Best Meal Kit Delivery Services 2023 Review (Top 5 Picks)
What is the best meal kit delivery service for singles and families in 2023? To answer this crucial question, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Tammy McKinney, a registered nurse and seasoned product researcher. Tammy not only brings meticulous research to the table but also firsthand experience, having tested these services while caring for her patients. Within this landscape, you’ll find an array of meal delivery services catering to various dietary preferences, ranging from premium offerings to gluten-free, ketogenic, low-carb, and plant-based options.
Of course, there are numerous other potential choices beyond our top 5 list, such as CookUnity, Fresh N Lead, Tovala, BistroMD, Trifecta, Daily Harvest, Mosaic, and Mom’s Meals. However, negative customer reviews and complaints played a pivotal role in the exclusion of many of these food delivery services from our comparison.
The following meal kit delivery services review answers all your questions, including “How much does a meal kit cost?” “Are meal kits worth it?” “Is there a promo code available?” “Can you use EBT for meal kits?” and “Which meal kit service is best?“
Whether you need more time, ideas, or cooking skills, a meal kit delivery service can help you deliver restaurant-quality meals at home. Each subscription-based service offers a menu of culinary delights and then delivers an exact portion of each ingredient along with a full-color, detailed recipe card right to your door.
- Table of Contents
- Great for Families of Up to 6 People
- Allergen-Free Options Available
- Affiliate Program
- Discounts for Military, Teachers, Students, and Healthcare Workers
- Offers low carb meal delivery kits
- Blue Apron Market offers kitchen tools and pantry essentials
- No Contract or Commitment
- Pairing Wines Available in 2 Sizes
- Discounts for Military, Teachers, Seniors and Healthcare Workers
- More Affordable than Competitors
- Affiliate Program with no Minimum Payout
- Discounts for Military, Teachers, Students and Healthcare Workers
- Great for Vegetarians & Vegans
- Martha Stewart Recipes
- High Commission Affiliate Program
- Promo codes for almost everyone
- Offers “Gluten Free” meal delivery kits
HelloFresh: Best Meal Kits for Singles & Families
HelloFresh secures the top spot with flying colors, standing head and shoulders above its competitors. It scales the heights of meal delivery excellence, thanks to its impressive array of weekly options, reasonable pricing, and mouthwatering breakfast choices.
For families, HelloFresh’s meal delivery service emerges as the ultimate choice. They specialize in crafting kid-friendly meals and recipes that not only boast a swift and hassle-free preparation process but also deliver a delectable taste. As busy working parents, it’s a blessing to have such a convenient option at our fingertips.
The hallmark of HelloFresh’s offerings is the comforting, home-cooked meal experience it brings to your table. Whether it’s indulging in Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken, savoring Hoisin Pork Burgers with Potato Wedges, or relishing BBQ Beef Meatballs with Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli, HelloFresh has a delightful array to offer.
But there’s more. HelloFresh goes the extra mile for families with kids under the age of 13. They sweeten the deal with 16 free meals, including three surprise gifts for the little ones, all accompanied by complimentary shipping. And let’s be honest, knowing that surprise gifts are on the menu will undoubtedly make family dinner time even more appealing, especially since kids have an inherent love for surprises.
How Much Does HelloFresh Family Meals Cost?
Now, let’s talk about the cost.
According to one HelloFresh customer review, the Family-Friendly plan breaks down as follows:
For four meals serving four people in a week, it comes to approximately $155 or around $9.69 per serving, with an additional $9.99 for delivery (please note that delivery costs may vary by location). Opting for three recipes per week translates to $10.33 per serving or $123.96. If you’re a two-person family, the options come to $90 ($11.25 per serving) for four meals or $68.94 ($11.49 per serving) for three meals.
Customer Reviews on HelloFresh
When it comes to taste, HelloFresh leaves a lasting impression. Customers rave about the thoughtful packaging, with one review highlighting the meticulous separation of vacuum-sealed fresh meat from other groceries. This attention to detail ensures that your meat remains pristine and isolated, free from any contact with other items.
