Marley Spoon vs Hello Fresh (2021 Update) | Tried & Compared!

Hello Fresh is the meal kit delivery service that got me hooked on these kinds of subscriptions.

Diana Reed – Culinary Nutritionist

But a while back, while visiting my sister, she served me a plate of delicious crunchy sesame shrimp that had me asking for the recipe, which turned out to be from Marley Spoon.

By the time I got back, I had decided to try out Martha’s meal kits. 

Don’t get me wrong—HelloFresh still has a place in my heart. 

But Martha and Marley Spoon wins when it comes to flavor and meal complexity.

Cost per Meal

  • MS – under $10
  • Hello Fresh – under $9

Average Weekly Cost

  • MS – around $163 p/w
  • HelloFresh – around $88 p/w

Shipping Cost

  • Marley Spoon – under $9
  • HelloFresh – around $8

Meal Plans

  • MS
    • Two People
    • Four People
  • HF
    • Meat and Vegetables
    • Vegetarian
    • Kid-Friendly
    • Calorie Smart
    • Quick and Easy
    • Pescatarian 

Meals p/w

  • MarleySpoon
    • Two to six recipes
  • HelloFresh
    • Two to five recipes and an opportunity to join Wine Club!

Minimum Order

  • MarleySpoon – Two recipes p/w for two people
  • HelloFresh – Two servings and two meals p/w

Serving Options

  • MarleySpoon
    • Two and four people
  • HelloFresh
    • Two and four people

Number of Recipes on the Menu

  • MS
    • Around 22 recipes 
  • HF
    • Around 20 recipes

Popular Dishes

  • MS
    • Eggplant casarecce with capers and mint
    • Crunchy sesame shrimp with grapes, romaine lettuce, and chiles
    • Vietnamese pork chops with brussels sprouts and fish sauce
    • Gluten-free goat’s cheese pasta with green beans, sweet corn, and mint
    • Fish stick roll with slaw and smoky mayonnaise
  • HF
    • Pork sausage spaghetti bolognese
    • Kickin’ BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches
    • Smokehouse pulled chicken bowls
    • Santa fe pork tacos
    • Figgy balsamic pork

Delivery Coverage

  • SunBasket – most of the contiguous states in the US
  • HelloFresh – 48 states in the US

Review Summary: Hello Fresh and MarleySpoon—better known as the Martha Stewart meal kit delivery services, are two companies that offer some of the healthiest pre made meals in the industry. MS’s menu and recipe variety are better, more sophisticated, and are better suited for you if you want a more adventurous menu and access to a recipe archive of over 2,500 meals as a subscriber. On the other hand, HelloFresh is good in terms of sometimes including premium meat and fresh, organic ingredients. However, their recipe variety sticks to a simpler, more traditional approach.

Best Meal Options Compared

Martha

On the surface, both meal kit services are very similar. They provide a good selection of healthful meals to choose from and deliver raw ingredients to you alongside recipe cards so you can cook a whole meal—or more, at home with less hassleBoth services rely on a rotating weekly menu with around 20 recipes to choose from.

The recipes include vegetarian, omnivore, and carnivore meals, among others. Your meal kits will come well-organized and sorted, so it won’t be difficult for you to rummage through your bix trying to figure out which food items need to be used for each recipe.

Martha & Marley Spoon

Martha and Marley Spoon

This service offers slightly more options on their weekly menu compared to HelloFresh.

MS has at least 22 recipes to choose from each week that fall under five specific categories. I like how you’re able to mix and match meals from each category unlike others that set a specific menu according to your dietary preferences. 

  • Their meals are categorized under Health and Diet, Vegan, Meat, and Fish, Under 30 Minute Recipes, and Family or Kid-Friendly. The good thing about these selections is that they matter very little when you start selecting your meals. You’re still able to view all your options on the weekly menu, but they’re clearly labelled so you can easily identify which category each meal is designed for.
  • There are some recipes that are free from specific allergens. But other than gluten-free options, there aren’t any choices that cater specifically to other diet restrictions or allergens like nuts, dairy, etc. 
  • Each recipe has a full dropdown of ingredients. You only need to click on it, and it will show you exactly what goes into the meal so you can decide for yourself. 
  • This company focuses on dinner options and doesn’t have a selection of a la carte food items or add-ons.

