Australian Meal Kit Industry Survey Results

Meal Kit 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 person with one opinion!

That’s why I asked for people to share their own opinions and experiences of meal kit providers here in Australia. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this survey over the past 4 years 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.

2023 Australian Meal Kit Survey Results

In April and May 2023, I invited meal kit users from across Australia to complete a short survey asking them about their meal kit habits.

This is the 4th yearly survey I’ve conducted, and the results are always exciting and insightful. The 2023 edition is no different.

Thank you to the 192 individuals who kindly completed the survey, all of whom has received a delivery from at least one meal kit service between October 2022 and May 2023.

To incentivize responses, I offered a week’s worth of meals to one lucky randomly selected winner. Congratulations to Sally J who won a full week of Marley Spoon meals for 2 people.

So, what did we discover in 2023’s Australian meal kit consumer survey? Well, here are the headlines:

  1. Marley Spoon was voted the best meal kit of 2023 with an average score of 3.89 out of 5.
  2. Despite improvements in variety of meals and online experience, ratings remain similar year on year.
  3. EveryPlate was rated the best value for money, despite falling into last place overall.
  4. Nearly a quarter of all meal kit users reporting facing delivery issues more than 1 in every 10 deliveries.
  5. 44% of meal kit users have received deliveries from more than 1 meal kit service in the last 6 months, up from 34% last year.
  6. Most commonly, meal kits are used to make people’s weekly cooking easier or to save money on shopping bills.

Overall Rating of Meal Kit Services

Each year, I ask survey respondents to rate meal kit services across these 5 key areas:

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

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

Overall Rating 2023

Whereas last year was exceptionally close, this year we saw clear daylight as Marley Spoon was rated the best Australian meal kit.

After being rated top of the pile last year, we have seen Marley Spoon only extend their margin of victory this year. Last year’s winning score of 3.82 was beaten with a score of 3.89 this year.

It’s interesting to see how perceptions of each meal kit have changed in the last 12 months.

Yearly Rating Change 2023

Both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh saw the perception of their service improve in 2023, albeit only slightly. Despite significant improvements in their web experience, meal variety, and delivery networks, it’s interesting to see that consumers aren’t changing their opinions dramatically.

Considering the demand for budget meals and the need for Australian’s everywhere to tighten their wallets, it’s surprising to see the two budget meal kits struggling.

Dinnerly’s overall rating has dropped nearly 6% and EveryPlate’s nearly 7% as they both fell behind the more premium services. In particular, EveryPlate’s rating is the lowest since Dinnerly’s poor performance in 2020.

What’s driving these scores? Let’s look at the underlying ratings.

Breakdown of Individual Meal Kit Ratings

We’ve calculated an average for each meal kit service across our 5 rating categories, to produce the following outlook.

Rating Comparison 2023

The drop in overall ratings for both Dinnerly and EveryPlate can be seen in the sizable drop in scores for “value for money”. It’s clear that consumers are no longer seeing these budget meal kits as providing fantastic value for money.

For example, last year saw value for money ratings for EveryPlate and Dinnerly of 3.94 and 3.92 respectively. This year, those scores had dropped to 3.78 and 3.39.

The top individual ratings belong almost exclusively with Marley Spoon, who were voted as having the best meal variety, recipes, quality of ingredients, and the taste of their food. HelloFresh came close in almost every category, but consistently fell short.

From an overall perspective, the differences between different meal kits are not vast. The biggest category of difference is comfortably “Meal Variety”, thanks to the scores of EveryPlate (3.13) compared against Marley Spoon (4.09).

Meal Kit Delivery Stats

Delivery is one of the biggest pain points faced by meal kit consumers. It’s easy to find hundreds of stories from people who couldn’t get their box delivered, have the wrong ingredients arrive, or even have mouldy/unusable ingredients in their box.

It’s no surprise that these tales can put other people off purchasing a meal kit.

This year, we saw incredibly surprising results. In the last 4 years of running this survey, we’ve seen consistent results showing that 15% of people have delivery issues more than 1 time in every 10 deliveries.

I even remarked last year how surprising it was to see this number was so consistent.

This year, that number has spiked from just 15% of consumers up to 24% of consumers. It’s hard to explain such a huge increase in delivery issues.

Delivery Issues Detailed 2023

To put these figures into perspective:

  • A quarter of meal kit users face delivery issues on more than 10% of their deliveries.
  • Only half of all meal kit users haven’t ever faced a delivery issue.
  • A small 8% of meal kit users face delivery issues on more than a quarter of boxes they order.

These results aren’t good for the meal kit industry, who rely on the perception of convenience. Having issues getting your meals into your fridge without the ingredients is the exact opposite of convenience.

