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If you are looking at signing up to a meal kit subscription service, you’ve probably heard a lot of hype around HelloFresh. But is that hype well earned? How does HelloFresh remain at the front of the pack? And ultimately, is HelloFresh worth it?
Here we look at the company’s offering to see why it is so successful and how it maintains its competitive advantage. We help you decide, therefore, whether it’s right for you. Or how to choose between HelloFresh or Gousto, or any other of HelloFresh’s competitors.
First, though, let’s go over why meal kits are so useful to the modern-day household and why they are so successful. These types of product were popular before the pandemic, but during lockdown restrictions, their popularity soared as households looked for new and innovative ways to bring interest to their lives.
Many people turned to the kitchen and wanted to experiment more. For some that meant baking and making sourdough, but for others, it meant buying meal kits that would expand their repertoire and teach them a number of new meals that were easy to make at home.
Meal kits remain successful now that restrictions have been lifted as they brought many other advantages to people’s lives. They made cooking easier, more interesting and far more convenient. That’s because meal kits deliver ingredients to a person’s door, but also the recipes that those ingredients could make which are straightforward to create.
Importantly, recipes are designed by chefs and nutrition experts alike - meaning that home chefs can be confident that their meals are well balanced and healthy. For a busy home, that is a big comfort. If you are trying to eat well, or ensure that any children or other family members are eating healthily, knowing immediately that all recipes are good for you with appropriate portion sizes is a big plus point.
Homes also see a big reduction in waste, which is of increasing concern to many households. As we all try to do our bit to minimise our carbon footprint, throwing away food that has gone off is a great way to help achieve that. Food that has not been eaten before it starts to go mouldy is food that needed energy to grow and supply. If we all stopped wasting food, the UK’s carbon emissions would go down.
Above, are all benefits that any generic meal kit delivery company should bring. But, what is it that HelloFresh does that makes it so much more successful than the majority of other meal kit delivery companies?
We love that the HelloFresh meals list is so extensive. It’s ever-changing too so you never ever get bored of what is on offer. You can ensure that you serve up a wide selection of dinners as a result which will and can cater for the fussiest of eaters. Additionally, there is a large variety of recipes even for those with food allergies or dietary requirements. The HelloFresh meals list means that eating well is easy - regardless of whether you can eat everything or whether you have a highly restrictive diet.
While the HelloFresh meals list is extensive, it is also excellent value for what it delivers too. All those recipes offer so much choice, but HelloFresh manages to offer them all at a price that is fair. The time saving that people make with HelloFresh is a fantastic convenience that makes paying a little bit more than the weekly shop well worth it.
Some meal kit delivery companies charge more than HelloFresh’s cost per serving, while others charge less. The ones that charge more become a lot more expensive overall and, during a cost of living crisis, may be an expense too far - not to mention the quality of the product is rarely higher either.
When it comes to meal kit delivery companies that charge less than HelloFresh, customers often find that it’s because they include a high proportion of ‘fillers’ as part of their ingredients.
You’ll notice on the HelloFresh meals list that recipes do not always come with a high amount of bread, pasta or rice - or any other very cheap, yet filling foods. While they definitely have their place within the recipe collection (they are often delicious carbs that people enjoy eating), recipes are not based around them to help make HelloFresh’s profit margins better.
Another area that HelloFresh does not scrimp or save on is the quality of its ingredients. The company sources its produce from reputable suppliers that they have worked closely with to ensure the highest standards. This is another way that customers derive value. The ingredients included are fresh and delicious, meaning that the subsequent recipes that they make do not have to be doused in salt or sugar to be edible.
One of the main aims of meal kit delivery products is to make life that little bit easier for customers. While it means continually delivering easy to follow recipes that are not complicated to make, it also means that every interaction and experience a customer has with a company must be painless.
HelloFresh ensures that the customer experience they provide is smooth at every step. That’s mainly down to its slick website that is clear and easy to navigate. Customers know what they need to do and can clearly choose what recipes they want each week in addition to picking how often they have a delivery and how many portions they need each box to make.
That’s crucial because if any part of dealing with HelloFresh was awkward, customers would be far less compelled to return to it. So many users go to the company to help take the hassle out of meal planning and ensure that over a week they’re having a balanced diet. If HelloFresh’s website and recipe selection pages were not clear, users would struggle to find one of the ways that HelloFresh can help them save time.
Users will often be attracted to how flexible HelloFresh is, meaning that it can fit into their lives far better. Unlike other meal kit delivery boxes, HelloFresh offers ‘Premium’ meals so that you can cater for special occasions without an extra supermarket shop.
You can also satisfy your sweet cravings by ordering desserts each week too. You can bolster your meals with sides to complement or add a twist to your dinners - which can be a necessity for those that have hungry growing children within their household.
Finally, HelloFresh also allows you to order lunch recipes so that you have minimal to do when it comes to catering for any other meal times. There are even some brunch recipes for the times you have a lazy morning planned at the weekend.
When it comes to remaining competitive, in addition to the above reasons, HelloFresh often offers some serious discounts for both new users and loyal customers. Doing so helps subscribers keep their costs as low as possible while being able to enjoy the company’s many benefits.
HelloFresh isn’t the only company to offer big discounts to its customers though. When looking at HelloFresh or Gousto, new customers may have found that Gousto also heavily discounts a number of boxes for newbies. Both companies are highly reputable meal kit delivery box businesses, but those that go for HelloFresh often do so because it (arguably) has a slightly easier website to use. Gousto’s is by no means complicated, but HelloFresh seems to be that little bit clearer and streamlined.
Additionally, some users prefer HelloFresh’s maximum order numbers which are more than with Gousto. If you're deciding between HelloFresh or Gousto, you may want to consider HelloFresh as you can order up to five recipes a week if you want to go for the ultimate convenience of not having to think about any of your midweek meals.
While it is more expensive than catering for your household with a weekly supermarket shop, HelloFresh is not a huge extra to fit into your budget. While we are all for saving pennies at the moment, the value that HelloFresh provides at its prices is hard to refute. Users love that they get to prepare meals for themselves or their households that are fuss free - leaving them to concentrate their efforts on other parts of their lives. Meal times become a joy again and are no longer a chore or a stress.
Importantly, what we love about HelloFresh is that you can adapt it to make it fit into your lifestyle. You can choose those useful added extras if needs be, but you can choose to pause or skip weeks if you need too. It means you do not have to worry about signing up to a subscription that ties you into a contract that you cannot escape.
So, is HelloFresh worth it? It’s a definite Yes from us.