Compare Meal Delivery

From meal planning cost and culinary team to meal options and shipping & delivery, we research everything you need to compare meal delivery and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of meal delivery below.
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How we Compare Meal Delivery

Meal Planning Cost - 20%
Culinary Team - 15%
Meal Preparation - 15%
Ingredients - 15%
Subscription Options - 10%
Meal Options - 15%
Shipping & Delivery - 10%

Meal Planning Cost

Enrolling in a meal planning service can save you both time and money. Instead of dining out, it lets you enjoy different dishes in the comfort of your own home. Although each company has their own pricing system, the price of each meal varies based on portion size and choice of ingredients. Most companies have introductory offers, but in general, a long term subscription will save you the most money. Below are some of the things you should look out for when determining which meal planning service works best with your budget.

  • Shipping Fee
  • Price Per Serving
  • Weekly Total
  • Subscription Fee
  • Cancellation Fee

Meal Delivery with the Best Meal Planning Cost:

HelloFreshHome ChefGobbleTerra's KitchenPlatedMeal Time BoxLuke's LocalChef'dThe Purple Carrot
CostStarts at $8.75 per servingStarts at $9.95 per servingStarts at 11.95 per mealStarts at 3.99 per servingStarts at $46 per weekStarts at $8.50 per servingN/AStarts at $6 per servingStarts at $68 for Two-Person Plan

Culinary Team

When choosing a meal planning service, make sure to research the culinary team designing the dishes. If you're looking at specific dietary plans, it's doubly important to know that the people creating the menus are certified nutritionists. Many companies feature collaborations with celebrity chefs, who adapt some of their signature dishes to a home kitchen.

 

Meal Delivery with the Best Culinary Team:

Meal Preparation

Meal kits are meant to help home cooks easily prepare gourmet dinners without the hassle of shopping for specialty ingredients. When looking at the different recipe options, remember to take into account both your skill level and the amount of time you're willing to spend. Most meal kits are specifically designed to be simple and easy-to-prepare in half an hour or less. 

 

Meal Delivery with the Best Meal Preparation:

Ingredients

A huge factor in determining the success of a meal is the quality of ingredients used. Most of the companies we reviewed sourced their produce straight from partner farms and seafood suppliers, ensuring that all ingredients were fresh and of the highest quality. Also consider how the ingredients are packed. Some companies prioritize environmentally-friendly packaging, and others offer a freshness guarantee. 

Meal Delivery with the Best Ingredients:

HelloFreshHome ChefGobbleTerra's KitchenPlatedMeal Time BoxLuke's LocalChef'dThe Purple Carrot
Pre-Cooked
Pre-Portioned
Locally Sourced

Subscription Options

Meal kit providers should be able to offer a number of subscription options, from one-time orders to recurring weekly subscriptions. This should allow for anytime cancellation, skip or pause in weekly deliveries. One-time delivery options, for example, give clients the opportunity to test the waters before enrolling long term.

Meal Delivery with the Best Subscription Options:

Meal Options

All of the meal service we looked at had a wide variety of meal options or recipes, which changed on a rotating basis, according to the seasonal availability of certain ingredients. It's important to take the time to evaluate if the sample menu selection seems delicious to you, and if there are enough options to let you enjoy a wide variety of meals. Selections should include options for food allergies or special diets.  

Meal Delivery with the Best Meal Options:

HelloFreshHome ChefGobbleTerra's KitchenPlatedMeal Time BoxLuke's LocalChef'dThe Purple Carrot
Gluten-Free
Low Carb
Vegan
Soy-Free
Nut-Free
Protein
Meat
Paleo
Others

Shipping and Delivery

Most companies provide fixed schedules for deliveries which are usually set twice during weekdays. Some meal planning services also feature next-day delivery, which is convenient for  short notice orders. When it comes to meal delivery services, flexible delivery schedules are a must. The company should have a variety of delivery schedules catered to each individual customer's needs.

