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Typically, when you’re looking for the best meal delivery service on the market, they can be divided into two categories: prepared meals and meal kits. Each type of delivery service has its own strengths and weaknesses—some may be better for families, while others are better for single people or couples.
Probably one of the most prominent meal kit services around is HelloFresh; it’s always popping up on my social media feeds when I’m scrolling, and for good reason. On the other hand, Factor is one of the more popular prepared meal delivery services out there, saving many people time on grocery runs and meal prep.
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Which one is right for you, though? Here we’ll break down Factor vs HelloFresh and the positives and negatives of these two meal delivery companies, using our expert testers’ experiences with these services as well as input from registered dietitian Perry Nix. Read on to see which service stands out for you.
- Heat-and-eat meals that are delivered weekly
- Five menu plans, including calorie-controlled and keto
- Can mix and match from different menu plans for more variety
- New menus drop weekly
- Can order up to 18 meals per week
Pros & Cons
- Not restricted to one specific diet plan
- Meals arrive fresh and ready to heat
- Offers options for different dietary preferences
- Can cancel or skip a delivery anytime
- No options for customization
- No personalized plans for weight loss
- 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
|$10.99 to $13.49
|$8.99 to $12.49
|Meals per week
|6 to 18
|4 to 24 servings (up to 6 meals for 4 people)
|Meal kit or prepared
|Chef’s Choice, Protein Plus, Vegan & Veggie, Calorie Smart, Keto
|Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, Pescatarian
|Fresh or frozen
|Contiguous U.S. plus “select ZIP codes in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Anchorage, Alaska”
Quick Look: Factor vs HelloFresh
Probably the most well-known meal delivery service is HelloFresh, as many people (myself included) will see ads for the service on social media, videos, and podcasts. This meal service uses fresh ingredients and recipes to provide home-cooked meals for families and households. You can see more of our firsthand experience with this meal subscription service in our HelloFresh review.
Factor is another well-known meal delivery service; however, it differs from HelloFresh because it focuses on prepared meals. Factor was actually acquired by HelloFresh in 2020 and also uses high-quality ingredients to deliver fresh, fully-prepared meals that just need to be heated. Factor also provides meal plans that are catered to individuals with dietary needs and restrictions. Check out our full Factor Meals review for an in-depth look at this meal delivery service.
Who Should Buy Factor
- People who don’t have time to cook or prepare meals
- Singles looking for a meal service
- Athletes wanting quick meals with a decent portion size
- Those looking to eat more vegetables
Who Should Buy HelloFresh
- Anyone looking to save time on grocery shopping
- Those looking for the best meal delivery service for families
- Those wanting to try new recipes
- Home chefs who enjoy the prepping and cooking experience
Key Similarities Between Factor and HelloFresh
- Both offer a wide variety of meal options each week
- Both services provide fresh meals and ingredients, not frozen
- Both services offer plant-based cuisines
- Both have customization options on weekly menus
- Both meal services can save you time on grocery store runs
- Both feature big discounts for first-time subscribers
Important Differences Between Factor and HelloFresh
- Factor provides single-serving meals, whereas HelloFresh has meal kits for multiple servings
- HelloFresh seldom has breakfast options, while Factor has breakfast add-ons
- Factor caters to a wider range of dietary preferences and specific diets
- Factor will typically be a more expensive service per meal or serving
- Factor will save you time on meal prep with microwavable healthy meals
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Factor and HelloFresh’s total cost will depend on the number of meals you purchase per week. HelloFresh offers two to six meals per week, suitable for two or four servings each (depending on your selection). So basically, you’re purchasing four to 24 meal servings a week, ranging from $8.99 to $12.49 per serving before taxes and shipping.
Factor does single-serving meals and offers between six to 18 meals per week,ranging from $10.99 to $13.49 per serving. While Factor is the more expensive option in most cases, it’s important to note that neither is the cheapest meal delivery service out there. Also, it’s common for a prepared meal service to cost more than a meal kit service.
With that said, both services are in the mid-range of cost for their type of delivery service, with both offering pretty significant discounts for first-time orders as well.
Ease of Preparation
If you’re looking to save time preparing meals, Factor is the clear winner here, although the experience of prepping and cooking a nutritious meal may have some wanting HelloFresh instead.
