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HelloFresh markets itself as “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit,” and it’s not difficult to see why. The nutritious meals you can make at home, the pre-portioned fresh ingredients that cut down on food waste, and the reusable recipe cards to expand your culinary palate are hard to resist.
That said, it would be a mistake not to explore all your options and sleep on a service like Hungryroot. Like HelloFresh, Hungryroot virtually eliminates your need for grocery shopping. The groceries that you receive stem from a custom meal plan curated to your individual dietary needs. The best part? Some Hungryroot dinners can be ready in as little as 10 minutes, a rarity for even some of the best meal kits.
So, in the Hungryroot vs. HelloFresh debate, which is the best meal delivery service for you? Our team of product testers—which includes certified nutritionists and coaches—tried both subscription services, so read on to see what we found out.
- Grocery delivery meets meal kit
- Meal delivery service that sends you ingredients based on recipes you like
- Many recipes only take 10 minutes to prepare
- Starts at $70 per box
Pros & Cons
- Simple and quick
- Caters to many styles of eating
- Can add on groceries to your order
- You do have to cook
- Have to meet plan minimum each week (though you can adjust your minimum on a weekly basis)
- 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
|Starts at $70 per box
|Around $9.99 per serving (minimum $65 per box)
|Up to 8 meals per box
|Up to 8 meals per box
|Fresh or frozen
|Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, Pork-Free, Pescatarian
|Types of meals
|Meal kit and groceries
Quick Look: Hungryroot Vs HelloFresh
If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media (or listen to podcasts), it’s a good bet you’ve heard of HelloFresh. It is a meal kit service that is among the most popular and delivers fresh ingredients for family-friendly, home cooked meals to you weekly. For even more information, check out our in-depth HelloFresh review.
Hungryroot is also a food subscription service known for its grocery delivery and easy meals. You start by taking a 15-minute survey about your dietary preferences and needs, and then you get delicious meal ideas and pre-portioned recipes delivered to your door. No more grocery store trips!
RELATED: Best Food Subscription Boxes
Who Should Buy Hungryroot
- Those who want meal kits to feature recipes that include their favorite foods
- People who struggle to come up with recipes they enjoy for dinner
- People who prefer super fast recipes (as little as 10 minutes)
- Those who value home cooking with minimal prep
- Those who want the chance to mix up the variety of meal choices frequently
Who Should Buy HelloFresh
- People who enjoy the process of cooking without the grocery shopping
- Those who don’t mind investing more time into preparing their meals
- People who want an intuitive, user-friendly ordering process each week
- Those seeking weight loss who want to filter low-calorie meal plans
Key Similarities Between Hungryroot and HelloFresh
- Both have thousands of recipes in their database
- Both make meal prep for healthy meals easier
- Neither offer oven-ready or prepared meals
- Both offer plant-based options
- Both can fit into a vegan meal plan
RELATED: Best Healthy Meal Delivery Service
Important Differences Between Hungryroot and HelloFresh
- HelloFresh rarely offers breakfast options
- Hungryroot requires more assembly, while HelloFresh requires more preparation
- HelloFresh has a live chat to use if you have issues with your delivery
Hungryroot: The cost of Hungryroot can vary wildly depending on the type or quantity of your meal choices. Hungryroot starts at about $70 per box but can easily cost over $100 as you add more meals. So, if you have a lot of mouths to feed in your household, you’ll want to budget accordingly.
HelloFresh: The average HelloFresh meal costs about $9.99 per serving. Given that you have to order four servings at minimum to get your nutritious meals delivered, you can expect to pay close to $90 each week when you factor in taxes and shipping.
Depending on how much you spend on healthy meals while grocery shopping, you could consider HelloFresh budget-friendly. However, given the comparable cost, many may find Hungryroot more worth it if they prefer to pay for foods they selected rather than from curated, cyclic menus. Either way, both options are likely cheaper (and better for you) than takeout.
Hungryroot seems to be more consistent in this area than HelloFresh, but neither of them are big losers in this category overall.
Hungryroot: “Everything is high-quality—humanely raised meat and dairy, a lot of organic fruit/vegetables/grains. I did have some things, like a bell pepper mix, that wasn’t organic,” says Kate Meier, CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, and GGR Head of Content. “However, in terms of quality, everything is so fresh and crisp.” She gives Hungryroot a 4.5 out of 5 for ingredient quality.
HelloFresh: Ashley Little, one of our expert product testers, says “Despite the name, I’ve had many experiences where my food from HelloFresh wasn’t as fresh as I’d like. The items I’ve had the most issues with are veggies like peppers and scallions. I don’t usually have issues with the meat or dairy products.” Ashley rates HelloFresh a 3.5 out of 5 for ingredient quality.
I have also had some not-great experiences with the quality of HelloFresh’s fresh produce. However, this happens with maybe one item out of every 5 deliveries and the company is very prompt about providing assistance or credits when I report that I am unsatisfied.
Neither brand falls significantly short in the taste department. However, some people have found Hungryroot’s meals occasionally bland or too simplistic if their introductory survey results in specific dietary preferences that leave minimal choices for groceries and recipes.
Hungryroot: Kate Meier, GGR Head of Content and certified personal trainer (CPT), says, “So far, this is so good. Everything is so fresh, and you don’t need to do any seasoning because most foods are prepped already for you with spices. If you wanted more salt or whatever, you could add your own.” Kate gives Hungryroot a 5 out of 5 for taste.
HelloFresh: “I’m almost always satisfied with my meals,” our very own Ashley Little says. “HelloFresh does not include typical seasonings like salt and pepper or butter, so you can season your food to your own taste.” Ashley rates the taste of HelloFresh a 4.5 out of 5.