Southwest Beef Cavatappi: A Favorite Meal Meal Delivery Kit for Couples
And let’s not forget about the Southwest Beef Cavatappi, a favorite among couples.
Couples nationwide seem to love the Southwest Beef Cavatappi due to its irresistible flavors. On Reddit, HelloFresh customer reviews raved about how delicious the southwest beef Cavatappi was.
HelloFresh Food Delivery App Reviews
On Google Play, the HelloFresh Meal Kit App is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 126,000 reviews.
2023 Verified Positive Google Reviews on HelloFresh:
- 5-Star Review: Awesome Meal Kits for a Family, by Courtney Bowman– “As a single working mom with a child with a disability, the convenience is well worth the price. I can spend my energy elsewhere and still have fresh meals three nights a week!”
- 5-Star Review: Best Meal Kits for Singles, by Cynthia A Bowman– “I’m 71 and learning to cook all over again and Hello Fresh makes it easy. Many choices and the recipe cards tell you exactly how to cook a great meal. So convenient. Everything you need for a dinner is packaged. You don’t have to use it all, either. I order for 2 and it comes out enough for 2. So far, no leftovers. Highly recommend!”
- 5-Star Review: Costs Less Than Buying Groceries, by Michelle Donicht– “I LOVE this! There are so many great meals, and super easy to prepare. I was skeptical about the cost, but we have CUT our grocery bill in half! And we aren’t throwing out all the leftovers we have good intentions to eat but rarely do! The meal selections are great; we are trying new foods and loving them. The flexibility to change menus, the number of meals per week, or skip makes it all the more convenient. Highly recommend!”
- 5-Star Review: Excellent Customer Service, by Ruby H.– “The portion sizes are perfect and I love that most meals are well balanced with protein, carbs, and veggies. I think it’s a fantastic service and really enjoy it. I hate grocery shopping and Hello Fresh has saved me many a-trips. For those times when something goes wrong, the customer service is, quick, helpful, and effective.”
- 5-Star Review: Great choice for Couples, by JayLo Webb– “Absolutely love it! We were initially quite skeptical, having heard that the portions might be on the smaller side. However, we’ve discovered that they are just the right size for us. While there are no leftovers, I personally prefer it that way.”
- 5-Star Review: Perfect for Couples, by Beth Tabarez– “The food is not only delicious but also accompanied by step-by-step recipes that are a breeze to follow. My husband and I typically find the menu selections quite appealing. It’s definitely worth the price, and it has the added benefit of encouraging me to cook at home more frequently. With everything pre-portioned, it’s incredibly convenient and simplifies the entire cooking process.”
- 4-Star Review: HelloFresh Meal Delivery Services– “I’m a big fan of HelloFresh due to its incredible convenience. However, it’s worth noting that it may not be as budget-friendly as they claim, the meals tend to be surprisingly high in calories, and their estimated preparation and cooking times can be quite underestimated. But, as a single person of smaller stature, I’ve come up with a solution to address these concerns. I divide the two “calorie smart” 2-person meals into three portions each, totaling six meals. This way, I have ample food to satisfy my needs, and I often end up with leftovers, effectively reducing my cooking frequency to just twice a week!”
Best Food Delivery Service Meal Kits App
Based on over 126,038 verified reviews on Google Play, boasting an average rating of 4.6/5, and supported by 133,872 reviews on the Apple Store with an impressive average rating of 4.7/5, it’s evident that HelloFresh’s app stands as the highest-rated among all meal kit delivery companies.
Source: Google Play, HelloFresh Meal Kit Delivery Service Reviews
Meal Kit Delivery Services Trends & Stats
If you’ve recently searched on Google for “best meal prep, meal kit, or meal delivery services near me,” you’ll undoubtedly encounter many options. Recent data from Statista indicates that the global revenue generated from the ‘Meal Kit Delivery’ industry is projected to continuously increase between 2023 and 2027 by a staggering $6.9 billion, representing a significant growth rate of 38.76 percent. It’s indeed a booming industry. However, as is typical with rapid industry growth, you’ll encounter both exemplary and subpar companies vying for your business.
