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When comparing the best meal delivery services, it can be a little difficult to discern between one service and another. Some might offer prepared meals, and others meal kits. Some might be solely plant-based, while others provide a larger menu. Still, others might be more suited for specific allergy or diet requirements.
Take the meal services, Daily Harvest and HelloFresh. While these two services are similarly priced, what they offer is quite different. One provides frozen plant-based meals, while the other delivers fresh meal kits that have more prep time. Let’s dive into those differences to see which meal delivery service works best for you in our Daily Harvest vs HelloFresh comparison.
- Frozen plant-based meal delivery service
- Smoothies, grain bowls, flatreads, and soups
- Plant-based milk options available
- Recyclable packaging
Pros & Cons
- Frozen, nutrient-dense food
- High fiber content
- Free shipping
- Ability to skip a week and modify delivery schedule
- Manage your account on the iOS app or website
- Will not satisfy high-protein diets
- Some meal are under 300 calories
- Meal service that delivers ingredients and recipes
- 6 different plans available, including vegan and pescatarian options
- Can swap out different proteins and sides
- Can purchase between 2 and 6 meals, in portions to feed 2 or 4 people
- 40 weekly recipes to choose from
- Sourced from U.S. farmers
Pros & Cons
- Saves on meal-prepping
- Can swap out ingredients
- Chef-curated recipes
- Sourced from U.S. farmers
- 6 meal plans to choose from
- Customer reviews complain about ingredient inconsistencies
- Some reviews claim meal portions are small
|Price per meal
|$5.99 to $11.99
|$8.99 to $12.49
|Meals per week
|9, 14, or 24
|4 to 24 servings
(up to 6 meals for 4 people)
|Meal kit or prepared?
|Vegetarian, keto or low-carb,
plant-based, paleo, organic, low-calorie, Whole 30
|Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, Pescatarian
|Fresh or frozen
|Most of the continental U.S.
|Contiguous U.S. plus “select ZIP codes in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Anchorage, Alaska”
Quick Look: Daily Harvest vs HelloFresh
Based in New York, Daily Harvest is a company that began making smoothies in 2014 before expanding to other plant-based meals: soups, flatbreads, oats, grains, harvest bowls, and more. In addition to providing organic meals to customers, Daily Harvest also focuses on using sustainable practices in sourcing food and recyclable packaging.
Our other meal delivery service probably needs no introduction, as it’s commonly advertised on social media and television: HelloFresh. This company is probably the most well-known, and its focus is on providing fresh ingredients to its customers. This meal kit service is great for those wanting to try new recipes, or maybe want to learn more about cooking and preparing meals. You can learn more about this service in our HelloFresh review.
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Who Should Buy Daily Harvest
- Those wanting plant-based snacks and meals
- People who prefer the convenience of prepared meals
- People with allergens to avoid or dietary needs to adhere to
- Those wanting to support a company making efforts on sustainability
Who Should Buy HelloFresh
- Anyone looking for the best meal delivery service for families
- Those who enjoy cooking and preparing meals
- Consumers looking to try new recipes
- Those looking to cut down on takeout or grocery runs
Key Similarities Between Daily Harvest and HelloFresh
- Both can save trips to the grocery store
- Both offer a good variety of weekly meal options
- Both offer plant-based meals
- Larger orders can save you more
- Each meal service allows for some customization
- Both services are similarly priced per meal
Important Differences Between Daily Harvest and HelloFresh
- Daily Harvest is primarily a prepared meal delivery service, while HelloFresh is meal kits
- Finding foods for specific dietary needs and restrictions is easier through Daily Harvest than HelloFresh
- Daily Harvest is solely a plant-based meal delivery service, whereas HelloFresh provides meals with animal protein as well as plant-based meals
- HelloFresh typically has larger portion sizes than Daily Harvest
- HelloFresh’s menu rotates, while Daily Harvest maintains a large but non-rotating a-la-carte menu
Both meal delivery services are similarly priced, although ultimately your price per meal will depend on the total number of meals per week you order.
Daily Harvest: In the case of Daily Harvest, there are no set weekly meal plans and items are picked a la carte, with meals costing between $5.99 and $11.99. More items ordered will also provide a discount on the total order.
In expert product tester and certified sports nutrition coach Amanda Capritto’s experience, it comes out to about $10 a meal, which is a fairly average price for meal delivery services. Amanda rates the price a 3 out of 5, though, saying that “portion sizes for some meals are pretty small, and the price feels like a lot for too little food.”
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HelloFresh: HelloFresh’s cost will depend on the number of meals you select per week. You can order between two and six meals per week, capable of serving two or four people. Basically, the meal portions come out to ordering between four and 24 servings per week.
