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EveryPlate and HelloFresh are two popular meal delivery services that allow customers to select meals each week and prepare and cook homestyle recipes at home. Founded in 2018, EveryPlate was launched by HelloFresh as a lower-cost alternative for at-home meal kits. Each service creates a weekly rotation of meals that are diverse, ready in about six steps, and take about 30 minutes to prepare.
Touted as “America’s best value meal kit,” we were curious to see how EveryPlate compares to HelloFresh. We enlisted a tasting panel to try a week of meals from each service to test and observe what sets EveryPlate and HelloFresh apart from each other and identify what we love about each company.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Price
EveryPlate markets itself as an affordable meal company. Plans are designed for two or four people, with an option for three, four, or five meals a week. When we signed up to try EveryPlate in August 2021, we were offered $30 off of our first box. We chose the plan for two people with five meals a week, which came to $29.89. Without a first-time use discount code, the same plan would be $59.89, which includes $9.99 shipping. That comes to $4.99 per serving.
HelloFresh is a more expensive option, but as of August 2021, the company does offer first-time incentives as well. HelloFresh has plans for two or four people, with an option to select two, three, four, five, or six meals a week. The more you order each week, the less you pay for a serving. For example, if you select a classic meat and vegetable plan for two people for two recipes a week, you pay $12.99 per serving, with a total of $58.95, which includes an $8.99 shipping fee. However, if you select a plan for two people with six recipes a week, you pay $8.99 per serving, with a weekly total of $116.87, which includes an $8.99 shipping fee.
Bottom line: EveryPlate is a more affordable option than HelloFresh, with a price per serving costing roughly half that of HelloFresh.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Meal Choices
EveryPlate offers three types of meal plans: ClassicPlate, which is a mix of seafood, vegetable, and meat options; VeggiePlate, which is vegetarian-focused; and FamilyPlate, a plan that incorporates kid-friendly meals. Our tasting panel selected the ClassicPlate and we had 14 meal options for the week, as well as a few specials and added extras.
One of the premium specials for the week was a zesty herb-rubbed salmon for an extra $5.99 per serving and a crispy blue cheese chicken for an extra $3.99 per serving. Added extras included a package of six chicken breasts or a package of chicken strips and ground beef. Two of the vegetarian dishes allowed for a protein upgrade of chicken breasts for $1.99 per serving and a few of the meat dishes allowed to switch up the vegetable from carrots to green beans for $.49 per serving.
Once you’ve entered your meal preferences, shipping date, and credit card information, you can select your meals. EveryPlate pre-selects meals at first, but you can use the plus and minus icons under each recipe image to adjust and edit. When you click on a recipe image, a pop-up page appears with the following information: the title of the dish; a colorful image of the dish; nutrition facts; a description of the dish; time it takes to prepare the meal; a list with accompanying photos of the ingredients that are included in the delivery; a list of ingredients you will need from your home; and the six cooking steps with accompanying photos, so you can prep in advance and get a sense of how to create each meal at home.
For our meals, we selected a premium salmon, vegetarian, pork, chicken, and a beef dish.
HelloFresh has more meal plan offerings. Meal choices include Meat & Veggies; Veggie; Family-Friendly; Carb Smart; Quick & Easy; and Pescetarian. Once a meal plan is selected and plan size is chosen, HelloFresh walks users through a registration process, check out, and then the meal selection process. Meals are populated based on your preferences, but you can edit and re-select using an addition and subtraction feature, which is similar to EveryPlate. Clicking on each recipe will also share more detailed information on the dish, including the recipe name, a bright photo of the finished recipe, a description of the dish, prep time, difficulty level, ingredients, nutritional overview, and even a section on where all of the ingredients are sourced.
One nice feature that HelloFresh offers is a bevy of add-ons and groceries, including Gourmet meals, breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and a pantry section. For our HelloFresh tasting week, we selected a premium gourmet trout, a chicken entree, a shrimp taco dish, a beef bowl dish, and vegetarian pasta.
When comparing the two, HelloFresh allows users to experience more meal choices and add-ons than EveryPlate, but EveryPlate offered a few customized protein and vegetable options during our week of testing.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Creativity of Dishes
In EveryPlate’s ClassicPlate selection, we observed a fair variety of meals. Out of the 14 choices we had for the week, there were five chicken options, one beef, four pork, one fish, and three vegetarian options. Styles of cuisines included nods to American, Asian, Italian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern meals. Most of the meals included a protein, vegetable, and starch. We also observed hearty soup, tacos, burgers, pasta dishes, and rice bowls.
When we selected the HelloFresh Meat & Veggie option, there were 25 meal options for the week. The breakdown for the proteins was as follows: seven chicken, six beef, two pork, one turkey, two seafood, and seven vegetable dishes. Styles of cuisine ranged from American, Asian, BBQ, Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, and Tex-Mex. Meal set-ups were enticing and included flatbreads, meatloaf, tagines, pasta, tacos, shawarma bowls, Banh Mi, quesadillas, and lettuce wraps.