Best Meal Kit Delivery Services for Food Allergies
Who Owns Home Chef Meal Kit Delivery Services?
Home Chef, the prominent meal kit delivery service, is owned by The Kroger Company. Kroger operates more than 2,719 grocery stores across 35 states and is a publicly listed company (Ticker Symbol: KR). Home Chef is a well-funded, sizable company with a production facility that prepares and batches ingredients for its meals.
Since being acquired by Kroger, the company has experienced rapid growth, with sales exceeding $1 billion in recent years. In 2021 alone, Home Chef’s sales surpassed $250 million, a significant increase from the $250 million in sales it achieved in 2017, the year before Kroger’s acquisition.
Complaints Against Home Chef
Sometimes, rapid growth can lead to an increase in complaints. Regrettably, at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), complaints against Home Chef are also on the rise. BBB has issued an alert regarding this business, noting a pattern of complaints, including:
“Consumers reported that food is delivered spoiled and inedible.
Consumers allegedly ccharged for food they did not want or agree to order.
Complaints about difficulties in contacting customer service for assistance in canceling services, with the business instead suggesting pausing food orders on their website as an alternative.”
Home Chef Customer Service Review
At TrustedCompanyReviews, we tested Home Chef’s customer service department by calling 855-949-3049 to assess their accessibility.
A Home Chef customer service representative answered the phone within 60 seconds, demonstrating an improved response time and addressing the issue raised by BBB, where consumers had trouble reaching Home Chef’s customer service.
No matter which food delivery (meal kit) supplier you choose, it’s essential to contact their customer service number before subscribing to their service. Assess the ease of reaching their customer service representatives, as this step can be crucial in case you encounter any problems.
Difficulty in contacting customer service can lead to significant frustrations, particularly when facing issues related to a purchased product or service. You want the assurance that you’re engaging with a company that prioritizes its product and swiftly addresses any concerns.
Home Chef Diet and Healthy Options
Home Chef excels in providing diet and health-conscious food options. Their calorie-conscious meals contain fewer than 625 calories per serving and are both visually appealing and delicious.
If you or a family member have food allergies, Home Chef is your top choice. They offer a diverse menu that can be sorted by dietary needs, including wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options. Home Chef stands out as the leader in catering to various nutritional needs, surpassing any other meal kit delivery service in this regard.
Best Meal Kits for its Recipes
Are you a foodie? Blue Apron is for you if high-quality, unique ingredients in chef-tested recipes are your idea of a dream dinner.
Each week, their menu selections range from comfort foods to worldly fine dining, with tastes from around the world. They also offer a wide range of wine pairings to enhance the flavors in their already delectable meals.
Most Affordable Meal Kits
Best Vegetarian Meal Kits
How much does shipping cost?
Most meal kit delivery services charge a flat rate of $10-$12 weekly for shipping. You’ll usually receive free shipping for your first week if you have a promo code. HelloFresh has the lowest shipping cost at $10, while Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon charges $11.99.
What other charges will I encounter?
Add-ons and gourmet or premium upgrades are available for a fee but vary between services. For instance, Blue Apron offers upgraded meals, perfect for a date night, for an additional $11.99/serving. The cooking techniques required to prepare these meals are more elaborate, but the experience is worth it. In this case, you’ll need to order at least four meals per week to take advantage of the offer.
Add-ons such as side dishes, desserts, and salads are offered through HelloFresh to enhance the already-savory and filling meals.
Blue Apron offers a wine subscription that you can pair directly with your recipes and a marketplace of cookbooks and kitchen essentials.
Heat-and-eat sides and soups are available on the EveryPlate menu for a nominal fee. These delights are a great addition to the culinary classics in their arsenal.
Are meal kits cheaper than groceries?
