HelloFresh is a meal kit service that delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to your door. That means no more shopping for ingredients on a daily basis, or getting stuck cooking the same boring meals every week.
There are plans suitable for everyone, including large families, vegetarian lifestyles, or people jumping onto a low-calorie diet.
Over the last few years, meal kits have surged in popularity here in Australia as people have looked to get groceries delivered more regularly. That’s meant the expansion of services like Marley Spoon, Dinnerly and EveryPlate to compete with HelloFresh. With all the different meal delivery options out there these days it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
Let’s take a look at HelloFresh and find out if this meal kit service may be worth exploring!
HelloFresh Meal Kit Review
HelloFresh manages to deliver a polished Meal Kit experience, utilising their many years of experience. With fantastic recipes and clear instructions, it’s easy for anyone to put together restaurant quality food. HelloFresh is perfect for anyone looking to learn new cooking techniques and explore new cuisines.
Ordering - Website - 9/10
Food - Quality - 9/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 9/10
Food - Taste - 10/10
Ordering - Delivery - 7/10
Value For Money - 7/10
- Delicious meals.
- Clear recipe cards.
- Good-sized portions.
- Add-ons can quickly become expensive.
If you’re not sure what HelloFresh offers, it’s really a very simple meal delivery service – subscribe to HelloFresh and you’ll receive fresh ingredients delivered to your door each week. These come with recipe cards and allow you to cook homemade meals with ease. Each week, you choose which meals get delivered from the HelloFresh website, making it incredibly easy to have a family meal plan ready to go.
I’ve pulled together the internet’s most detailed meal kit guide if you’d like to learn a little more.
HelloFresh deliver to a significant amount of Australia, including:
- Gold Coast
For a full list of places they deliver, check the HelloFresh website.
- 1 Getting Started with HelloFresh
- 2 Meal Options Available
- 3 Delivery Options
- 4 How much does HelloFresh Cost?
- 5 Nutritional analysis of HelloFresh meals
- 6 My HelloFresh Review Boxes
- 7 How’s The Food?
- 8 HelloFresh Mobile App
- 9 Food Box Mate Survey Awards 2021
- 10 Is HelloFresh Worth It?
- 11 Competitor comparison
- 12 HelloFresh FAQ
Getting Started with HelloFresh
HelloFresh has an incredibly simple and easy website where you can view which recipes will be available (even before you sign up for their subscription service). You can choose to receive a box for 2 or 4 people, including either 3, 4 or 5 meals each week. This provides plenty of variety to meet everyone’s needs.
Weirdly, once you have signed up, you can increase this to 6 meals per week if you want. I’m not sure why they don’t offer this to new customers.
Alongside selecting your meals per week, you can opt to curate a menu to your specific needs, including:
- Mostly Meat – Their standard box, including all their available recipes.
- Vegetarian – Offering an extended service of Vegetarian meals.
- Family-Friendly – For 4 portion meals only, this includes simpler recipes with ingredients that are preferred by kids and perfect for families.
- Calorie Smart – All meals are less than 650 calories per serving, perfect for anyone on a calorie-controlled diet.
- Quick & Easy – See meals that all take 30 minutes or less to cook.
- Carb Smart – Access all HelloFresh meals with a maximum of 30g of carbs.
Their family-friendly offering is a fantastic option when catering to fussy eaters and saves parents cooking time. I’ve always selected the ‘Mostly Meat’ preference so I can see all the possible meals.
Even if you select one of the 4 meal plans, you’ll always have access to the full menu every week if you wanted to order a meal from a different plan.
Meal Options Available
The variety of recipes available each week gives you around 35 different meals to choose from, including at least 5 vegetarian dishes (usually around 10). Over the past few years, they’ve really improved the number of options available each week so there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find 3-5 dishes that you like the sound of.
In fact, the problem is usually cutting down your selection to just 5 dishes! They’re also always changing the recipes each week, so you don’t end up with the same meals each time. I’ve found that HelloFresh has one of the best rotations of meals, so it’s not often you’ll see options repeated.
