(October, 2021 Revision. This review is updated periodically.).
HelloFresh is one of the largest meal kit delivery companies and one of the most ubiquitous as far as coupons are concerned. Indeed, it was the first company I subscribed to and one I revisit every year or so, usually with very attractive “come back” offers. The company is based in Germany and it delivers meals to several international markets as well as the US.
They are a mid-priced meal kit company, with kits selling at around $20/kit or $10/serving (plus $10 shipping). The food is tasty but not overly creative. Once upon a time, Hello Fresh introduced consumers to somewhat exotic ingredients (demi glace!), but lately they seem to have been using cheaper ingredients in their meals and requiring you to have more things at hand.
On the other hand, their kits seem to have been getting simpler – or I’ve just gotten a hang of making them. The meals are consistently tasty, though not mind blowing. In general, we rate them 7-8 points out of 10.
So far, I’ve only subscribed to HelloFresh with a discount, though how much these are have varied each time. While I originally felt HelloFresh was too expensive for me, I now feel it’s very reasonably priced even at full price. The price of groceries, restaurant meals and delivery has gone up astronomically during the pandemic, and HelloFresh has mostly kept its prices, though adding $10 in shipping (which works out to about $11.7 per serving)
While I’ve liked most of the meals I’ve had, I’m seldom excited by the offerings. On the other hand, I’ve had almost no problems with this service – except once when they didn’t deliver my box until after 11 PM.
These are the kits I’ve made so far:
Loved the potatoes, the pork needed lemon juice.
This was a great burger.
Uneven meat and pedestrian flavors
Sweet ‘N’ Smoky Pork Chops with Apple Carrot Slaw, Mashed Potatoes, and Cherry Sauce ReviewThis dish had no right being this good.
Pork and Poblano Tacos Review & Kiwi Salsa RecipeVery tasty and the kiwi salsa is a killer.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema and CilantroMy vegan daughter thought it was “just OK”.
Saucy Thyme Steak with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans Amandine + RecipesWhere I discovered just how amazing demi-glace is
Breaded Pork Cutlets with Garlic Bread and an Apple and Sunflower Seed SaladSometimes simple is best.
Creamy Dill Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans + RecipeLoved the dill sauce, but there wasn’t enough of it.
And I cooked several different HelloFresh meal kit recipes using my own ingredients. This allowed me to get a broader idea of what HelloFresh offers, without having to spend too much money doing so.
Good vegan recipe from HelloFresh UK
Very satisfactory family fare.
A vegan choice with an awesome peanut sauce and coconut rice.
A restaurant-quality dinner at home. Yum!
These are my general observations.
HelloFresh’s kits taste better than I expected
I subscribed to HelloFresh before taking a look at the actual meals they offered – I had a coupon and I figured, for $15 for two kits, I don’t need to be too picky. However, I was disappointed by the choices once I saw them. All the kits sounded boring and the photos weren’t too enticing. Moreover, most of the kits included either pork or chicken breasts, not my favorite proteins.
But so far, almost every Hello Fresh recipe I made was very tasty – far more than I thought it would be. The one exception was the vegan sweet potato & black bean tacos I made. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
HelloFresh’s offerings are not very adventurous
HelloFresh mostly offers updated American food. This can be a plus or minus depending on what sort of food you like to eat. Living in California, we rarely eat American food at home or in restaurants, but exploring it is not necessarily a bad thing. Still, I recommend looking at the offerings before subscribing. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
They are mid-priced for a meal delivery service
HelloFresh prices their meals from $8 to $12 per person/per week, depending on what plan you choose. Their classic plan of 3 meal kits for 2 per week costs $61 after shipping costs, or $10.25 per person-per week. In 2021 the cost of shipping has gone up, so the typical subscription comes down to $11.67 per person per week.
You have to pay more for fancier meals.
HelloFresh’s basic plan costs $20 per 2-portion kit. But if you want something fancier, featuring steak rather than pork or chicken or special ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, you need to pay a $12 premium per kit – making each portion cost $16. That’s pricier than other services. Costs have gone up here as well. The typical premium right now is of $9-10 extra per serving, making a premium kit cost about $20 per serving/$40 per kit.
Portions are just the right size
So far, the portions we tried were the right size for us for dinner. We weren’t left full or hungry and there weren’t leftovers. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
It’s not environmentally friendly
Like other meal kit subscription services, HelloFresh sends their kits in a large box with freezer gel packs to keep the proteins cold. While the boxes are recyclable, neither the packing material nor the gel packs are (they claim the bag around the gel packs are, but there is no longer any plastic recycling going on). Similarly, some of the veggies are in plastic bags that are not recyclable. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
The meals take about an hour to make
Maybe it’s just me, but whether cooking from a kit or a recipe, I always need about an hour to make a full meal. Some of the meals HelloFresh now offers take less time to make.
While I’ve been lucky with HelloFresh not everyone has been
I have never had any serious problems with HelloFresh. All but once the deliveries came in time and they’ve always included all the ingredients, usually with nothing spoiled. YMMV, however.
HelloFresh is a subscription service
Many of the negative reviews of HelloFresh come because people sign up for free or discounted meal boxes and don’t realize this enrolls them in a subscription service. So if you subscribe, make sure you cancel at least five days before your next order is due. Better yet, skip the following weeks of meals so you have time to cancel after you actually try the kits. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
Suspending and cancelling is a breeze
I was able to easily suspend shipments and then cancel my account. I got offers to resubscribe at a discount after I cancelled, thrice so far. This continues to be my impression in 2021.
If you want to subscribe to HelloFresh
You can use this link and get $40 off your first box plus free shipping.