Hello Fresh is the largest and most popular meal delivery service in Australia. They were also the first option that I tried when I first started getting meals delivered. I used Hello Fresh for around 3 months in two different stints.
I am a big fan of their quality and taste, but they are one of the more expensive options in the cook-it-yourself category. However, their meals are one of the more complex to cook and take the longest.
I have put together this comprehensive review of my experience with Hello Fresh to try and answer any questions you may have before clicking subscribe.
- Cost: 7/10 - $8.75/serve based on 4 people and 5 recipes per week.
- Choice: 9/10 - Over 37 recipes to pick from each week.
- Quality: 9/10 - The best quality vegetables and meat from all we tested, but still not as good as selecting yourself in the grocery store.
- Taste: 8/10 - There are certainly some meals that didn't suit my tastes, but overall I was impressed and I still replicate my favourites.
- Flexibility: Skip a week or cancel anytime.
- Organic: No
- Allergy Safe: No
Based on my experience, I rate Hello Fresh as my favourite meal delivery service. It has the ideal combination of high quality ingredients at a reasonable price tag. The flexibility in pausing or cancelling your subscription is brilliant, as is the recipe customization feature.
For anyone looking to try a meal delivery service for the first time, I always recommend Hello Fresh.
- Their meals are the tastiest and largest serving sizes of any meal delivery service.
- Some of the recipes are so good that I routinely replicate them myself to this day.
- The quality of the vegetables and meat is not as good as hand picking it yourself, but are still the best that I have found.
- The ability to try different cuisines and dishes without needing using the creative energy to think of them yourself is brilliant.
- The meals are reasonably complex and take the longest time to cook.
- There were times when I felt frustrated at the end of a long work day that I still have to cook my Hello Fresh meal.
- Several times they ran out of key vegetables and replaced them with alternatives that didn’t suit the dish.
- There is a wide range of pantry staples that aren’t provided like oil, butter, vinegar, honey, milk, or soy sauce that I sometimes didn’t have, resulting in an additional trip to the grocery store.
When you subscribe to Hello Fresh you get access to their dashboard that you can login to through a browser or an app. You need to pick your next delivery in advance, so make sure you put a reminder in your calendar to make your selections before it is too late.
You can also select a delivery date from a limited window. You can change this in the future, depending on your schedule and when you will be home.
You can pause your subscription if you are going away or just want a break.
They have a wide range of recipes to choose from each week. I had a look today and they have 66 different dinner options to choose from. If you can’t find 3-5 meals that you like from that list, then you aren’t trying hard enough. The only alternative that has more recipe options is Lite n Easy, which doesn’t compare in terms of flavour or meal size.
However, after a few months of subscribing you will start noticing some of the more popular recipes repeating themselves. If you liked them, that is fine, but if you are looking for variety then you might start to get bored. They do say you will get 25 new recipes each week, but I’m not sure I saw that.
This image is an example of some of the range of recipes that are in this week’s collection to give you an idea of the flavours and types of meals you will be cooking:
In 2021, Hello Fresh introduced a brilliant meal customization option. This allows you to do certain changes to each recipe:
- Swap like for like ingredients
- Add extra protein
- Upgrade ingredients
Some examples include swapping out beef for chicken, doubling the bacon, or swapping beef strips for rump. Some of these (especially the upgrades) come at additional cost, so be aware of that.
But this is an unprecedented improvement to the flexibility you get in selecting meals that will please everyone in your house.
Hello Fresh costs between $8.75 and $13.33 per serve, depending on how many meals you get delivered. The more servings per week the cheaper the price becomes. You really want to be ordering 16 serves per week or more to get the cost down under $10/serve.
This puts Hello Fresh right in the middle in terms of cost. It is cheaper than any of the pre-made options, but is more expensive than the budget competitors like Dinnerly.
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Be aware that Hello Fresh also have some premium meals available that come at additional cost.
They also offer desserts, snacks, and sides that also come at an additional cost. I never tried these though, so I can’t comment.
You can choose from a limited window between Saturday to Wednesday for your box to be delivered. Mine generally was delivered at Dawn on a Saturday (in fact my neighbour started getting worried about a truck staking out my house in the wee hours of the morning).
You can leave the box outside for several hours and the ingredients will stay cold due to the ice bags.
This image shows what is inside the box when you opening it up – individual recipe cards for each meal (I have kept all of mine and turned it into a very handy cookbook), each meal’s ingredients are separated within paper bags, and the plastic bags are full of ice.
The ingredient quality is higher than most alternatives, and given the cost is not the highest, this is one of the reasons that I list Hello Fresh high on my rankings.
I can’t give them a 10 out of 10 for ingredient quality though. If you went to the grocery store or farmers market yourself and hand-selected each vegetable by hand then you would get better product. But they are just as good as getting your groceries delivered directly from the super market. These aren’t seconds or ugly bunches that farmer’s can’t sell anywhere else.
If Hello Fresh can’t get a specific ingredient, then they will infrequently swap it out with something else. This can be a pain, especially if the flavours of that ingredient don’t fit within the recipe. This only happened 2-3 times across a 3 month window, but it is something to be aware of.
Each meal generally takes 30 to 40 mins to prepare. There were times when I would replace the garlic and ginger with paste in a tube to try and save myself 5 minutes after a long day of work.
This is one of the downsides with the cook-yourself service, but given you have read this far, I am guessing you are away of the time commitment. There were certainly times when I was exhausted and would’ve preferred a cheese toastie than needing to cook a full Hello Fresh recipe.
There were also some times that I felt the instructions were lacking key details – as they tried to fit all of the instructions within the 6 step template on their recipe cards.
You will need to have a full kitchen – pans, oven, pots, knives, peelings, etc. – to prepare all of the ingredients as per the instructions.
One of my favourite Hello Fresh meals was a lamb roast – this was their Easter special. It was phenomenal and I gave it 95 out of 100 in my individual recipe rankings.
I was very happy with both the taste and serving size of Hello Fresh – especially when compared to some of their competitors.
If you are worried about nutrition then I would recommend just picking recipes that suit your macro requirements. I would also suggest there are plenty of recipes where you can reduce the added sugar and heavy cream addition.
Hello Fresh paved the way for the great subscription flexibility that most meal delivery services offer. You can pause a week or two any time you are going away or are sick of cooking. You can completely cancel your subscription with one click of a button, and you can change the number of servings as long as you give a week’s notice. There really is no risk in trying.
I will also mention, that you will get flooded with emails and coupons every time you cancel to try and bring you back.
Who Is Hello Fresh Suited For?
Hello Fresh is well suited for anyone who loves cooking but doesn’t have time to go grocery shopping or doesn’t have the creativity to come up with new recipes. They are a great way to ensure your meals are tasty and interesting all week long. They are also good to foodies who want to try different flavours and cuisines that you normally wouldn’t cook.
If you are getting bored of Spag Bol or Lasagne, then Hello Fresh might be a good option to spice things up.
I rate Hello Fresh a 9.5 out of 10. They really impressed me with their flavour and meal size. I have been disappointed in the paste with the tiny meals from services like this, but Hello Fresh filled me up every time. You can certainly do your grocery shopping cheaper by doing it yourself, but I see Hello Fresh as being one of the better value for money services in Australia.
If you have a different opinion or want to make a comment, please email me at the address below.