HelloFresh is a leading meal kit company, and works much like their competitors Blue Apron and Home Chef and sister company EveryPlate. Each week, HelloFresh sends customers fresh ingredients and recipes so they can cook at home, saving them time shopping and researching meal ideas. For some people, it’s the perfect mid-point between the convenience of takeout and the flexibility and health benefits of home cooking. Are you one of them?
Limited-time offer: Earn 1% cash back on your Hello Fresh purchase.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about how HelloFresh works, how much it costs and whether it can support your dietary wants and needs so you can decide if it’s the right meal kit service for you.
What is HelloFresh?
HelloFresh is a meal kit service. Once you’ve signed up for a subscription, each week, you choose the meals that appeal to you from HelloFresh’s menu of offerings. HelloFresh then ships you the necessary, pre-measured ingredients (such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, meat, seafood, poultry and grains) that you need to make those meals, along with a meal card that offers nutritional information and the recipe for you to follow.
The company offers customers about 35 weekly recipes from which to choose, as well as over 70 marketplace items you can add to your grocery basket, so there’s plenty of options no matter what type of food you and your household members like.
How Does HelloFresh Work?
You sign up for a HelloFresh subscription based on how many people you’re cooking for, and how many meals you’d like per week supplied to you by HelloFresh.
Currently, the company offers both two-person and four-person plans. From there, you then choose whether you want 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meals per week sent to you. The bigger your order, the less you pay per meal. At press time, two people getting two meals per week costs $49.96 a box, which is $12.49 price per serving, while a household of four getting six meals per week pays $215.76, a price per serving of $8.99. Shipping is $9.99 additional.
You have to select your meals before 11:59 pm PST five days prior to your next scheduled delivery, or you’ll automatically be sent the meals HelloFresh chooses for you.
What Kinds of Meals Does HelloFresh Offer?
You can specify your preferences so that HelloFresh will show you the most relevant meal choices for you each week, but you can order any meal offered, even if it’s not within your preferred plan.
HelloFresh offers six plans. You must choose at least one, but can select as many as you want — and the company will show you your preferred menu choices first.
- Meat & Veggies Plan. Their widest array of menu choices.
- Pescaritan Plan. Meals for people who enjoy seafood.
- Family Friendly Plan. Fast, kid-friendly, and not too complicated, making this category a good option for busy families, and something fun to do with kids old enough to help out in the kitchen.
- Veggie Plan. Meals for vegetarians made with meatless proteins, grains and fruits and vegetables.
- Fit and Wholesome Plan. Meals designed by dietitians to be healthy and approximately 650 calories per serving.
- Quick & Easy Plan. For the person looking for the most convenience and speed while getting a meal on the table.
When you’re scrolling through the recipes offered that week, it will tell you how long a meal takes to cook and any other key details. For example, the “Firecracker Meatballs with Roasted Green Beans & Cauliflower Rice” takes 40 minutes to cook, and is labeled “spicy” and “carb smart.” The “One-Pan Cheesy Beef Tortilla Melts with Green Pepper & Spicy Cream Sauce” takes 20 minutes and is tagged “easy cleanup,” “easy prep” and “quick.” And the Vegan Yucatan-Style Cauliflower Bowls with Spiced Black Beans & Chipotle Pineapple Mayo takes 35 minutes to prepare and is labeled “new” and “vegan.”
When you click on a specific recipe to learn more, you’ll see details like any top allergens, ingredients included with delivery as well as anything not included (like salt, pepper, sugar and other household staples), the utensils you’ll need, and the nutritional profile of the meal.
How Much Does HelloFresh Cost?
HelloFresh is very generous with coupons, discounts and trial plans, but without any coupons, you’ll be paying around $9/per serving and up for your meals.
How Long Does it Take to Cook HelloFresh Meals?
This varies based on the recipe, so when you’re choosing your meals for the week, you can pick the ones that are more elaborate if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen preparing a delicious dish, or you can choose a faster option with easy cleanup to simplify your life. The majority fall within the 30 to 45 minute range, but there are some zippy 15-minute picks as well as more elaborate, 50-minute ones.
Can HelloFresh Support Allergies and Other Dietary Restrictions?
Allergens are helpfully listed for each recipe, however, the company does state that their meals are produced in a facility that handles all the top allergens such as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy. They do not offer gluten-free meals, or keto or paleo options.
