Freshly Shut Down for Good, But Here Are 9 Meal Kits That Can Make Your Life Easier
Meal kit delivery services have been around for quite some time. The first one—Middagsfrid— launched in 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden. After it spread all across Europe into countries like Spain, Switzerland, and Belgium, the meal kit sensation quickly made its way across the rest of the globe. Companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh were next in line, further popularizing the concept of having your pre-measured dinner ingredients delivered straight to your door. And by 2020, with an unexpected global pandemic keeping more people at home than ever before, meal delivery services reportedly saw a 69% market growth rate. According to Market Analysis Report published by Grand View Research, the meal kits delivery market is expected to grow at a rate of 17.4% between 2022 and 2030.
Despite the burst of success for meal kit services over the last couple of years, some of these same companies seem to be struggling in more ways than one. Blue Apron reported a loss of over $26 million dollars at the end of Q4 in 2021, and in December 2022 the company announced it was laying off roughly 10% of their employees. HelloFresh, a German company, saw stock share prices reportedly drop about 70% over the course of 2022. Freshly, another popular meal delivery company, recently announced that it will no longer continue to provide its direct-to-consumer services and would cease operations.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the Freshly meal delivery service will be ceasing operations. This is a difficult time as we say goodbye to our incredible community," Freshly announced on the homepage of its website.
Though disappointing, Freshly's closing doesn't come as a total shock, as the company has reportedly faced gradual staff and operation reductions over the course of 2022. Prior to shuttering completely, the company laid off 138 people in a New York facility and 329 employees in Arizona.
Fans of Freshly are devastated to see this service go, but fortunately, there are still a ton of remaining meal delivery kit companies to choose from. In fact, here are 9 of the best meal kits you can try that will still make your life a whole lot easier.
A meal kit that offers a wide variety of food options, HelloFresh comes with perfectly proportioned ingredients to make your cooking process as easy as possible. The plans they offer are flexible, and you can skip a week when needed. HelloFresh prides itself on being a sustainable company, producing very little food waste and offering fully recyclable boxes with every delivery. Every meal comes with a detailed description of the nutritional value for each dish, along with the full recipe and cooking instructions. If this isn't convincing enough, HelloFresh was USA Today's No. 1 choice for 10 Best Meal Delivery Kits of 2022.
The one downside is that the company doesn't offer meal plan preferences that are gluten-free or dairy-free. However, according to the HelloFresh website, it does provide a weekly vegan selection.
Cost: Starts at $60.95 per week
Types of Meals Available: With plans like Meat & Veggies, Family Friendly, Veggie, Fit & Wholesome, Pescatarian, and Quick & Easy, you can select meals based on your personal dietary preferences and needs.
What Customers Say: "The recipes are delicious and I love knowing that I'm getting fresh vegetables every day. They have solved the biggest pain point for me when it comes to cooking, and that's meal planning and shopping. I hate them both so this gives me all the fun of cooking with none of the drudgery."–Linda
Blue Apron, which has been around for over 10 years, offers chef-crafted meals delivered straight to your door on a weekly basis. According to Blue Apron's website, 80% of Blue Apron ingredients come directly from producers. Also, its known as a carbon-neutral company, so you can have peace of mind that you're paying for ethical quality. Dishes from Blue Apron include options like fish, chicken, turkey, meat, plant-based meat, and ingredients that are diabetes-friendly or Weight Watchers-approved. The ingredients are proportioned to the exact measurement needed for the recipe, so nothing is wasted in the process.
Cost: Starts at $57.95 per week
Types of Meals Available: You can pick your meal kit preferences based on Chef Favorites, Wellness, Family Friendly, Fast & Easy, or Veggies.
What Customers Say: "We have greatly enjoyed trying new recipes each week and not having to stress about meal planning so much! The food is always super tasty and we are eating at home so much more!"–Laura
If you're looking for a meal delivery service that is affordable, quick, and easy to cook, you may want to try EveryPlate. You'll have between 21–25 recipes to choose from every week, and recipe only requires six steps to have a delicious, fully cooked meal. EveryPlate's dishes also only take 30 minutes or less from start to finish, so you can save plenty of time during those busy weeknights.
Cost: Starts at $12.54 per box
Types of Meals Available: You can choose between Meat & Veggie, Veggie, Family Friendly, Quick & Easy, Nutrish & Delish.
What Customers Say: "I have been pleasantly surprised how fantastic our Every Plate meals have been. Delivery is great and the quality of the proteins and produce is excellent. We have not had a single dinner that wasn't delicious. We also love that we can swap the protein and or side dishes. 5 stars from our family!"–Shannon
While still a meal delivery service, Factor works differently than some of the others on the list in that they provide fully cooked, never frozen meals that just require you to pop them in the microwave. Its dishes are designed by chefs and dietitians, so the flavors and nutritional value are top notch. These plans are relatively on the pricier side, but you're getting high-quality food that is prepared and cooked for you ahead of time. Factor's website also mentions its U.S. Chicken Welfare Policy, which thoroughly details the company's promise to treat the chickens being raised for Factor fairly and without any ounce of abuse. This is something that isn't guaranteed for all meal delivery services, so if this is of significance to you, Factor may be a great option.
