Marley Spoon and Dinnerly are two of the ‘big 3’ meal kit providers in Australia, alongside HelloFresh. This is particularly interesting as Dinnerly is actually owned by Marley Spoon! So this review compares two different meal kit services provided by the same company. As a result, they actually use a lot of the same suppliers and ingredients in their meal kits.
However, there is a stark difference between the way these two position themselves in the market, with Marley Spoon offering a premium service and Dinnerly focusing on a low-cost, affordable offering. They both fundamentally offer a weekly box of ingredients that can be cooked up into tasty meals at home, so this begs the question, “Which one 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 synopsis of each service here, however you can also read my extensive Marley Spoon review and Dinnerly review.
Comparing Dinnerly and Marley Spoon
Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly : Offering
Let’s start by summarising the offerings from both Marley Spoon and Dinnerly to understand their similarities and differences.
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 always includes at least 10 vegetarian dishes as well as ‘fast’ cooking meals at no additional cost. You can check out the Marley Spoon menu online for the next 4 weeks to see what you might like.
Delivery Options – Marley Spoon deliver to all major Metro, including 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 6 days before your delivery is due.
Additional Extras – Marley Spoon offer add-on Fruit Boxes.
Service Options – Dinnerly offer a 2 or 4 person box across 2 – 6 meals per week, the same as Marley Spoon. It’s also possible to make their box vegetarian.
Meal Variety – There are 14 different meals available to choose from each week, with 5 of these being vegetarian. Each dish has between 6-7 ingredients that arrive with your delivery. You can check out all the upcoming meals on their online menu.
Delivery Options – Dinnerly deliver to all Australian States except for WA. Dates and times available will depend on your location, but your delivery slot and meal selections must be finalised at least 7 days before your delivery is due.
Additional Extras – Dinnerly don’t provide any options for additional extras.
Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly Comparison
There are a few key differences to call out between these two services:
Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly : 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 we do know that a small number of consumers can have issues with this across all suppliers.
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 e.g Grated Cheese. 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 more advanced than Dinnerly, but would still be relatively straightforward to create at home. As with all Meal Kits, I was sometimes left disappointed by the portion sizes. On a more positive note, I was easily able to cook each dish in less than an hour.
Ingredients – With Dinnerly pitching as a budget meal kit, there are naturally going to be concerns about the quality of the ingredients. However, I’m really glad to say that I didn’t have a single issue with any of the ingredients I received. The meat was of good quality and all vegetables were fresh. They weren’t separated by meal, so it took a bit of sleuthing to find all the relevant ingredients for each meal. It’s also important to note that there are ingredients that Dinnerly don’t send that you might expect, such as Garlic or Barbecue Sauce. This is part of how they keep their costs low.
Recipes – Recipes for your meals are found on the Dinnerly website or app. These meals are generally very straightforward, although I still found myself confused by some of the instructions. In fact, I found it easier to cook from experience rather than the recipe. Check out my full Dinnerly review for more information.
End Result – Ultimately, this is where Dinnerly does very well. They take a very minimal amount of ingredients and help you turn them into healthy, filling, tasty meals. The meals are basic, without a huge amount of depth to the flavour. This is generally down to the fact meals are often ‘one-pot’ and therefore one flavour. However, I’m not sure that’s a negative for a midweek meal that’s quick and easy to make. Each meal only took me 20 – 30 minutes.
Before I talk about costs and share my final conclusions, Marley Spoon are offering readers of Food Box Mate an exclusive discount split across your first four weekly deliveries. You can get this discount by clicking on our Marley Spoon discount link.
In comparison, Dinnerly are offering a pretty impressive discount split across your first four deliveries. I think this discount makes Dinnerly unbeatable value for any food budget. Get your discount through our exclusive discount link.
Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly : The Cost
I’ve written a lot about how Dinnerly positions itself as a budget option within the Meal Kit market, but how does it compare to Marley Spoon? I did a full analysis of costs across the industry but for this comparison we focus on Marley Spoon and Dinnerly.
Total price of a weekly meal kit
Dinnerly meal kits are, on average, 33% cheaper than Marley Spoon. That’s a massive difference, especially for people who are working to a tight budget. There’s a minor additional cost of ingredients with Dinnerly but this is fairly insignificant against the total price difference.
Cost per portion comparison
No surprises with the costs per portion, Dinnerly comes in far cheaper across all box sizes. Marley Spoon probably have an optimum cost at the 16-20 portion ranges.
|$10.49 per Delivery
|$10.49 per Delivery
Being owned by the same company is the most relevant factor here, as they both operate the same structure with delivery fees (and use the same courier). Remember to keep these costs in mind when doing your weekly food budget.
So which do I buy?! Marley Spoon vs Dinnerly
Like any comparison with Dinnerly, the key factor here is always going to be Budget. If you’re looking to save money whilst still eating filling, healthy meals then Dinnerly is perfect for you. Potentially, this saves you up to $50 a week over Marley Spoon. However, you will need to make sure you have those extra ingredients in your cupboard and be comfortable having more basic style meals.
Marley Spoon offers more expansive Meals with more interesting flavours and better recipe cards. They definitely provide a more comprehensive meal box experience and create an exciting dinner time experience. I was very impressed by the variety of meals available and how this would fit a lot of people with allergies or intolerances. The benefit of having physical recipe cards is great for when your cooking and then creating a nice recipe pack.
If you’d like to give Marley Spoon a try, I recommend checking out their menu for the next few weeks to see if you find options you like. If you do, then using our discount link will get you a major discount off your first 4 boxes.