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Hello Fresh and Sunbasket are meal kit services offering home delivery of preselected ingredients and recipes.
This article describes and compares these brands to assist people who are considering trying their products.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Hello Fresh is a meal kit delivery company that began in Germany in 2011. The company expanded to the United States in 2014. It also operates Green Chef, which sells organic meal kits.
As of 2020, Hello Fresh has an estimated 5 million active customers worldwide. It delivers its meal kits in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Learn more about Hello Fresh here.
Sunbasket is also a meal kit delivery company. In 2014, Chef Justine Kelly and a group of technology investors founded the company.
Sunbasket utilizes mostly organic produce, antibiotic– and hormone-free meats, and seafood recommended as a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
It delivers to most of the U.S., excluding:
- North Dakota
- parts of New Mexico
Learn about some of the advantages and disadvantages of each brand below.
The Hello Fresh menu comes with various dietary options, including family-friendly and calorie smart. The company updates its menus weekly.
- many serving options
- recyclable packaging
- limited options for those with specific dietary preferences, such as vegan
- limited organic produce and ingredients
- no option for tailor-made plans to suit those with food allergies
Sunbasket has a reputation for its organic ingredients and a variety of dietary menu options, such as vegetarian, chef’s choice, and paleo. It also updates its menus each week.
- little preparation necessary
- mostly recyclable or compostable packaging
- meal kits and fresh and ready meals available
- relatively expensive
- does not cater to those with severe allergies
- few family-friendly options
Both Sunbasket and Hello Fresh allow their customers to select the day they would like their meal kits to arrive, desired recipes, and serving amounts.
The companies ship the kits to customers in boxes with special ice packs to keep produce cool and fresh.
|Cost||meal kits: 4 meals for 2 people per week is around $75|
shipping: around $9.99
fresh and ready: 6 meals per week is around $70
meal kits: 4 meals per week for 2 people is around $99
shipping: around $9.99
|Recipe change frequency||new meal options weekly||new meal options weekly|
|Servings||1 meal kit serves either 2 or 4 people||fresh and ready: 1 meal serves 1 person|
meal kits: 1 meal kit serves either 2 or 4 people
|Cooking time||up to 50 minutes||fresh and ready: around 3–5 minutes in a microwave|
meal kits: 15–40 minutes
|Dietary requirements||meat and veggies, vegetarian, family-friendly, calorie smart, and pescatarian||paleo, gluten-free, lean and clean, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, soy-free, low calorie, dairy-free, low sugar, and options to avoid meat|
|Average calorie count||around 600 calories||around 600–800 calories|
|Choice of delivery day?||any day of the week||yes, flexible delivery options are available in most but not all areas|
|Delivery area||anywhere in the U.S., except Alaska and Hawaii||most U.S. zip codes, excluding Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico|
|Skip a week?||yes||yes|
Hello Fresh offers 25+ recipes per week. Each meal has a corresponding time estimate for cooking, with most taking around 30 minutes.
Recently, the company started offering additional options, such as breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Some of its plan types include:
- Meat and veggies: A variety of meat, fish, vegetables, and seasonal produce.
- Vegetarian: Meals packed with seasonal vegetables.
- Family-friendly: Fast and easy to cook recipes that the company claims are “kid-tested.”
- Calorie smart: Meals containing around 650 calories.
- Quick and easy: Reduced preparation, cooking time, and clean-up.
- Pescatarian: A combination of seafood and vegetables.
Hello Fresh also offers a Gourmet Plus option, with more expensive cuts of meat and occasional specialty boxes, such as a holiday box with seasonal recipes.
Most of its meals suit lunch or dinner and have an average of around 650 calories per serving. Some, but not all, of the ingredients are organic.
- Meat and veggies:
- chicken orzo with cheese roasted zucchini and tomatoes
- rapid stir-fried beef and broccoli
- creamy shrimp tagliatelle with tomatoes, garlic, and chili
- southwest plant-based protein over rice
- veggie burrito bowls
- vegetarian bibimbap
- juicy lucy burgers
- Tuscan pork sausage and pepper spaghetti
- cheesy beef tostadas
- Calorie smart
- spicy Tunisian bulgar bowls
- one pot chicken noodle soup
- creamy lemon butter chicken
- Quick and easy
- sweet heat shrimp tempura bowls
- bulgogi style pork chops
- cheesy black bean tacos
- ginger-lime salmon
- veggie couscous bowl
- ginger tumeric talapia
Sunbasket offers up to 24 recipes per week, and their meal plan options include:
- Paleo: Meals full of meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts, and fruit.
- Diabetes-friendly: Dietitian-developed options rich in nutrients to support diabetes management and overall health.
- Gluten-free: Flavorsome, gluten-free meals.
- Mediterranean: Plant-based foods with natural, “good” fats and sustainable proteins.
- Lean and clean: Meals containing 600 calories or fewer.
- Fresh and ready: Single-serving meals ready in as little as 3 minutes.
- Carb-conscious: Protein- and vegetable-packed options, with 35 grams (g) of carbohydrates or fewer.
- Vegetarian: Balanced meat-free options.
