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Freshly delivers prepared meals that people can quickly heat up at home. The company emphasizes that its meals are healthy and nutrient-dense.

As of January 2023, Freshly has announced that it is stopping its meal delivery service. Medical News Today recommends trying similar prepared meal services such as Trifecta or Factor or viewing our roundup of the best meal delivery services to try.

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This article looks at how Freshly’s service works and who might use it. It also describes the menu options, potential health benefits, and some alternatives for people to consider.

Please note that the writer has not tried this service. All information is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Freshly delivers ready-to-eat meals that individuals can heat up in 3 minutes or less. The company highlights that its meals are healthy and contain:

  • nutrient-dense ingredients
  • quality proteins
  • complex carbohydrates
  • healthy fats

A person subscribes to the service with the option to skip a week or cancel at any time. The price depends on how many weekly meals are in an order.

An individual chooses the week’s meals from a menu of more than 30 dishes. All options contain meat, poultry, or fish.

People can filter the selection by dietary preference for dairy-free, soy-free, or carb-conscious options or those containing extra protein or fewer than 500 calories.

Those who already buy ready-made meals, including takeout, might find Freshly provides a healthy alternative.

The meals may suit people who do not cook. Each dish can be heated in the microwave or oven.

Freshly’s service may appeal to those who are busy or whose housemates or family members have vastly different tastes and preferences.

Also, people concerned about food waste might consider using a meal service to address the issue. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture estimates that food waste represents 30–40% of the national food supply.

People who opt for fully cooked single-serve meals will likely need to buy fewer groceries. This might lead to less waste because people often buy ingredients that they do not use or cook big meals with extra servings that do not get eaten.

Also, Freshly says each of its meals is certified gluten free. Therefore, the meals are suitable for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. According to Freshly’s website, every meal is also peanut free.

However, some meals do contain nuts. Anyone with a nut allergy should take precautions — particularly if they could have a severe allergic reaction. People should review the ingredients list of each meal on the website before making a selection and verify the ingredients on the package before heating.

Overall, due to the possibility of cross-contamination during cooking, the service may not be suitable for someone with severe food allergies. Anyone with concerns may want to contact one of Freshly’s representatives before placing an order.

Freshly provides a range of meals in several categories. Each meal comes with an ingredients list and nutritional information.

Individuals can choose their meals from just one or a combination of meal plans. The meal plans include:

Purely Plant

Freshly’s Purely Plant meals are suitable for people who have a plant-based dietary requirement. Some options include:

  • Middle Eastern Falafel Bowl
  • Unwrapped Salsa Verde Burrito
  • Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Cakes

Purely Plant sample meal: Middle Eastern Falafel Bowl

  • Serving size: One container (350 g)
  • Calories: 430 calories
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 810 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 59 g
  • Dietary fiber: 7 g
  • Total sugars: 10 g
  • Added sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 11 g

This meal contains gluten-free falafel balls, a blend of lentils, rice, and quinoa, bell peppers, onions, and lemon-tahini sauce.

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Signature Collection

Freshly’s Signature Collection contains chef-crafted meals. Some options include:

  • Bunless Bison Burger
  • Hearty Chipotle-Chicken Stew
  • Tangy Turmeric Turkey Bowl

Signature Collection sample meal: Bunless Bison Burger

  • Serving size: One tray (390 g)
  • Calories: 540 calories
  • Total fat: 33 g per serving
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Trans fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 85 mg
  • Sodium: 880 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Dietary fiber: 8 g
  • Total sugars: 16 g
  • Added sugars: 6 g
  • Protein: 27 g

This meal contains a bison, beef, and mushroom burger patty with beet and tomato sauce, cauliflower, succotash, and grape tomatoes with balsamic vinegar dressing.

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Freshly Fit

According to Freshly’s website, these meals take inspiration from popular diets and have more protein and fewer carbs. Some options include:

  • Coconut Lemongrass Pork Bowl
  • Protein-Packed Chicken Parm
  • Super Kale Pesto Chicken

Freshly Fit sample meal: Coconut Lemongrass Pork Bowl

  • Serving size: One container (326 g)
  • Calories: 400 calories
  • Total fat: 27 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 55 mg
  • Sodium: 720 mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugars: 9 g
  • Added sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 22 g

This meal contains pork, fire-roasted cauliflower, bell peppers, red onions, and squash, cauliflower rice, and dairy-free lemongrass sauce.