Cost: Starts at $77.94 per week
Types of Meals Available: You can choose from Chef's Choice, Keto, Vegan & Veggie, Calorie Smart, or Protein Plus.
What Customers Say: "I have been using factor for about a month now. I like that you can choose your meals based on your current nutritional goals (low cal, keto, etc). The portions are perfect and takes the pressure off of me to try to figure out what to eat during the workday."–Kelcie
A delivery meal kit service that is great for those who may have multiple dietary restrictions, or find themselves changing up their diet often, is Green Chef. This meal service delivers fresh ingredients that are always measured out and are often fully prepared, and they provide different plan options that can fit eating habits like keto, Mediterranean, vegetarian, or gluten-free. Green Chef is a certified organic company, meaning that their eggs and produce are organic, and their meat and poultry are raised with "high welfare standards." The company also promises to alert its customers when organic options are not available.
Cost: Starts at $4.69 per meal
Types of Meals Available: Plans include Keto + Paleo, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Fast & Fit, Vegan, and Gluten Free.
What Customers Say: "We have been ordering thru Green Chef for one month and it's absolutely fabulous. With the initial new customer discounts offered I was able to order 5 meals weekly and never had an issues w spoiling of food. I'm a little nervous when warmer weather arrives, I'll have to wait and see. All in all the meals are fabulous, the variety is amazing and we look forward to our weekly box. Highly recommend Green Chef." –Tammy Glenn
Martha & Marley Spoon
Your favorite Martha Stewart meals just got a lot easier. Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon is a meal kit service that offers over 100 weekly recipes to choose from, adjustable dishes based on your dietary restrictions or preferences, and meals that are cooked in 6 steps or less in under 30 minutes. The company practices sustainability by offering fully recyclable packaging and maintaining carbon neutrality, and it's transparent about the ways in which they're helping the planet. This means that with Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, you can save time, eat good food, and give back to the world around you.
Cost: Starts at $63.95 per week
Types of Meals Available: You can make adjustments to your weekly menu to make the dishes vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, or family friendly.
What Customers Say: "I love to cook and have an extremely high standard with the quality and flavors of the food I eat and serve my family. I never thought meal kits would work for me. Marley Spoon does!! After months of regular use Marley Spoon has yet to let me down!"–Kate
All of the meal kit services on this list are fairly quick and easy to prepare, but nothing beats these Gobble dishes that only require 15 minutes of your time. You can choose from Classic, Lean & Clean—which are under 650 calories—and low-carb or vegetarian. All of the ingredients are already chopped, diced, and prepared, which cuts your total prep and cook time drastically. If you have certain food allergies, you can have your meals prepared in a way that is wheat-free, nut-free, or dairy-free.
Cost: Starts at $36 per week
Types of Meals Available: The company offers a Classic meal plan or the Lean & Clean plan. You can personalize your protein options for every meal, or you can choose the fully vegetarian option.
What Customers Say: "Food is always fresh; many great choices and options; portions are appropriate; food is packaged well and arrives on time. A great experience over the two months we have been eating with Gobble!" –Neal
The Sunbasket meal kit service is unique in that you can choose from meal kits that require some cooking or fully cooked meals known as Fresh & Ready, or you can mix and match both. This service markets themselves as having "total flexibility," meaning you can select from a wide range of dietary preferences like low-carb, keto-friendly, diabetes-friendly, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, Mediterranean, or pescatarian. Along with these meal options, you can also throw in some add-ons like ready-to-eat lunches, snacks or breakfast items, for a well-rounded week of deliciously healthy food.
Cost: Starts at $9.99 per serving
Types of Meals Available: They offer meals based on dietary preferences, such as Diabetes-Friendly, Keto, Carb-Conscious, and Fresh & Ready—which are meals fully cooked that just require a few minutes of heating time.
What Customers Say: "Sunbasket has it all: exceptional and varied cuisine that can be customized to your taste and medical need, exceptional and reliable delivery, exceptional and friendly customer service. They are also VERY flexible regarding requests. Look into them and subscribe. You will only find yourself delighted."–Stephen
Calling all vegetarians, vegans, and plant-based eaters! Purple Carrot is the ideal meal kit service for you. This fully plant-based delivery service offers meal kits of pre-cooked dishes that are classified as either high-protein, gluten-free, or "chef's choice." So, if you need more plants in your life, you may want to give this one a try. Eating more plants is not only good for your health, but according to the company's website, its meals take 51% less water to make than the standard American meal.
Cost: Starts at $59.50 per week
Types of Meals Available: You can choose delivery kits or fully-prepared meals, both of which offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, or pantry items that fall under the categories of high-protein, gluten-free, or "chef's choice."
What Customers Say: "Absolutely amazing menu options with such tasty food combinations. Deliveries are on time & ingredients are always fresh."–Nicky