.

hello-fresh

Hello Fresh

HelloFresh on the other hand has six meal preferences with a selection of up to 20 recipes each week. Like MarleySpoon, the variety changes each week and reflects different dietary options. 

Unlike MMS where you’re able to freely select meals across all preferences, HelloFresh limits the meal selection for their specific plans like the veggie plan option.

  • You can choose between six menu preferences: meat and veggies, vegetarian, family-friendly, calorie smart, quick and easy, classic plan and pescatarian.
  • If you choose the meat, family plan and veggies plan, you’re able to view all meals under each meal preference.
  • Each meal preference has a specific menu dedicated to meeting your dietary needs.
  • They offer some dinner-lunch options which allow you to use leftovers from last night’s dinner to create a new recipe for lunch the following day.
  • HelloFresh also offers a wine subscription which costs around $15 a bottle with each box you order.

.

My Experience Using These Two Services

HelloFresh

One of the things that annoy me with any service like HelloFresh and MarleySpoon is the inability to choose your meals prior to checkout. I like to be able to decide whether this week’s menu interests me before I make a payment. Unfortunately, both companies “fail” in this regard. You will be prompted to check out before you’re able to choose your meals. 

Aside from that, ordering was a relatively smooth process in both cases. There is a progress bar on the top of each page you’re directed to so you know exactly where you are in the ordering process. 

My kits were delivered as scheduled and well secured, so I didn’t have any issue with feeling like my food might have been tampered with on its way to me. Each company also took the time to pack my ingredients well, so there weren’t any beat up produce in any of my boxes. 

As for prep and cooking time, I found that HelloFresh generally followed simpler recipes, which meant most meals I had to cook under the company were less finicky and easier to prepare

On the other hand, while Marley Spoon’s meals weren’t Michelin-star quality, there were options that were a bit more complex. 

This meant I needed to spend upwards of 30 minutes prepping and cooking my food. This isn’t a particularly bad thing. In fact, I found that I enjoyed the extra steps and learned a lot of different techniques while preparing my dinner.

Best Menu Selection

Marta and HelloFresh

Both companies do a decent job of giving you options to choose from when it comes to their weekly menus. 

You get to pick out of at least twenty recipes from a rotating menu each week, and the meals account for different diets like vegetarian, low-calorie, and classic omnivore meals.

Martha & Marley Spoon

MarleySpoon doesn’t focus on dietary restrictions or specific meal preferences on their weekly menu. 

While their offers fall into one of five categories, you’re free to mix and match meals as you please and everyone gets to choose from the same menu regardless of your recipe options.

  • There are up to 22 recipes to choose from each week. 
  • The recipes are clearly labelled according to a category which shows you whether a meal is vegetarian, quick and easy, classic, and more. 
  • You’re free to choose your meals as you please.
  • You can opt to receive a vegetarian box.
  • MarleySpoon exclusively features Martha Stewart recipes. The recipe difficulty ranges from easy to slightly difficult, with more preparation and steps to execute.

.

hello-fresh

Hello Fresh

On the other hand, Hello Fresh offers specific menus for each of their meal preferences. 

Some recipes that apply to certain dietary options will be seen across multiple menus but you’re not able to mix and match across menus as you wish. 

  • They have a selection of up to 20 recipes for each menu each week. 
  • There are six menus to choose from: meat and veggies, vegetarian, kid-friendly, low-calorie, quick and easy, and pescatarian.
  • They do not cater to specific dietary restrictions like gluten and dairy-free. However, some of their meals can qualify for certain diets.
  • You can not mix and match meals across different menus.
  • HelloFresh has a limited selection of add-on snacks, fruit boxes, and gourmet recipes for special events. 

.

Martha & Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh Prices

Both companies rely on the number of servings and meals you select each week; this means that regardless of the meals you select or your dietary options, you’ll be paying the same amount as advertised at the start of your sign up process. 

Marley Spoon is significantly more expensive compared to HelloFresh. However, it’s important to note that Martha’s food kit delivery service focuses on food that is less simple which may be the reason why it’s a couple of dollars more expensive.

Martha & Marley Spoon

This company charges an additional shipping fee of around $9 per box. The prices get cheaper the more meals per week you choose, so you’re essentially saving money when you buy more. 

