Are Meal Delivery Services Worth It? My HelloFresh Review

    HelloFresh is the largest meal-kit provider in the US. It’s known for its fresh ingredients and range of diverse dishes. Customers are drawn to its constantly rotating menu, and the reasonable meal prices make it a consistently popular choice. 

    • Plant-based protein
    • Gourmet Meals
    • Vegetarian
    • Plant Based
    • Low Carb
    • Low Calorie
    Written By: Adam Dagan MDS

    HelloFresh was launched in 2012 with the aim of getting Americans back into the kitchen to create healthy, filling and delicious recipes. A big part of the company’s ethos is built around sustainable farming practices, reducing food waste and encouraging environmentally friendly behaviors. The platform’s carbon footprint is about 25% lower than store-bought equivalent ingredients, and all produce is responsibly sourced. The service offers a constantly rotating menu so you’ll always have new and exciting dishes to try out.

    What is HelloFresh?

    HelloFresh delivers fresh ingredients, alongside a card with preparation instructions. The meal usually takes around 30-40 minutes to cook on average. Preparation steps are pretty easy to follow, but it might take complete newbies a little longer to get to grips with the meals as some basic culinary skills are required. 

    Plans are based around households of either two or four people and you can choose to have between two and five meals delivered each week. Simplicity, high-quality meals and reasonable prices have made HelloFresh the market leader and it looks set to stay there for the foreseeable future.

    HelloFresh Pros & Cons

    • Excellent variety of dishes
    • Specialist menus for vegetarians and pescetarians
    • Recipe cards are easy-to-follow
    • Great customer service
    • All ingredients are delivered fresh
    • HelloFresh supports responsible ingredient sourcing
    • Meals are very filling
    • Meal prep times can be long
    • Doesn’t cater to large families
    • You’ll need some basic cooking skills to get started
    • There aren’t any customization options
    • Expensive delivery charges

    Who is HelloFresh Good For?

    • People with the time to cook – With most meals taking around 30-40 minutes to cook, you’ll need to set some time aside each day. It’s a great choice for people that love to take time and care preparing fresh ingredients

    • Vegetarians – A lot of other meal prep services can skimp on the portion sizes. That’s not the case here though as HelloFresh provides large and filling portions for its veggie customers

    • Couples and small families – The portion sizes are perfect for small households, and the easy-to-follow recipe cards mean you can get the kids involved in the fun

    • People looking for variety – The menu is being constantly updated and refreshed, with lots of interesting international options being added all the time. Plus, you can always go back and make any of the meals as long as you hold on to the recipe cards. In fact, it’s estimated that there are currently around 2,500 different HelloFresh altogether

    • Calorie counters – If you’re on a mission to lose weight you’ll love the detailed calorie and nutritional information that’s included with the meal cards

    Who Isn’t HelloFresh Good For?

    • Large families – The largest meal plan is limited to four people, so if you’re part of a large household there simply won’t be enough here for you

    • People looking for customization – Your meal choices will be restricted to what’s available that week. You can’t go back and request older recipes or add any additions to your choices. If you’re after more flexibility, there are other delivery services that give you total control over your menu choices

    • Total beginners – Meals are broken down into three difficulty levels, but even for the easiest category you’ll still need to know your way around a kitchen. Conversely, some newbies might see this as an appealing part of the challenge! Be aware that some dishes can get quite complex

    • Long term storage – As all the ingredients are delivered fresh you’ll need to get everything eaten the same week your delivery arrives. The food can spoil quickly and a lot of it isn’t suitable for freezing

    How HelloFresh Works?

    You’ll start by choosing one of six plans depending on your dietary needs and preferences. You’ll then select whether you’d like meals for either two or four people, opting for between two and five meals to be delivered each week. 

    You’ll pay for each delivery one week in advance, and all the ingredients are fresh and shipped to you in recyclable packaging. Once your food has arrived you become the chef and will follow the step-by-step recipe cards to create some excellent gourmet meals.