Yes, sometimes. If you carefully plan each meal, use the items in your kitchen before they go bad, and take the time to find the best deal when shopping, you’re likely getting the best deal already. However, if you’re unable to do that, find yourself struggling with these tasks, and waste a significant amount of food, you’re probably spending more than you realize. In this case, a meal kit will save you money by sending you only what you need each week and ending the hurried purchases at the market.
The best way to determine if meal kits will be a money-saver for you is to try one at a discounted rate. Promo codes are available through Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Blue Apron, Every Plate, and Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon. Don’t forget to cancel your subscription a full seven days before the shipping date of your next box if you decide it isn’t right for you.
Do meal kits save money?
Meal kits can save you money, depending on your situation. Do you find yourself ordering takeout more often than you’d like? Have you added up how much you spend in a month? Imagine replacing those meals with delicious, homemade dinners for $4.99 per serving through EveryPlate. You can save even more if you use HelloFresh. Their dinner-to-lunch options include everything you need to prepare a chef-inspired dinner and have a heat-and-eat lunch ready for the next day.
Are meal kits healthy?
Depending on the service you choose, a wide variety of health, diet, and allergen-free options are available.
Is using the service good for the earth?
If sustainability is important to you, meal kits are a great fit. Most have a long list of ethical practices they’ve implemented in their attempt to do good for the world.
First, they reduce food waste. Considering the 119 billion pounds of food wasted in our country each year, it’s easy to see why pre-portioned meals that deliver just the right amount of ingredients are a benefit. Blue Apron alone cuts food waste by 38%!
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon use their profits to fund the establishment of forests, the building of wind turbines, transitions to clean energy, and clean cookstoves for those in need.
Most, including EveryPlate, also guarantee that as much of their packaging as possible is 100% recyclable. They also work diligently to use minimal packaging, cutting back on waste.
HelloFresh uses locally grown produce and ethically sourced fish and seafood to contribute to greener practices. They have also created a program that donates unused food to charitable causes.
Home Chef is the only service we found that doesn’t publicly mention their ethical practices. We also noted that some of their packaging is not recyclable.
What are the drawbacks?
If you’re wondering what the drawbacks of meal kits are, we’ll tell you. While we can attest that there are tons of great options and benefits, there are some things you need to know.
Cancelling Meal Delivery Kit Services
While none of the services we’ve researched require a commitment, they require you to sign up for a subscription, even if you only want to try it.
While you don’t have to continue receiving boxes, you do have to remember to cancel if you choose not to use it.
Is it easy to cancel Home Chef meal delivery services?
Cancellation procedures can vary, with Home Chef requiring you to call customer service to cancel, while others allow you to do so online.
You’ll also need to remember to do so at least seven days before the ship date of your next box, or you’ll be charged.
Complaints Against Meal Delivery Services
Overall, the biggest complaint we found across the board was that some customers had difficulty canceling their meal delivery service subscription.
Promo Codes and discounts for Meal Delivery Services
Each service offers its own promo codes and discounts, such as EveryPlate’s Hero Discount or HelloFresh’s discount for students.
While “18 free meals” or “$177 off” sound like great deals, they won’t apply all at once. Each will break out the savings across several boxes, enticing you to continue your subscription.
Shipping Can be Challenging
Shipping fresh ingredients nationwide through carriers like FedEx and UPS can lead to interesting challenges. While the fresh ingredients are carefully packaged in heavy-duty boxes with cooler packs, damage and unforeseen complications can arise. Ingredients may become damaged or even spoil in transit.
The good news is that customers are quickly refunded or credited for the damaged goods and can likely pick up the missing item at a local market.
Meal Delivery Services vs. Grocery Shopping
While meal kits can significantly reduce the time you spend on meal planning and shopping, there’s still work to be done.
You’ll need to log on weekly and choose your meals from the provided menu. You’ll also need to ensure that your pantry is stocked with essentials such as oil and eggs.
Furthermore, none of the kits we’ve found cover all your meals. You’re not totally off the hook for prep and shopping and still need to shop for the meals that aren’t covered by the subscription.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a meal kit?