With nearly double the amount of meal options each week, HelloFresh showcases a bit more diversity in cuisines styles, and we found the offerings and meal set-ups to be more exciting and interesting.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Flavor, Freshness, and Quality
We found the organization and packaging of the EveryPlate box to be a bit confusing. It’s also worth noting that one of our proteins in our EveryPlate box was leaking a bit onto the delivery insulation. The box was assembled with an insulated liner; an ice pack; a big cardboard box, filled with all of the starches, produce, and seasonings; and another ice pack below the box. Then the proteins were at the bottom. Since all of the produce and seasonings were placed together, we had to go through the box and ascertain what items should be refrigerated and also try to determine what items went with each recipe.
The EveryPlate zesty herb-roasted salmon was pretty flavorful with the Italian seasoning, lemon zest, and creamy lemon garlic sauce, although the salmon had a mild fish odor and taste. We also enjoyed the setup of the cheesy stuffed poblanos. Despite several steps, the poblanos heated up nicely and we liked how crispy the cheese got under the broiler. The flavorful rice, acidic pico de gallo, and zesty crema added nice texture and balance. Our only wish was that we had gotten two tomatoes to have more pico for the entree.
Overall, we found the tastes and flavor profiles of EveryPlate to be good for the price point, but we wished the company could source more sustainable and organic foods.
We found most of our HelloFresh materials and ingredients to be fresh without any issue. Each meal was labeled and sealed in a brown paper bag, which we kept in the refrigerator until we were ready to cook. Some items such as garlic bread, ravioli, and proteins were in sealed plastic bags. We did notice one mealy tomato, but that was most likely because it was stored in the refrigerated bag, and we prefer our tomatoes to remain on the kitchen counter.
We found seasoning to be well balanced with nice levels of acidity and interesting textures. We liked the creamy lemon butter chicken, which was composed of tender chicken, crispy zucchini, and a bright and creamy lemon butter sauce that brought the whole dish together. Meals tended to be filling and hearty.
Compared to EveryPlate, we liked how HelloFresh’s ingredients were all packaged together and grouped for each recipe. Despite a few items that were sealed in the paper bag that didn’t need to necessarily go into the fridge, we thought HelloFresh had a more organized approach to the food packing and organizing.
We found both companies to offer equally flavorful foods, which makes sense as they’re related. We just wished there were more organic food options for both companies and some lighter meals for weeknight dinners.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Recipe Clarity/Difficulty
The EveryPlate recipes were well written and we were able to follow them rather easily. There were, however, many steps. For instance, in one recipe, we had to wash, chop, and dice vegetables; boil rice; roast vegetables; form meatballs with fresh breadcrumbs; make a sauce; and sear the meatballs in a skillet, all while keeping track of the timing of the rice, roasting of vegetables, and making the meatballs. We also wished the photo provided for the step that included making the meatballs showed how to make the “panade” or breadcrumbs with water, as our meatballs didn’t look the same as the meatballs displayed in the company’s recipe photograph.
We did notice that some recipes used a lot of excess plastic. For example, in the sweet and spicy ponzu pork meatballs, we were supposed to use six ponzu sauce packets, but we thought sourcing a larger packet with the correct proportions would have been more sustainable. We also misplaced a sauce packet, so eliminating all of the single-use, tiny plastics may be more helpful.
EveryPlate is a more affordable option than HelloFresh, with a price per serving costing roughly half that of HelloFresh.
The HelloFresh recipe instructions were well written and organized, but we found the recipes to be a bit complex and time-consuming just as they were with EveryPlate. Most of the meals required prep steps, such as dicing and mincing. The execution of cooking at times was also frenetic: boiling water for rice while sauteing a protein, or roasting vegetables, then making a sauce. HelloFresh is definitely geared toward individuals or families who are comfortable cooking in the kitchen. Fortunately, HelloFresh does label meals that are less time-consuming as “no oven,” and “easy prep,” and they even offer one-pan meals that can take as little as 15-20 minutes to prep and cook. With so many meals offered each week, it’s easy for the user to select the right type of recipes that meet their weeknight needs.
We found both companies tended to offer recipes that may be a tad too time-consuming to put together for a family weeknight dinner. In the future, we would stick to one-pot or one-skillet and quick meals.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Supporting Material
Our EveryPlate box included five colorful recipe cards, a small flyer for a free gift for a protein bar, and a “perk pack” with additional partner advertising incentives. A small package of the advertised protein bars was also included, which the younger members of our tasting panel enjoyed.
