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Hello Fresh and Sun Basket are two meal kit services offering home delivery of preselected ingredients and recipes.
This article will describe and compare these brands for 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 here is purely research-based.
Worldwide, as of 2020, Hello Fresh had an estimated 5 million active customers. They deliver their meal kits in the continental U.S, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Sun Basket are also a meal kit delivery company. Chef Justine Kelly and other technology investors founded the company in 2014.
Sun Basket utilize 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., including Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico.
Both Sun Basket 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 kits ship to customers in boxes that usually have special ice packs to keep produce and proteins cool.
Hello Fresh offer up to 23 different recipes per week. Each meal has a corresponding time estimate for cooking, with most taking around 30 minutes.
Some of their plan types include:
Hello Fresh also offer 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 of the weekly meals available include:
- honey-butter BBQ pork cutlets with mashed sweet potatoes and lemony green beans
- Moroccan chicken sausage tagine
- nacho-inspired crispy crust chicken
- roasted garlic and zucchini flatbreads
- sun-dried tomato spaghetti with fresh herbs, almonds, and parmesan
- zucchini and mushroom bibimbap bowls
Some ingredients are organic, but not all.
Sun Basket offer up to 24 recipes per week. The Classic meal kits take 30 minutes or under to prepare, while the Pre-prepped meal kits take 15–20 minutes to prepare.
Sun Basket’s meal plan options include:
- carb conscious
- lean and clean
- chef’s choice
- fresh and ready
Customers can upgrade to a “Chef’s Table” recipe, which includes higher cost proteins and seasonings. Sun Basket use organic produce 99% of the time.
Some sample menus include:
- beef stroganoff and spinach over zucchini “noodles”
- couscous salad with chicken, butternut squash, and broccoli leaves
- eggs in purgatory on spicy turkey, mushroom, and kale hash
- lemongrass turkey and rice noodle lettuce cups with coconut curry
- Mediterranean lemon chicken with baby broccoli, artichokes, and olives
- mu shu pork bowls with hoisin sauce
- savory sweet pea pancakes with lemon ricotta and blueberry slaw
- seared albacore tuna steaks with green beans and soft-cooked eggs
- shrimp-scallion pancakes with kimchi and cheddar
On average, their meals contain 400–800 calories per serving.
Both Sun Basket and Hello Fresh offer incentives for first-time subscribers. Customers can also cancel or skip at any time up to the weekly cutoff for an order.
The entry level subscription for Hello Fresh is intended to feed two people for three meals.
Their prices start at $8.99 per meal. A meal kit of three recipes for two servings is about $54, plus $8.99 shipping. A meal kit of two recipes per week for two servings per recipe is $12.49 per meal or roughly $50, plus $8.99 for shipping.
Hello Fresh also offer military and veteran discounts.
Sun Basket meals start at $8.99 per serving, with prices varying based on the number of recipes and servings. For example, a meal kit of three recipes per week with two servings per recipe totals $71.94 plus shipping. However, this varies based on location.
A meal kit of two recipes per week for two servings per recipe is $55.96. The maximum amount a person can order is four recipes per week with four servings.
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.
Other companies may also deliver preprepared meals. These are known as meal delivery services.
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.