We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.
Even if you’ve never used a meal prep service before, I’m willing to bet there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of HelloFresh. That’s because it’s widely considered one of the best meal delivery services (and they have great marketing).
HelloFresh is a meal kit service—as opposed to a prepared meal delivery service—that saves you a lot of time spent grocery shopping but still allows you to make home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients.
GGR SEO director Ashley Little tested HelloFresh, and we collaborated with registered dietitian Perry Nix to understand the pros and cons of this meal service.
Perry’s first impression was positive: “With HelloFresh, they send the ingredients and recipe cards and you do the cooking,” she says. “This is a good option for anyone who would rather eat their food hot off the stove instead of reheated in the microwave.”
Let’s take a closer look—keep reading for our full HelloFresh review.
Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.
An Honest Review From Nutrition Experts
Our team of nutrition experts, including certified nutrition coaches and registered dietitians, has researched approximately 40 meal delivery services. But it doesn’t end there—we’ve actually tested them, too. All of our meal delivery reviews are complete with first-person accounts from people who have actually used these services.
- 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
A Quick Look at HelloFresh
HelloFresh is a popular—possibly the most popular in the U.S.—meal kit delivery service known for its creative recipes and easy preparation. Currently, the service offers options for feeding two or four people, and you can choose from two to six meals per week.
The company was founded in Germany in 2011, launching its initial U.S. operations shortly after in 2013. Today, HelloFresh operates in nearly 20 countries and also owns several other meal delivery companies, including EveryPlate, Green Chef, Chef’s Plate, Factor, and YouFoodz.
RELATED: Factor Meals Review
Before You Buy
- You still have to cook: This is a meal kit company, not a prepared meal delivery service. If you truly, truly do not have any time to make dinner on weeknights, this might not be the right choice for you.
- Check for coupons and offers: HelloFresh is known to have great offers for first-time customers. I, for example, got some free meals in my first box when I signed up for HelloFresh a while back.
- It’s family friendly! HelloFresh is a good choice for parents who need some help thinking of quick and delicious meal options. Perry Nix, R.D., says, “I really like that HelloFresh offers family-friendly meal choices. As a mom of two young children it can be difficult to find nutritious meals that everyone will eat. Also, since you cook these meals at home, the kids can help prepare their meals, which inspires them to taste new foods.”
Is HelloFresh Worth It?
HelloFresh calls itself “America’s most popular meal kit,” and while I don’t have concrete proof of that, I wouldn’t doubt it—so many people I know have tried HelloFresh at one time or another. I myself was an on-and-off subscriber for about four months.
Whether or not HelloFresh is worth it to you depends on what you’re looking for and how much money you can budget for food. If you don’t mind cooking and you like to try new recipes from different cultures, the average price of about $10 per meal is well worth it.
When I used HelloFresh, I was either feeding just one or two people, and I’d sometimes have leftovers—bringing that price per meal down even more—so it was worth it for me. (My primary reasons for canceling my subscription were that I got tired of dealing with the packaging, which I’ll discuss later, and I generally prefer to make my own recipes.)
- People who like to try new recipes
- Anyone who likes to cook but would rather skip the grocery store
Not recommended for:
- Picky eaters
- People with dietary restrictions (such as those who require or want to eat a gluten-free, other allergen-free, low-calorie, vegan, keto, or paleo diet)
|Price per meal
|$8.99 (4 people, 6 meals per week) to $12.49 (2 people, 2 meals per week)
|Meals per week
|2 to 6 (choose from 2 servings or 4 servings per meal)
|Meal kit or prepared
|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”
Experience Using HelloFresh
HelloFresh works via a weekly menu that changes regularly, and each HelloFresh box comes with a recipe card and the ingredients to make each recipe all neatly packed into brown paper bags.
It’s easy to get started. All you have to do is create an account and set up your preferences. You can choose to receive two to six meals per week and set that up for two or four people.
I used HelloFresh on and off for about four months, and GGR SEO director Ashley Little has been using it consistently for years, even after moving states twice. All in all, both of our experiences were positive. I ended up canceling my subscription because I like to cook and create my own recipes, but if that wasn’t the case, I could see myself sticking with HelloFresh for much longer.
RELATED: Green Chef Reviews
Price Per Meal
The price per meal for HelloFresh starts at $8.99 and increases to $12.49. The difference lies in how many meals and servings you get per box. As is common, the more servings you buy, the lower the cost per serving.
We rate the cost of meal delivery services according to this scale:
- To get a 1, $16 or more per meal
- To get a 2, $14-16 per meal
- To get a 3, $10-14 per meal
- To get a 4, $8-10 per meal
- To get a 5, less than $8 per meal
Since the average price of HelloFresh meals is a little less than $11, we gave the service 3.5 out of 5 points for this category.