Since I first reviewed HelloFresh, they have made improvements to the labeling of their meals. You can now easily see which meals are plant-based, gluten-free, or under 650 calories. The only limitation is that the filtering of meals is quite lacking (e.g can’t filter by ingredient / dietary restriction).
You can see the upcoming menus on their site to see if there are options you’d like to explore.
Some of the options available when I ordered included:
- Thai-Style Sweet Chilli Chicken
- Korean Beef Bibimbap
- Sichuan-Glazed Salmon with Sesame Slaw & Rice
- Malaysian Tofu & Sweet Chilli Pumpkin Salad
HelloFresh split their menu with at least 18 meals at the base subscription price, plus a few meals across different categories. For example:
- Gourmet dishes with premium ingredients for +$5.99 – $7.99 per portion.
- Fresh & Fast dishes that are partially pre-prepared (so they can be cooked in 15 minutes) for +$2.99/portion.
- Taste Tours from different cities/countries for +$4.99/portion.
- Dinner to Lunch that comes with an extra lunch portion for +$5.95/portion.
I like the concept of these extras as it means they can keep the weekly subscription price relatively low and you can choose to add on more expensive meals. It’s important to be careful though as the extra costs can add up very quickly.
Customise Your Meals
In 2021, HelloFresh also added the ability to customise meals by adding new/extra ingredients to some dishes. For example, you might want to add meat to a vegetarian meal or add an extra portion of cheese to your enchiladas (like I did!). This is a fantastic feature as it allows HelloFresh to offer more vegetarian meals and gives you more control over your delivery.
I’m hoping that the HelloFresh team leans into this customisation more and allows you to swap/remove certain ingredients if you don’t want them. I’m not a big fan of nuts and it seems such a shame whenever I receive a packet in my delivery.
With each delivery, you can also add extra Sides, Fruit Boxes, Soups and Snacks. The amount of additional options with HelloFresh is quite impressive! Perfect for anyone who wants to bring more convenience to their life.
Ready Prepared Meals
If you’re still thinking there’s not enough choice/variety (which seems unlikely), HelloFresh has started experimenting with ‘Ready meals’ that come fully prepared and just need to be cooked in a Microwave or Oven. At the moment, there are 5 options available each week and they aren’t usually vegetarian.
You’ll find them on the menu under “Quick Fix Meals”
I’m really glad that HelloFresh has started offering these as I’m often not able to cook a full meal every day of the week, so I now plan to have a ‘Ready meal’ at least one night of the week to save me some cooking time.
As is standard across the industry, HelloFresh deliver their kits in a cooled cardboard box that will keep your ingredients from going off for at least 8 hours after delivery. Thanks to this, you can order your delivery to arrive whilst you’re at work and pick it up when you get home.
Deliveries are made between Saturday and Wednesday each week, with your final meal selections needing to be confirmed by either Tuesday or Wednesday the week before (depending on which state you live in). This is very reasonable as it means you can finalise an order and it will arrive just 3 days later if your timing is perfect.
It’s important to recognise that delivery is $9.99, the most expensive out of all Meal Kits available in Australia. Some postcodes even have an extra delivery surcharge if they aren’t near a HelloFresh warehouse which is disappointing.
How much does HelloFresh Cost?
HelloFresh comes mid-range in its pricing, as can be seen in our cost comparison of meal kits. Pricing for each box depends on the number of people and meals you order, with the classic “meat & veggies” box costing (per week):
On top of these costs, you need to pay $9.99 delivery plus the cost of any additional special meals, sides, ready meals or snacks that you’ve ordered.
This means that a family of 4 looking for meals every weeknight are going to be paying $169.79 per week. We investigated whether this could be cheaper than a supermarket and found that purchasing the exact same ingredients would be around 30% cheaper at Coles or Woollies.
Nutritional analysis of HelloFresh meals
Researchers at the University of Sydney have analysed the nutritional qualities of the biggest Australian meal kit subscription services, with the summarised results published below with permission from the original authors.
