Have you heard of Hello Fresh? It’s a popular meal kit delivery service that helps busy people save time, money and sharpen their cooking skills. More and more, people are looking for ways to live a wholesome life but with products and services that help make things easier. Hello Fresh does just that. It can help you simplify your cooking and grocery shopping by delivering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and recipes right to your door.
The easy to use website and app allow you to select your recipes ahead of time and skip a week if you need to for any reason. The experience is overall very simple, but there’s some information you need to know.
It’s an easy way to try new foods and cuisines and broaden your food horizons. It can also help ease the decision-making process of what to cook for dinner, which is an age-old problem. Lots of people are trying this service and making it a part of their daily life. But, it can be a new experience for people. There’s a lot of information to know before taking the plunge into Hello Fresh like pricing, how it works, what to expect.
Who is it for?
Hello Fresh is for people who are looking to streamline their home cooking experience. It can work for anyone from a single person to a family. People with dietary concerns of preference are also welcome to this service. It can be a unique and interesting option for people looking to shake up their cooking routine and try new things. People who live busy lives and find going to the grocery store constantly to be a hassle can certainly benefit from Hello Fresh. The meal delivery kits arrive right to your door with all the ingredients you need with the exception of simple necessities like salt and pepper and olive oil or cooking spray.
If you’re looking to try a new recipe or ingredient, Hello Fresh can be a perfect way to do that. The unique recipe offerings are a great way to try a new cuisine. The dishes all come with proportioned spices and other ingredients like rice wine vinegar or soy sauce as well, so you don’t have to commit to a whole container of a spice you’re not sure you like yet. But on the other hand, it’s a great way to find if you do like these things and you may discover something new and delicious.
Most of the dishes take between 30 and 40 minutes to cook. There are also even quicker options with 20-minute meal offerings that you can select as well. Hello Fresh can simplify your cooking routine and meal planning options.
What Plan to Choose?
Once you sign up for Hello Fresh, you’ll need to select which plan you want. This will be where you make the selections for which meals you want each week. You’ll know ahead of time to there won’t be any surprises when you get the box.
- Classic Plan: This is the most popular plan for most users. The Classic Plan gives you the most variety of recipes ranging from fish to beef and using seasonal produce. The Classic Plan allows you to choose from six different menu selections to choose from. You can select for this box to have up to four different recipes each week that can serve either two or four people. Depending on your household, this can also help with weekly lunch prep too. If you have two people, you could get a four-person meal and save half for two lunches later in the week.
- Veggie Plan: If you’re following a vegetarian lifestyle, this box is for you. This plan offers similar options as far as the number of meals and how many people they serve, but all without meat. These recipes are focused on grains, plant-based protein and seasonal produce.
- Family Plan: The Family Plan dishes each serve four people. These recipes are more kid-friendly but also offer enough interest for the adults to be happy as well.
How Much Does it Cost?
The pricing is reasonable, especially when comparing to how much you may spend going out or on impulse buys when grocery shopping. There are also many codes floating around out there for first-time users if you want to give the service a try.
- Classic Plan: The classic plan starts at $8.99 per serving for the two-person, three meal weekly option. The price lowers per meal the more meals you choose. For example, just two meals per week for two people is $9.99 per serving with $7.99 shipping. While the four-person, three meal weekly serving is $7.49 per serving with $6.99 shipping. When compared to a dinner out, even at a fast-casual place, it’s several dollars less per serving.
- Veggie Plan: The vegetarian optionally comes in a three weekly meal option for either two or four people. The two-person option is $8.99 per serving while the four-person box is $6.99 per serving. Both have $6.99 shipping.
- Family Plan: This plan comes in two or three recipients options per week, each serving four people. The two meal box is $7.87 per serving and the three meal box is $7.49 per serving, both with $6.99 shipping.
Hello Fresh employs two registered dietitians, so when ordering from this service, nutrition is top of mind. All the recipes go through their review and evaluation. Creating a balanced meal on your own can be tough. With Hello Fresh’s health-conscious staff you can be assured that each meal you receive is balanced and well thought out.