HelloFresh Meal Preparation
HelloFresh recipes are generally easy to prepare. Ashley says her prep time is usually about 5 to 10 minutes, and cooking usually takes between 20 to 45 minutes depending on the complexity of the meal. My experience aligns with this.
Better yet, cleanup is usually pretty easy, too. Many of the meals are one-pot or one-pan meals, meaning you’re probably only washing a pan, spatula, and maybe cutting board or knife. The more complex meals naturally require more dishes and utensils, but no more so than cooking from scratch.
Because it typically takes less than an hour to make food and often less than 30 minutes to clean up, Ashley rated HelloFresh as a 4 out of 5 in the preparation and cleanup category.
Taste, Ingredient Quality, and Portion Size
Ashley’s years-long subscription to HelloFresh should be proof enough that it’s tasty! But we’ll expand, anyway. Ashley gave the service 4.5 out of 5 possible points for taste, saying, “I’m almost always satisfied with my meals.” She continues, “HelloFresh does not include typical seasonings like salt and pepper or butter, so you can season your food to your own taste.”
Ashley finds the portion sizes sufficient. “When I first started ordering HelloFresh, the portions felt small, but I think I was probably just over-eating before because now (several years in with HelloFresh) it’s not uncommon for me to not even be able to finish my meal.”
When I was using HelloFresh, the same was true for me. But now, as I’m in the middle of training for a half-Ironman and eating much more than before, I’m not so sure those same portions would fill me up. HelloFresh might not be the best choice for athletes with a high training volume. Nonetheless, we awarded it 5 out of 5 points for portion sizes because there seems to be plenty of food for the average person.
Unfortunately, Ashley’s had some so-so experiences with the ingredients, rating the service as a 3.5 out of 5 in this category.
“Despite the name, I’ve had many experiences where my food from HelloFresh wasn’t as fresh as I’d like,” she says. “The items I’ve had the most issues with are vegetables like peppers and scallions. I don’t usually have issues with any of the meat or dairy products.”
Meal Plans and Customization
Each week, you can choose from 30-plus recipe options. There’s always quite a bit of cultural variety, with meals derived from Asian, Latin American, American, Caribbean, Italian, and more cultures. Many meals are very straightforward, like one-pan tacos and chicken breast with roasted potatoes and green beans. Others are more complex, such as the Shrimp & Scallop Cioppino.
“I’ve used HelloFresh for a long time and have noticed their variety expanding over the years,” Ashley says. “There are around five to eight meals that I consider my favorites that I like to choose when they are in the rotation, but I’m regularly able to expand my palate and try something new, especially with the seasonal options they include.”
HelloFresh recently introduced Bundle Boxes, which are collections of various snacks, breakfasts, sides, and other items. For example, the 7 Days of Breakfast Essentials Bundle Box includes yogurts, smoothies, eggs, granola, oats, breakfast bars, teas, and juices. These ship separately from the regular boxes with recipe ingredients.
On the flip side, registered dietitian Perry Nix says that the service isn’t super accommodating for those with dietary restrictions.
“Hello Fresh prioritizes offering quick, balanced, home-cooked meals, but doesn’t necessarily cater to a wide range of dietary preferences,” Perry says. “The meal service doesn’t offer keto, vegan, gluten-free, or allergen-free meal choices, so it’s not the best fit if you require these options.”
While there are some plant-based, low-carb, and pescatarian options, there isn’t a full range of plans like we’ve seen with some other services.
RELATED: Little Spoon Reviews
Ordering, Packaging, and Shipping
HelloFresh delivers their ingredients in a cardboard box with insulated liners and gel ice packs. Some newer options, such as the Bundle Boxes with add-ons like granola bars, yogurts, and cheese, are kept cold with dry ice.
Ashley, who’s been using HelloFresh for years, says, “The packaging is usually pretty consistent, but the delivery time tends to vary quite a bit. I have used HelloFresh in three states (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Florida) and my experiences have varied depending on where I lived, because the delivery service changes based on location.
“In warmer climates, I have noticed the ice packs are melted by the time the food arrives, but the package is still cold and the food remains fresh,” she points out. I live in Florida, and my experience was the same.
One of the reasons I didn’t keep my HelloFresh subscription was because I live in a high-rise building and it’s annoying to deal with the packaging. I can’t just walk the recyclables to a large garbage bin outside my door or dispose of the ice pack gel in the trash chute; I have to break down the boxes and dump the gel into its own trash bag, then cart it all down 20 stories and dispose/recycle in the building’s dumpsters. This isn’t just a HelloFresh thing—it’s a big reason why I haven’t remained subscribed to any meal delivery service.
Additionally, HelloFresh has worked to make their packaging more sustainable over the years, Ashley says. The shipping materials are recyclable, even the ice packs. The ingredients are individually packaged, though, which adds to the amount of materials. For instance, if your meal includes mashed potatoes with sour cream, the sour cream would come in a small plastic container with just enough to make the meal, as opposed to using a dollop from a normal sized sour cream container.