Factor: Certified nutrition coach and GGR Senior Staff Writer Amanda Capritto speaks of her experience with Factor as extremely convenient. She says all she had to do was, “Vent the film and microwave. There’s also no cleanup; you really can’t beat the convenience here.” She gave the ease of preparation a score of 5 out of 5.
HelloFresh: For a meal kit service, HelloFresh is pretty convenient in the preparation category as well, scoring a 4 out of 5 from GGR team member and product tester Ashley Little. She says, “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 remarks that most meals only dirty up a dish or two during cooking.
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Neither Factor or HelloFresh have glaringly bad marks, although in our experience HelloFresh has a bit of an inconsistency issue with the freshness of their vegetables from week to week.
Factor: “For microwave meals, the ingredient quality was pretty good. I wouldn’t say impressive—but not bad,” Amanda says. She elaborates, “Meats were cooked well and weren’t tough or dry. Grains were all OK, but some vegetables were too mushy for my liking. Overall, not bad at all, though.” She gives the ingredient quality for Factor a rating of 4 out of 5.
HelloFresh: Ashley describes the quality of the ingredients for HelloFresh, saying, “Despite the name, I’ve had many experiences where my food from HelloFresh wasn’t as fresh as I’d like.” She explains, “The items I’ve had the most issues with are vegetables like peppers and scallions. I don’t usually have issues with meat or dairy products.” Because of the occasional inconsistency with ingredient quality, Ashley gave HelloFresh a 3.5 out of 5.
Both HelloFresh and Factor had a pretty flavorful taste, in our testers’ opinions, although HelloFresh edged out Factor by a hair. Being a premade meal that is reheated, Factor was pretty good, though.
Factor: Amanda wasn’t wowed by Factor, but it wasn’t bad by any means. She says, “I can make better food for sure, but the convenience makes the ‘just-decent’ taste more tolerable.” She does add, “I was very surprised at the steak meals. The steaks actually were pink in the middle even after microwaving and didn’t turn into shoe leather, so props to Factor for that.”
Some of the meals required more seasoning for her, but overall, her experience was good, giving the meal service a 4 out of 5 for taste.
HelloFresh: Ashley has enjoyed the taste of HelloFresh while using the service, saying, “I’m almost always satisfied with my meals.” She does add, “HelloFresh does not include typical seasonings like salt and pepper or butter, so you can season your food to your own taste.” She gives their meal kits a near-perfect score of 4.5 out of 5.
Both meal services received praise from us for their easy ordering process, with Factor and HelloFresh earning a 5 out of 5. Let’s look at some of the specifics:
Factor: When ordering, Amanda found Factor extremely easy to navigate and make her order. “Just sign up, select your preferences (I chose high-protein), and then start selecting your meals,” she says. Additionally, you can easily pause or cancel your account at any time. Factor also has extra snacks, breakfast foods, smoothies, or shakes that you can add on to your order.
HelloFresh: “It’s very easy to place an order,” says Ashley on her experience with HelloFresh. “If you do not select meals, HelloFresh will automatically pick some for you. You can swap meals, add extra meals, swap proteins with meals, and add additional products, too—such as snacks, protein, and desserts,” she adds. Like Factor, you’re able to pause or cancel your orders at any time with ease.
Americans in the contiguous United States can enjoy both Factor and HelloFresh. However, HelloFresh also delivers to select areas in Hawaii and Alaska.
Both Factor and HelloFresh offer a wide variety of menu options, with good customization options and meal plans as well. However, Factor’s meal plans are more geared towards people with dietary preferences or following specific diets for health and wellness. While HelloFresh has quality ingredients, their focus is less on dietary needs and more on helping people have more home-cooked meals and less takeout.
Regardless of your dietary needs or preferences, both companies are transparent with their meals, having a full list of ingredients and nutritional information for each on their website. So, if you need to watch out for certain allergens, each meal is detailed enough to help you choose the right meals for you.
Factor: In addition to Chef’s Choice, Factor offers four other meal plans: Keto, Calorie Smart, Protein Plus, and Vegan & Veggie. These meal options already cater to those looking for low-carb or low-calorie options, as well as those looking for plant-based meal delivery.
While they don’t have some specific plans, many of their meals are gluten-free and dairy-free, and customers can customize weekly meals to cater to those dietary needs. Factor also recommends their Keto plan for those following a paleo diet. Because of its flexibility, we gave Factor a 4 out of 5 for customization.