- Pescatarian: Wild-caught or sustainably sourced seafood and organic vegetables.
- Chef’s choice: Organic, seasonal meals from award-winning chefs.
The company also offers many add-ons in the form of breakfasts, snacks, lunches.
- spicy scrambled egg bhurji with sweet potato toast
- Moroccan salmon in chraime sauce with cauliflower couscous salmon cakes with tahini
- pepper and onion–smothered Black Angus steaks with citrus salad
- blueberry-apricot pork chops with sautéed kale
- Sichuan glass noodle bowl with pork, cabbage, and carrots
- roasted chicken breast with sun-dried tomato sauce and broccoli
- hearty fish stew with tomatoes, kale, and coconut milk
- seared tuna and black rice bowls with roasted sweet potato and nori
- madras curry bowls with steamed rice, crispy tempeh, and cucumber
- black Angus rib-eyes with warm kale and romanesco salad
- Sicilian chicken breasts with salmoriglio sauce and broccoli
- orzo bowls with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and pistou
- Lean and clean:
- chipotle turkey chili, with cucumber sumac salad
- salmon with cilantro-lime sauce and pear-cashew salad
- steak with chimichurri and harissa-roasted sweet potatoes
- Fresh and ready:
- creamy linguine with peas and pancetta
- braised beef Panang curry
- sweet pea and broccoli risotto
- Thai turkey lettuce cups
- Vietnamese shaking beef with filet mignons and Muoi Tieu Chanh sauce
- green goddess steak salad with roasted carrots
- Tokyo fried rice with togarashi, edamame, and corn
- pappardelle with wilted greens, hazelnuts, and ricotta Salata
- chilaquiles verdes with soft-scrambled eggs, avocado, and queso fresco
- Chefs choice:
- pork chops with mostarda and wilted greens
- roasted salmon with pearl couscous and date-apple salad
- steak and sweet potato frites with kale and mushroom
Below we consider the pricing and shipping options for each company.
Meal plan prices vary depending on the number of people and recipes a person chooses per week. As an example, its most popular plan is for two people with three recipes per week. This comes to around $60 with an additional $9.99 shipping. The overall cost is around $70.
Meal plan prices vary depending on the number of people and recipes a person chooses per week. It also depends if a person chooses the meal kits or fresh and ready. The meal kits offer meals for two or four people up to five meals per week. Fresh and ready offers a maximum of 10 meals per week for one person.
Using Sunbasket’s example option, a person who orders six fresh and ready meals per week will spend about $72. A person who orders three meal kits per week for two people will spend around $81. Delivery costs $9.99, so, on average, a person could spend $80–90 per week.
Some alternative meal kit delivery companies include:
- Daily Harvest: Provides smoothies, soups, and bowls. Learn more about Daily Harvest here.
- Gobble: Offers meal kits that take no longer than 15 minutes to prepare and use only one pan.
- Hungryroot: Sells plant-based meals that take about 10 minutes to prepare.
- Purple Carrot: Offers vegetarian meal kits only. Learn more about Purple Carrot here.
- Yumble: Caters to children. Learn about the best meal delivery kits for children here.
A 2019 study suggests that cooking or partly cooking meals help families to add healthier foods into their weekly dietary intake. This could impact a person’s body mass index (BMI).
By eliminating the need for shopping and providing easy-to-follow and time-limited recipes, meal kits may help reduce some of the barriers to cooking healthy meals at home or ordering high calorie takeout options.
In one study, meal kit subscribers reported that they enjoyed higher quality food and greater menu variety than when they tried to cook from scratch at home.
Here are some common questions and answers relating to Hello Fresh and Sunbasket.
Is Sunbasket more expensive than Hello Fresh?
Although this is dependent on the meal plan that a person chooses, Hello Fresh can sometimes be more cost-effective than Sunbasket.
Is Sunbasket’s fresh and ready healthy?
Yes. The company uses 100% organic ingredients and meat from top-tier farms. Sunbasket’s in-house dietitians approve all meals. It also proportions its fresh and ready meals to be 400–800 calories and contain 10–30 grams (g) of protein. It also focuses on using unsaturated fats.
Is Hello Fresh healthy?
With a variety of dietary requirements catered for, Hello Fresh aims to help many people maintain a healthy lifestyle. It prides itself on sourcing the most ethical ingredients, with most being organic. All farm suppliers receive regular checks for high animal welfare standards.
Is Hello Fresh sustainable?
Yes. Hello Fresh has sustainability at the forefront of its ethos. It only uses suppliers who minimize extra food miles, warehousing, and food waste. It determines the portion of all meals to ensure minimum food wastage. It also works alongside Planetly to offset its carbon footprint.
Is Sunbasket sustainable?
Yes. Sunbasket works with eco-friendly farms and fishermen, using organic and well-sourced vegetables. Its packaging is also compostable.
Hello Fresh and Sunbasket are two meal kit delivery services. They both offer a wide choice of weekly recipes and flexible subscriptions. A person can subscribe to each service online. These services could help people lose or manage weight, depending on their usual diet and consumption of takeout food.