Monday, January 30, 2017

My Honest Review of HelloFresh

First Impression:

I decided to try out HelloFresh when I saw a good deal during Black Friday. I received my first box for $19. I'd been wanting to try one of the dinner boxes but had been hesitating due to the cost. A regular box for two people is $69 for three meals. I planned to receive the box the week between Christmas and New Years. HelloFresh does a great job with branding, from the box, to the literature, to the food packages. The recipes came in a booklet and were made with heavy card stock. I really appreciated the look of this and loved that they included the other recipes for the meals I didn't choose for that week. There were two large ice packs to keep everything cool. Each meal had it's own box while the meat was separate. I had two chicken meals in my box but with different cuts. It wasn't directly obviously at first which meat was supposed to go with which meal. I would have liked to have the meat labeled for each meal as well. I loved that there were bins for the individual meals but I quickly saw how much waste/trash there was.

The Meals:

I chose to start with the Chicken Satay Skewers since Chicken Satay is one of my go to orders at Thai restaurants. I had never thought to roast pea pods as I figured they might be too delicate and burn easily but they roasted up well and I will for sure be making them again. I wasn't crazy about the skewers. The coconut marinade was not very flavorful and the peanut sauce was not to my liking. I typically cook skewers on the grill so I liked having a new way to cook them. (500* for 15-20mins) This probably isn't a recipe I would make again.
Both Errol and I liked the Sizzling Beef Stir fry. We are huge stir fry fans and this is totally something I would make again. The bok choy that they included with the box was less than fresh so I substituted broccoli. 
The Honey Mustard Baked Chicken was another winner. I loved the sauce on the chicken and roasted veggies are a staple in our house. I saved the recipe to make this again but I will double the sauce next time. I had to buy a new zucchini because the one I received was not fresh by the time I made the meal. 

HelloFresh recommends that the meat is used within 4 days of receiving your box. I would much rather see a best by date then just use within 4 days. How do I know how long this meat was sitting at their warehouse before it was sent? 

Overall Thoughts:

It was nice to try but nothing I would continue with. I cancelled my subscription after receiving the first box. HelloFresh does give you the flexibility to skip weeks or even put your membership on hold for a few months but I could not justify the price versus the value. I could have easily purchased the items for these three meals for half of cost of the box. Most of the produce was less than fresh with the exception of the items that keep longer like sweet potatoes. And the waste. I received two large ice packs in my box and they made a mess of my trash. I will say that I was honest in my feedback to HelloFresh when I cancelled my membership and they did call me to get more information. They said they had heard about the produce from other members and were taking steps to improve the quality. I was also offered a credit to try another box. I declined but appreciated the follow up and customer service. 

Have you tried a meal subscription box? What were your thoughts?


  1. We are huge stir fry fans as well, that sucks that the bok choy they sent you wasn't good. rage! i tried hello fresh in december i think, and all 3 meals were huge flops. i got a deal with someone's coupon code, and i still felt like it was a waste haha. even if the meals hadn't flopped horribly, there was so not enough food for both KC and I. like you said, cost vs value. i'm glad i got to try it anyway. the honey mustard baked chicken sounds delish, KC would love that.

  2. I tried Blue Apron many moons ago. The cost per meal of these types of things is prohibitive to me. I am also not one who loves being tied to certain ingredients or even recipes. I like to switch it up. I also like to have leftovers for lunches, and that doesn't happen with these.

  3. I've been meaning to try Hello Fresh but I've had such a great experience with Home Chef that I don't bother. Blue Apron was okay but at the time their options weren't very flexible. Home Chef is perfect for me. And since it's JUST me, one 3-meal box lasts me a week because it's both dinner and leftovers for lunch. I probably do one a month so the cost doesn't hurt as much.