There are 10 veggie meals to choose from each week, including up to two vegan choices. The company notes that veggie recipes may possibly be made vegan by opting to leave out certain ingredients, like cheese or yogurt.
Can You Swap Ingredients on a HelloFresh Order?
The company recently launched HelloCustom, which allows customers to add a protein to a veggie recipe, swap or upgrade an existing protein, swap sides for a carb-smart option or add protein to veggie dishes.
Can You Order Other Food A La Carte?
Yes, in the HelloFresh market, you can pick up quick meals, desserts, sides, condiments and fresh produce.
Can You Recycle HelloFresh Packaging?
One of the biggest complaints consumers have about meal kit companies is that they require a lot of packing, from the individual wrapping on each ingredient to the cold packs to keep food from perishing as well as the box and padding everything comes in. As such, there has been increasing focus on finding ways to reduce waste. HelloFresh says some of their insulation material is recyclable, as are the paper bags the meal kits come in. Their shipping boxes are made with recycled content cardboard and are recyclable, and you can even recycle the ice packs.
Can You Pause or Skip a HelloFresh Delivery?
If you’d like to skip a week or more, log into your account, and choose the Skip This Week option. Just be sure to pause by 11:59 p.m. PST, five days prior to your next scheduled delivery or you’ll be charged for the already-processed order.
How to Cancel HelloFresh
You are not locked into any membership with HelloFresh, and can cancel any time. The company advises you follow these steps to cancel your account:
- Log in to your account on the website.
- Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner, then click ‘Account Settings.’
- Scroll down on the Plan settings page and click ‘Cancel Plan’ (under Status section). Follow the prompt(s) for your cancellation.
You will be prompted with a message confirming that your account has been canceled. You must cancel by 11:59 p.m. PST, five days prior to your next scheduled delivery or you’ll be charged for the next order.
What are the Best HelloFresh Promo Codes?
The company offers many excellent discounts to entice people to try out their service, from a RetailMeNot cash back offer to savings on your first boxes when you sign up. These do change frequently, so visit RetailMeNot for the latest ways to save at HelloFresh as well as HelloFresh’s own coupon page.
Right now, they’re offering 21 free meals, three surprise gifts and free shipping when you sign up for a new membership with HelloFresh.
Does HelloFresh Offer a Free Trial?
There are no free trials available with HelloFresh, but with certain promotions, you can get free meals as part of your introductory offer. As noted above, they’re currently enticing new customers by dangling 21 free meals, three surprise gifts and free shipping when you try HelloFresh.
Does HelloFresh Offer a Military Discount?
Yes. Military and veterans, along with medical providers, nurses and hospital employees can verify their status with ID.me for an exclusive Hero discount.
Is There a HelloFresh Referral Discount?
If you know someone who wants to try out HelloFresh, log into your account, then click on the ‘HelloFriends’ at the top right of the page to send your friend a referral code. If they sign up using your code, they save $100 off across their first four boxes from HelloFresh ($25/week) and you receive a $10 credit to your HelloFresh account.
Is HelloFresh Worth It?
Yes, for most people. If you’re stuck in a cooking rut, if you do not enjoy shopping or menu planning, or if you’d like to try new things but aren’t sure where to start, HelloFresh can help spice things up. It’s also good if you’re new to cooking and could use the support of a sous chef, if you’re super busy and want to save time or if you are relying more on take-out than you’d like. Finally, if HelloFresh offers you a discount so excellent you can’t resist, absolutely go for it! Between the variety of meals and cooking time, you will find something you’d like to eat and it’s nice to be able to simplify an everyday task.
On the other hand, if you have very specific dietary needs or allergens, you may find HelloFresh cannot support those.
Another reason to say no is if you are on a budget and already do a great job planning affordable meals. HelloFresh says you will save with them because they buy seasonal produce and go straight to suppliers so their prices are competitive. They also note that their customers don’t buy more food than they need (food waste is a major issue) and won’t spend cash on takeout. But if you’re someone who is a couponing rockstar, prep enough for leftovers, buy on sale and choose affordable menus, you will find HelloFresh costs more than you’re spending now.
In short, for most people, a meal kit service is a fun way to explore new tastes and make your life a little less hectic. If that sounds like you, and since you don’t have to commit to anything, there’s no downside to giving HelloFresh a try.