In the fast-paced world we live in, meal delivery kits have become a convenient and popular solution for busy individuals and families. In this comprehensive review, we compare two meal delivery services, HelloFresh and Dinnerly. From pricing and meal plan variety to ease in following recipes, we explore all aspects to help you make an informed choice that suits your lifestyle and preferences.
- Brief Overview of the Meal Delivery Kit Industry
- Who Meal Kit Delivery Services Are For and Not For
- Meal Plans
- Diet Plans Offered and Nutrition
- Ingredients and Sourcing
- Cooking Experience and Taste
- Dinnerly vs Hello Fresh: Key Differences Summarized
Brief Overview of the Meal Delivery Kit Industry
Meal kit delivery services offer a hassle-free solution for individuals and families to cook fresh meals at home. These subscription-based services provide pre-measured, prepped ingredients delivered to your doorstep.
With a variety of meal plans and recipes to choose from, customers can customize their orders based on dietary preferences and desired portion sizes.
The convenience of weekly deliveries and the flexibility to skip weeks make meal kit services an attractive option for busy individuals seeking healthy and delicious meals without the need for grocery shopping or meal planning.
Who Meal Kit Delivery Services Are For and Not For
If you’re considering whether a meal kit delivery service is a good fit for your needs, refer to the following table for a helpful overview.
|Who meal kit delivery services are for||Who meal kit delivery services are not for|
|Those looking for convenience and time-saving||People who dislike cooking|
|People seeking variety in meal options||Individuals who prefer traditional grocery shopping and meal planning|
|Individuals who want to improve their cooking skills||Those who enjoy the spontaneity of cooking with whatever ingredients are on hand|
|Health-conscious individuals seeking portion control||Individuals who travel a lot and mostly eat out|
|People who want to minimize food waste||Those with limited access to reliable delivery services or who live in remote areas|
|Those who enjoy experimenting with new recipes||Individuals with very specific or unique dietary needs that may not be catered to by the service|
|Individuals who value the convenience of skipping grocery store visits||People on a strict budget|
In this section, we delve into the pricing and plans offered by HelloFresh and Dinnerly, providing insights into the subscription options and cost structures of both meal delivery services.
Dinnerly stands out with its affordable pricing, offering meal plans starting at just $4.99 per person or portion. On the other hand, HelloFresh’s meal plans start at $7.49 per portion.
The specific price plans depend on factors such as the number of people included in the meal plan and the desired number of weekly deliveries.
The cost per person or portion decreases as you increase the number of people included in your meal plan and the number of meal kits ordered per week. In contrast, the price per portion increases when you’re planning meals for fewer individuals or ordering a lower quantity of meal kits.
Shipping costs for both Dinnerly and Hello Fresh meal kits vary depending on your selected meal plan.
It’s worth noting that both meal kit delivery services offer attractive introductory promotions, resulting in significant price reductions and free shipping.
The following table provides a cost comparison of some regular-priced meal plans between Dinnerly and HelloFresh.
|HelloFresh price per portion||Dinnerly price per portion|
|3 meals for 2 people per week (6 total portions)||$9.99||$9.04|
|4 meals for 2 people per week (8 total portions)||$9.79||$8.04|
|3 meals for 4 people per week (12 total portions)||$9.49||$7.13|
|4 meals for 4 people per week (16 total portions)||$9.29||$6.64|
Both HelloFresh and Dinnerly provide customers with two plan options: the couples plan and the family plan.
The couples plan consists of two servings per meal, while the family plan offers four servings. Both plans offer flexibility in terms of the number of meals per week, allowing customers to choose between two, three, four, five, or six meals.
Diet Plans Offered and Nutrition
Both Dinnerly and HelloFresh offer a diverse range of diet plans to cater to various nutritional needs and preferences. Whether you’re following a specific diet or simply looking for culinary variety, these meal kit delivery services have options that can accommodate your requirements.
Before signing up for a meal kit, it’s advisable to check the menus on both Dinnerly and HelloFresh’s websites. This allows you to assess the variety of recipes offered and ensure they align with your preferences and dietary needs.
HelloFresh diet plans and meal choices
When visiting HelloFresh’s website, you have the convenience of customizing your meal plan from the start. You can select the ideal plan size based on the number of people you’re feeding and the desired number of meals per week, while also specifying your meal preferences. This initial customization process ensures that your HelloFresh experience aligns with your unique needs and preferences.
