chicken sausage which was also of high quality as well as delicious. I enjoyed the tiny portions of pantry ingredients like spices and sauces that came in the kit purely from a cuteness perspective; but I know that type of packaging does seem understandably wasteful to lots of people.
There was a good amount of variety in the recipe choices. Hello Fresh clearly put a lot of thought into consumers with varied diets. There were plenty of vegetarian options. We did choose mostly vegetarian options because we have a freezer filled with meat from our local CSA; but I also thought the vegetarian options sounded more flavorful and many had a more international flavor profile that I liked.
The recipes I chose were all 30-minute recipes and the ingredient lists were relatively small; generally speaking the recipes did take the advertised 30 minutes (or less!) though one took closer to 45 minutes.
I was impressed by the bold flavors of each meal despite a small ingredient list. The recipes were very delicious and flavorful. Hats off to the recipe creators at Hello Fresh. The final dishes were very tasty.
Apricot, Almond, & Chickpea Tagine | Lemon Tortelloni Palermo
Is Hello Fresh Worth It?
My overall experience with the Hello Fresh meal kit delivery service was a positive one which is obvious from my review. I really enjoyed the experience. And for $5 per serving with my promotional code, it was more than worth it.
However, at full price, the meals are closer to $10 per serving. And that becomes a tough sell for me because I do like to grocery shop and our pantry is fairly robust. I can make these meals for much cheaper than $10 per serving. I also enjoy having leftovers on hand for easy lunches which we didn’t get from the perfectly portioned servings provided in each kit. The convenience of these meal kits at the regular price delivered on a weekly basis aren’t worth it to me.
But! I think for some people who are learning to cook or who really value convenience (read: people who hate grocery shopping; I see you!), the kits are a good deal. At $10 per serving, the cost is comparable to mediocre take-out. And yes, you have to do some work, but you’re also probably getting a healthier meal and, likely, a better tasting meal out of the deal. Listen, you’re going to wait 30 minutes for a food delivery anyway!
Finally, I do see some uses for the kits in my life on an occasional basis. First, in normal times, we travel quite a lot. We generally try to have an empty refrigerator before we leave, so it would be awesome to schedule a Hello Fresh delivery to arrive when we return home. Having a few meals at the ready would help us have a softer landing back into reality.
I also think the meal kits would be great when we are camping. We have a small RV and like to cook while we are camping, but that entails filling up our cooler with so much stuff. The kits were so efficiently packed that we could fit three meals in the cooler with plenty of room left for beer!
Hello Fresh Review: The Bottom Line
Hello Fresh is a high quality product. It was fun to receive and the products are time-saving and efficient. The final recipes are very tasty. The cost is likely worth it to many people who value convenience over frugality. In the grand scheme of things, the convenience mark-up is less than you’d pay for an average take-out meal; Hello Fresh also delivers a healthier—and likely tastier—option. I might not use these meal kits on a regular basis but will certainly be ordering from Hello Fresh in the future when time is short.