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Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are both meal kit delivery services. Subscribers receive regular deliveries of recipes and ingredients.
Both Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are subscription services. 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.
On the appointed day, they receive a box with their meal kits. Most components, such as vegetables, arrive whole and require cutting, peeling, or chopping. The company lets the person know if any ingredients are not included. These are typically common things, such as salt, pepper, or olive oil.
Neither Hello Fresh nor Purple Carrot requires a person to sign up for a contract, and a person can cancel their subscription at any time.
The companies’ operations are very similar. The main difference lies in the menus. This article compares Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot, including their menus and prices.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
|Hello Fresh||Purple Carrot|
|Basics||meal kit delivery service that offers portioned ingredients and step-by-step dinner recipes||plant-based meal kit delivery with portioned ingredients and step-by-step recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus packaged foods and prepared meals|
|Menu options||25+ meals per week|
recipes labeled: veggie, carb smart, calorie smart, spicy, easy prep, or easy cleanup
|eight dinner options, two lunches, two breakfasts, and 12 fully prepared meals per week|
recipes labeled: gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, high protein, quick and easy, or under 600 calories
|Price||$7.99–12.99 per serving|
$9.99 shipping fee
|breakfast: $4.49 per serving|
lunch: $8.99 per serving
dinner: $9.99–11.99 per serving
prepared meals: $12.99 per serving
packaged foods: $5.99–7.99 each
|Calories||less than 650 calories per meal||less than 600 calories per serving|
|Benefits||large rotating menu|
may be budget friendly
some high protein and low calorie options
optional add-ons, including breakfasts, lunches, packaged snacks, and prepared meals
|Downsides||no add-ons, such as breakfasts or snacks|
no fully prepared meals
may be unsuitable for people with certain dietary restrictions or allergies
|more expensive plans|
a limited selection of dinners
may be unsuitable for people with some dietary restrictions or severe food allergies
Below, learn general information about each company.
The company that owns Hello Fresh also owns other meal kit brands, including Green Chef, EveryPlate, and Chefs Plate, a division of Hello Fresh in Canada. The company has been providing meal kits in the United States since 2013.
Prep and number of recipes: Each recipe has between four and six steps, requires minimal equipment, and takes an average of 30 minutes to prepare. A person can choose from over 25 recipes that rotate weekly.
Calories: There are lunch and dinner options, and they average at 600–900 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, a person can choose a Gourmet Plus option, which includes pricier cuts of meat and occasional specialty boxes, such as a holiday box.
Another factor that sets Purple Carrot apart is its weekly recipe book. A person can view all the recipes that the company offers that week. Other services tend to only provide recipes for the meals that a person orders.
Prep time and calories: Each recipe shows the preparation time and nutritional facts. On average, a meal takes 30–40 minutes to prepare and contains about 600 calories per serving. There is also a selection of fully prepared meals, which a person heats in a microwave.
Menu options: Purple Carrot rotates their menu weekly and offers recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Customers can view the weekly menu online or via the company’s app.
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
People 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 their service or skip a delivery before a designated cutoff time each week.
The prices reflect the cost per meal, which is lower when a person orders more meals per week.
Cost per serving: The basic subscription includes three recipes a week with 2 servings in each recipe. It costs about $9.99 per serving. The prices can range from $7.99–11.99 per serving, depending on the number of recipes and servings that a person selects.
Shipping cost: The company charges $9.99 for shipping, bringing the average weekly total for a basic subscription to about $70.00 plus tax.
Discounts: Hello Fresh offers a discount for military personnel and veterans, and healthcare professionals and other hospital employees, which includes 50% off the first box and a 10% 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.
The prices for other weekly add-ons include:
- Breakfast: $4.49 per serving
- Lunch: $8.99 per serving
- Packaged foods: $5.99–7.99 each
- Prepared meals: $12.99 per serving
If a person opts for three 2-serving dinners a week, the price is $71.94. For four 2-serving dinners per week, the price is $79.92.
Shipping cost: Shipping is free on all orders.
Discounts: Purple Carrot offers a student discount: $35 off the first box. They rely on Student Beans for verification.
Neither service is intended to promote weight loss, but either could help a person reach and maintain a moderate weight.
Both services have menu items that are relatively low in calories. A person can incorporate these into a balanced diet to support weight loss. Purple Carrot’s plant-based, protein-rich options may particularly help with weight management.
Hello Fresh has a selection of “calorie smart” meals, which contain around 650 calories per serving. Having homemade meals from Hello Fresh instead of higher-calorie options, such as fast food, could help reduce a person’s daily calorie intake.
If a person takes in fewer calories than they work off, this
Purple Carrot labels all menu options that have fewer than 600 calories for people who are trying to lose weight or reduce their calorie intake.