All values are ‘per each recommended individual serving’.
|Dinnerly||HelloFresh||Marley Spoon||Pepper Leaf|
|Food Groups (no. of serves)|
|Total fat (g)||34.8||53.4||30.3||32.2|
HelloFresh provide the highest amount of vegetables per serving, which is fantastic for helping get your ‘5 a day’. However, they also provide the highest calorie meals averaging at 880 calories per serving. This appears to be driven by a higher fat content than their competitors, so the research recommends using a smaller amount of oil in recipes and trimming visible fat from meat.
Thanks to Dr Alice Gibson and Dr Stephanie R Partridge of the University of Sydney for their research. If you want to read their paper, it can be found on the Nutrients journal.
My HelloFresh Review Boxes
My boxes have always arrived on time and in one piece, which is always a good start! The fresh ingredients are packaged really nicely with each meal coming in separate paper bags, colour-coded to match the recipe cards. Whilst this is less environmentally friendly, it does make the process of storing and selecting your ingredients incredibly easy. These paper bags can just go straight into the fridge alongside the meats/dairy products that come in a separate cool bag.
If you need your HelloFresh box to last for a week or more, I wrote a detailed blog post on how to keep your meal kit ingredients fresher for longer.
Check out my featured story on Instagram for a full unboxing of a HelloFresh box.
All the ingredients I have received have been in good condition and well-sized, so I haven’t had any problems with ingredient quality. However, I did face a bit of a disaster – they didn’t send the Salmon fillets in one box! This was a pretty critical component of one of the dishes, so to prevent the other ingredients from going to waste I had to rush out and buy some new Salmon fillets.
I contacted support at HelloFresh late on a Sunday evening through their live chat feature. The agent I spoke to was very apologetic and appreciated the issues surrounded by lacking a major ingredient. I was quickly provided with an $8.20 credit against my next HelloFresh order, which just about covers the cost of the replacement Salmon.
However, I’m a little disappointed that they only reimburse for the cost of the additional ingredient, ignoring the additional time/effort required to fix their mistake. For transparency, I’ve decided not to build this factor into my review rating because I suspect this is a rare, unfortunate mistake. It’s not happened to me again at least.
How’s The Food?
The dishes I’ve received have all been very impressive, without exception. Using some quite simple cooking techniques, I have been able to cook many fantastic meals that I would have been happy to eat at a restaurant. They were all very easy to prepare and all of them have taken than 45 minutes to make, meaning it’s easy to cook HelloFresh meals on a weekday evening.
I find the recipe cards to be well thought through, clear and simple to follow. This is helped by having quite large cards that give HelloFresh plenty of space to give additional helpful instructions. At no point in any of my meals was I stuck or confused by what the recipe was asking me to do. Plus, these recipe cards are perfect for storing and using again in the future.
Portion sizes are also quite large, leaving me full after each dinner. If you’re a light eater, this would be perfect for you to save some for lunch the day after.
You can check out my thoughts on each specific dish through my Instagram page.
Dishes We Loved
- Seared Salmon with Mint Pearl Couscous.
- Mexican Pork Tacos
- Cheeseburge-Style Beef Enchiladas
- Chorizo & Roast Veggie Couscous Toss
- That-Style Sweet Chilli Chicken
Dishes We Wouldn’t Recommend
- None! (This is rare)
Ready Meals – The Taste Test
Trying out the ‘Ready meals’ was quite an exciting experience, as I ordered the Angus Beef Lasagne and the Chicken Fettucine Carbonara. Both dishes delivered against the promise as they cooked quickly with just a few minutes in the microwave.
From a taste perspective, I was quite impressed but not blown away. Both dishes tasted pretty much exactly like I would expect if I cooked them myself. I always find carbonara to be quite a heavy dish and this one was no exception.
The main drawback was the disappointing lack of veggies in both dishes. I think I caught a few carrot slices in the Lasagne but that was about it. This is really falling down the trap of traditional ready meals and I would still prefer to order mine from a service like My Muscle Chef.
What isn’t included in your kit?