HelloFresh’s meal preferences include:
- Meats and veggies
- Family friendly
- Fit and wholesome
- Quick and easy
Their recipes are further categorized with additional tags or labels such as:
- Protein smart
- Carb smart
- Easy clean up
HelloFresh features its “Hall of Fame” recipes each week, which are highly rated by customers. Additionally, they offer “Premium Picks” recipes that include more luxurious ingredients for an extra cost. Examples of these premium recipes include dishes like beef tenderloin and pan-seared scallops.
As of the time of writing this article, HelloFresh presents a generous variety of 60 options on their weekly menu.
Dinnerly diet plans and meal choices
Dinnerly’s meal preferences are noted in the menus and recipes. So, take a look at that first. Each recipe is tagged with preferences or labels such as:
- Low carb
- Low calorie
- No added gluten
- Dairy free
- Under 30 minutes
- Kid friendly
- One pot meal
- Climate hero (climate-friendly)
Dinnerly offers the option to customize certain meals, indicated by the “Customizeable” tag. This allows you to make substitutions such as swapping chicken for beef or choosing an organic beef burger over a veggie burger.
With an impressive selection of 100 options to choose from every week, Dinnerly goes beyond traditional cooking meal kits by offering convenient ready-to-heat meals. These “Ready Made” options require minimal effort and can be easily prepared in the oven or microwave.
Furthermore, Dinnerly also offers breakfast items such as breakfast burritos and pancakes, as well as desserts like cakes and bars.
Similar to HelloFresh, Dinnerly also provides premium meal choices labeled as “PremiYum.” These options include dishes like salmon and prosciutto-wrapped chicken.
Nutrition and allergy information
You can find nutrition (per serving) and allergy information in the online recipes for both Dinnerly and HelloFresh. Both take note of common allergens, such as eggs, milk, and nuts, and clearly label them in their recipes.
In addition to accessing recipes online, HelloFresh includes recipe cards with their meal kits. This is particularly useful for those who prefer having printed recipes readily available.
The following table shows what nutrition information is listed in Dinnerly and HelloFresh’s recipes.
Ingredients and Sourcing
HelloFresh and Dinnerly both deliver fresh ingredients to your door. This includes fresh meat, poultry, and seafood.
Both Dinnerly and HelloFresh provide transparent and detailed recipe instructions, including a clear list of ingredients included in their meal kits.
They also specify which ingredients are not provided in the kits but are commonly found in most kitchens, such as salt, pepper, cooking oil, and butter.
However, Dinnerly tends to exclude a larger number of items in their “what you’ll need” list, including ingredients like eggs and flour that are essential components of the recipe but not included in the meal kit.
This distinction is important to note as it may require you to have a more well-stocked pantry when cooking with Dinnerly.
HelloFresh ingredient sourcing
HelloFresh collaborates with trusted and experienced business partners committed to sustainability. They partner with meat suppliers that comply with USDA Inspection Guidelines and undergo additional food safety audits by globally recognized third-party programs. HelloFresh also conducts on-site visits to every meat vendor to ensure strict adherence to food safety standards.
Collaborating with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, HelloFresh strives to source ocean-friendly seafood, relying on ratings of Best Choice, Good Alternative, or Eco-certified from trusted independent programs. Additionally, certain fish species obtained by HelloFresh hold sustainability certifications like MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices).
HelloFresh incorporates a few organic ingredients into some of their selections.
Dinnerly ingredient sourcing
Dinnerly collaborates with diverse suppliers based on the region. Their chicken is NAE (No Antibiotics Ever), meaning it has never received antibiotics.
While their other meats are antibiotic-free at harvest, they may have had prior antibiotic exposure. Dinnerly’s meat primarily originates from the U.S., with the exception of select high-quality, grass-fed beef sourced from Australia.
Some of their ingredients are organic, sourced locally from time to time.
During the checkout process for both HelloFresh and Dinnerly, you have the option to select your desired delivery date and provide delivery instructions.
Choose a delivery date when you can be present at home to receive and promptly inspect your package, allowing you to ensure the freshness and quality of the ingredients and store them appropriately without delay.
You can easily modify your delivery day and meal selections by logging into your account, which you create during the checkout process. Both Dinnerly and HelloFresh will send you email notifications indicating the deadline to make any changes.
It’s also worth noting that both companies, like most subscription-based services, provide the flexibility to skip or cancel deliveries. To avoid any charges for a delivery you wish to skip or cancel, I recommend referring to the Frequently Asked Questions section on their respective websites to familiarize yourself with the specific deadline for taking these actions.
Once your order is prepared, both services will send you email and text message notifications containing the arrival date and a delivery time window.