Overall, though, HelloFresh seems to have a serious focus on sustainability. The company claims it “produces 31% fewer carbon emissions than a typical supermarket through a shorter supply chain.”
HelloFresh Vs SunBasket
- Meal kits and prepared meals
- Paleo, soy-free, dairy-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegan options available
- Can add snacks and extra proteins to your box
- Cooked breakfast options available
- Meal kits serve two to four
Pros & Cons
- Caters to many allergens and preferences
- Can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks
- A la carte proteins available
- Offers both meal kits and prepared meals
- Most produce is organic
- Can’t mix and match meal types
- Meal kit caps at five dinners per week
SunBasket is very similar to HelloFresh, with one significant difference: In addition to the meal kits with recipe cards, you can also opt to stock a portion (or all) of your box with ready-to-eat meals. I tested SunBasket, and while my experience could have been better, I did like the option to purchase both types of meals.
Like HelloFresh, SunBasket meal ingredients come in paper bags with recipe cards. I had some problems with the freshness of ingredients, including meat, but I did have some good meals with SunBasket. I still think about the pulled pork sliders. *Drool.*
Other similar and popular meal kit delivery services you might want to check out include Blue Apron and Home Chef.
Ashley and I agree that the customer experience with HelloFresh is pretty smooth. I found it easy to skip weeks and cancel my subscription, and Ashley hasn’t had any issues with moving her subscription to a new address or dealing with the company in general. Some customer reviews indicate problems with customer support, but we didn’t experience any issues.
One thing I really like about HelloFresh is that there’s an app where you can easily find nutritional information. I never used the app during my short subscription period, but Ashley says she regularly uses it and that the nutrition facts for each meal and item are clearly presented. This is a big plus for those who are tracking macros for weight loss or weight gain!
There aren’t any customer reviews on the HelloFresh website, so we visited Trustpilot. The average rating is 3.8 out of 5 stars at the time of writing. Typical complaints are around difficulty canceling the subscription, vegetables lacking freshness, and the meal selection not being ideal for certain dietary preferences.
Many customers rate the service highly, such as one reviewer who wrote, “I have been using Hello Fresh for over five years, and it’s hands down the best meal delivery system ever; it just keeps getting better.”
Some of the more negative reviews say the service is too expensive (but it’s run-of-the-mill as far as cost goes) and that HelloFresh should put better quality control practices in place. For instance, one reviewer mentioned that their recipe bag didn’t come with all of the ingredients required to make the meal, which wasn’t the typical case but happened every so often.
With nearly 48,000 reviews on Trustpilot, I’m honestly not surprised to see an average rating of 3.8—no one can please everyone. From our view, there are plenty of positive reviews to balance out the negative ones; plus, both of our testing experiences were positive.
Final Verdict of Our HelloFresh Review
After testing and analyzing about 40 meal delivery services, we truly think that HelloFresh is one of the best, and that’s reflected in its overall GGR score of 4.13 out of 5 stars. There’s a lot to love about HelloFresh, but there are some things we’d like to see improved upon.
For starters, it seems that the quality of vegetables, especially fragile ones like peppers, is a common issue; resolving that would make a big difference in the overall experience. Additionally, we’d love to see HelloFresh introduce some more diet-specific options for people with dietary restrictions.
We recommend HelloFresh to anyone who likes to cook and doesn’t have any food allergies or restrictions.
HelloFresh Full Rating
n our HelloFresh Review, we use insights from a product tester and a registered dietitian to get a full picture of this popular meal delivery service.
Product Currency: USD
Product In-Stock: InStock
Where does HelloFresh deliver?
HelloFresh operates in 18 countries. In the U.S., the company delivers to the 48 contiguous states, along with some ZIP codes in Alaska and Hawaii.
Is HelloFresh actually good?
This is subjective, but yes, in our experience, HelloFresh is one of the best meal delivery options out there. The ingredients are generally fresh, with the exception of vegetables at times, and the recipes are easy to make and taste good.
Is HelloFresh easy?
Yes, HelloFresh is super easy to use. The meals are quick to make and cleanup is usually fast, too. All of the ingredients are pre-portioned, and all you have to do is follow the included recipe card for each meal.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
Looking for expert tips on how to do the back squat properly? You’re in the right place! We'll also break down the benefits, common mistakes, and variations. Read more
Even if you’ve never used a meal prep service before, I’m willing to bet there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of HelloFresh. That’s because it’s widely considered one of the best meal delivery services (and they have great marketing). HelloFresh is a meal kit service—as opposed to a prepared meal delivery service—that saves you a lot of time spent grocery shopping but still allows you to make home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients. » Read more about: HelloFresh Review (2024): It’s America’s Most Popular Meal Kit, But Is It the Best? » Read more
Walkers and joggers, listen up! If you’re looking for a treadmill made just for you, check out this NordicTrack C 600 treadmill review. Read more