We liked our EveryPlate recipe cards. The front of the card included the brand name, a customer service number, a large photo of the dish with a call to action to download the app, the name of the recipe, a list with accompanying photos of the ingredients included, prep and ready times, a box listing household ingredients, and a referral and reward link to share EveryPlate with friends and family for credit codes. The back of our recipe card included a chef tip, six numbered instruction steps with accompanying photos, and a call to action to tag your EveryPlate meals on Instagram.
Our HelloFresh box contained similar materials: recipe cards, partner incentives, and a seasonal catalog of upcoming meals.
The HelloFresh recipe cards were also quite similar. The front of the card included the brand logo, the recipe name, a large colorful photo, prep and cook times, calories per serving, a horizontal list of all ingredients included in the recipe bag, with accompanying small photos, and a “Hello” section focusing on a particular ingredient. The back of the recipe card included a section explaining a particular instruction, a “bust out” list of household supplies and ingredients that you will need, such as a baking sheet and salt, accompanying photos for each instruction, and social media and customer service information.
We slightly preferred the HelloFresh recipe card set up as we liked the larger photo and found the ingredient list with photos easier to read. We liked having the “bust out” list of ingredients next to the pictured instruction steps as well.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Types of Diets Served
EveryPlate offerings were basic with meats, vegetables, and family options. Dietary needs do not seem to be a big focus with the EveryPlate model; rather, the company focuses on affordable meals that can be made in six steps or less. However, consumers may see gluten-free or vegetarian recipes included each week.
HelloFresh offers a wider variety of meals, but the company does not consider itself a menu platform for specific dietary needs. For example, the company does have several vegetarian meals each week and gluten-free foods, but it does not cater to gluten-free diets. HelloFresh leaves it up to the consumer to decipher what meals may appeal to the user.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Nutritional Value
We found that EveryPlate and HelloFresh focus more on comforting, home-style meals than they do on specific nutrition and dietary needs. We didn't find one company more health-centered than the other, most likely since they share common ownership. Our meals were on the heavier side, but they did include vegetables. However, we wished our EveryPlate burger had some greens, as the meal was composed of hamburgers, caramelized onions, roasted potatoes, garlic-chipotle mayo, and a hamburger bun. Most meals centered around a protein, starch, and vegetable, with a sauce to tie all of the components together.
Meals often seemed high in fat and carbohydrates. In some recipes, we were even instructed to add sugar and butter. Some home cooks or those looking for healthier options may have preferred coconut aminos and olive oil in lieu of sugar and butter.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Customer Service
EveryPlate features a very detailed FAQ page, which we referred to several times. The service also offers a live chat available 24/7 and a telephone number available Monday through Friday throughout the business day. To utilize the chat feature, you must select the reason for your question or concern from a bevy of options, such as “tracking and delivery” or “ingredients in my order.” We reached out to customer service using the chat and were connected to a person within about 30 seconds. The representative was upbeat and engaging and was quite helpful and responsive.
We passed along our thoughts about the wasteful small plastic single-use packets, to which the representative replied: “Oh, I see that's a good point indeed. And your feedback came at the right time as we are currently undergoing new packaging for a variety of our products!” The representative assured us that our feedback would be logged. We were very satisfied with the interaction and filled out the feedback survey link that was shared following our communication.
HelloFresh has similar customer service channels, including an in-depth FAQ page, chat, and phone support, which also relays a live waiting time alert, which we appreciated. We reached out to HelloFresh via the phone and were connected with a friendly customer service representative immediately and also utilized the live chat, which worked well too.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Making Changes and Canceling
EveryPlate allows subscribers to cancel or make changes to their subscription in their account settings, under “plan settings,” and then by clicking “deactivate my plan.” A few pop-ups with required questions appear, so it’s important to read the questions and follow the cues appropriately before your plan is finally deactivated. Plan and meal selection changes can also be found under “plan settings,” and communication preferences can be found under “notifications.”
Subscribers also have up to five days until the delivery date to make changes to their meal selections, and you can also plan and choose your meals in advance for two weeks.
EveryPlate’s account settings are very user-friendly and make it easy to make changes or cancel your account.
To make updates to your HelloFresh account, you can do so under “Account Settings.” You can cancel your account there and if you’d like to skip a week, you can click “My Menu.” You can make all changes online without reaching out to customer service, but you will have to answer a few mandatory questions before canceling your account entirely.
EveryPlate vs. HelloFresh: Additional Features
Both EveryPlate and HelloFresh offer a helpful app, allowing users to manage and select meals, and access cooking instructions and nutrition facts. The two companies also communicate frequently through email with updates about your order and the service options overall.
EveryPlate and HelloFresh are two sister companies, which both offer filling, satiating meals that are geared toward individuals or families who love to cook and prepare meals. We appreciated the lower price point of EveryPlate but preferred HelloFresh’s diversity of meals and bountiful meal choices.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service