Depending on how much you order, pricing for HelloFresh can cost as low as $8.99 per serving or as high as $12.49 per serving—although HelloFresh gives a hefty discount on your first box. GGR team member Ashley has been using HelloFresh for a few years now and rates the cost a 3.5 out of 5, saying the serving price averages out for her to around $11 a meal.
Ease of Preparation
Neither meal delivery service is difficult to prepare or cook, although Daily Harvest’s prep time can vary quite a bit depending on the types of meals you’re preparing.
Daily Harvest: Amanda notes that the ease of preparation and the prep time can vary between the different meals Daily Harvest offers, although none are terrible, giving a rating of 3.75 out of 5 for the meal delivery service’s ease of preparation.
“The smoothies are pretty annoying to make and clean up,” Amanda says on the meal prep. “You still have to use a blender, obviously. However, the fact that all the fruit is already cut up and you don’t have to deal with any waste, like fruit peels, is a big bonus.”
Most other meals will just factor in the time to heat the meal. Flatbreads and grains meals are heated in the oven or with a skillet, and harvest bowls, soups, and oat bowls just require microwaving after you add liquid to them.
HelloFresh: Being a meal kit service, there will be some prep time involved with HelloFresh meals, more so than with Daily Harvest. However, Ashley notes that the preparation is pretty simple with most meals.
“Prep time usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and cooking is usually between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the complexity of the meal,” she says, rating the ease of preparation a 4 out of 5.
One thing to consider is that even with the best meal kit services, the preparation can typically dirty up dishes, but Ashley notes that for most meals, it’ll be just a dish or two.
Both meal delivery services had less than stellar scores in the quality of ingredients, with both being somewhat inconsistent with the level of quality. HelloFresh edges out Daily Harvest in this case, though, with its ingredients not being frozen.
Daily Harvest: Amanda rates the ingredient quality for Daily Harvest a 3 out of 5, as the quality of the frozen meals varies by the type of meal. “The smoothies seem like the freshest and highest quality of all the options,” she says, adding, “However, the flatbreads that I tried were limp and sad. The skillet meals are OK after spicing them up a bit—I added fresh herbs and some freshly grated cheese.”
While nothing was wildly off in the organic meals, Amanda summarizes, “All in all, everything felt and tasted just OK.”
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Another thing to note is that Daily Harvest doesn’t have many high-protein options, which might leave you hungry often if you try to make all your meals from this meal service. Perry Nix, RD, explains, “Although packed with nutrients, most of their smoothies and bowls lack a sufficient amount of protein or calories. Consider them snacks rather than meals, or you may find yourself feeling hungry again quickly.”
HelloFresh: “Despite the name, I’ve had many experiences where HelloFresh didn’t have as fresh ingredients as I’d like,” Ashley says, rating HelloFresh’s ingredient quality a 3.5 out of 5. Most issues she’s had have been from vegetables like peppers and scallions, but she rarely has a problem with the quality of meats and dairy ingredients.
In our testing of these two different services, HelloFresh had the better flavor compared to Daily Harvest, scoring a 4.5 and a 3, respectively.
Daily Harvest: Amanda was overall disappointed with Daily Harvest as a whole. “Having used it years ago when they only offered smoothies, I was excited to try it again because they now have many more offerings. However, aside from the smoothies and one oat bowl that I got, I was disappointed with most of the items I tried.” Amanda had to spice up each meal with additional ingredients.
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HelloFresh: Ashley has used HelloFresh for several years now and says that the taste is consistently great. “I’m almost always satisfied with my meals,” she says. One thing to keep in mind though is that HelloFresh doesn’t include typical seasonings, like salt, pepper, or butter, which will allow you to season and spice up the meal to your tastes.
Both meal delivery services are very easy to order, receiving top marks of 5 out of 5 from both Amanda and Ashley. However, the process is a little different between the two.
Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest serves their prepared meals a la carte, so after creating an account, you simply add Daily Harvest meals to your cart for the upcoming week and submit your order.
HelloFresh: The meal kit delivery service also requires an account to choose your menu. There are menu options available, but you can also swap out meals and add on additional items, such as snacks, protein, and desserts.
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While Daily Harvest doesn’t have any set meal plans, it edges out HelloFresh in the ease of customization for a few different reasons.
Daily Harvest: Amanda gives Daily Harvest a 4 out of 5 in customization, as the pre-made meals are selected individually, and it’s easy enough to find vegan meals and other dietary preferences. While there aren’t any meal plans, Amanda adds, “It’s still pretty easy to find what you want, you can filter by any allergens, dietary restrictions, and meal types you prefer.”