The wooden spoon this year is handed to Dinnerly who have a massive 35% of their customers facing delivery issues on a regular basis.

If you want the highest likelihood your meal kit will be delivered perfectly, use EveryPlate.

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.

Compared to last year, there are more and more people switching meal kits on a regular basis. 19% of people have switched and used more than 2 services over the last 6 months, with an additional 25% using more than one service.

Meal Kits Used 2023

I think this reflects the maturity of the meal kit market, with the concept now popular in Australia for over 10 years.

Fortunately, we are still seeing new entrants providing innovative meal kit services. Companies like Make-Out Meals and Quitelike are trying to take on the big players although many people still haven’t heard of them.

Why People Use Meal Kits

It’s not going to make any shockwaves in the industry to learn that people use meal kits to make their weekly cooking easier. A massive 71% of meal kit users felt this was one of the major reasons they use meal kits.

Since last year, the biggest change has been a shift to people using meal kits for weight loss or calorie control. Last year just 21% of respondents selected this, compared to 31% this year.

We’ve already looked into whether HelloFresh is healthy or not. The simple guidance is that some portion sizes are too calorific for most people to lose weight, and you may need to substitute out some ingredients.

Reasons for Using Meal Kits 2023

Over 40% of meal kit users are aiming to save money through meal kits. Our research has shown that a service like HelloFresh is 30% more expensive than buying the ingredients from the supermarket directly.

However, services like EveryPlate and Dinnerly are priced very similarly to a normal supermarket shop.

Once you factor in the reduction in food waste, and the added convenience factor of having meals delivered, it’s no surprise people are saving money with meal kits.

Top Tips for Meal Kits

Every year, I ask people for their best tips, tricks, and hacks. I’m always blown away by the response to this question, with most people sharing the small things they do to make meal kits work for them.

Based on this year’s responses, I’ve updated my article covering tips, trips, and hacks for meal kit users.

Here are a few of my favourites from this year’s survey:

Get teenagers to make the meals. The recipe cards are easy to follow. Even children can make it.

Purchase vegi crisper containers. Once you receive your meals sort them into the containers. Easy to grab and keeps veg fresh for the full week.

Making sure that you align the food with what your other food plans are for the week. i.e I know I’m going out for Thai so won’t order Thai meals.

What Next?

If you’re interested in trying any of these services, you can see my Marley Spoon review, HelloFresh review, EveryPlate review, or Dinnerly review. These provide a full, independent service review covering everything from the ordering process to the eating ‘process’.

You can also expand the sections below to see the 2022, 2021 and 2020 results.

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.

2022 Australian Meal Kit Survey Results

Copied below, is last year’s meal kit survey report. This was a collection of 221 unique responses from users of Dinnerly, EveryPlate, Marley Spoon and HelloFresh. The survey was conducted in May – June 2022.

Throughout June 2022, 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 221 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 January 2022 and June 2022.

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.

[2022] Overall Rating of Meal Kit Services

Each year, I ask survey respondents to rate meal kit services across these 5 key areas:

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

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

Graph of comparing meal kit ratings (2022)

This years results presented a very close result, with all meal kits scoring within 0.07 (or 1.5%) of each other. That’s really interesting, as it suggests that all of the services are providing a similar quality of experience overall.

The winner this year, by a whisker, is Marley Spoon.

Marley Spoon just pipped Dinnerly by 0.01 thanks to a strong score on their meal variety and taste of food. Whilst this makes Marley Spoon the winner of this year’s Food Box Mate meal kit survey, it’s hard to conclusively say they’re better than all of their competitors. That’s a very small margin of victory.

Graph of overall rating change by meal kits (2022)

This is the third year I have run the Australian meal kit industry survey, so we get to see a pattern emerging by comparing the results from different years.

Dinnerly are the only service to have an improved rating this year, compared to the previous two years. After a really poor result in 2020, it’s great to see they’re getting more recognition from customers. This year, they’ve significantly improved the variety of meals on offer and even added a marketplace for ingredients.

It’s interesting to see that all of the other meal kits saw their overall ratings drop compared to last year. In particular, HelloFresh saw a significant 8% drop mostly driven by a very low “value for money” score. That’s a disappointing result for the most popular meal kit in Australia.

[2022] Breakdown of Individual Meal Kit Ratings

Since there are two distinct types of meal kits (budget and premium), it’s important to break down the overall ratings to see how they compare. In Australia, we have EveryPlate and Dinnerly representing the budget sector, with HelloFresh and Marley Spoon providing a more premium offering.

