HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon
Some days I barely have time to eat, let alone cook a decent meal. Rather than eat lo mein every night, I decided to give meal kits a go. Meal kits send you everything you need to make delicious dinners without the hassle of shopping or meal planning, so I figured it was a great option for me.
But, I couldn't decide between ordering from HelloFresh or Marley Spoon. On the surface, they looked about the same: they're both equally priced and feature delicious-looking recipes that are easy-to-make.
After a bit of digging, I discovered that HelloFresh is a Choice recommended meal kit provider. I also compared heaps of reviews on Trustpilot (a third party site, so there's no bias) to get an idea of what the meal kits were really like.
It turns out there is a clear winner (spoiler alert: it's HelloFresh), but here's how the two compared.
They both guarantee fast and easy meals, but HelloFresh beat out Marley Spoon for speed and simplicity. For each HelloFresh meal, the recipe specifies an exact time, like 25 or 35 minutes. Marley Spoon's recipes give a range, like "30-40 minutes."
People also said that the recipe cards from HelloFresh were easier to follow. Marley Spoon breaks down each recipe into fewer steps, which means they might leave some things out that novice cooks don't know.
"HelloFresh makes dinner so much easier. I didn't like to cook. But it was past tense. After becoming a member of HelloFresh, dinner is always a happy time from cooking to finishing the plate. You never know until you try!" - Joely
Both meal kits boast fresh, seasonal produce for their recipes, and they deliver on those promises. However, HelloFresh gives you pre-portioned herbs and spices to make your own sauces, while Marley Spoon may just give you the sauce, pre-packaged. That just didn't feel like a cooking experience to me.
"Very disappointed in my first Marley Spoon box! I thought I was getting fresh ingredients that I can combine and create the meal myself, [but] instead of giving me the ingredients to make chilli jam they just sent me a premade tin!! If I wanted to buy canned premade sauces I would just go to the supermarket instead of paying premium for your service." - Laura D.
Variety & Taste
If you choose either kit, you'll find rotating recipes that sample cuisines like pasta dishes with Italian sauce recipes, Korean bibimbap, and Mexican fish tacos, in addition to more classic recipes, like rosemary chicken or smoky steak. Every meal is curated by professional recipe developers, which means they're just as authentic as take-out, but less salty, and less expensive. Overall, both kits had tons of reviews raving about the range of delicious meals.
Both meal kits allow you to pick a delivery date and time so that your box arrives at a convenient time for you. I spotted more complaints online about Marley Spoon meal kits not being delivered on time or at all.
"The food [with Marley Spoon] is great... when it arrives. Every few weeks the delivery is made to the wrong address and we have to go out and buy groceries to be able to make meals ourselves." - David
The Overall Winner: HelloFresh!
Both companies had fast, delicious meals and occasional delivery hiccups, but HelloFresh had more loyal reviewers singing its praises and ChoiceⓇ also recommended HelloFresh. HelloFresh has a more streamlined recipe plan with clearer instructions that really take into account all the moving pieces of the meal.
I ended up ordering HelloFresh after doing the research and am loving it. My plan is just $7.99 per meal and I can actually cook dinner in just 30 minutes or less, which is so important for me as a busy editor. They're a reliable company dominating the market for a reason, and I never regret making a homemade roasted pork from HelloFresh over takeout food.
Update: The team at HelloFresh are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to get your first 3 meals free!