Meal Kit Survey Results

Australian Meal Kit Industry Survey Results

At Food Box Mate, my mission is to provide the best independent food box guides in Australia. However, I recognise that I’m just one man with one opinion!

That’s why I asked for people to share their own opinions and experiences of the meal kit providers here in Australia. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this survey and helped discover new insights about Australian meal kits. This is the only independent survey of its kind, with absolutely no sponsorship or editing from any of the companies mentioned.

If you have any questions or comments about the survey then please join in the discussion at the bottom of this page.

2021 Australian Meal Kit Survey Results

Throughout March 2021, I invited meal kit users from across Australia to complete a short survey asking them about their meal kit habits and their opinion of any meal kit services they’ve tried in the last 6 months. The 197 unique people who kindly responded to this survey had all received at least one weekly delivery from either HelloFresh, Dinnerly, EveryPlate or Marley Spoon between October 2020 and March 2021.

The results provide an interesting perspective on public perception of the Australian meal kit industry, hopefully bringing some useful independent meal kit statistics to help inform your decision making.

Enough of the introduction, let’s dive into the results.

Overall Rating of Meal Kit Services

I asked people who have used each service to rate them across 5 different metrics:

  • Meal Variety
  • Recipes
  • Quality of Ingredients
  • Taste of Food
  • Value For Money

Using these metrics, I gave each of them a 20% weighting and created an average rating for the whole service. Here are the results:

Overall Rating of Australian Meal Kit Services

Just like last year, HelloFresh came top of the pile achieving an impressive average rating of 4.09. That’s significantly higher than the 3.81 they scored last year and suggests they’ve managed to continue improving their service where it matters. Marley Spoon came in a clear second place, not far behind, with a rating of 3.93.

Looking at the overall industry with these four big services, it’s clear that there isn’t a huge amount of difference in how people view each meal kit. EveryPlate and Dinnerly are very close in 3rd and 4th place respectively but their scores mean their is only a very small gap between first and last place. This all suggests that if you enjoy one service, you’ll also enjoy the others.

For the overall rating, I’ve also compared these to last year’s results to see how each service has improved.

2020 - 2021 Rating Change for Meal Kit Services

Of course, EveryPlate doesn’t have a score to compare against since they only launched in late 2020. All the other services have seen significant improvements in their ratings. I suggest this is due to growing experience and refinement of recipes allowing for a more consistent customer experience.

Breakdown of Individual Ratings

Last year, HelloFresh was the only service to score above 4.00 in any category. This year, both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon managed that across 3 different categories – Meal Variety, Recipes and Taste. Even EveryPlate stepped in with an impressive score for the taste of their food.

Comparing Ratings of Meal Kit Services

We’ve found that these are the major categories that people judge meal kit services by, so it’s useful to choose your services based on what’s important to you. We’ve awarded meal kit badges to the winners of each category, which you’ll find prominently displayed within each of our individual reviews.

I remain surprised to see that HelloFresh score higher than Marley Spoon for meal variety. With 27 different meals available each week, Marley Spoon definitely have an objectively greater variety. However, it’s clear that people perceive HelloFresh to have better variety over fewer options.

The highest individual score again goes to HelloFresh, scoring a seriously impressive 4.39 for their recipes. This is no surprise to me as I made clear in my HelloFresh review that I found their recipes extremely logical and straightforward to follow. That’s definitely not always the case with every service!

Meal Kit Delivery Stats

Whenever you read reviews online, most of the negativity revolves around delivery issues. Whether that’s a missing box, faulty ingredients or even wrong ingredients, it can be incredibly frustrating to face issues getting the food you ordered. This survey provides a really interesting insight into how common (or rare) delivery issues are.

Delivery Issues for Meal Kit Services in Australia

A majority of customers have never had a single delivery issues. If you take into account people who face issues less than 10% of the time, that number is 85%. I feel this is a prime example of the vocal minority suggesting there are always delivery issues. When these companies are sending out thousands of boxes a day, there are always going to be issues. Fortunately, these issues are uncommon.

One worrying statistic from this survey was the 9% of users who had faced regular delivery issues with Marley Spoon. It feels like they struggled more than others with supply chain issues over the pandemic, so perhaps this isn’t representative of their future delivery abilities.

Using Multiple Meal Kits

One of the great customer advantages of having 4 different services fighting for your business is that they’re always willing to offer discounts for you to rejoin their service. This is the fundamental insight behind my ‘Meal Kit Method‘ which could save you up to $1,500 a year.

Based on our research survey, only 10% of people have switched and used more than 2 services over the last 6 months. If you’re in an area where all the meal kit services deliver, it’s well worth considering having accounts with every one!

Amount of Meal Kits Used in Last 6 Months

Why People Use Meal Kits

With this survey, I like to get a sense of why meal kits are important to so many people in Australia. I know that I love them for the convenience and exploration of new dishes, however everyone has their own reasons for using meal kits. Here’s what people said this year:

Reasons for Using Meal Kits from Meal Kit Survey

This year, I added the options for reducing food waste and avoiding the supermarket which turned out to be popular additions. Around 2 in every 5 meal kit users felt like these were key reasons for them to use meal kits.

Way out in front, it’s clear that the universal reason people use meal kits is to make their weekly cooking easier. There’s no doubt that having ingredients pre-portioned and ready to cook is a huge game changer for saving time every week.