As is standard with all meal kit delivery services, HelloFresh asks that you provide some standard ‘pantry’ ingredients alongside their provided kits. These are the ingredients that they might ask you to have:
Sauces & Condiments
- Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Plain Flour
- Brown Sugar
- Salt & Pepper
Oils & Vinegars
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Red Wine Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Olive Oil
I always recommend checking your recipes before your box arrives so you can make sure you have all your staple ingredients available.
Expectations vs Reality
One of my biggest bugbears is when you’re looking at a fantastic marketing image but your food shows absolutely no resemblance to that image. So, I like to challenge meal kits on whether I can produce meals that look like the marketing material.
I wrote out exactly how HelloFresh fared in a full expectations vs reality blog post but for now let’s look at one of the meals: Mexican Tacos.
In general, HelloFresh performed very well on this measure. As you can see from my photo above, I got the tacos to look very similar to the marketing photo! This aligns really well with my review of the taste, as they delivered on a restaurant-standard experience.
For anyone wondering how I got the tacos to stand like that – a skewer did the trick!
HelloFresh Mobile App
HelloFresh, like Dinnerly and Marley Spoon, provide a mobile app where you can look at all your recipes. Through the app, you can modify your plan/deliveries as well as provide recipe feedback. I found the recipes easy to read and follow on the app, so my opinion is that this is the best meal kit mobile app available at the moment. One fantastic feature is the ability to look through all HelloFresh recipes, perfect if you’re ever looking for inspiration.
Food Box Mate Survey Awards 2021
HelloFresh stormed to the major prize in the only independent consumer survey of meal kit users in Australia. After collecting feedback from hundreds of people, HelloFresh walked away with the following prizes.
Is HelloFresh Worth It?
HelloFresh is one of the largest, most experienced meal delivery services anywhere in the world. It’s not hard to see why, as they manage to deliver a polished and engaging meal kit, bringing together quality ingredients and fantastic recipes.
For me, it’s the recipes that were truly the star of the show, producing meals that wouldn’t look out of place in a restaurant despite my distinctly average culinary skills. I found them very easy to prepare and I’m sure that most people would be very pleased with the output of all HelloFresh recipes. I do believe this justifies the premium price point.
I’m sure they can do more to combat missing ingredients. However, this isn’t a problem unique to HelloFresh and their response was satisfactory. Despite this small issue, I haven’t hesitated to continue ordering further boxes.
We’ve tested all the major meal kit services in Australia. Here’s how we rated each service across our 6 key categories. Click a service name to check out our in-depth review.
|Product||Website||Food Quality||Meal Choice||Taste||Delivery||Value|
I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with HelloFresh – were they similar to mine? Did you find our HelloFresh review useful? Let me know in the comments section below!
Is HelloFresh good for weight loss?
With the launch of their calorie-controlled menu options, it’s now possible to order HelloFresh with meals being less than 650 calories a portion. Whilst HelloFresh isn’t specifically designed for weight loss, it can definitely form part of a balanced diet and lifestyle leading to weight loss. We investigated a bit further when we delved into whether HelloFresh can be used for weight loss.
Is HelloFresh cost effective?
Our investigations have shown that HelloFresh is roughly 30% more expensive than ordering the equivalent ingredients at a local grocery store. That’s the price you pay for the convenience of varied meals, pre-portioned ingredients, delivered to your door each week. Check out how we worked this out by reading whether HelloFresh is cheaper than grocery shopping.
Does HelloFresh have an app?
Yes! HelloFresh has an app that works on both iOS and Android devices. You can download it from your respective app stores. I’ve found the app to be very useful, allowing you to manage your subscription easily, choose your weekly meals and read recipes for cooking.
Can I see HelloFresh meals before signing up?
You should definitely check out upcoming meals before ordering your first box. Check out the available meals for the next few weeks.
Is HelloFresh hard to cancel?
No, HelloFresh actually make it incredibly easy to cancel a subscription. However, you need to make sure you do this before the cut-off date each week. Read our full guide to cancelling HelloFresh so you don’t fall into the trap of receiving a box you don’t want.