Meal Delivery with the Best Shipping and Delivery:

HelloFreshHome ChefGobbleTerra's KitchenPlatedMeal Time BoxLuke's LocalChef'dThe Purple Carrot
Shipping FeeFree$10 (Free on orders above $40)N/AFree$6 (Free shipping for customers who orders 3 or 4 dinner meals per week)Free$3.99 (Free shipping for orders over $50)Free on orders above $40Free
Delivery DateMonday to SaturdayTuesday through FridayTuesdays, Wednesdays, and ThursdaysClients are presented with delivery dates based on their locationDepends on the clientEvery 2 or 4 weeks on WednesdaysMonday to ThursdayBetween Tuesdays and SaturdaysTuesdays and Wednesdays every week depending on their area of residence
Expected Time of ArrivalN/AN/A8:00 am to 8:00 pmBetween 8:00 am and 9:00 pmBetween 8:00 am and 8:00 pmN/A3:00 pm to 8:00 pmBetween 8:00 am to 8:00 pmN/A

Full Meal Delivery Comparison

Meal Planning CostCulinary TeamMeal PreparationIngredientsSubscription OptionsMeal OptionsShipping and Delivery
BistroMD Diet Plans9.59.510.09.010.010.010.0
HelloFresh Meal Delivery9.89.69.89.69.59.59.8
Home Chef Meal Delivery9.89.89.610.09.79.59.0
Blue Apron Meal Delivery9.39.89.89.89.79.89.5
Munchery Meal Delivery9.69.79.89.69.89.59.7
Freshly Meal Delivery9.69.89.79.69.79.69.6
Marley Spoon Meal Delivery10.09.59.210.09.010.09.5
Gobble Meal Delivery9.310.010.08.610.010.09.9
Home Bistro10.09.59.010.09.510.09.0
Terra's Kitchen Meal Delivery9.79.69.59.210.09.69.8
Balance Diet by bistroMD10.09.09.09.510.010.09.5
Plated Meal Delivery9.29.89.59.69.59.89.7
Meal Time Box Meal Delivery9.89.89.49.89.59.09.0
Luke's Local Meal Delivery9.510.09.09.29.39.510.0
Trifecta Nutrition Meal Delivery10.09.79.09.09.59.59.5
Chef'd Meal Delivery9.09.39.59.59.59.89.8
Nutrisystem Meal Delivery9.09.09.09.89.09.810.0
Personal Chef To Go9.09.010.09.09.09.510.0
The Purple Carrot Meal Delivery8.010.09.010.010.07.010.0
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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Meal Delivery
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Brad D
Portland, Oregon
4/30/2017
We enjoyed Blue Apron for several months. We decided to cancel this weekend, due to their policy of so-called free dinners for friends. I tried to send a free dinner to my aunt in Florida. I told it was free, and that they would want you to sign up, etc., but to just enjoy the food, and if she liked it, to join up. I was so embarrassed when she wrote me back and said that Blue Apron required her to give them them her account number before they would send the food. We felt this to be very rude, and "SNEAKY" to get people to have a so-called FREE DINNER. Blue Apron, you really dropped the ball on this one, and I'm sure you'll bury this one in a pile of others.

William S
St. Petersburg, Florida
4/17/2017
The packing is the key. The food is on top on the ice packs and the container is left in the sun from the delivery company. Put the food in between ice packs so that the sun does not warm the product before the customer has a chance to take it inside their home/refrigerator.

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F P
Winslow, Washington
3/25/2017
Delicious meals delivered right to my door. I ordered the turkey, pork chop, meatballs, meatloaf, pasta and BBQ chicken. My husband and I, who eat light, shared each meal after we each added a salad on the side. I froze the meals and they are reheating perfectly. I like the fact that the meals are ready to eat, no cooking! I paused the meal delivery until we eat all of the meals and then I will order again. I like that I can pause the subscription and restart.

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Meal Delivery