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Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are both meal kit delivery services. Subscribers receive regular deliveries with recipes and all the necessary ingredients.
Below, we compare Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot, including their menus, prices, and more.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
The following is a brief overview of each company.
The company have been providing their meal kits in the United States since 2013.
Another factor that sets Purple Carrot apart is that they provide a weekly recipe book of all the meals they offer, while other services tend to only provide recipes for the meal kits that a subscriber has chosen.
How do they work?
Both Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are subscription services. First, a customer selects the number of meals and servings that they want each week, and this determines the weekly cost.
Next, the person selects a delivery date and chooses their meals or snacks for the week. On the appointed day, they receive a box that contains their meal kits. Most components, such as vegetables, arrive whole and require cutting, peeling, or chopping. The company will let the person know whether any ingredients are not included. These are typically things common in kitchens, such as salt, pepper, or olive oil.
Neither company requires a contract, and a customer can cancel their subscription at any time.
In terms of operation, the companies are the same. The main difference concerns their menus.
The recipes from Hello Fresh have between four and six steps and require minimal equipment. Their meals take, on average, 30 minutes to prepare.
A person can choose from more than twenty recipes that rotate weekly. There are lunch and dinner options, and they average at around 650 calories per serving.
One week, for example, the Hello Fresh menu included:
- cheesy smothered mushroom chicken
- pecan-crusted chicken
- surf’s up chicken and rice bowls
- sesame beef tacos
- pork sausage spaghetti bolognese
- beef tenderloin with brown butter veggies
- crispy cheddar chicken
- sesame-soy pork bowls
- zucchini pomodoro penne bake
- black bean and poblano flautas
For an extra fee, customers can choose a Gourmet Plus option, which includes pricier cuts of meat and occasional specialty boxes, such as a holiday box.
Purple Carrot also rotate their menu weekly, and they offer recipes for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. Customers can view the weekly menu options online or with the company’s app.
Each recipe includes the preparation time and nutritional facts. On average, each meal takes 30–40 minutes to prepare and contains about 600 calories per serving.
One week, for example, the Purple Carrot menu included::
- almond butter tofu
- autumn crunch salads
- chili mac
- crispy fabcakes, an alternative to crabcakes
- Punjabi kadhi
- grape leaf pilaf
- lemon-braised chickpeas
- peanut vegetable buddha bowls
- roasted sweet potato tacos
- spinach artichoke grilled “cheese”
- tomato farro risotto
Customers can add extras to any delivery, such as additional servings or packaged snacks.
The two companies’ subscription services and price ranges are similar. Customers can cancel the service or skip a delivery at any time before the order’s cutoff time.
The prices at Hello Fresh reflect the cost per meal. Their basic subscription includes three meals with two servings each for $8.99 a meal. The company charge $8.99 for shipping, bringing the average weekly total to about $63.00 plus tax.
Hello Fresh offer military and veterans discounts of 50% off the first box and a 15% discount for every other box. They rely on verification from ID.me. Students also get a discount of 15% off every box for new customers, as verified by Unidays.
Dinners start at $9.99 per serving, but the price depends on whether a person chooses two or four servings per week. Breakfasts are $4.49 per serving, lunches are $8.99 per serving, and pre-packaged snacks cost between $3.99 and $15.99.
If a person, for example, opts for three 2-serving dinners a week, the price is $71.94. Shipping is free on all orders. For four 2-serving dinners per week, the cost is $95.92.
Purple Carrot offer a student discount: $35 off the first box. They rely on Student Beans for verification.
Some other meal kit delivery services include:
- Blue Apron: They offer a variety of meal kits, some of which are diabetes-friendly or have been approved by WW, formerly Weight Watchers. Learn more about Blue Apron here.
- Daily Harvest: They offer smoothie, bowl, soup, and flatbread recipes that usually require minimal preparation. Learn more about Daily Harvest here.
- Home Chef: They offer pre-portioned ingredients to reduce the time for meal preparation. Learn more about Home Chef here.
- Marley Spoon: They offer low-carb, vegetarian, and family-friendly recipes that can be made in six steps and under 30 minutes.
These are just a handful of the meal kit companies that deliver within the U.S.
A 2019 Australian study of meal kit services found that Hello Fresh meals contained, on average, 3.1 servings of vegetables per meal. This was the highest in the analysis of five brands, which did not include Purple Carrot.
The researchers also found that Hello Fresh kits provided at least 30% of the recommended daily intake of major nutrients — but were very high in sodium, compared with the recommended daily allowance. For this reason, the team recommends omitting the additional salt in the recipes.
A 2020 review of meal kits found that they:
- provide easy-to-follow instructions
- help people develop their cooking skills
- increase quality time with family
- decrease time spent grocery shopping
- reduce food waste, provided that the people use all the ingredients
- encourage people to try new foods and recipes
The researchers determined that 50% of the consumers surveyed would buy meal kits more frequently if they were less expensive, suggesting that the cost is prohibitive.
A person might believe that cooking at home is always healthier than eating out, but this, of course, depends on the meal. Home cooking may have other benefits, too. A 2017 systematic review of 38 investigations found that cooking at home may help develop personal relationships and enhance dietary and overall health.
While the researchers found a lack of overwhelming evidence to link cooking at home with better health, short-term studies in the analysis suggested that home-cooked meals were more nutritious, compared with restaurant-prepared meals.
Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are two meal kit services with rotating weekly menus.
The main difference is that Hello Fresh mostly offer meals with meat and fish, though there are some options for vegetarians. Purple Carrot offer plant-based meals, all of which are suitable for vegans.
Subscribing to a meal kit delivery service may save time otherwise spent grocery shopping, reduce food waste, and allow for more quality time with household or family members.