Home Chef Vs. Hello Fresh (2020) | Services Tried & Compared!

Diana Reed – Culinary Nutritionist

A few months ago, I stumbled across Home Chef and Hello Fresh as I was thinking of ways to get warm, freshly cooked for my family. I’ll admit, both meal kit delivery services offer meal options that look delicious and easy enough to prepare. 

But it was hard deciding which one was right for our family of five—I imagine it would be hard for you as well.

To save you the trouble, I compared both meal kit delivery services based on their meal variants, cost, taste, nutritional value, and other important aspects.

Meal Options Compared

Both Hello Fresh and Home Chef offer different cuisines ranging from Italian to Mexican to Classic American and even Mediterranean meal kits. 

The variety in meal options also extends to featured components used in each dish which allows you to focus on poultry, vegetables, meat, or seafood as you wish. I found that the variety is helpful especially considering my main goal is to be able to serve warm, freshly cooked healthy food to my family without repeating the same meals throughout the week.

Although both companies offer a mix of different cuisines and base ingredients, they offer vastly differing menus each week, which leads me to my favorite part of the process: choosing your food. One of the most positive things about meal kit delivery services like these two is being able to choose which food you’ll end up cooking.

This means my kids were able to join in the process of picking out our food.

By the time we all sat down to have our meals, you would only hear blissful silence and bated breaths as my kids waited for the food they picked out to be served.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh offers a wider variety of meal plans to choose from. This company features a rotating menu that changes each week.

 If you think you missed out on a recipe from last week that sounded delicious, don’t worry! Customer favorites come back each week under the Hall of Fame section.

  • Hello Fresh lets you choose between four meal plans. Each meal plan will be able to choose from an existing menu plus three to eight new recipes each week depending on which plan you’re on.
  • There are roughly 15 recipes on the weekly menu.
  • Hello Fresh gives you one 20-minute meal kit option each week for when you know you need a quick meal.
  • All recipes on the Family-friendly Plan are tested and approved by kids and picky eaters.
  • Delivery Area: 48 States
  • Average Price: over $8 per serving
  • Shipping Cost: $7.99

Meal Options:

vegetarian, poultry, seafood, omnivore, organic

Popular Dishes:

crunchy curried chickpea bowls, pork sausage, and broccoli gnocchi, caesar crunch chicken, beef bulgogi bowls, pasta parmesan

Number of Portions:

two or four servings

Number of Meals per Week:

three to five

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Home Chef

Home Chef gives you access to a menu of more than ten dishes each week. Each weekly menu meets a wide variety of dietary restrictions such as low-calorie, gluten-free, vegetarian, and soy-free options.
It doesn’t stick to dinner meal kits; they also have a variety of breakfast meal variants, as well as a few no-cook lunch dishes that will only take 5 minutes to prepare.

HC applies a unique Customize It feature that allows you to customize the meals you order on their website. This feature lets you double up on your protein servings as well as make certain adjustments to the recipe by swapping out some of the ingredients.

  • Delivery Area: 48 States
  • Average Price: over $9 per meal
  • Shipping Cost: Free
Meal Options:
 
poultry, vegetarian, weight loss, organic
 
Popular Dishes:
 
farmhouse fried chicken, blackened chicken salad, chicken pad thai, pork shumai meatballs, umami burger
 
Number of Portions:
 
two, four, or six servings
 
Number of Meals per Week:
 
two to six

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Summary: Both services are dedicated to delivering sustainably-sourced ingredients and delicious recipes that allow you to have a home-cooked meal with less hassle. Hello Fresh is an ideal option if you’re looking for specific meal plans like family-friendly nutrition or low-calorie diets. On the other hand, Home Chef provides a better variety of meal choices throughout each week with more options for the number of meals and portions you can get. Both meal kits are good for 1 person.