I hope these results provide an interesting insight into the meal kit industry in Australia. Please feel free to share any of the images provided, or use any of the statistics with proper attribution. Want to read more? A good place to start is my meal kit hub which hosts all of my research, reviews and comparisons.

2020 Meal Kit Survey Results

If you want to look back to results from last years survey, you’ll be able to see how things have changed in the last 12 months. All my analysis from the 2020 survey is presented below for you to see.

Overall Ratings

HelloFresh come out with a substantial lead overall, with the highest average rating. This was underpinned by the fact that 82% of our 115 respondents had received a meal kit from Hello Fresh in the past 6 months. Compared to 32% of respondents who had tried Dinnerly and 37% who had tried Marley Spoon.

I’m also pleased that these ratings align quite closely with my own personal ratings. You can check out my individual review through clicking on the ratings below:

Dinnerly Rating by Food Box Mate - 6.9
Marley Spoon Rating by Food Box Mate - 7.6
Hello Fresh Rating by Food Box Mate - 8.6

Detailed Rating Breakdown

Digging into some more detail, we can find some interesting results in the data.

HelloFresh has the only two ratings that scored over 4 out of 5. They performed particularly well on their ‘recipes‘ and ‘taste of food‘. This completely aligns with my view of the delivery service, where I believe they help you cook close to restaurant standard meals. The only area where HelloFresh didn’t score best is in ‘Value For Money‘ where it’s beaten by Dinnerly. This completely makes sense considering Dinnerly is over 20% cheaper as I discovered when analysing meal kit prices.

Marley Spoon scored respectably across the board. Their best attribute was ‘Meal Variety‘ scoring highest thanks to their offering of vegan meals and 20+ different options each week. The surprise here was that they only just beat HelloFresh in this regard despite objectively having far more varied options (noted in my comparison between Marley Spoon v HelloFresh). They disappointed on ‘Value For Money‘ with a low score here. I personally think this reflects harshly on a good meal kit service, however you can make sure to save money on Marley Spoon by using the discount code in my review (new customer only).

Dinnerly received very poor results which are probably the biggest surprise for me from the entire survey. In particular, they scored the lowest rating for ‘Ingredient Quality‘ despite the fact they use exactly the same suppliers as Marley Spoon. I previously wrote an article about how Dinnerly gets their prices so low and I think the reasons I highlighted are reflected in the scores for both ‘Taste‘ and ‘Recipes‘. On a more positive note, Dinnerly do really provide great value for money (my review) if you’re on a tight budget.

Delivery Issues

One of the major issues I hear about meal kits here at Food Box Mate is when there are delivery issues. This could range from missing ingredients or missed delivery times through to not receiving your delivery at all.

To try and understand how common these are, I asked people to provide a rough estimate of how many times they’ve had delivery issues on the following scale:

There doesn’t seem to be any of the major services that are excelling in their quality control and delivery consistency, with around 1 in 7 people experiencing regular delivery issues.

It’s worth keeping in mind that with thousands of boxes being delivered every week, there are bound to be some issues. To take this result on it’s flip side, 85% of people experience little to no delivery issues whatsoever!

Do delivery issues vary by state?

I have a hypothesis that most delivery issues are caused by location. To get your ingredients to your door, they need to go from a farm to a central packing centre to a delivery company before making it to your house. The further away you are from all those distribution centres is likely to create a higher chance of things going wrong.

Once each service has their users broken down by state, I found that the numbers are too heavily skewed by a single response (<10). As such, I do not feel confident in the accuracy of my results to answer this specific question.

To share some data, New South Wales has the highest rate of delivery issues with 23% of people facing delivery issues more than 1 in 10 times. All other states were hovering around the 9-11% range.

If you want to help out in the next Meal Kit Survey, I’ll be publicising it on the FoodBoxMate Facebook page so give us a follow.

Do people use multiple meal kits?

One clever trick you can use to reduce your meal kit spend is to start subscriptions with each service and cancel after the first few boxes. Then, you’ll often receive offers to entice you to restart your subscription. This can easily earn you $15-20 off each delivery if you don’t have a particular preference for a certain company. Remember to use our discount links to save money on your first boxes – Marley Spoon, Dinnerly, HelloFresh.

Out of the respondents who use meal kits, 40% have used more than 1 meal kit over the last 6 months with 10% having tried all 3 of our meal kits in this survey.

I really believe that each meal kit service has a fantastic offering, though they are suited to different lifestyles, tastes and budgets. It can really pay off to try each service and discover which one you prefer.

Why do people use Meal Kits?

Finally, I looked at the reasons people like to use meal kits. I provided four of the most common reasons as options, plus allowed people to suggest alternative reasons.

I was quite surprised that ‘making your weekly cooking easier‘ was the clear winner by such a large margin. Clearly, that’s where people find the most benefit from using meal kits.

Also notably, 1 in 4 people feel that they are actually saving money by using meal kits. I would expect this is because it really focuses your meal plan and stops you from buying takeaways or random items from the supermarket.

I talk about all these in my article covering the 10 reasons to give meal kits a try.

I also have every result summarised in a handy full-length infographic. Please feel free to repost this image on blogs, news sites or social media either by using the link to our original media or with an associated link to or this blog post.

I suggest you use this Shareable Link for the highest quality image.

Let me know below what you think of these results. Do you agree or disagree?

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