For me, there are certain menu options with HelloFresh meals that are better than takeout. There are rarely any losses, especially with their plant-based meal delivery.
Due to the highly customizable nature of Hungryroot, the ordering process is much more complex than HelloFresh. The following is what our testers discovered:
Hungryroot: “The first thing you do is take a quiz. You talk about your goals, dietary restrictions, and how much you like (or don’t like) cooking. You choose what style of cuisine you like (thai, mexican, italian, chinese, etc.) and flavors, foods you dislike. Then you pick generic meals that look ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks (like “soups” or “tacos”) and how often you want them to send you those meals,” explains Kate Meier.
If that sounds intense, it’s because it is. “It’s honestly a little confusing,” Kate continues. “I feel like I need to get the order to understand what’s happening and how many meals I’m actually getting, because it looks like I’m getting four recipes and then a bunch of groceries.” Because of this, Kate gave Hungryroot a 3 out of 5 for ordering.
HelloFresh: Ashley had a significantly better experience with HelloFresh (5 out of 5), saying ordering was “Very easy. If you do not select meals, HelloFresh will automatically pick some for you. It’s very easy to swap meals, add extra meals, swap proteins with meals, and add additional products such as snacks, protein, and desserts.”
The biggest difference between the two brands is that HelloFresh offers only a fixed list of recipes, while Hungryroot offers recipes curated to include the foods you love.
HelloFresh: There aren’t a ton of options to customize the weekly menu to your dietary needs with HelloFresh. There is the occasional option to switch out proteins and grains, such as swapping a pork recipe with chicken or replacing brown rice with jasmine rice.
However, these swaps are only available for certain recipes, and if you don’t like any of the recipes offered that week, you’re out of luck. For this reason, Ashley Little gave HelloFresh’s customization options a 3.5 out of 5.
Hungryroot: Arguably, the most novel feature of Hungryroot, compared to other similar services, is its level of customization. Thanks to the extensive survey you take upon signing up, you’ll receive groceries and recipes that align with your dietary needs and nearly never settle for meals that are simply the best options for the week.
The Hungryroot quiz also accounts for your allergies and weight goals when recommending your weekly recipes. So, if you are sensitive to allergens or need to eat gluten- or dairy-free, Hungryroot gives you slightly more peace of mind.
Kate Meier gave Hungyroot an impressive 5 out of 5 for its customization.
HelloFresh: Being one of the most popular meal kit delivery services in the nation, HelloFresh makes an effort to provide packaging that is compostable and recyclable. The ice packs are 100% recyclable. However, you can’t just throw them into your regular recycling bin. You need to follow specific instructions to recycle them properly. HelloFresh earns a 4 out of 5 for sustainability.
Hungryroot: Unlike HelloFresh, Hungryroot offers materials that are curbside recyclable. Just recycle with your cardboard and paper materials. However, depending on your grocery preference, there may be some groceries that come in packaging that needs special disposal from time to time. Still, Hungryroot gets a 5 out of 5 in this category from our testers.
HelloFresh: Currently, HelloFresh has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars out of 130,000+ reviews in the Apple app store. Most reviewers are empty-nesters who love that the service helps them plan their meals. Several of the more critical reviews complain about not being able to see the meal options before paying.
Hungryroot: Currently, Hungryroot has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on the Apple app store, stemming from 3,700 reviews. The reviews on the Hungryroot website are also very positive, with most customers praising its convenience, meal options, and how it has encouraged them to cook at home and eat healthier.
HelloFresh: “Easy to work with from my experience, but it seems like customers have difficulty canceling,” says GGR team member and reviewer Ashley Little. She gave their customer service a 4 out of 5.
When I’ve had issues, such as being sent the wrong protein, I was able to contact someone right away via live chat in the app and was given a credit within five minutes.
Hungryroot: There is no live chat feature with Hungryroot if you need urgent assistance. You can reach them by email or text when needed, and still get some prompt responses to your concerns. Kate Meier, CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, and GGR Head of Content, was satisfied with Hungryroot’s responsiveness when she needed to adjust her order and ultimately gave them a 4 out of 5 in this category.
If you’re on a keto, paleo, low-carb, high protein, calorie-controlled, or vegetarian diet, either Hungryroot or HelloFresh can assist you. If weight loss is your goal, HelloFresh is likely a better option as it makes an effort to highlight low-calorie meals. HelloFresh is also the ideal option for those who genuinely enjoy cooking delicious meals at home but don’t enjoy weekly grocery shopping.
RELATED: Best Keto Meal Delivery Service
Hungryroot’s appeal lies more in the groceries than meal kits. However, what makes Hungryroot worth it for most is the customization, easy meals that require minimal prep, and flexibility in their weekly menu. But for those with more elevated culinary tastes, the typical Hungryroot meal may be a bit too simple to commit to consistently.
Hungryroot Vs HelloFresh: FAQs
Can you pick your groceries at Hungryroot?
You can customize your groceries with Hungryroot. However, you cannot select individual groceries, but rather recipes. You will then receive groceries to prepare the selected recipes.
Are there cheaper alternatives to HelloFresh?
A variety of meal kit services exist, each with a different price point. But if you’re looking for the cheapest meal delivery service, alternatives include the slightly more budget-friendly EveryPlate and the less time-intensive BistroMD.
For a better idea of what’s out there, take a look at our list of HelloFresh alternatives.
Is Hungryroot weekly or monthly?
Hungryroot is a weekly meal delivery service.
Is HelloFresh worth it?
The value of HelloFresh depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your meal delivery service. If you want to cut down on grocery store trips, save money from food waste, and cook consistently balanced meals in your kitchen, HelloFresh is a great investment. HelloFresh also boasts several recipes featuring diverse flavors and cuisines for roughly $10 per meal.
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