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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Meal planning services can be an invaluable resource for families, home cooks, students, or simply busy people who can’t consistently find the time to plan or prepare their meals. You can spend less time shopping for ingredients, try new foods, and manage food waste, since you only get the quantity of ingredients you'll actually use for the recipe. Most companies have an ample variety of recipes to choose from, simple step-by-step instructions, and portioned ingredients (some even pre-cut them for you!). Another selling point for many people is that these services often have established ties to suppliers who practice regenerative farming, sustainable seafood and animal husbandry, resulting in higher-quality, guilt-free ingredients.

These delivery services can be a healthy alternative to ordering fast food or over the counter, readymade meals. So, whether you're looking to cut down on your carb intake or have specific food allergies, you can take advantage of specialized recipes tailored to your dietary needs. Some offer plans for diabetics, weight management, special diets, and family packages; the idea is to simplify and streamline your meal preparation.

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:

Home ChefHelloFreshMeal Time BoxGobbleLuke's LocalTerra's KitchenChef'dThe Purple Carrot
CostStarts at $9.95 per servingStarts at $8.75 per servingStarts at $8.50 per servingStarts at 11.95 per mealN/AStarts at 3.99 per servingStarts 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:

Home ChefHelloFreshMeal Time BoxGobbleLuke's LocalTerra's KitchenChef'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:

Home ChefHelloFreshMeal Time BoxGobbleLuke's LocalTerra's KitchenChef'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:

Home ChefHelloFreshMeal Time BoxGobbleLuke's LocalTerra's KitchenChef'dThe Purple Carrot
Shipping Fee$10 (Free on orders above $40)FreeFreeN/A$3.99 (Free shipping for orders over $50)FreeFree on orders above $40Free
Delivery DateTuesday through FridayMonday to SaturdayEvery 2 or 4 weeks on WednesdaysTuesdays, Wednesdays, and ThursdaysMonday to ThursdayClients are presented with delivery dates based on their locationBetween Tuesdays and SaturdaysTuesdays and Wednesdays every week depending on their area of residence
Expected Time of ArrivalN/AN/AN/A8:00 am to 8:00 pm3:00 pm to 8:00 pmBetween 8:00 am and 9:00 pmBetween 8:00 am to 8:00 pmN/A

Full Meal Delivery Comparison

Meal Planning CostCulinary TeamMeal PreparationIngredientsSubscription OptionsMeal OptionsShipping and Delivery
Blue Apron Meal Delivery9.59.89.89.89.79.89.5
BistroMD Diet Plans10.09.510.08.410.010.010.0
Home Chef Meal Delivery9.89.89.610.09.79.59.0
Munchery Meal Delivery9.69.79.89.69.89.59.7
Freshly Meal Delivery9.69.89.79.69.79.69.6
Trifecta Nutrition Meal Delivery10.09.79.010.09.59.59.5
Home Bistro10.09.59.010.09.510.09.0
HelloFresh Meal Delivery9.89.59.39.69.59.89.8
Balance Diet by bistroMD10.09.09.09.510.010.09.5
Marley Spoon Meal Delivery10.09.09.010.09.010.09.5
Meal Time Box Meal Delivery9.29.89.49.89.59.59.4
Gobble Meal Delivery10.010.010.08.010.09.09.5
Luke's Local Meal Delivery9.510.09.09.29.39.510.0
Terra's Kitchen Meal Delivery9.79.69.58.410.09.69.8
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
Maria Guerrero
Merrick, New York
2/17/2017
Hola como están people quiero garbarme me gift card

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Alan Sharpe
Belleville, New Jersey
10/19/2016
My wife ordered us Blue Apron because we've been so busy with work and trying to get everything in order. Plus, neither of us are really good cooks. This was the perfect program to help us be able to learn how to cook and make decent meals. I know I was tired of take out and so was she!!

Lisa Weddle Alexander
10/13/2016
I ordered 3 meals for 2 people. All of the veggies were fresh, herbs were fresh, meat was chicken and pork chop. I loved that all of the items were packaged together with a label telling you which veggies/spices goes with the recipe card. I only cooked one meal because I had to work over so I gave them to my sisters to try. Our meal was goo and my husband is a picky eater. Everythings was fresh.

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