HelloFresh sends recipe boxes since 2012, is situated in Westminster, London and is available in the UK, Germany, the US, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Austria. 3 meals for 2 people currently cost £39. It is generally very similar to Gousto.
- The types of meal boxes are “Classic”, “Veggie” and “Family” (although confusingly “Family” seems to be the same as “Classic” except that it has more recipes for more people). You cannot choose the recipes themselves as they are fixed every week. But they provide a “meal swap” option in case you don’t want to get one particular meal or ingredient. You can order 3 meals for 2, 3 or 4 people, 5 meals for 2 people or 4 meals for 4 people.
This is a subscription service but you can cancel any time via their website. They also provide a trial box, which on the one hand is not necessary but on the other hand might be there for the psychological benefit of knowing that you don’t need to remember to unsubscribe.
They deliver either Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday between either 9am-5pm or 5pm-9pm and don’t provide any tracking. These delivery times are one of the most flexible as you can choose days (for families) or evenings (for working people).
None of their ingredients is organic and some of the ingredients were from a bit further away (Spain and Cyprus). But they ask their customers to send at least the wool liners back so that they can get re-used. The rest if fully recyclable.
Similarly to Gousto they sent spam with the box. My box included 3 different vouchers or advertising for products from other companies. Spam is always annoying and wasteful.
They list all the important information about each dish on their website, you can even download the whole recipe beforehand. But they don’t list any sub ingredients.
It is more difficult to know where the ingredients are coming from. I have the feeling their website is outdated in that respect – or at least very incomplete. Some ingredients are branded with “HelloFresh”, indicating that their partnerships with producers might go further than simply buying stuff from them. And some ingredients are clearly from further away.
Like some other of these services they also subscribe you automatically to an email newsletter without asking you. But you can unsubscribe from it easily.
The recipe cards had photos of some of the steps and each ingredient. That’s not necessary but helpful.
The Surprisingly Simple Roasted Duck with Caramelised Apples was okay but provided much less duck than promised on the photo unfortunately. (This was the only time something like this happened.) The Mozzarella and Pesto Roulades with Roasted Potatoes were pretty amazing. Chicken with Pesto and Mozzarello is generally a great combination, and I also love potatoes in any shape or form. This was the second time I couldn’t quite follow the recipe, though, as I couldn’t make the chicken resemble any roulade shape. And the Lamb Flatbreads looked much better than they tasted, and they were quite difficult to eat.
- Very flexible delivery time slots
- Outer packaging gets re-used
- Not organic
- Not very transparent about sources
- Mediocre taste
(Please note, this rating is obviously subjective and only based on 3 recipes.)
I cannot quite make my mind up about this service. I can only recommend HelloFresh with reservations. They generally tick most of the boxes but due to the mediocre taste (so far) I would like to try them again to check if that was just bad luck. I will update this post if I do.
If you’d like to try them, you can use the voucher code
NJMHKC to get £20 off your first box. (And I will get £12 towards a box as well.)
Update 11 Nov 2015
Caution! HelloFresh makes unsolicited marketing calls repeatedly. They called me six times within 20 days (after which I blocked them, so cannot tell if they’re still calling me) without ever leaving any message. (I never take calls from people I don’t know unless they leave a message.) Just google “02075363589” and you will see reactions from other angry (ex-)customers.
Articles in this series
- Trialling recipe boxes: Introduction
- Trialling recipe boxes: The Original Supper Box
- Trialling recipe boxes: Riverford
- Trialling recipe boxes: Marley Spoon
- Trialling recipe boxes: Gousto
- Trialling recipe boxes: HelloFresh (this article)
- Trialling recipe boxes: Abel & Cole
- Trialling recipe boxes: Mindful Chef
- Trialling recipe boxes: Conclusion