HomeChef

Plans & Prices Compared

Hello Fresh and Home Chef offer vastly differing plans and price options. For example, with Hello Fresh, you can choose from four meal plan options while Home Chef sticks to one plan for everyone. Take a closer look at their plans and pricing below.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh plans are custom-tailored according to your plan preferences and number of servings. This means your plan will range from roughly $8 to $11 per serving. Shipping is not included in this pricing, but it is included in the final meal kit pricing. You can choose between two or four servings and three to five meals per week. There are also four meal plans to choose from:

  • Classic Plan – the classic plan involves meat and vegetable meal kits. Selecting this plan will add eight new recipes to your menu each week.
  • Veggie Plan – the veggie plan focuses strictly on vegetarian and vegan meal variants. This plan adds five plant-based meal kits to your menu each week.
  • Family Plan – the family-friendly meal-boxes include recipes that are kid-friendly as well as adult-friendly. This plan allows you to choose from 20 recipes on a weekly basis.
  • Calorie Smart – the low-calorie plan provides you with dietitian-approved low-calorie meal options that stay under 650 calories per serving. Like the family-friendly plan, you’ll be able to choose from 20 calorie-smart meals each week. 


Hello Fresh meal kits will cost you around $62 to $98 shipping included depending on the plan and number of meals and servings you choose.

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Home Chef

Home Chef’s pricing is less complicated because it only offers one meal plan so there aren’t any options for you to choose from plan-wise. However, this delivery gives you the ability to customize your meal by upgrading it, doubling your protein portions or swapping certain ingredients. 

 

Their meal plan will cost you around $10 per serving, and shipping is included in the price. 

You can choose from two, four, or six serving variants and you can also choose to get anywhere from two to six kits each week. Kit prices vary greatly and will cost you roughly $40 to $360.

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Summary: Either Hello Fresh or Home Chef is a good choice if you’re looking for a variety of easy to follow, delicious recipes that cater to several dietary restrictions like gluten-free and soy-free food. Ultimately, choosing a firm based on the plans would depend on the number of people you’re trying to order your food for. If you only need food for a group of four and would like to save more, Hello Fresh is an ideal option. On the other hand, if you’re ordering for a group of six, or if you need more than five meals each week, Home Chef is better suited for you.

HelloFresh

Best For Environment and Minimizing Trash (Packaging)

Don’t get me wrong; meal delivery services make it so much easier for my family to eat healthy food when I’m not able to plan and prep everything ahead of time. But it also takes a toll on the environment. Not all meal kit delivery services utilize eco-friendly packaging solutions, and sometimes they even come excessively packed.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh utilizes mostly eco-friendly packaging. As much as possible, you’ll find that your food is packaged in a cardboard box and several types of paper instead of the usual plastic packaging.

Admittedly, this may result in a sanitary issue for some, but Hello Fresh does a clean and thorough enough job of packing their food, that you don’t have to worry about anything.

Home Chef

Home Chef, on the other hand, takes sanitation seriously. While your meal kits are delivered in a cardboard box, the company opts to package each meal in individual pouches.

This comes in handy if you ordered several meals for the week and need to refrigerate or put other meals in the freezer until you’re ready to use them, but it can also get frustrating since each ingredient is packed in separate plastic bags aside from the pouch your meal comes in.

However, it is important to note that each box comes with very clear recycling instructions.

Summary: Overall, Hello Fresh is the ideal option if you were to consider their services solely on how eco-friendly their packaging is. Home Chef utilizes plastic a bit too much in packaging their components. However, it is commendable that the company at least made an effort to instruct their subscribers on the best way to handle their plastic waste.

Quality of Ingredients

Both Hello Fresh and Home Chef advocate for quality, locally-sourced produce, and protein. Hello Fresh opts to not focus on delivering more fresh and high-quality fruits and vegetables instead of all-organic produce. Home Chef, on the other hand, puts emphasis on sustainability and guarantees that its ingredients are not only fresh and sustainably-sourced but that you’ll receive all-natural products as well.

Hello Fresh

  • Hello Fresh sources their seafood from Seafood Watch which provides them with wild-caught sustainable seafood.

Hello Fresh focuses on the protein that doesn’t contain added hormones or antibiotics. They’re also sourced from farms that provide the animals with a healthy, nurturing environment free from as much stress as possible.

Home Chef

Home Chef focuses on sustainable practices above everything else. While they try to source their ingredients locally as much as possible, they take pride in partnering with suppliers that are reliable and sustainably farm their ingredients. 

