A couple of weeks ago as I checked out from Ticketmaster after buying Debbie Gibson tickets, I got a pop-up ad for Hello Fresh, promising 18 free meals. That would basically feed us for a week, so I clicked through.
Of course, there was a catch. The 18 free meals are spread over 6 weeks of orders. However I could try a week at about 50% off, and I had long wondered if the meal delivery services were worth it, so I created an account and bought three meals.
The three meals were:
--Shrimp Spaghetti with a kick, with herb butter and zucchini
--Crispy Jack Chicken with roasted carrots, potato wedges, and Siracha mayo
--Apricot Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin with ginger rice and sesame green beans
The website is well done and placing my order was easy. It was clear I'd be paying about $48 after shipping, so 3 meals X 4 servings per meal = $4 a meal. $4 per serving is probably the high end of what most of our meals cost, and that was at a 50% discount. So long term Hello Fresh would cost me $8+ per serving.
The food arrived well package. The meat and veggies were all fresh. Everything is individually packaged for use. There is a lot of trash created making these meals, before you consider the large cooler box and cold packs that will come every week.
All three meals were quite good. I have no complaints about taste. In fact, both the shrimp and chicken dishes will likely go into our menu rotation. I'll just buy the ingredients at Food Lion like a normal person.
Tonight's meal required a grater, vegetable peeler, and meat thermometer. It feels like their target market are the kind of folks unlikely to have those sorts of tools laying around. Also, I wouldn't call the meals complicated, but all three of ours required multiple things in multiple pans at the same time. That could be a challenge for people that don't have fully stocked pan cabinets, or are new at cooking. Getting multiple pans done at the same time is often a challenge for even experienced cooks. Also, it really felt like we used a lot more pans and utensils on these meals than we do normally. So more dishes too.
Ultimately, I think Hello fresh delivers what they promise. My question is, who is this for? It's an expensive way to eat dinner. The harried parent that might be in the target market probably doesn't have the cash flow for this. Young people that have money but don't know how to menu plan or grocery shop should spend their time learning those important like skills. People with mobility issues certainly would appreciate this service, but again, it's costly. Ultimately it feels like it's for people with more money than time that want home cooked meals, but aren't living in the hire a personal chef neighborhood.
In the end, I think you can cook just as tasty meals with less effort via Budget Bytes, or 5000 other recipe blogs. I recommend Budget Bytes, because her meals are easy, tasty, and cheap. She'll even sell you weekly meal plans with a grocery list you can take to your neighborhood grocery store, or even have delivered, probably.