Marley Spoon launched its Australian Meal Kits in 2015, promising a wide range of chef-designed recipes with healthy ingredients delivered to your door. Since then, they have delivered tens of thousands of meals to Australians around the country.
This experience should result in a polished, faultless meal kit deliver service so I’m super excited to give Marley Spoon a try. Read through our Marley Spoon review below to discover if they’re able to meet such high expectations.
Marley Spoon Review
A functional, if unspectacular experience from Marley Spoon with comforting homemade food. They offer the widest variety of meals and will be perfect for anyone with picky eaters or dietary restrictions.
Ordering - Website - 8/10
Food - Quality - 8/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 9.5/10
Food - Taste - 5/10
Ordering - Delivery - 9/10
Value For Money - 6/10
- 40+ different recipes to choose from each week.
- Easy to use mobile app to manage your deliveries.
- Consistent food quality and freshness.
- Meals aren’t particularly exciting.
- Recipe cards could be improved.
Marley Spoon offer a semi-premium Meal Kit service that includes all the ingredients you need to cook up a few different recipes each week. If you’re not sure what a Meal Kit is or how awesome they are, check out our Meal Kit Guide.
Marley Spoon is currently available to residents in all Australian states and territories, with fulfillment centers in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne.
- 1 Getting Started with Marley Spoon
- 2 Meal Options Available
- 3 Delivery Options
- 4 How much does Marley Spoon cost?
- 5 Nutritional analysis of Marley Spoon meals
- 6 My Marley Spoon review box
- 7 How’s The Food?
- 8 A Qualified Nutritionist’s Marley Spoon Review
- 9 Anything Else?
- 10 Meal Kit Industry Survey 2021
- 11 Is Marley Spoon worth it?
- 12 Competitor comparison
- 13 Competitor Discounts
Getting Started with Marley Spoon
Marley Spoon have a super simple, easy to use website that allows you to see what’s on their menu for the next 4 weeks. If you’re thinking of giving Marley Spoon a try, it’s definitely worth checking out the meals on offer. When signing up, you can choose between either a 2 or 4 person box that contains either 2, 3, 4 or 5 meals each week.
At this stage, you also have the option to make your box vegetarian, preventing any meat-based meals from showing in your menu.
Your subscription is a completely flexible one that can be cancelled at any time (at least 7 days before your next delivery is due). This means there’s no risk in giving Marley Spoon a try for just a week to see if it’s right for you.
Meal Options Available
Marley Spoon offer the most weekly variety of any other Meal Kit available in Australia. They have a massive 40+ different meals available each week, with the options changing so you can have different meals every single week. This always includes at least 8 vegetarian meals, as well as more than 10 gluten free meals.
So, Marley Spoon is definitely suitable if you have a restricted diet.
Some of the options available when I ordered included:
- Autumn Lamb Pie
- Mexican Sweet Potato Rice Bowl
- Pork ‘Dan Dan’ Noodles
- Eggplant and Lentil Moussaka
- Cheesy Green Gluten Free Pasta
One of the downsides to such a large menu is that meals can sometimes be very simple. It’s worth picking your meals carefully to find those meals that you wouldn’t usually cook, or have ingredients you can’t buy so easily.
Marley Spoon have expanded their delivery network over the past few years, now servicing the metro and surrounding areas of Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, the greater Perth region and Darwin.
In line with their major competitors, Marley Spoon charge a flat $9.99 delivery fee with each weekly box. This cost can really add up over time, so do make sure you plan it into your weekly food budget.
How much does Marley Spoon cost?
Marley Spoon comes in at a price that’s mid-range within the Australian Meal Kit market. I conducted a full cost analysis of the market which you can read here. On a cost basis, Marley Spoon are primarily competing with HelloFresh so I have included their costs as a useful comparison.
These are the weekly costs you would expect to pay:
|People||Meals||Marley Spoon Cost||HelloFresh Cost|
You are also able to add an additional Fruit Box to your order for $24.90.
Nutritional analysis of Marley Spoon 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|
Marley Spoon provide the highest quantity of meat per serving, which leads to providing the highest average amount of protein. Surprisingly, Marley Spoon also excel for providing the lowest amount of fat per serving. This means that if you’re trying to increase the amount of lean protein in your diet, Marley Spoon will help you achieve your goals.
It’s also worth considering how well Marley Spoon performs for both calories and sugar per serving, creating a fantastic opportunity for anyone trying to lose weight. That’s why I recommend Marley Spoon as the best service for anyone on a diet.
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 Marley Spoon review box
My box arrived exactly as expected, with the delivery driver leaving it outside my front door. They’re nicely branded and it’s quite an exciting moment receiving your delivery.
Similar to HelloFresh, the box is packed with each set of ingredients in their own individual paper bags. This is fantastic because you can simply place these in the fridge straight away. However, this is less environmentally friendly which is something we should all be aware of. Some ingredients (dairy/meat) come in a separate cooler bag that helps ensure they can last all day outside.
