A few years ago, I was offered a job running a home meal delivery company; it was an interesting concept, but there were bound to be some chemistry problems with the founders, so I passed. But I have noted the growth of the segment over the years, and how many different niches the industry has broadened into. You can get fully prepared, heat and eat, or cook yourself meals sent to your home monthly, school lunches for kids, special diets for diabetics, gluten free, low carb, whatever.
HelloFresh.com delivers fresh meal ingredients and recipes to your home weekly – in packs of meals for two, four, or more. The cost is about $11.00 per plate. Each box contains ingredients for three meals. The company claims the meal ingredients are fresh, wholesome, and healthier than purchasing ingredients elsewhere.
The price is pretty spendy compared to many other programs. To compare equally however, be advised that HelloFresh includes all ingredients needed, while some other programs require you to supplement with fresh vegetables and fruit that you purchase locally.
I can’t tell you much about the company, there isn’t an “About” section on their website, nor does their contact info reveal their physical location. I don’t really like doing business with e-companies who don’t list a physical location – that’s just a personal quirk with me.
I was able to ascertain through other resources that the company was originally a German start-up, and has raised hundreds of millions to expand globally. It has a number of competitors in the segment. (Plated, Blue Apron).
Someone thought I should try this service out, so I received one week’s shipment ($69 value), three meals for two:
- Chicken a l’Orange with couscous
- Peppercorn Steak with spinach and new baby red potatoes
- Roasted Salmon with cherry tomatoes and green beans
Below are pics of the entire package, how the meals are packaged, and a spread of the Chicken a l’Orange meal ingredients and recipe card.
If you’re interested in these kind of programs, do a little search online, and you’ll find heavily discounted introductory offers, enabling you to try them out at a more reasonable cost before committing to a long term delivery program.
I don’t understand why all of the companies offer only three meals per week, but I am sure their research bore that out – maybe people eat out the rest of the time, or dive into leftovers?
The “meals” are not packaged with the ingredients together – instead there is a “protein portion” in the box, and a produce/fruit/starch portion of the box. Especially if you are trying to reach people who are not very proficient in the kitchen, but want to be, I’d package ingredients together and dumb down the recipes. Just my opinion.
Ingredients are furnished by boutique suppliers, the beef comes from USDA Estb. M5221-P5221 Home Food Services of PA, Bristol, PA 19007 (pictured below). They are also in the home meal delivery service, looks like the are similar to Schwans.The Chicken is from P18414 MB Consultants LTD, South Fallsburg, NY 12779. No indication on the salmon.
As I started to say above, cooking, assembly is easy enough for an accomplished cook, but not so much for beginners. While the ingredients are “quality,” portions are small, and at $11 per plate, you could obtain much better value elsewhere, or even buying ‘heat and eat’ products at WalMart or your preferred local grocer.
The recipe cards list 7-8 steps, although that is kind of deceptive, as each “step” may require 3-4 steps. I don’t think the instructions are simplified enough for beginning cooks, as a phrase like “cook until fragrant” will mean nothing to most people. “Trim the green beans” might also be misunderstood. Also, beginning or inexperienced cooks might take the instructions as “absolute” and there is no such thing in cooking, as burgers and ovens are often operating at temperature variances, and gradations (low, medium) will vary from unit to unit as well.
The ingredients produce an attractive plate, and probably an ample serving, but for the time involved, and cost per serving, in my opinion, it’s not worth the trouble.