When you first begin selecting meals, you can also enter your dietary preferences or allergies. If you have any preference like gluten-free, no beef, no fish or even as specific as certain flavors you don’t like, like mushrooms, you can select all of that. The website won’t even show you options with things you don’t want, making your selection easy.
Some healthy meals can also be very complex and time-consuming. Most of Hello Fresh’s options contain under 10 ingredients, including seasonings. With their low cooks times, it’s not very complicated to make most of these dishes but they come out delicious with simple ingredients. In the selection portion, you can also filter recipes by difficulty level.
The recipes all incorporate a balanced mix of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables. They use only small amounts of additional oil or butter and most are cooked or baked instead of fried. But, they won’t be bland. That’s the fear some have when it comes to eating healthy. Hello Fresh offers well-spiced choices and a great medley of flavors in each dish.
Preparing healthy foods like meat and vegetables can also be very tedious, so some people just choose to scrap it. Spending most of your cook time cleaning meat and vegetables can turn some people off to the idea of health eating. While you will need to wash and chop most of the produce, it’s typically just one small thing – like a shallot or onion. The meat comes cleanly wrapped and cleaned and deboned as well.
A lot of the recipes are focused on simple and fresh dishes that taste like a gourmet chef prepared them. For example, taco night in most households might include jarred salsa and sodium-laden taco seasoned meat. With a Hello fresh taco kit, the customer is making a quick pico de gallo with included ingredients and seasoning the meat with fresh spices instead of chemicals.
What to Expect
When you get your Hello Fresh box, you can expect an organized and easy experience. The box will be delivered to your door in a medium-sized cardboard box. The food is kept inside in an insulated bag with ice, so it can sit out for a few hours until you get home. The more perishable items like meat and produce are packed towards the bottom, closer to the ice source. Other items that need less refrigeration like spices are packed near the top. When you’re ordering, you can also select the day of the week that your box will come. Your Hello Fresh account will provide tracking when the box is shipped and you can see when it’s been delivered as well.
When you first open the box, you’ll find the recipe cards for the selections you made. Each of these will contain a detailed ingredients list with measurements and instructions. The nice thing about these cards is they have photographs on each step so you know exactly what to do. They are also nicely printed on thick paper so you can keep them to make the recipes again. There’s also nutritional information for the meals that are included. There’s also a short list of the additional things you’ll need to make the meal, like salt and pepper, cookware or simple additions like butter or oil.
Each of your meals will be packaged within one of two, three or four paper bags depending on your plan. Each bag will also be labeled with the dish it contains so there’s no confusion about what goes where. The only thing that won’t be inside these bags is the meats. They’re packed outside each bag so they are directly next to the ice.
Most of the packaging is recyclable or compostable as well. Some drawbacks of meal delivery services can be lost of packaging waste, but not with Hello Fresh. Their website actually details how to recycle each piece of the meal kit from the box itself to the ice packs.
Each ingredient is individually wrapped and labeled inside the box as well, with the exception of vegetables and fruits like a lemon or an onion. All the little ingredients you’ll need like cheese or creme fraiche come along with the kit and in just the right amount of each recipe. You don’t need to worry about having enough of the right thing or buying a whole container of something just for a little bit only to never use it again. This is a great thing for people looking to try new things, especially in the family pack. If kids decide they don’t like an ingredient, simply don’t order that meal again. You’re not stuck with a huge package of brown rice only to learn your kids don’t like brown rice anymore.
The process also cuts down on food waste, which is a growing problem in the world today. So many tons of food are thrown out or wasted every day. Hello Fresh sends you just the right amount of what you need so nothing goes bad and goes to waste. This also helps save you money. For example, buying a whole tub of cream cheese for two tablespoons for a recipe may mean the rest of it goes to waste. If it’s not an ingredient you commonly use, you may waste the remaining after the recipe is done. With Hello Fresh, you’ll get exactly the amount you need so there’s no waste.
Hello Fresh is also very transparent about where the food they send you comes from. On the website, there’s an entire section detailing each farm and supplier that Hello Fresh works with. This can be really important to people who are looking to know more about where their food comes from.
Each ingredient is sourced from sustainable farmers, fisherman and meat farmers. You can look up exactly which farm a piece of fish came from in you Hello Fresh bag. From there, you can read about what they stand for and support. That’s something most people will appreciate and take a lot of pride in.
