I was recently gifted a free HelloFresh box from a friend who has been using and enjoying the deliveries she receives. I thought I would take advantage of this offer as she was very positive about the experience she had had with her deliveries and actually cooking the meals, and lets face it, who doesn’t love free? I also liked the fact that they could possibly teach me new methods of cooking or extend my current recipe portfolio, because I love learning to cook new meals that my family might enjoy.
She emailed me a link and I clicked on it and realised I would be able to choose what delivery I would want. I could choose from a Classic plan, Family plan or Veggie plan. Being a newbie I opted for the family box and found if I selected the ‘3 meals for 4 people’ option it would be delivered completely free. If you have more people to cook for or wanted to try more nights, you can also select that for a small cost. At this stage I began to wonder what mystery meals were going to be delivered, as I was unable to select what meals I wanted to include from their set menu.
I quickly discovered I would need to sign up. They make it easy and I could use Facebook to create an account before selecting what delivery schedule I was going to be on. Even though I had a coupon to cover the delivery for free, I still had to give my payment details being a credit card or PayPal information and go through the complete checkout process. I don’t mind, as I mentioned free food was coming! After entering all my information, I reviewed what I was ordering and pressed ‘place my order’. I quickly received an email with all the details of my order and also advising what day and time I had to make changes to my plan and meal selection. They also reminded me “Don’t forget that HelloFresh products are delivered weekly. You have just commenced a subscription which can be paused, changed or cancelled at any time and at no cost”.
In the email it also invites you to download their App and I thought this might be an easier way to manage meal selection and my subscription.
App installed, I could now select what actual meals we would like to receive. They give you 8 options, some are vegetarian, and some are naturally gluten free or low calorie. I decided to go with a pork, chicken and salmon dish, all naturally gluten free with similar cooking methods but different flavours and photos that made them look delicious!
Now to wait until delivery day!
I received a text message at 2:02am on the day of my delivery to say it had arrived! I peaked outside at 5:00am and sure enough there it was! I opened the box to find each meal was individually packaged with corresponding colour stickers to match each recipe card. The meat was inside a separate insulated bag with a gel ice pack to keep it cold and the box also contained a welcome booklet. Information about how to use the HelloFresh box contents, recycling tips, what items you will need to have in your kitchen to cook successfully, the food supply chain they use, how to read the recipe cards, staple pantry items you will need, cooking tips and how to manage your account to be found inside. Basically, a get started, how to guide for HelloFresh.
The box also contained 3 more free box codes to share with your friends as well as ‘give $50, get $50’ promotional flier. I’m starting to wonder how they are making money considering they are throwing away discounts and free meals to anyone who wants to take them.
Cooking the meals was easy and enjoyable for me, the food was fresh and tasty, if not a bit repetitive, (fry meat, veg cooked in oven) but I started to wonder about the value of these boxes if I had paid for them myself. The portions given were enough for us however the cost of the food versus if I sourced the food myself just didn’t add up. Yes it is convenient, and well thought out, but I menu plan regularly, research new meals to cook and shop with a budget that would allow similar meal selections. I can see why people would benefit from this service and do feel that in some households where people are time poor but enjoy cooking or money and tight budgets are not a concern, this could work well. For us though, a family with young children where money is not to be wasted it unfortunately is not an option.
My overall impression is that HelloFresh offers a great convenient way to order meals for the person who is time poor but enjoys cooking and has no restrictions in their food budget. They make it easy to identify what food goes with what recipe, offer clear and simple instructions to prepare the meals and have a focus on environmental and sustainable practices.