A meal kit is a subscription-based service that provides pre-portioned and packaged ingredients and recipe cards so you can prepare meals at home. They offer a wide range of meal options and reduce waste by shipping only the amount of each ingredient that is necessary. They’re great for people who are short on time, cooking skills, or both.
Are meal kits bad for the environment?
No. Meal kits are great for the environment. As noted above, each service implements its own green practices, and most do so with vigor.
Are there any meal kits for singles?
Unfortunately, we did not find any meal kits for singles. However, there are plenty that offer kits for 2. If you’re so inclined, you can order the kit for two and enjoy leftovers for lunch or additional dinners.
Which meal kit service is best?
Do any meal kits take EBT?
No. We haven’t found any meal kits that accept EBT. However, you do have a similar option available. eMeals, in partnership with Walmart or InstaCart, can accept EBT for your grocery order, but you’ll need to pay for the eMeals subscriptions separately.
Are meal kits worth it?
Meal kids are absolutely worth the time and money for some families. The only way to know for sure if it’ll work for you is to give them a try!
Do I need to be home when the kit is delivered?
No, you do not need to be home or sign for your meal kit when delivered.
What is the best Low-Carb Meal Kit Delivery Service?
Regarding low-carb meal kit delivery services– HelloFresh, Home Chef, Blue Apron and Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon all offer excellent options. The only company on this list that doesn’t provide an outstanding selection of low-carb meals is EveryPlate.
To maintain affordability, EveryPlate stopped offering specialized meal options or plans tailored to specific dietary requirements or allergies. Nevertheless, you can easily transform a variety of EveryPlate’s dishes into keto-friendly alternatives by implementing a few simple ingredient substitutions. By swapping out high-carb components such as pasta and meals that include lots of bread with low-carb options such as vegetarian-type meals, you can adapt these meals to suit your dietary preferences.
What are the Best Keto Meal Delivery Kit Services Near Me?
Green Chef’s keto meal kits are priced at just $11.99 to $13.49 per serving, with an additional approximately $9.99 for shipping. What sets Green Chef apart is that it provides meal kits rather than fully prepared meals, giving you all the ingredients along with user-friendly recipes. What distinguishes Green Chef’s keto meal kits is their extensive selection, offering 8-10 entrees to choose from each week.
According to customer reviews, Green Chef’s keto meals are not only delicious but also incredibly convenient to prepare, thanks to accurately measured ingredients. However, it’s worth noting that Green Chef’s keto meals can be on the pricey side, particularly when factoring in shipping fees. Some customers have also raised concerns about these keto meals occasionally containing more carbohydrates than advertised.
What is the best meal delivery service for families?
In the world of family-oriented meal kit delivery services, HelloFresh and Home Chef shine with remarkable customer acclaim. HelloFresh boasts an impressive A+ BBB rating and a wealth of 15 years of industry expertise, while Home Chef, with a solid B+ BBB rating, has been a trusted name for a decade.
For time-strapped new parents, HelloFresh offers a generous incentive, providing 16 complimentary meals and three surprise gifts. With an expansive menu offering over 50 weekly choices catering to various dietary preferences, including vegetarian, pescatarian, kid-friendly, low carb, and low calorie, HelloFresh comes to the rescue of families juggling busy schedules.
HelloFresh’s meticulously curated meal kits, featuring precisely measured, high-quality ingredients, effortlessly transform mealtime into a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Notably, these gourmet meals can be ready in 30 minutes or less, a true lifesaver for families on the go.
Cost for HelloFresh meal delivery services vs. Grocery Shopping
In a world where the costs of childcare can quickly accumulate, HelloFresh stands out as an economical solution, with delighted customers attesting to substantial savings—28% more cost-effective than local grocery shopping. Moreover, their efficient delivery service also cuts down on transportation expenses, ensuring that nourishing, chef-inspired meals are within easy reach for families seeking convenience and health-conscious dining.
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Our Rating System
Our reviews come from industry expert authors!
The star ratings are based on the overall rating of each brand. Some reviews are provided via third party suppliers.
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