  • Home Chef is partnered with Sea to Table which is well known for its highly sustainable practices in catching seafood.

Home Chef partners with World Wide Farms officially for their poultry and protein needs. WWF is well-known for its sustainable practices and advocacy for humane animal farming practices.

Summary: Overall, both companies promise to deliver high-quality components with high sustainability. However, Home Chef has the clear advantage since they partner with suppliers that are better known in the industry for their humane and sustainable practices.

Nutrition Facts & Taste

Both Hello Fresh and Home Chef employ the services of talented chefs and dieticians. This means their meals are well accounted for when it comes to nutritional value. Moreover, they’re essentially equal when it comes to taste since it depends on your personal preferences.

Hello Fresh

  • Hello Fresh might appear to have fewer portions compared to Home Chef; their food options are more well-balanced and offer better nutrition. However, that isn’t to say that their meals will leave you wanting. Their serving portions are large enough to fill you up, but there are very little chances of having leftovers.

Home Chef

  • Home Chef focuses less on calorie count and puts a heavy emphasis on filling food. Most of their meal servings are larger than Hello Fresh variants and will keep you well satiated until your next meal.

Summary: Hello Fresh provides meals with a higher nutritional value simply because they add in ingredients that are more nutritionally-balanced compared to Home Chef. That said, Home Chef does offer larger serving portions and nutritional values are clearly labeled when you’re selecting your meals.

Signing Up And Canceling Experience

Both services allow you to sign up and switch or customize your plan according to your needs each week. It’s an easy, straightforward process that doesn’t require help from customer support, nor would it take you more than five minutes to do so unless you take your time choosing your meals.

It gets a little trickier when you deal with cancellations. While both services allow for a cancellation, they have their own unique policies.

Hello Fresh

You can choose to cancel or pause your account for any reason as long at the request is submitted before 12 PM CT, Friday of each week. This will guarantee that you won’t be charged nor will you be receiving a meal kit box the next week.

Home Chef

Hello Fresh does not charge for cancellations as long as you submit your request on time. However, you will need to make sure that your request to pause or cancel your next delivery is five days before the next scheduled delivery at 23:59 PST.

Best Alternatives

If you’re not entirely convinced that either Hello Fresh or Home Chef will work for you and your family, I suggest looking into Martha and Marley Spoon or Sunbasket. Let’s take a closer look at these two alternatives and why I recommend them:

Logo Sunbasket

  • Sunbasket. This service provides you with two meal plan options. You can choose between meal kit deliveries or ready to eat delivery. They’re ready to eat food company is relatively new. However, it’s ideal if you’re looking for a more versatile delivery service that can send you food that’s either ready to eat straight from the fridge or would only take you a few minutes to heat up in the oven.

Martha & Marley Spoon

  • Martha and Marley Spoon is ideal if you’re looking for a delivery company that provides you with creative ways to cook your food, minimal packaging, and fresh components. It may not be the best option for beginners since some of the recipes are a bit more challenging, but if you want to feel well-accomplished by the end of cooking your meal, you’ll enjoy their recipe options.

What Service Is the Best?

Both companies will give you your money’s worth with sustainably sourced ingredients, highly nutritious meals, and seamless buyer experience on either website. However, we found that while Home Chef only gives you one meal plan option, their menu choices are more versatile. Moreover, Home Chef’s unique Customize It feature gives them an edge by allowing you to more easily personalize your meal selections before it’s delivered to you.

While we commend Hello Fresh and its advocacy for locally-sourced, well-balanced, and nutritious meals in eco-friendly packaging, their recipes usually stick to classic dishes that have simpler flavor profiles and may seem less exciting after the first few boxes.

Overall, following the Home Chef review, it is the better option if you’re looking for more satiating and flavorful meals with more variety.

Home Chef
5/5

While we commend Hello Fresh and its advocacy for locally-sourced, well-balanced, and nutritious meals in eco-friendly packaging, their recipes usually stick to classic dishes that have simpler flavor profiles and may seem less exciting after the first few boxes.

Overall, Home Chef is the better option if you’re looking for more satiating and flavorful meals with more variety.

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