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The price varies depending on how many meals a person orders each week.

4 meals per week6 meals per week8 meals per week10 meals per week12 meals per week
Cost$11.49 per meal$9.49 per meal$9.29 per meal$8.99 per meal$8.49 per meal

Freshly may charge a sales tax depending on the person’s state. The brand states that people will receive an order confirmation detailing all costs, including sales tax.

Shipping and delivery

Freshly states that shipping charges vary depending on which state a person is in and how many meals they order each week.

The brand delivers to the lower 48 states using several delivery companies, including FedEx and UPS. People can choose their delivery day depending on their state.

Freshly states that the order will be in transit for up to 2 days before delivery and will arrive between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

According to the brand’s Trustpilot page, most reviewers state that Freshly’s meals are tasty and flavorful.

Positive reviews claim that the food is similar in taste to home cooking, with several customers saying that the food also has the benefit of tasting fresh and healthy.

More middling reviews state that, while good quality, the food did not have much taste.

Negative reviews say that Freshly’s food tasted bland and mushy, with some customers noting that some of the sauces had an odd taste.

People will need to sign up for a subscription through Freshly’s website to order. A person will need to enter their email and zip code and choose their meals and delivery dates.

Delivery dates will differ depending on the person’s state. Freshly will deliver all the meals for the week in chilled boxes on the selected day. People can refrigerate the meals for up to 5 days or freeze them for longer-term storage.

Most of Freshly’s packaging is recyclable, including:

  • Meal containers: Individuals can rinse and recycle the containers with their other rigid plastic recycling.
  • Denim insulation: People will need to remove the plastic cover and recycle it at a local drop-off center. A person can reuse the denim in home projects, use it as packaging instead of polyester filling or bubble wrap, or place it in the garbage. The denim is 85% biodegradable.
  • Gel packs: People can recycle the plastic bags at a local drop-off center and either reuse the nontoxic gel packs or dispose of them in the garbage.

Skipping a week and canceling

Freshly states that individuals can skip multiple weeks and cancel their subscription at any time. A person will need to choose to miss a week or cancel their subscription before the deadline shown on their account page.

Freshly’s health claims seem to align with some recommendations from health authorities.

For example, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommend that people get less than 10% of their total calories from saturated fats.

Freshly aims to help with this by substituting vegetables such as mushrooms for some ground meat and rotating red meat with leaner protein sources, such as chicken and fish.

The guidelines also recommend eating nutrient-dense foods and reducing added sugar intake. Freshly’s meals are low in added sugars.

The company adds vegetables or nut butter to sauces and replaces some simple carbohydrates with mashed cauliflower or squash noodles. These steps help make the meals more nutrient-dense.

Freshly’s website clarifies that its meals are not designed to address health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

However, meals that are portion-controlled and thus calorie-controlled might help a person manage their blood sugar levels or lose weight if this is their goal.

Choosing meal options that contain 500 or fewer calories might also help people manage their weight. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that a person might safely lose 1–2 pounds per week by creating a deficit of 500–1,000 calories per day. However, as the NIH notes, people must have a doctor’s approval before trying this.

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about the best ways to lose weight here.

Freshly’s gluten-free options are likely a healthy choice for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Switching to a gluten-free diet may help relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Many of Freshly’s meals are also high in protein, which may be especially important for older adults or those trying to build muscle, who may need more protein than the general population.

The animal protein sources in Freshly’s meals are “complete” proteins. They contain all nine essential amino acids and are thus optimal for supporting muscle protein synthesis and preventing age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia.

Anyone looking for the healthiest premade meal service should note that Freshly does not offer vegan or vegetarian options.

People seeking the potential health benefits of a plant-based diet and the muscle-building advantages of consuming animal protein may want to consider a flexitarian diet.

For more science-backed resources on nutrition, visit our dedicated hub.

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Many other delivery services provide meal kits or premade meals designed for various diets and preferences. Some examples include:

Many free resources can help people design healthy, convenient meals. The MyPlate planner is one option.

Anyone looking to make cooking more efficient and cost-effective might also consider cooking larger meals and freezing batches.

Learn more about freezing meat here.

Freshly’s meals may suit busy people and others who wish to avoid cooking. The meals are fairly healthy, peanut free, and certified gluten free.

The service might suit people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and people looking for calorie-controlled options.