    Pick a Plan

    Get Your Delivery

    Cook, Eat, & Enjoy!

    HelloFresh Website and App

    You can navigate the website pretty easily and can be ordering your first boxes in just a couple of clicks. Before you make the commitment to sign up for delivery, you can check out the recipes on offer that week to get an idea of what to expect. 

    Unfortunately, the information is a little limited before sign up, as you’re only given the recipe name and estimated preparation time. You’ll need to create an account if you’d like to know more details like calorie count and nutritional information.

    Apps are available on both Android and iOS and have very similar functionality to the website version.

    Creating an account / Sign-up

    Sign up only takes a few minutes to complete, and the process can be completed even quicker if you enter your details via your Facebook, Google or Apple accounts. Once in, all you need to do is select your plan, choose your meals and you’re done.

    HelloFresh Meal Plans and Meal Selection Options

    Each week there are around 20 different meals to choose from across six different plans. Meal options change each week, so make sure to hang onto any recipe cards. Although particularly popular items are often brought back in future weeks as ‘hall of fame’ favorites.  

    Prices are the same for every plan and cost will only vary depending on how many people you’re buying for and how many meals you choose. 

    Bear in mind there will be some crossover between the different categories, and you’ll find some of the same meals repeated.

    • Meat and veggies – A selection of home cooking staples

    • Veggie – Exactly what is says it is, the best choice for vegetarians

    • Family friendly – These have been kid-tested and come with appropriate portion sizes

    • Calorie smart – Each of these meals comes in at under 650 calories

    • Quick and easy – This plan has options that can be prepared quickly. However, you’ll still need around 20 minutes of prep time as a minimum

    • Pescetarian – A combination of vegetarian and seafood options


    HelloFresh Meal Types

    HelloFresh has produced around 2,500 different recipes since it has been in operation. You can find international options from regions as diverse as, Japan, Mexico, Italy, France and the Middle East, as well as a range of traditional US classics. 

    Current options include:

    • Chicken & biscuit pot pie

    • Tex-Mex turkey stuffed poblanos

    • Tuscan chicken over bulgur pilaf

    • BBQ pineapple flatbreads

    • Apricot almond and chickpea tagine

    • Mushroom and soy ramen

    • Louisiana-style tilapia

    In terms of quality and variety, HelloFresh really is one of the best there is in the industry. While other providers might have quite limited selections to choose from, you’ll always have something new and interesting to try here. 

    Choosing HelloFresh Recipes

    While we love the variety on offer, the fact that the menu changes so regularly can sometimes be a detriment. You might find that you love one particular recipe, only to find it’s gone the very next week. Of course, you could use the recipe card and make the dish yourself, but you’ll be missing out on the convenience of home delivery and pre-portioned ingredients.

    How Much Does HelloFresh Cost?

    Prices are based on how many people you order for and how many meals you’d like delivered each week. No matter which package you choose, you’ll be charged $8.99 for each delivery.

    Servings and Recipes/Week
    Total Cost
    2 people
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $12.49/serving ($49.96 total + $8.99 shipping = $58.95/week)
    2 people and 3 servings
    2 people, 3 recipes per week
    $8.99/serving ($53.94 total + $8.99 shipping = $62.93/week)
    2 people and 4 servings
    2 people, 4 recipes per week
    $8.99/serving ($71.92 total + $8.99 shipping = $80.91/week)
    2 people and 5 servings
    2 people, 5 recipes per week
    $8.99/serving ($89.9 total + $8.99 shipping = $98.89/week)
    4 people and 2 servings
    4 people, 2 recipes per week
    $8.99/serving ($71.92 total + $8.99 shipping = $80.91/week)
    4 people and 3 servings
    4 people, 3 recipes per week
    $7.49/serving ($89.88 total + $8.99 shipping = $98.87/week)
    4 people and 4 servings
    4 people, 4 recipes per week
    $7.49/serving ($119.84 total + $8.99 shipping = $128.83/week)

    Diet Friendliness

    HelloFresh has some great options for vegetarians and pescetarians, but the ever-changing nature of the menu means it can’t currently offer gluten-free or other allergen-specific meals at the moment. 