Two Person Plan

  • 2 meals – around $10 per portion or under $50 p/w
  • 3 m-s – under $9 per portion or under $63 p/w
  • 4 m-s – under $8.50 per portion or under $77 p/w
  • 5 m-s – under $8.30 per portion or under $92 p/w
  • 6 m-s – under $8 per portion or under $104 p/w

Four Person Plan

  • 2 m-s – under $8.50 per portion or under $77 p/w
  • 3 m-s – under $7.50 per portion or under $99 p/w
  • 4 m-s – under $7 per portion or under $121 p/w
  • 5 m-s – under $6.8 per portion or under $150 p/w
  • 6 m-s – around $6.4 per portion or under $163 p/w

.

hello-fresh

Hello Fresh

HelloFresh has the same pricing system as MarleySpoon that relies on the number of meals per week and servings you choose to determine how much it’ll cost you.

Shipping costs around $8 per box or free for your first order.

One of the things that I like about Hello Fresh pricing is that it doesn’t rely on your meal preferences, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the veggie option and having it hike up the price.

Two People Portions

  • 2 m-s – around $12 per serving
  • 3 m-s – around $9 per serving
  • 4 m-s – around $9 per serving
  • 5 m-s – around $9 per serving

Four People Portions

  • 2 m-s – around $9 per serving
  • 3 m-s – about $8 per serving
  • 4 m-s – under $8 per serving

.

Packaging & Delivery

One thing I appreciate about both companies is their commitment to recyclable and sustainable packaging. Many similar companies contribute to waste with the amount of packaging materials used. Although this can’t be avoided for food safety reasons, minimizing the environmental impact using recyclable materials is possible. 

I like how both services packed each recipe into individual paper bags (like services: Sun Basket, Blue Apron, Green Chef), which allowed me to segregate them more easily instead of having to rummage through a random assortment of ingredients to prep and store my food properly.

Customer Service & Support

I appreciate when companies are easy to reach and eager to help with any concerns you may have. Aside from the extensive FAQs page on each service’s website, you can reach Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh easily through their various contact options, which include emailing. 

Their customer support teams are approachable, helpful, and straightforward. I didn’t have any issues skipping a week or asking about certain issues that concerned me.

Signing Up And Cancelling

Signing up and canceling or skipping a week on both platforms was easy and free from any complications. First, let’s talk about the signing up process, which is similar for both companies.

Marley SpoonBoth HelloFresh and MarleySpoon show a progress tracker at the top of the page, which lets you know how far along you are in the signing up process. It’s easy to sign up and shouldn’t take more than five minutes to do.

One thing I didn’t appreciate, though, is that in both cases, you’re prompted to pay for your subscription before you’re able to choose your meals.

It’s a minor inconvenience, but it’s an unwelcome one, especially if—like me, you want to be able to preview the menu before making a commitment.

The most time-consuming part of the process is choosing your meals, which is neither a pro nor a con. As for canceling or skipping a week, both companies allow you to cancel your subscription as long as you do it before the weekly cutoff.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh

There are many factors that go into choosing the right meal kit delivery service for you and your family. Because of this, I’ve answered a few of the most asked questions I get asked about Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh below.

HelloFresh is a couple of dollars cheaper compared to Martha and MarleySpoon. An average HelloFresh meal will cost you under $9 while Marley Spoon costs under $13.

Dinnerly focuses on recipes that use a maximum of 7 ingredients that are easy to prepare and takes less time. Think of it as a more minimalist meal kit delivery service. MarleySpoon on the other hand, features a diverse range of recipes with varying levels of prep difficulty.

Home Chef is slightly cheaper compared to HelloFresh. Their dinners cost an average of under $10 per serving while their five-minute lunch recipes cost under $8 a portion.

Final Words. Which is Better? Marley Spoon or HelloFresh?

HelloFresh and Marley Spoon are two well-known meal kit delivery services in the industry. 

A HelloFresh meal is marginally cheaper compared to MarleySpoon and offers better variety when you look at specific meal preferences.

Their weekly menu caters to six different options that have their own respective menus to meet your needs. Their meals are also simpler and more traditional compared to Martha’s recipes. 

Despite Marley Spoon’s slightly higher cost, it provides a more cost-effective service considering the fact that there are over 22 different recipes to choose from each week.

Their meals also provide a better learning experience since they incorporate varying difficulty levels of food preparation into their weekly menu.