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Hello Fresh and Gousto have long been battling it out to be the biggest meal kit delivery service in the UK. But, how do they really compare? How do they differentiate from each other to make their product that little bit different, and that little bit more enticing to current and potential customers?
We investigate that here, by looking at the Gousto food box menu and how, as a Hello Fresh alternative, it manages to attract new subscribers on a consistent basis. We also look at what makes Hello Fresh different from Gousto and why that may make it a better choice for you.
While on the surface, Gousto may look like a very similar Hello Fresh alternative, there are key differences that may make one more suitable to you than the other. They are:
On the face of it, the Gousto Menu looks larger each week and seems to have far more options. Technically speaking it does. With 60 options to choose from, the Gousto food box menu is exceptionally extensive. However, not all those 60 odd options are changed each week. Instead, the Gousto menu is slowly amended so that new recipes are drip-fed slowly for customers to choose.
That can be both a positive and a negative.
On the plus side, there may be so many options that you want to choose, that having all of them in just one week is nigh on impossible. So, as the menu is not totally changed each week, you still have time to pick options that appealed to you but that you just didn’t get the chance to put in your box the previous week. Or, it could be that you simply loved a dish so much that you want to choose it again.
On the other hand, the Hello Fresh alternative way of doing things is to produce around 30 odd totally new dishes each week. They sometimes simply do variations on a similar theme every few weeks, but you can look forward to picking from a completely new menu week in, week out. The huge amount of variety in those choices over time could be a key difference to a Hello Fresh customer and why they choose it over the Gousto food box menu. Plus, Hello Fresh has a number of recipes that can be customised to a customer’s need per week, which is an option that few meal kit delivery services provide.
Another way that the two companies differ is where they get their inspiration for food from. The cuisines that they use as starting points for dishes is usually a little bit more international and varied at Gousto, than it is at Hello Fresh. That could be down to the fact that Hello Fresh ‘invent’ more recipes each week and so stick to tried and tested tacks more than the Gousto food box menu.
That’s not to say that Hello Fresh is dull though. Far from it. The company has a good history of pushing the boundaries of regular, much used ingredients. The humble potato, for example, is used in many of Hello Fresh’s menus in many different ways. For example, the company, in one week, produces recipes where potatoes are cut into wedges. They were not just any old wedges though. Instead, the company flavoured them with a spice mix that helped make wedges far more exciting and interesting as a result. Or, it often revolutionises simple mash potato by including some form of flavouring like garlic, or using flavoured oil to make them as opposed to regular butter.
Gousto will look for inspiration from lesser used cuisines - like Brazil for example. It currently has a Brazilian style chicken and coriander curry on its menu for instance - alongside food that is perhaps more well known like cheesy mozzarella and pesto chicken.
Something that many Hello Fresh reviews and Gousto write ups often fail to mention is how the company’s interface can materially impact your user experience. Getting the digital user experience right is almost as important as the food. These services are undoubtedly about serving up great meals, but they are also very much about adding a needed convenience to people’s lives. By not having to go to the supermarket, people are saving time. But, importantly, people are no longer having to plan their weekly meals as they would have had to have done previously.
By simply having to click on the recipes a customer wants, they can quickly see that their weekly menu has a lot of variety in it and ensure that they are therefore eating healthily. While all these meals are balanced, it can be good to see quickly, that in one week all your meals are not chicken based or all have rice in, for instance.
Both these company’s websites allow you to do that easily. However, they do display their menus in different ways and they also have alternative methods in how they break down their meals on their website. For instance, the Gousto menu is filtered from the top so you can quickly narrow down your selection to ‘calorie controlled’ or ‘10-minute meals’. The Hello Fresh alternative is to put a little more detail on the headline recipe card within its menu page.
One of the big differences between Gousto and Hello Fresh is the differing sizes of their boxes, and how you can choose the size you need. Gousto currently has two box sizes: regular and large. A regular box is suitable for 2 adults, or 1 person with leftovers, or 1 adult and 1-2 children. The large box is suitable for 4 adults or 2-3 with leftovers, or 2 adults and 2-3 children. Within either box, you can choose between 2 and 4 recipes a week. Gousto meals prices go down per portion the bigger the box and the more recipes you choose.
Hello Fresh, though, allows you to choose the number of people first that you will want to cater for each evening. They have the options of between 2-4 people. Then, you can choose how many recipes you want a week which starts at a minimum of 2 and goes up to 5. Like Gousto, the more you choose, the lower the price per portion.
In essence, the breakdown of boxes do actually amount to a similar thing…you simply need to calculate how many ‘heads’ you are catering for each evening and whether that is a small or large appetite. Gousto’s breakdown, though, is helpful for the single person looking to take advantage of these meal kit delivery services. The majority of companies do not cater for just one person each meal, so it's great to see that Gousto, and Gousto meals prices, are trying to challenge the norm.
It’s a concern with many new users of meal kit delivery services whether they receive everything they need within the box. So, to be clear, you get all the ingredients you need - less oil, salt and pepper. Everything else will be in your box that you need to create the meals you have chosen. All ingredients are individually wrapped so even if your box contains two recipes that need mixed herbs, you’ll receive two mixed herb sachets as opposed to one big one.
What you don’t get are the implements you need to cook. So, you will need to have a knife, saucepan or two and a chopping board in the kitchen. You’ll likely need a baking tray too - though if you are deft with foil, you may just about be ok. Both companies are really good at ensuring that their recipes are accessible to their customers and do not require a lot of culinary expertise and complicated tools. They even come up with alternatives to a garlic crusher if you don’t have one.
We mentioned it briefly early, but Gousto can definitely be used by one person. While each meal will still cater to two as a minimum, the company has gone to lengths to demonstrate that their product is still appropriate for a person catering only for themselves. In fact, it goes hand in hand with their ‘reducing food waste’ mantra, by highlighting that these recipes make enough for two - but one of those two can be leftovers for the next day. It means that singletons can take advantage of all the convenience that Gousto has to offer, without being hit by Gousto meals prices reducing the more that you order.
Simply having one portion as leftovers may not be to everyone’s wants, but it is certainly a good way round the fact that Gousto’s common customer is a larger household.
The companies are both at the forefront of the meal kit delivery industry. Both have well working websites and a reliable delivery service, meaning that they can provide both convenience and ease to a person’s life. Gousto is sometimes a little cheaper per portion, but its menu technically does not change quite as much as Hello Fresh’s.
What’s great to know about both of them, is that, ultimately, you are on to a winner whichever you choose.