    You’ll find some calorie smart options available too, but these aren’t part of any accompanying weight-loss program, and it’ll be up to you to manage your own intake.

    • Vegetarian: this option meat-free but does contain other animal by-products such as eggs and cheese.

    • Weight-Watchers Approved: these meals have been created with the weight-watchers guidelines and have Smart Points associated with each meal.

    • Diabetes-Friendly: food follows the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

    • Carb-Conscious: it contains 48 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) or less per serving.

    • Mediterranean Diet: expect heart-healthy Mediterranean meals. These recipes showcase a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You can enjoy lean proteins and moderate portions of dairy.


    There are no add-ons or extras on offer at HelloFresh, but you can find occasional discounts and perks. For example, students get 10% off every order while serving members of the military and veterans are offered a 15% discount. Plus, gift cards are available if you’re looking for a unique birthday present for a friend or loved one.

    HelloFresh Customer Service

    As one of the most established meal prep services in the country, HelloFresh has excellent customer service. The help center has dozens of frequently asked questions covering topics like account management, how to claim a refund for damaged produce and amending your order.

    If you’d like to get in touch with a service agent, you can either use the online chat function or give them a call. You’ll never usually have to wait longer than a few minutes when calling the contact center. 

    Plus, you can check out the HelloFresh blog for more food tips and tricks alongside some simple recipes to try out.

    HelloFresh Cancellation Policy

    There are no contracts in place and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Plus, you can put a hold on your account for up to eight weeks if you don’t want to receive any deliveries. However, all orders are paid for a week in advance, so if you miss the cancellation deadline you’ll be charged and will receive that week’s delivery.

    HelloFresh Alternatives

    If you’d prefer to have a more consistent choice of menu items, or are simply looking for a service that caters to larger households, you might want to give one of these alternatives a try.

    Meal Kit
    Price / Serving
    Minimum order
    Meal options
    Daily Harvest
    1 Servings
    Blue Apron
    4 Servings
    Home Chef
    4 Servings
    8 Servings


    HelloFresh appeals to people who want to improve their cooking skills while enjoying the convenience of pre-measured ingredients delivered right to your door. The meals are a great way to expand your palate and are cheaper than dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out. The provider undoubtedly has some of the best meals in the industry, and the fresh ingredients really shine through in the tasting. 

    However, if you’re pressed for time this might not be the service for you. With long prep times, you’ll need to dedicate around 40 minutes to an hour each day to create your culinary masterpieces, and the portion sizes aren’t enough to feed a large family.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Is There a HelloFresh Free Trial?

    There is no free trial currently, but you can often find discount coupons from around the web, and you’ll be offered 15% off your first order if you sign up to the HelloFresh newsletter.

    Is HelloFresh Worth the Price?

    It’s more expensive than buying groceries, but we think it’s worth the price to pay for the added convenience of home delivery. Plus, after a few weeks, you’ll have a healthy library of recipe cards to fall back on.

    What’s in the HelloFresh App?

    You can manage your orders, cancel a subscription, access fun cooking hacks and access an extensive library of HelloFresh recipes.

    Can I Change My Meal Choice?

    Yes, but you’ll need to do it at least five days in advance and before 12PM Pacific time.

    Does HelloFresh Deliver Every Day?

    No. Deliveries are made once per week and you’ll be assigned a delivery day. Although, HelloFresh will make every effort to meet your preference.

    Does HelloFresh Have Gluten-Free?

    No. Due to the rotating nature of the menu, HelloFresh can’t guarantee that ingredients will be gluten-free.

    Is HelloFresh Organic?

    Some ingredients are organic, but HelloFresh prioritizes those suppliers that carry out sustainable farming practices rather than organic farmers. This means there’s no guarantee you’ll be receiving organic produce.