Hello Fresh also offers additional subscription services in addition to food. The first being the wine club. This works in a similar way to the food boxes as far as selection. You start by filling out a profile with your preferences, whether its red, white or a mix, and a sommelier chooses the best wines for you.
You get six wines in each box delivered right to your door, along with information about each wine and suggestions for pairings.
Each wine plan comes out to about $14.83 per bottle or $89 a month with free shipping. You can actually pair the wines with the Hello Fresh meals you choose for the month, making it a full culinary experience.
There are some things to know with this box though. Since it’s an alcoholic product, you will need to sign for the wine box and present valid ID to the delivery personnel. You can have the box shipped to your office to avoid missing the delivery.
It’s easy to cancel or skip a month if you need to as well.
Hello Fresh also offers a curated collection of cookware and various kitchen products. If you’re a budding chef with minimal equipment, as you get cooking you may realize you need a few more tools. The Hello Fresh shop offers many of these things as well as branded merchandise. Each item is tested by Hello Fresh chefs in the test kitchen.
They also offer collections of kitchenware and kits branded by trustworthy kitchen suppliers like OXO and Wüsthof. There are also often deals for these items at certain times on the website, so you can get high quality kitchen goods for a reasonable price. This section of the website is certainly worth taking a look at if you’re in need of something new for your kitchen. With these reputable brands, the items are quality and will last a long time.
There is also a fun section of kid’s cooking gear including small aprons, chef’s hats and coloring kits. They also make adult sized branded aprons, which can be a great gift for someone who loves Hello Fresh.
How Did it Start?
HelloFresh was founded in November 2011 by Dominik Richter, Thomas Griesel, and Jessica Nilsson in Berlin, Germany.
Richter and Griesel packed and hand-delivered the meal kits to the first 10 customers. While on a much larger scale, the company is still doing that to this day. While there are many meal kits on the market now, Hello Fresh was one of the first meal kits in the industry. By March 2015, they had nearly 250,000 subscribers. The company operates in many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Hello Fresh is a great service for many types of people in many situations. However, it may not work for everyone. If you’re on an extremely tight budget you may not be able to afford Hello Fresh, or at least not be able to justify the cost. While it is affordable, some of the pricing includes convenience. Sometimes the cost isn’t justified and that’s ok. There are often codes available if you are looking to give the service a try at a discounted rate before making it part of your routine.
If you travel very often and aren’t sure when you will return, this service may not work for you. While it’s very flexible as far as skipping weeks and choosing a delivery day, some jobs and lifestyles may not allow for it to work.
If you have very serious dietary restrictions or allergies, you may not want to try Hello Fresh. While you can specify for some allergies like shellfish or gluten, if you have more sensitive allergies or have to really watch what you eat, Hello Fresh may not work for you. This may also apply if you’re cooking for a family. Some children have allergies so severe one would need to have much more control over their food and truly be without worry.
If you have extremely picky eaters in your house, Hello Fresh might be something to pass on. The main point of the service is to try new foods and tastes. So if someone in your home won’t eat anything out of the ordinary, they are probably not likely to enjoy anything from Hello Fresh.
If you are living a trash-free life, Hello Fresh may not be for you. There are lots of parts of the experience that can be recycled. The process also cuts down on food waste by only sending you what you need. But, some people choose to live a life without creating lots of trash and buying only locally. If that’s your situation, this may not work for you.
But, overall Hello Fresh is a great way to try new recipes and foods you may not reach for at the grocery store. Each box comes with fresh, responsibly sourced food as well so you can know exactly where it’s coming from. It can be an excellent time saver for people who want to come home and just have their food ready to cook without waiting in line, parking and spending valuable time in the stores deciding what to eat.
Eating more at home can be a learning process. Hello Fresh can be a good way to get you started with learning how to cook and ways to prepare different ingredients. Eating out a lot is a tough habit to break. It’s easy and ready to go and saves time and thinking of what to cook. Hello Fresh does that while also teaching you a new skill. Sure, Hello Fresh does the work of getting the food to you but you do the work of preparing a meal. It can help you learn how to be proud and mindful of what you are putting in your body.