Both HelloFresh and Dinnerly prioritize sustainability by utilizing recyclable packaging materials.
Their meal kits are delivered in boxes with insulation and ice packs. Both websites and packaging provide recycling information for the packaging materials, including the plastic film used for ice packs.
HelloFresh’s boxes are predominantly made from 100% recycled content, while Dinnerly’s boxes are sourced from sustainably managed forests.
HelloFresh ingredients for each recipe are sorted and packed into separate paper bags, which are then labeled with the name of the corresponding recipe. This helps to keep everything organized and easy to find when it comes time to cook each meal.
In contrast, Dinnerly delivers their ingredients without any pre-arranged organization, requiring you to organize the ingredients yourself before cooking.
To assess the temperature control of both HelloFresh and Dinnerly meal kits, I conducted a thermometer test by measuring the temperature between sealed food packets.
The results consistently showed temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s worth noting that meal kits should be delivered at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Both HelloFresh and Dinnerly offer recipes on their websites, but the notable distinction is that HelloFresh includes recipe cards with their meal kits, while Dinnerly doesn’t. HelloFresh’s online recipe and recipe cards also include pictures of cooking steps.
For individuals comfortable with reading recipes on electronic devices, this might not be significant. However, if you prefer printed recipes, it’s worth noting that you can always print out the recipes from Dinnerly’s website for your convenience.
Another important aspect to consider about both HelloFresh and Dinnerly is that their meal kits do not include commonly used ingredients such as salt, pepper, butter, and cooking oil. Additionally, Dinnerly goes a step further and excludes other pantry staples like garlic, ketchup, and vinegar from their meal kits.
Both Dinnerly and HelloFresh provide comprehensive information in their recipes regarding the necessary kitchen items and cooking equipment needed to prepare the dishes. This includes essential tools such as pots, pans, and utensils.
Cooking Experience and Taste
During the duration of my trial, I observed the following characteristics in the recipes provided by both Dinnerly and HelloFresh:
- Fresh ingredients of high quality without any concerns
- Recipes that were straightforward and easy to follow in 4 to 6 steps
- Meals that could be prepared within a reasonable cooking time of 20 to 30 minutes
- Nutritionally balanced meals
- Satisfying portions that were enjoyed by both myself and my partner
- Meals that are easily replicable and allow for variation in ingredients and flavors
Overall, I discovered that HelloFresh’s recipes aligned slightly better with my personal preferences for a meal kit service. They offered a touch of the unexpected and a tad bit more of flavors, achieved through the use of more fresh herbs and spices.
Please note that my experience with both meal kit delivery services was limited to a two-week period, and I did not have the opportunity to try any of the premium meals or explore offerings beyond the traditional lunch and dinner options.
Dinnerly vs Hello Fresh: Key Differences Summarized
To help you make an informed decision between HelloFresh and Dinnerly, I’ve compiled a comparison table highlighting key features of both meal kit delivery services.
This table will provide you with a quick overview of the differences in recipe options, recipe presentation, packaging, pricing, and overall convenience. Use this information to determine which service aligns best with your preferences and culinary needs.
|Recipe options||Extensive menu with 60 weekly offerings||Diverse menu offering 100 weekly options that includes some ready-to-heat meals, breakfast, and dessert options|
|Recipe Presentation||Clear recipe cards with step-by-step pictures||Online recipe format|
|Nutrition Information||Detailed nutrition information that includes calories, macronutrient breakdown, fiber, sugar, cholesterol, and sodium||Basic nutrition information with calories and macronutrient breakdown|
|Meal Plan and delivery options||Choose between 2 or 4 portions and select delivery options for 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 times per week||Choose between 2 or 4 portions and select delivery options for 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 times per week|
|Packaging||Well-organized packaging for easy access||Simplified packaging|
|Pricing||Higher price point||More affordable pricing|
|Convenience||Flexible delivery with convenient and organized meal kits||Flexible delivery with online customization and microwavable or oven-ready options|
When choosing between HelloFresh and Dinnerly, it ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. If you value affordability, simplicity, and don’t mind using online recipes, Dinnerly might be the perfect fit.
However, if you prefer recipe cards that provide comprehensive instructions, well-organized packaging for convenience, and recipes that offer more culinary variety, HelloFresh might be a better fit for your needs.
Whichever service you choose, both HelloFresh and Dinnerly offer the convenience of meal kits delivered straight to your door, making it easier than ever to enjoy delicious homemade meals and potentially save from dining out expenses.