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Hello Fresh and Sunbasket are two meal kit services offering home delivery of preselected ingredients and recipes.
This article will describe and compare these brands to assist people who are considering trying their products.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
As of 2020, Hello Fresh had an estimated 5 million active customers worldwide. They deliver their meal kits in continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska.
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.
They deliver to most of the U.S., excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico.
Both Sunbasket and Hello Fresh allow their customers to select the day they would like their meal kits to be delivered, desired recipes, and servings amounts.
The companies ship the kits to customers in boxes with special ice packs to keep produce and proteins cool and fresh.
|Cost||Meal Kits: 4 meals for two people per week is around $80.|
Shipping: Around $8.99.
Fresh & Ready: 6 meals per week (one serving per meal) is around $30.
Meal Kits: 4 meals per week (2 servings per meal) is around $60.
Shipping: Around $9.99.
|Recipe change frequency||New meal options weekly.||New meal options weekly.|
|Servings||One meal kit serves either two or four people.||Fresh & Ready: One meal serves one person.|
Meal Kits: One bag serves two people or as specified by selection.
|Cooking time||Up to 50 minutes||Fresh & Ready: Around 3–5 minutes in a microwave.|
Meal Kits: Up to around 45 minutes.
|Dietary requirements||Meat & veggies, vegetarian, family-friendly, calorie smart, quick and easy, pescatarian||Paleo, carb-conscious, gluten-free, lean & clean, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, soy-free, family-friendly, dairy-free, vegan|
|Average calorie count||Around 650 calories||Around 400–800 calories|
|Choice of delivery day?||The choice between 3 different delivery days per 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|
Learn about some of the pros and cons of each brand below.
Hello Fresh offers up to 23 different recipes per week. Each meal has a corresponding time estimate for cooking, with most taking around 30 minutes.
Recently, the company has begun offering additional options, such as breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Some of their plan types include:
- meat & 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 they have “kid-tested”
- calorie smart — meals containing around 650 calories
- quick and easy — a cut-down of preparation, cooking time, and clean-up
- pescatarian — a combination of seafood and vegetables
Hello Fresh also offers a “Gourmet Plus” option, with pricier cuts of meat and occasional specialty boxes, such as a “holiday box” with seasonal recipes.
Most of their meals are suitable for lunch or dinner, and they average around 650 calories per serving. Some ingredients are organic, but not all.
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 & clean — meals containing 600 calories or less
- fresh & ready — single-serving meals ready in as little as 3 minutes
- carb-conscious — protein- and vegetable-packed options, with 35 grams 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.
Some alternative meal kit delivery companies include:
- Daily Harvest: They provide smoothies, soups, and bowls. Learn more about Daily Harvest here.
- Gobble: They offer meal kits that take no longer than 15 minutes to prepare and use only one pan.
- Hungryroot: They sell plant-based meals that take about 10 minutes to prepare.
- Purple Carrot: They only offer vegetarian meal kits. Learn more about Purple Carrot here.
- Yumble: They cater to children. Learn about the best meal delivery kits for children here.
Preparing meals at home can reduce a person’s intake of takeout food.
The researchers found that lack of choice in healthy foods when shopping and lack of cooking skills influenced a person’s decisions to eat higher fat foods.
Another study suggests that cooking or partly cooking meals helps families add healthier foods into their weekly dietary intake.
By eliminating the need for shopping and providing easy-to-follow and time-limited recipes, meal kits help reduce some of the barriers to cooking healthy meals at home.
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.