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Gousto meal boxes have been a Hello Fresh alternative for a while now. But if you are new to meal kit delivery services, which is best for you? For, on the surface, they both offer the same things: a convenient way to cater for your household, while providing a wide variety of food that is nutritious and well-balanced.
Here, we look at Gousto in particular so that you can determine whether you think Gousto meal boxes are better for you. Or whether the Hello Fresh alternative is more suitable for your needs.
A Gousto food box is a joy to see left on your doorstep once a week. Inside, each box is crammed full of high quality ingredients and produce, to create the meals you have selected to make that week.
The standard of food that is included is a key factor to evaluate when looking at any meal kit delivery services - not just Gousto meal boxes specifically. That’s because one of the ways that meal kit companies can improve their profit margins is by reducing the cost of the goods they include in their boxes. When it comes to food, usually, the lower the cost the lower the quality. It therefore means that if you are getting a cheap product, you are likely to be getting cheap produce that tastes like cardboard, has a really short shelf life, and in many ways is totally unappetising to eat. Gousto, however, maintains a high standard when it comes to the quality of its food - while its prices remain exceptionally competitive.
In fact, the company is committed to sourcing products from suppliers they have known and trusted over the years. The direct line of communication they keep up with their suppliers means they are able to ensure that the produce they deliver to customers’ doorsteps is food that is delicious.
On the practical side of a Gousto food box, the recipes that are included are straightforward and clear. It makes cooking Gousto food a joy as you are not constantly confused by what a recipe means - plus you can be confident that your food is going to turn out as it should. The fact that many are also quick to make is a big bonus and helps ensure that every morsel you cook is chowed down by you and your household.
Importantly, Gousto food is not complicated to make either. No special culinary skills are required to make their dishes. Though, if there is a technique that you have not used before, you can be sure that your Gousto recipe card will explain it to you clearly enough for you to understand. Crucially, you will not need any specialist equipment either. The recipes need you to have a chopping knife, a saucepan, a baking tray and little else. If the recipe does call for a more specific item, like a garlic press for instance, it will suggest ways that you can manage without one.
When it comes to the food on offer, Hello Fresh and Gousto meal boxes do differ slightly. While they are both undoubtedly capable of creating delicious and nutritious meals, the food at Gousto does tend to be a little bit more international. Gousto will push your tastebuds’ boundaries a little more - though that is not to say that Hello Fresh is dull. It is not by any means. In fact, it has some tantalising meals on offer that simply develop and elevate old classics.
For example, one of its recent recipes was a chicken roast. Included with it were mash and broccoli. As opposed to simply boiling or steaming the broccoli, it was roasted, giving it a fresh spin on the basic ingredient. The mash had garlic running it through it which really took it to another level.
Gousto, on the other hand, will introduce you to different cuisines and ingredients that you may never have heard of before. A great example of this are all the different types of curry that they have on offer. While the company does not expect you to make the curry pastes behind all these different types, it does mean that you put your tastebuds to the test by trying out new things.
Don’t fear that Gousto is not the right box for you though if you have members of your household who are ‘picky’ when it comes to their food. The company still has old favourites on its menu too so that there is definitely something for everyone. With over 60 recipes a week, you’ll be sure to find a number of dishes that you can be confident all you cater for eat with ‘Gousto’.
Finally, one way that Gousto does differentiate itself quite clearly from Hello Fresh is through its partnership with Joe Wicks. Joe Wicks designs or promotes a number of recipes a week that can help you stay on a diet. Be that a diet that has been created by ‘The Body Coach’ or that you are trying to follow yourself. Plus, the number of dishes that Wicks champions is pretty large, so you can be sure you will not be bored of the food you have to eat while dieting - a common pitfall for those trying to lose weight.
What we like about both Hello Fresh and Gousto meal boxes is that the food is very tasty. To us, that’s what should come first as, if the taste is not there, you’ll not enjoy what you are eating and therefore not derive value from all the side effects that these boxes can offer.
For example, the fact that both companies manage to produce so many recipes that are all well balanced is astounding. If you eat regularly with either company, you do not have to think twice about the fact that you are eating enough protein or fruit/veg. The company’s products simply do that all for you thanks to creating food alongside well trained chefs.
Additionally, both companies have a heavy emphasis on sourcing produce that is grown or cultivated in a sustainable way. Customers can be happy, therefore, that their food needs are not exacerbating environmental issues that can have an impact on climate change. Plus, the food that is used is often seasonal - further helping minimise the energy involved in getting it on people’s plates.
Both firms also have taken huge strides in minimising the amount of plastic waste that their boxes produce. They, therefore, use as much cardboard or paper packaging as possible, yet are still striving to reduce their plastic waste further.
These boxes, in general, will feel like you are opening a lot of plastic wrapping. However, do remember that you are also dramatically reducing the amount of food waste your house creates. Food waste is a massive issue in the UK, with households throwing away far too much rotten or out of date food. Poor food planning is the culprit, which is something that both Gousto and Hello Fresh help with immediately. And, as a Hello Fresh or Gousto food box only ever delivers exactly the amount of an ingredient you need, then you never throw out unwanted ‘ends’ of food either.
These are all key issues that make Hello Fresh and Gousto meal boxes the stand out choices for meal delivery kits in the UK. However, we also like how both of them manage to gently widen customers’ abilities and tastes in the kitchen. While no recipe is difficult to make, they can push you to try new techniques or methods which are easy to follow. They may suggest that you include different ingredients than you would have naturally tried in a curry for example or a simple noodle dish. Or, you may find that you are introduced to a new way of cooking basics like potatoes or rice.
What’s great about that is that it also helps people to eat well. People tend to reach for food that is not good for them if they’re bored themselves, or their taste buds are bored. When taste buds are bored or unsatiated it is exceptionally common to want junk food or food high in sugar to get an excitement hit. Customers of Gousto or Hello Fresh will notice that they eat less junk food as they have educated themselves on how to cook but also are happier after they’ve eaten too. Meaning they rarely reach for the biscuit tin.
It’s difficult to choose between Gousto or Hello Fresh. Gousto is slightly cheaper with perhaps more innovative recipes. However, Hello Fresh food is still very competitively priced and delicious to eat. Hello Fresh tends to have more in the way of added ‘extras’ which may suit your lifestyle and what you are trying to achieve a little easier. Sometimes, what can be a great way to decide between the two, is simply to look at each company’s website and see how easily you can use it. The convenience factor of these services is a huge benefit, so if you find one website a little ‘clunkier’ for your needs, you may be better suited to use the alternative.
Ultimately, this is a great choice to have to make. Neither company will ever let you down when it comes to the level of enjoyment you receive from eating their food.