Purple Carrot can also ease the transition to a plant-based or vegan diet, which may be associated with weight loss.
For example, according to one
Also, Purple Carrot has several high protein options, which contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
Studies show that a high protein diet
There are several pros and cons to consider when looking at Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot.
This company has a large rotating menu, which may be ideal for people looking to add variety to their diet or experiment with new ingredients.
It is also among the more budget-friendly meal kit services and offers various discounts and coupons.
On the other hand, Hello Fresh only has dinner recipes — there are no breakfasts or snacks.
Also, it does not offer fully prepared meals, which may be a downside for people who want dishes that only need heating.
Additionally, Hello Fresh does not offer plans tailored to specific allergies or diets, such as vegan or gluten-free diets.
Purple Carrot’s meals are all vegan, and it also caters to other dietary needs and preferences. For example, it has several high-protein, low-calorie options.
In addition to dinner kits, the company offers an assortment of breakfasts, lunches, fully prepared meals, and packaged snacks for people who want nutritious, plant-based meals throughout the day.
However, Purple Carrot is slightly more expensive than Hello Fresh and has an overall smaller selection to choose from.
And though some menu items are labeled gluten-free, nut-free, or soy-free, the company notes that cross-contamination is possible. This may be an important consideration for people with food allergies or strict dietary restrictions.
Both Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are highly rated by customers. Many reviews note that both services help save time and make healthy eating easy.
At the time of publication, Hello Fresh was not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but the BBB gave it an A rating, based on factors including its business practices, complaint history, and any licensing or government actions against the company.
TrustPilot gave Hello Fresh a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars based on 39,045 customer reviews.
Many reviewers reported that Hello Fresh was a simple, convenient alternative to preparing meals from scratch. Some found that it added diversity to their diets and was more affordable than dining out.
On the other hand, some customers reported missing items, unauthorized charges, poor ingredient quality, and delivery delays.
Hello Fresh was also involved in a class-action lawsuit, which alleged that the company made unsolicited telemarketing calls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry or people who had asked not to be called. As a result, a $14 million settlement was approved in 2021.
Three Limes, the parent company of Purple Carrot, currently has an A- rating from the BBB, but is not accredited.
On TrustPilot, Purple Carrot has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on 607 customer reviews.
Positive reviews report that the meals are healthy, taste good, and are easy to make.
Less favorable reviews report issues with customer service, late or unreliable deliveries, and poor ingredient quality.
Some other meal kit delivery services include:
- Blue Apron: This company offer a variety of meal kits, some of which are diabetes-friendly or have approval from WW, formerly Weight Watchers. Learn more about Blue Apron here.
- Daily Harvest: This company’s smoothie, bowl, soup, and flatbread recipes usually require minimal preparation. Learn more about Daily Harvest here.
- Home Chef: This company sends portioned ingredients to reduce preparation time. Learn more about Home Chef here.
- Marley Spoon: This company has low carb, vegetarian, and family-friendly recipes. A person can make them in six steps and under 30 minutes.
These are just a handful of the meal kit companies that deliver within the United States.
A 2019 Australian study of meal kit services found that Hello Fresh meals contained, on average, 3.1 servings of vegetables in each 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 the meals were very high in sodium. For this reason, the team recommends omitting the additional salt in the recipes.
A 2020 review of meal kits found that they:
- had easy-to-follow instructions
- helped people develop their cooking skills
- led to more quality time with family
- led to less time grocery shopping
- reduced food waste, when people used all the ingredients
- encouraged people to try new foods and recipes
The researchers found 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 choices.
Home cooking may have other benefits. A 2017 systematic review of 38 investigations found that cooking at home may help develop personal relationships and enhance dietary and overall health.
The researchers found a lack of overwhelming evidence to link cooking at home with better health. However, short-term studies in the analysis suggested that home-cooked meals were more nutritious than restaurant meals.
Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot are two meal kit services with rotating weekly menus.
The main difference is that Hello Fresh meals are mostly suitable for omnivores, though there are some options for vegetarians. Purple Carrot’s meals are all plant-based and suitable for vegans.
Subscribing to a meal kit delivery plan may save time on grocery shopping and reduce food waste.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot.
Is Purple Carrot worth the money?
Purple Carrot may be worth the price for people who want healthy, plant-based meals and to save time on cooking. It might also be a good option for anyone interested in transitioning to a vegan or another plant-based diet and who is unsure how to get started.
Are Purple Carrot prepared meals good?
According to online reviewers, many of the prepared meals from Purple Carrot are both flavorful and filling. The company has a rotating menu of prepared meals each week.
How do I choose between Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot?
A person should consider factors such as the price and selection. Overall, Purple Carrot may be better for people with a plant-based diet. Others may prefer the wider selection of recipes from Hello Fresh.