Put simply, both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon fundamentally offer a weekly box of ingredients that can be cooked up into tasty meals at home. This begs the question, “Which meal kit is better for me?”
This review aims to answer that question, helping you work out which meal kit service is right for you. I’ll provide a brief summary of each service here, however you can also read my full reviews of HelloFresh and Marley Spoon.
HelloFresh and Marley Spoon are the two biggest meal kit delivery services in Australia, each serving thousands of meals each week. Both companies are well established with many loyal customers who often argue about which is best. As the most established services in the market, it’s important to have high expectations for quality and consistency from both companies.
Comparing Marley Spoon and HelloFresh
HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon : Offering
Let’s start by summarising the offerings from both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon to understand their similarities and differences.
Service Options – With HelloFresh, you get the option of receiving meals for either 2, 4, or 6 people across 2, 3, 4, or 5 meals a week. They also provide a specific vegetarian box as well as a Family Box with meals designed to keep kids happy.
Meal Variety – On their classic box, you can choose between 35 – 40 meals a week, including at least 5 different vegetarian variations. HelloFresh also offer ‘Gourmet‘, ‘Fresh & Fast! and ‘Dinner to Lunch’ options for an additional cost each week. You can review their menu for the upcoming weeks to see what’s available.
Delivery Options – HelloFresh deliver to all metro areas in Australia, including Perth. 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).
Additional Extras – HelloFresh also offer the ability to add on Sides, Fruit Boxes and Snacks.
Marley Spoon Offering
Service Options – With Marley Spoon, you get the option of receiving meals for either 2 or 4 people across 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 meals a week. They also provide a specific option to make your box vegetarian.
Meal Variety – Marley Spoon offer an absolutely massive choice of 70+ meals each week, ensuring you can always order dishes that you’ll definitely love. This normally includes at least 10 vegetarian dishes as well as ‘fast’ cooking meals at no additional cost. You can see their menu for the next four weeks to learn more about the wide variety available.
Delivery Options – Marley Spoon deliver to all major Metro areas except for WA. This includes Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, Darwin and NSW’s Central Coast. Deliveries are made between Monday and Friday each week, with your final meal selections needing to be confirmed at least 7 days before your delivery is due.
Additional Extras – Marley Spoon offer add-on Fruit Boxes.
HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon Differences
There are a few key differences to call out between these two services:
- Recipe Variety – Marley Spoon offer a much greater range of recipes each week, promising 27 different options compared to HelloFresh offering a maximum of 18.
- Optional Extras – Marley Spoon allow you to add on a fruit box but otherwise all the meals cost exactly the same. In contrast, HelloFresh offer a range of different additions including gourmet recipes for special occasions as well as snacks and fruit boxes.
- Larger Meals – HelloFresh offer meals containing up to 6 portions, compared to Marley Spoon who only offer a 2- or 4-person box.
HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: The Food
Now you’re clear on what you’re receiving, it’s important to talk about the end result – how good will the food be? This definitely comes down to a lot of personal preference, but hopefully I can give you a good idea about what you’ll receive with both Meal Kits.
The ingredients I have received with both Meal Kits have always been of equal high quality and freshness, although I do recognise that a small number of consumers can have issues with this.
Ingredients – Ingredients arrive in separate paper bags for each recipe, easily identifiable by a colour that matches one of the recipe cards. Where it makes sense, ingredients have been partially prepared e.g grated cheese. This means that you can get cooking immediately once you’ve decided which meal to cook.
Recipes – The recipes are exceptionally clear and easy to follow, making it very clear when you need to complete different parts of your meal. When a slightly more complex technique is required, the recipe also provides helpful hints & tips on how to complete it.
End Result – I was exceptionally impressed with every dish I tried from HelloFresh, managing to easily create restaurant-quality food that tasted fantastic. With the recipes being very simple to follow and taking between 30 – 45 minutes, this was a real surprise to create such great tasting meals.
You can see how my cooking attempts compared to HelloFresh’s advertising in my ‘Expectations vs Reality’ blog post.
Marley Spoon Meals
Ingredients – Ingredients arrive in separate paper bags for each recipe, labelled to make it clear which bag is for which recipe. Where it makes sense, ingredients have been partially prepared, similar to HelloFresh. This means that you can get cooking immediately once you’ve decided which meal to cook.
Recipes – The recipes arrive on large, professionally printed cards with plenty of pictures to help you understand the recipe. With all the ingredients pre-portioned, it’s easy to follow along with the card and create each dish. However, I do find that some Marley Spoon recipes have slightly strange ordering that makes it easy to overcook/undercook food.
End Result – I enjoyed every dish I tried from Marley Spoon, all with comforting and homely flavours. The flavours were a little less advanced than HelloFresh, though I still enjoyed each meal. Occasionally, I was left disappointed by the portion sizes although I also had some portions that lasted 3 meals so it all tends to balance out. I was easily able to cook each dish in less than an hour, without any additional assistance.
HelloFresh offer special discounts for readers of Food Box Mate with over $100 in savings across your first 4 boxes. It’s currently the best time to try HelloFresh as I’ve rarely seen any better welcome offers.
Marley Spoon are offering a similar discount when you are a new customer, although not quite as generous. This should be automatically applied at checkout, so double check you’re getting our discount.
HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon : The Cost
With both services competing for the same ‘semi-premium’ segment of the market, cost is going to be quite an important factor, so how do they compare against each other? I did a full analysis of costs across the industry but for this comparison we focus on HelloFresh and Marley Spoon. Where applicable, I use the HelloFresh Classic box.
Total price of a weekly meal kit compared
|People||Meals||Hello Fresh||Marley Spoon|
HelloFresh generally come in at a slightly lower cost than Marley Spoon, with the biggest difference being for their smaller boxes. If you’re a couple wanting 5 meals a week then HelloFresh is nearly 10% cheaper.
That adds up to quite a lot of money over an entire year ($514 to save you the maths!). The difference becomes more negligible towards the larger boxes, which can be seen more clearly in our cost per portion analysts below.
Cost per portion comparison
This graph backs up what we saw in the total costs before. HelloFresh has a price advantage with smaller boxes but loses that advantage once you get to 12 portions and above. With Marley Spoon, it becomes clear that the best value is found with that 20 portion box.
Fresh food delivery costs
|Hello Fresh||Marley Spoon|
|$9.99 per Delivery||$10.49 per Delivery|
Marley Spoon have very slightly higher delivery costs, but the difference isn’t very significant. Remember to factor these costs into your food budget when purchasing a meal kit.
So which do I buy?! HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon
Honestly, these two Meal Kits are very similar. They both provide quality, fresh ingredients alongside professional recipe cards and an easy to use ordering system. Which company you use will depend on what’s most important to you. If you’re looking for Variety then Marley Spoon are unrivalled in providing a fantastic range of options each week. This means it’s more suitable for anyone with picky eaters in the family, or people with intolerances or restricted diets.
If you value creating some incredible Meals with a real depth to flavour and impressive aesthetics, then based on my experience I would recommend HelloFresh. They manage to create a more exciting dinner time experience and have become my personal favourites. If I was cooking for friends or trying to impress someone, I would be going with HelloFresh hands down. This is reflected in HelloFresh scoring highest in our individual meal kit reviews.