Graph of comparing meal kit detailed ratings (2022)

As can be expected, there is huge variation in “value for money”. EveryPlate and Dinnerly are seen as much better value, whilst HelloFresh delivered the lowest overall value of 3.1 for their value. This suggests that most consumers are seeing HelloFresh as too expensive when options like Dinnerly and EveryPlate exist.

It’s really interesting to see that there is no difference in “quality of ingredients“. No matter whether you pick a budget or premium option, the ingredient quality is perceived to be exactly the same. This is perhaps mostly because they all use similar suppliers here in Australia. This means you shouldn’t worry about low-quality ingredients when subscribing to a budget meal kit.

I always look at any results over 4.0 as a sign of excellence. This year, we saw ratings over 4.0 for HelloFresh (Recipes & Taste of Food) and Marley Spoon (Meal Variety & Taste of Food). It’s quite clear that the more premium meal kits deliver a better tasting outcome.

[2022] Meal Kit Delivery Stats

Considering that delivery is one of the most difficult (and anxiety-inducing) aspects of meal kits, I asked consumers how often they have delivery issues with each meal kit. The results are shockingly consistent every single year.

Only 15% of customers face delivery issues more than once in every 10 deliveries. That was true in 2020, 2021 and again in 2022. Considering all the delivery challenges that have arisen as a result of flooding across Australia in 2022, this is quite incredible.

Graph of delivery issues for meal kits (2022)

Last year, the number of customers who had never faced any delivery issues was 67%, so there has been an extra 8% of customers that have seen some form of delivery issues. However, that’s still a smaller drop than I would have expected.

HelloFresh take home the wooden spoon with 7% of their customers having regular delivery problems. That’s significantly higher than Dinnerly with just 2% of customers facing issues with more than one in four deliveries. This is quite consistent with last year, where Dinnerly also performed well.

It’s impossible for any meal kit service to ensure every weekly delivery is perfect. However, this research proves that it shouldn’t be a major concern for a vast majority of customers.

[2022] 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.

Compared to last year, there are more and more people switching meal kits on a regular basis. 16% of people have switched and used more than 2 services over the last 6 months, with an additional 23% using more than one service.

Graph of how meal kits are used in Australia (2022)

For the remaining 61%, I can’t recommend switching highly enough. Get yourself some added variety and save hundreds of dollars.

[2022] Why People Use Meal Kits

This multi-select question aims to understand why people find meal kits useful. It’s hardly a surprise that the primary reason (as it is every year) is to make the challenge of weekly cooking easier. Having pre-portioned ingredients and straightforward recipes makes weeknight cooking much simpler for more than 80% of meal kit users.

Graph of reasons for using meal kits (2022)

The results have changed since last year, with the second most popular reason being to save money. That’s 46% of people who use meal kits with the primary aim to save themselves money. This could be compared to expensive grocery shopping with the rising costs of ingredients or preventing people from needing to grab a last-minute takeaway.

It’s interesting to see that people are still taking COVID seriously, with many using meal kits to reduce their trips to the supermarket. This also has the added benefit of saving loads of time, with ingredients delivered straight to your door.

Food waste is also still a major factor with the preportioned ingredients in meal kits meaning you don’t end up with perishable food that gets pushed to the back of the fridge for a few weeks before being thrown out.

[2022] Top Tips for Meal Kits

I recently updated my 10 tips, tricks, and hacks for meal kit users which now includes some user-submitted hacks that I loved. However, it’s clear there is one tip that is more important than any other. Most people shared some variation of:

Add simple ingredients to bulk out meal kit dinners and serve additional portions. Use foods like potatoes, lentils, beans, or vegetables depending on the dish you’re cooking.

This hack means you can cheaply extend your meals and bring down your cost per portion. It’s a great hack, with thanks to every person who shared their thoughts via the meal kit survey.

2021 Australian Meal Kit Survey Results

Copied below, is the 2021 meal kit survey report. This was a collection of 197 unique responses from users of Dinnerly, EveryPlate, Marley Spoon and HelloFresh. The survey was conducted in March 2021.

[2021] 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.

[2021] 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!

[2021] 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.

[2021] 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

[2021] 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.

2020 Australian Meal Kit Survey Results

The results below are presented from the 2020 meal kit survey which was run in May 2020.

[2020] Overall Ratings

Meal Kit Survey - Overall Rating
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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

[2020] 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.

Meal Kit Survey - Rating Breakdown
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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.

[2020] 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:

Meal Kit Survey - Delivery Issues by Service
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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!

[2020] 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.

[2020] 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.

Meal Kit Survey - Number of Services Used
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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.

[2020] 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.

Meal Kit Survey - Why People Use Meal Kits
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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.

Meal Kit Survey Results Infographic
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Let me know below what you think of these results. Do you agree or disagree?

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