Meal kit subscriptions services make it easier for home cooks to get dinner on the table—regardless of their skill level. But with so many options, it can be difficult deciding which box is for you. As part of my journey to try and rank as many meal kits as I can, I'll compare two big competitors: HelloFresh and Home Chef.
One of the biggest names in game right now is HelloFresh. Born out of Germany, they've made a splash stateside with their easy recipes and fresh produce. Home Chef is a smaller operation based in Chicago promising its customers “home cooking made simple.”
BEST FOR YOUR WALLET
Regardless of delivery frequency or the size of your family, Home Chefs meal costs $9.99 with free shipping. HelloFresh’s prices range from $7.50/serving to $8.99/serving with a flat shipping rate of $7.99. After struggling with some math, I determined that which box makes most financial sense for you will depend on how much you want to order. But before you commit, it's usually pretty easy to find a first time user promotion for each service, so take advantage!
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
If you are a person who struggles to make toast but wants to become a better cook, these meal kits can be an amazing way to improve your skills in the kitchen. Both options are great, but Home Chef has a slight edge. Each recipe card has helpful step-by-step pictures and a “Customize It” section that details how you can change up the recipe with different ingredients. They even include a binder to keep your recipe cards to create your own cookbook!
Winner: Home Chef
BEST MENU SELECTION
One of my favorite parts of the meal kit process is choosing my weekly menu. Both of these services will give you a wide variety of options that you can filter by dietary restrictions. Though I was able to find stuff we loved from both sites, I found that Home Chef relied a little too much on recipes that followed the “protein, veggie, and starch” formula. (Though some folks may like that consistency and structure in their meals.)
BEST FOR MINIMIZING TRASH
HelloFresh and Home Chef have very similar packaging. Both boxes contained individual bags for each recipe, which allowed for stowing less fragile produce loosely (aka not wastefully wrapped individually). The only components that needed their own containers were sauces, spice mixes, and smaller ingredients like nuts or beans. Both services also provided instructions on how to properly dispose of their cooling packs. Though it may seem like ordering meal kits will drastically increase your carbon footprint, there has been research to indicate that with the lack of food waste may be better than doing big grocery store runs.
The convenience of the meal kits is awesome enough, but both of these services deliver meals with legit flavor. It was tough deciding a winner, but ultimately, I couldn't stop thinking about HelloFresh. (The Pork Bolognese With Zucchini Ribbons and Veggie BiBimbap Bowls were extremely good.) Though you can’t go wrong with either, if you're looking to experiment with more adventurous flavors, go with HelloFresh.
If I had to choose, HelloFresh wins. Although I loved Home Fresh for its appeal to newer cooks, the amazing flavors and stellar menu that HelloFresh offers is what did it for me.
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