HelloFresh: This meal kit company offers six different options for their meal subscriptions: Meat and Veggies, Veggies, Family-Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. Aside from the plant-based and pescatarian meals, there aren’t any additional meal options for those with dietary needs.
Registered dietitian Perry Nix, RD, agrees, saying, “HelloFresh prioritizes offering quick, balanced, home-cooked meals, but doesn’t necessarily cater to a wide range of dietary preferences, so it’s not the best fit if you require options like keto, vegan, gluten-free, or allergen-free meals.”
As HelloFresh may not be the best choice for someone looking for specific dietary needs, such as dairy-free options, HelloFresh receives a 3.5 out of 5 for its customization.
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While both companies use sustainable practices in their healthy meal services, Daily Harvest makes it a priority, earning them a 5 out of 5 over HelloFresh, which receives a 4.
Daily Harvest: Whether it’s a pesto bowl or noodles, Daily Harvest does its best to practice sustainable sourcing, receiving top marks from Amanda. Even the weekly deliveries and packaging is mostly kept to a minimum of waste. For the deliveries, Amanda adds, “Daily Harvest provides a comprehensive recycling guide online to let you know what is and isn’t recyclable, as well as how to best dispose of each item.”
Perry Nix, RD, agrees on the sustainability of the plant-based meals: “When you order from Daily Harvest you’re getting sustainably-sourced fruits and vegetables. The company values organic farming and biodiversity, which promotes more nutrient-rich soil and is better for the planet.”
HelloFresh: While it’s not as much of a priority as Daily Harvest, Ashley notes that in her time using HelloFresh, “The company has worked to make their packaging more sustainable over the years, adding recyclable packaging—even down to the ice packs.” The ingredients for the delicious meals are individually wrapped, however, which can add to the total waste each week.
While not all of their meals have organic ingredients, HelloFresh does make an effort to source domestically for organic ingredients and from those who practice sustainable farming.
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Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest currently has 3.8 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot, out of 1,237 reviews. Most positive reviews talk about quality ingredients and great taste, but negative reviews tend to focus on damaged or destroyed packaging upon delivery.
Quite a few people had packaging damaged to where food was destroyed before customers could even eat meals. With that said, customers also mention mostly that customer service is very supportive and responsive to those issues.
HelloFresh: As of this writing, HelloFresh sits with 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, from over 48,000 reviews. Most reviews speak positively about the consistent quality and service of the company. However, there are negative reviews that say the ingredients aren’t as fresh as they should be—in particular the vegetables. Others have had difficulty canceling their meal subscription.
Both meal delivery services receive a 4 out of 5 with customer service, as they both have strengths—and a couple of weaknesses—in how they support customers.
Daily Harvest: There are multiple ways to contact Daily Harvest: by email, text, phone, or even a live virtual assistant on their website. Additionally, they provide a substantial FAQ section. However, they don’t have any information available on returns or refunds, which is a fairly common policy among meal delivery services.
HelloFresh: Ashley notes that in her experience, customer service has been pretty easy to work with, although several customers report difficulty when trying to cancel their meal subscription. They also have a helpful FAQ section, as well as means of contacting the company through phone and live chat.
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Daily Harvest vs HelloFresh: Final Thoughts
Although each meal delivery service saves you a trip to the grocery store, Daily Harvest and HelloFresh both bring different experiences in their meal delivery. At a fairly similar cost (although Daily Harvest can be a little cheaper per meal), the biggest determining factor in which meal service to go with is up to your preference.
If you’re looking for plant-based prepared meals with a variety of options for specific dietary preferences or allergies, Daily Harvest can be an excellent choice. However, if you’re wanting larger portions and enjoy meal prep, then the meal kit service HelloFresh may be just right for you.
Daily Harvest vs HelloFresh: FAQs
Is HelloFresh actually healthy?
HelloFresh provides healthy meals and fresh ingredients to your doorstep each week. While their meals may not suit specific diets or allergy needs, their ingredients are often organic and sourced domestically when possible to ensure quality. Meal kit services like HelloFresh can certainly be a healthy alternative for families instead of eating out at restaurants.
How expensive is Daily Harvest?
Meals from Daily Harvest range based on the type of meal from $5.99 to $11.99 per meal, although our tester, certified nutrition coach Amanda Capritto, says it averages out to $10 a meal in her experience.
What is the difference between Daily Harvest and HelloFresh?
Daily Harvest provides frozen, prepared meals that are plant-based, while HelloFresh provides meal kits that are great for cooking for families. Daily Harvest is great for vegan and vegetarian diets, while HelloFresh doesn’t have many options for allergies and specific diets.
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