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Perry Nix, RD, likes the variety of meals with Factor, saying, “Meals contain anywhere from 350-900 calories, so you can choose entrees based on your personal calorie needs and health goals. This wide range in calories makes Factor appropriate for those wanting to lose weight and those who just want to eat more nutrient-dense foods without cutting calories.”
Whether weight loss or maintenance is your goal, Factor’s meal options should cater to your needs.
HelloFresh: HelloFresh offers six different plans: Meat and Veggies, Veggies, Family-Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. Outside of the veggie-based and pescatarian meals, there aren’t additional options for those with dietary needs.
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Perry Nix, RD, notes the same, “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.” Because of this, HelloFresh receives a 3.5 out of 5 for customization.
HelloFresh is the clear winner here, as Factor doesn’t appear to have a major focus on sustainable ingredient sourcing or being conscious of packaging waste.
Factor: “Factor doesn’t seem to have a focus on sustainability,” Amanda says on her experience with Factor. She gives the company a 2 out of 5 rather than a 1, because the shipment packaging doesn’t seem any different than other companies with sustainable practices. “The main difference,” she adds, “is that each Factor meal comes in its own plastic tray, which is definitely a bit wasteful compared to cooking at home.”
Although they don’t have much information on sustainable practices, their website does have a section on sourcing chickens humanely, and they make sure their chickens are cage-free and treated humanely throughout the entire process.
HelloFresh: Ashley gives HelloFresh a 4 out of 5 in sustainability, saying, “HelloFresh has worked to make their packaging more sustainable over the years. The shipping materials are recyclable—even the ice packs.” She does add that “ingredients are individually packaged, which adds to the amount of materials.”
HelloFresh also states on their website that foods are primarily sourced domestically from those who practice sustainable farming.
Factor: Trustpilot has Factor with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars from over 41,000 reviews at the time of this writing. Most reviews are positive, with minor complaints coming from customers wanting a bit more variety in the side vegetables for each meal. Others reported trays and gel-packs breaking in the delivery process, which happened to our tester and Senior Staff Writer, Amanda Capritto, CPT, CNC, CES, CF-L1, as well.
HelloFresh: HelloFresh has a 3.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with over 48,000 reviews at the time of writing. Most positive reviews speak highly on consistency of quality and service, while negative reviews talk about the ingredients being not as fresh as they could be from time to time, particularly the vegetables. Some customers also have some difficulty canceling their subscription.
Factor: In her experience, Amanda found customer service easy to find and reach out to. The website has a FAQ section for any issues, and you can reach customer service by phone or live chat on the website, factor75.com. In canceling her subscription, Amanda says, “It was very easy to cancel my subscription; I never had to interact with a person, either.”
HelloFresh: GGR team member Ashley Little says her experience with HelloFresh’s customer service has been good, giving the company a 4 out of 5. She does note, however, that some customers report difficulty in canceling their subscription. HelloFresh also has an FAQ section, as well as a phone line and live chat to contact them at.
Factor vs HelloFresh: Final Thoughts
Factor and HelloFresh are both excellent options for meal delivery services, but there are a few things to consider when determining which might be best for your needs. For one, Factor’s meals are single-serving, meaning this may be a better option for single people, or anyone needing to eat meals on the go. Also, Factor offers more dietary options than HelloFresh, although both can be suited and customized to your needs.
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HelloFresh’s meal kits are designed for a larger household or family, so this may be the ideal subscription service for meals in that case. Also, it’s a great way to learn to cook at home, and experience home-cooked meals while saving some time.
Each service has its pros and cons for different families or people. For home-cooked meals with a family, HelloFresh is a great option; to save the most time, Factor is the way to go.
Factor vs HelloFresh: FAQs
Is Factor Meals part of HelloFresh?
Factor Meals was acquired by HelloFresh in 2020. Although they’re owned by the same company, the subscription services are separate.
What is the difference between Factor and HelloFresh?
The biggest difference between Factor and HelloFresh is that Factor ships you prepared meals, and HelloFresh ships you meal kits. Prepared meals will cut down on prep time and cleanup, as these meals just need to be reheated. Meal Kits will generally require some preparation and cooking, following recipe cards. Both should save you time, but meal kits have the added experience of a home-cooked meal, while a prepared meal service focuses largely on the convenience of needing no prep.
Is Factor a meal kit?
No, Factor has prepared meals meant for individual consumption that are pre-cooked. These meals sent chilled to your door, and all you have to do is reheat the meal to enjoy it.
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