Since launching their Australian meal kits in 2015, Marley Spoon have delivered ingredients to hundreds of thousands of households. They’ve become a household name for providing a wide range of chef-designed recipes with healthy ingredients.
The question is, can they meet the high expectations and is it worth getting Marley Spoon boxes?
If you’ve not tried Marley Spoon before, I’m going to share my own experiences and opinions about their meal kits. This review isn’t sponsored, but if you want to give Marley Spoon a try I’ve negotiated a deal for my readers which you can access with the large yellow links below.
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 - 7/10
Ordering - Delivery - 9/10
Value For Money - 6.5/10
- 70+ 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 between 2 and 5 different recipes each week. You choose which meals you want to get delivered, wait for your delivery, then simply follow each detailed instructional card detailing every cooking step you need to take.
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. There may be limited delivery options in more rural areas.
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, 5, or 6 meals each week.
At this stage, you also have the option to make your box vegetarian which prevents 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.
Exploring Marley Spoon’s Menu
Marley Spoon offer the most weekly variety of any meal kit available in Australia. They have a massive 70+ different meals available each week, with the options changing so you can have different meals every single week.
Since I first reviewed Marley Spoon, this variety has risen from 30 meals up to the current 70 meal options. I actually think 70+ is too many options. I find that it takes a long time to scroll through and select which meals I want, which is not the time-saving convenience I’m looking for!
The menu 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 I’ve noticed to such a large menu is that they can occasionally rely on some very simple recipes to fill out their menu. It’s worth picking your meals carefully to find those meals that you wouldn’t usually cook, or that have ingredients you can’t buy so easily.
The other downside is that it takes longer to narrow your order down to just a few meals each week. A few times, I’ve had to cut out meals I really wanted to try. I guess this is a good problem to have though.
Each week, around 10 recipes are labelled ‘Premium’ and incur a small additional charge per portion. It’s worth being cautious when adding these meals as the costs can add up very quickly. I’ve seen some as high as +$4.99 per portion, so a family of 4 would pay an extra $20 for that meal.
Customising Marley Spoon Meals
Since I first reviewed Marley Spoon, they’ve added an incredible feature to their menu. You can not choose to change parts of some dishes to suit your own individual preferences.
This can vary from switching meats or increasing portion sizes, to removing the gluten or high calorie component of a meal.
Some of these are included in your subscription price, while others might add a couple of dollars per serving. Here are two examples:
Not all of these swaps are great value, such as the lettuce cups being a much cheaper ingredient than flour tortillas in the Sticky Pork Tostadas recipe above. However, it does allow you to adjust recipes ‘your way’.
Only about 20% of recipes have a customisable component, and I’d love to see them make this more common.
The Marley Spoon Market
It’s not just meals on the Marley Spoon menu. You can also add ‘market’ ingredients to your order that get delivered in your weekly meal kit box.
A lot of these meals are from ChefGood’s range (who they acquired in late 2021). We’ve also reviewed ChefGood and thoroughly enjoyed their meals, so this fits in with Marley Spoon’s premium experience.
There are also some interesting options for easy snacks, side dishes, lunches, and desserts.
Marley Spoon have also partnered with Press’d, Naked Life, and Remedy to provide an interesting range of drinks.
Overall, prices are reasonable but it’s not uncommon to see products around 10% higher than supermarket pricing. This price difference can vary based on supermarket offers, so it’s worth checking before ordering from the marketplace.
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 $10.49 delivery fee with each weekly box. This cost can really add up when it’s paid every single week, so do make sure you plan it into your weekly food budget.
How much does Marley Spoon cost?
The Marley Spoon price is mid-range within the Australian meal kit market, so it’s definitely not the cheapest meal kit available.
I conducted a full cost analysis of the market which you can read for Australia’s cheapest meal kit. 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|
As you can see, Marley Spoon does come out slightly more expensive than HelloFresh by $5 – $10 across each subscription size.
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
Whilst I’ve tried Marley Spoon quite a few times over the last couple of years, I’ll focus on one of my boxes so you can understand the experience.
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 have always been a little disappointed by the end result of the dishes. I put this down to the high expectations I have for Marley Spoon, so I’m expecting an explosion of flavour.
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.
You can combat this partially by reviewing the recipes themselves when choosing your weekly menu, picking interesting flavour combinations.
On a more positive note, all the Marley Spoon dishes have been thoroughly enjoyable. It’s clear the more intriguing/exciting dishes definitely provide better value.
The other advantage of meal kits is the ability to customise the recipe at home. Sometimes I prefer ingredients cooked shorter/longer, or I add extra garlic, or I bulk meals out to last a few days. We have some awesome meal kit tips and hacks that have been submitted by Food Box Mate readers.
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.
There used to be an issue with the images being huge and therefore making the recipe difficult to read. Thankfully, this has been fixed and the app is perfect for digitally viewing your recipes.
Meal Kit Industry Survey 2023
In 2023, we conducted our fourth yearly independent meal kit survey in Australia, asking meal kit users what they thought of the services available. Marley Spoon almost took home a clean sweep of awards from the survey, including the top prize – best meal delivery service! They also retained their awards for best ingredient quality and best meal variety, plus added on the awards for best recipes and taste of food.
This was a fantastic result for Marley Spoon who have stepped very far ahead of all their rivals this year.
Is Marley Spoon worth it?
Based on their market maturity and price, I started off with exceptionally high expectations for Marley Spoon. My experience has been that their delivery experience is flawless and their ingredients are fresh, 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 50+ 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|
Marley Spoon FAQ
What is Marley Spoon?
Marley Spoon is a meal delivery service that provides customers with fresh, seasonal ingredients and recipe cards to cook meals at home. Launched in 2015, the service offers flexible subscription options and a rotating menu of new recipes each week. You can can choose from a variety of dietary preferences and budgets to customize your order. Marley Spoon is known for its high-quality ingredients and suitability for people with food intolerances.
How does Marley Spoon work?
Marley Spoon is a meal delivery service that operates on a subscription basis. You can sign up for a plan that fits your family size and budget. Each week, Marley Spoon offers a rotating menu of new recipes to choose from. Simply select the meals you want to receive and specify the number of servings needed. Marley Spoon then delivers a box of fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards to your doorstep. Follow the recipe instructions to prepare the meal at home. Marley Spoon offers flexible subscription options, allowing all customers to pause or cancel their subscription at any time.
What kind of meals do Marley Spoon have?
Marley Spoon offers a variety of meals that cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions. The meals are developed by expert chefs and are designed to be easy to prepare at home.
The menu includes meat-based, vegetarian, and low-carb options, as well as meals that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Marley Spoon also offers add-ons like fruit boxes and snacks to complement the meals.
How much is Marley Spoon per week?
The cost of Marley Spoon varies depending on your plan and the number of servings per meal. The cost per serving ranges from $8.49 to $13.49, which can be reduced by using voucher codes offered for new / returning customers.
How long can Marley Spoon stay outside?
After delivery, a Marley Spoon box can stay outside for up to 8 hours without spoiling any of the ingredients inside. Deliveries are made using a refrigerated van, and the ingredients requiring refrigeration are stored in an insulated container within your box.
The amount of time you can leave a Marley Spoon box outside for depends on the outside temperature and whether the box is placed directly in the sun.
Who owns Marley Spoon?
Marley Spoon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of German-based Marley Spoon AG. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and operates in several countries, including the United States, Australia, and Europe.
Whilst Marley Spoon has been listed on Australia’s ASX stock exchange since 2018, a recent change in strategy will see them listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange from 2023 instead.
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!