More pictures of the ‘unboxing’ can be found on my Instagram page.
I always check the ingredients when they arrive, just in case there are any issues. Happily, I have never had any issues with any of my Marley Spoon boxes. All the vegetables looked fresh and every ingredient was in its rightful place.
How’s The Food?
Starting with the ingredient quality, I was impressed by every single recipe. All the vegetables were in good condition and of a reasonable size. The meat was pure and free from processed ingredients. As a result, I can support Marley Spoon’s claims to be ‘healthy’ through fresh, simple ingredients. These meals are definitely a lot better than a takeaway!
However, I was generally disappointed by the end result of the dishes, primarily down to the high expectations I had for Marley Spoon. For example, I cooked the Beef Stir Fry and found it to be very one-dimensional in flavour. It’s the kind of dish that I could easily cook myself and brings no adventure to the Marley Spoon experience. The worry here is that because they provide so many different recipes each week, they don’t focus on elevating each individual dish.
On a more positive note, all the dishes did come out well and I enjoyed eating each of them. I would happily continue ordering Marley Spoon, but I would be a little more careful on the dishes I select. The more intriguing/exciting dishes definitely provide better value.
Dishes We Loved
- Autumn Lamb Pie
- Freekeh, Roasted Veggies and Halloumi
Dishes We Wouldn’t Recommend
- Beef Stir-Fry
A Qualified Nutritionist’s Marley Spoon Review
Nutrition-wise, Marley Spoon has some great things going on!
On average, Marley Spoon meals have 10.4g of dietary fibre per serving, which is amazing as we ideally want to have more than 6g. Fibre comes from fruits, vegetables and wholegrain and helps to keep us feeling full and is protective against chronic diseases. Additionally, the meals are within the range of the ideal saturated fat content per meal, less than 6g.
The other aspect that I love is that the meals provide 2.8 serves of vegetables, which greatly contributes to our daily 5 recommended serves per day!
The two less than ideal aspects of Marley Spoon are the high sodium content and energy-dense meals. On average there is 779mg of sodium per meal, compared to the recommended amount of less than 500mg. The meals also provide an average of 690 kcals per serve, which is just above what an average australian adult requires (~500kcal). Compared to other meal kits, these values are not too high but I still recommend taking small steps to reduce portion size and use reduced-salt ingredients.
The recipe cards provided by Marley Spoon are large and feel very professional. They’re easy to read whilst cooking, with well-produced pictures. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by a couple of the recipes that didn’t match up with the realistic orders of cooking the dish. In particular, I was asked to put 2cm cubes of sweet potato to roast for just 20 minutes at 200 degrees. This is definitely not long enough!
I think this is why they always ask you to read the full recipe before starting to cook, so you can adjust from your personal experience. However, their competitors are able to produce clear, simple recipe instructions so why is it a struggle for Marley Spoon?
Marley Spoon offer a mobile app that allows you to manage your orders and view your recipes. I tested it for a couple of my meals and managed a couple of future orders, generally being impressed by the functionality. However, it does have the same flaw as the Dinnerly app where the pictures are too big. As a result, you’re constantly scrolling up and down whilst cooking. This seems like a simple fix so hopefully they can change the design soon.
Meal Kit Industry Survey 2021
In March 2021, we conducted the only independent meal kit survey in Australia, asking meal kit users what they thought of the services available. Marley Spoon took home one award from the survey, earning the award for best ingredient quality. I am absolutely stunned that they didn’t win the award for best meal variety, but they were pipped to that one by HelloFresh.
Is Marley Spoon worth it?
Based on their market maturity and price, I started off with exceptionally high expectations for Marley Spoon. Whilst I discovered that their delivery was flawless and products fresh/clean, I’m left just a little underwhelmed by the dishes I created.
All the food tasted good, but I didn’t feel it brought that enhanced flavour profile that you’d want to impress your friends with. I’d liken it to eating at your regular local restaurant, which you know will be consistently pleasant without truly exciting you. Some people will appreciate the level of familiarity and comfort that brings.
Where Marley Spoon really stands out is the huge variety and choice available each week. With 27 meals to choose from, you’re definitely going to find dishes that suit your requirements. For picky eaters, vegetarians or people with intolerances, this makes Marley Spoon a really great Meal Kit service.
Lastly, I need to call out the recipe cards. I regularly found myself needing to adapt the instructions to fit my kitchen or my knowledge of the ingredients. This is very similar to my experience with Dinnerly and I think stems from them having the same recipe creation team. This shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for anyone, but is an area where Marley Spoon should focus on doing better in the future.
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 hope you found our Marley Spoon review useful! Let me know if you’ve tried Marley Spoon before, did you have the same experience? Maybe you’ve not tried them before, if you have any questions give us a shout in the comments below!