Easy, simple preparation
Backed by registered dieticians
High-fat, greasy sauces
Limited plant-based options
Meals tasted and felt very rich and heavy
Factor is a weekly meal delivery subscription service for single-serving, ready-to-heat meals developed for those with busy lifestyles, limited time to cook, or on a special diet. The company has a variety of meals for different dietary needs but has a large selection of keto- and paleo-friendly meals as well as some lower-calorie options, vegetarian, and vegan options. In addition, Factor provides nutritional counseling services.
Ingredients are thoughtfully sourced and all animal proteins are antibiotic and hormone-free, so expect to find items such as grass-fed beef, wild shrimp, cage-free eggs, and more. We tried several items on Factor's menu to see how they stood up to other meal delivery services on the market.
How It Works: Choose Number of Meals
Factor has several meal plans to choose from, ranging from four to 18 meals per week. Once you pick your plan and check out, you can make your meal selections and update meal preferences.
All meals are single-serving, pre-cooked, and packaged in trays that can be reheated in the microwave for 2 minutes or in the oven for 5–7 minutes. Meals arrive refrigerated and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days or frozen for later use. Factor offers meals that can fit into a variety of eating preferences, including keto, paleo, low carb, high protein, low calorie, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Choosing Meals: Pick Meal Preferences, Select Meals
After you choose your plan, there is an option to customize meal preferences as a way to filter the weekly menu.
Without filters, there are 24 meals plus 34 add-ons to choose from. Of the 24 meals, most are lunch or dinner options, but there will be at least one or two breakfast options. The menu primarily includes high-protein, high-fat, and low-carb ketogenic meals, but there will also be two entirely plant-based options, several dairy-free options, and around 10 “low calorie” options. Note that customizations are not allowed.
Deliveries are made on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, depending on your ZIP code. Modifications must be made exactly one week prior to delivery. This will be clearly indicated after placing your first order.
All meals are single-serving, pre-cooked, and packaged in trays that can be reheated in the microwave for 2 minutes or in the oven for 5–7 minutes.
What We Made
We ordered the six meals per week plan and selected the following dishes:
- Breakfast tostada bake
- Queso fundido
- Garlic pork tenderloin with asiago mash
- Sun-dried tomato chicken
- Peruvian shrimp bowl
- Indian-style vegetable rice with roasted mushrooms
Support Materials: None
No support materials were included in the delivery box. All information for reheating as well as nutrition information and ingredients are printed on the individual meal tray sleeves. There is a helpful FAQ section online for most questions that may come up during unpacking or preparation.
Packaging: Individual Meal Trays
Meals were packaged simply and identically. Each meal comes in the same size plastic tray sealed with plastic film and fits inside a recyclable paper sleeve. Meals can be reheated in their tray and can be easily stacked in the refrigerator or freezer for storage. Meals came cold (not frozen) and ready to reheat. Trays are recyclable but plastic film may not always be curbside recyclable; this will depend on your location. Meals are packaged in a large recyclable cardboard box with ice packs that are filled with non-toxic contents and can be cut and emptied into the trash. However, the plastic from the ice packs should not be curbside recycled and would need to be recycled at a special location by visiting a website listed on the package.
The Cooking Process: Less Than 5 Minutes
Since the meals are already prepared and not frozen, they only need to be quickly reheated. Simply remove the tray from the paper sleeve, remove the plastic film, and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or in the oven for 5–7 minutes.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: High-Quality Animal Protein
Overall, meals contained very high-quality ingredients, specifically well-sourced sustainable animal proteins that may not be typically found in other meal delivery services. Beef is all grass-fed and pasture-raised, and generally, all animal proteins are antibiotic and hormone-free. Meals are all prepared without refined sugar, are preservative-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients.
Spices were prevalent throughout the meals, adding a good variety of flavor across the different dishes. Sodium is not excessive for a prepared meal but what was noticeably high is the fat content and greasy nature of the sauces that come with the proteins. Many sauces seemed laden with butter or cheese and were richer than necessary even though the flavor was good overall. The vegetarian meal was less-so, but the mushrooms in that meal were watery in texture.
Nutritional Value: Designed for Omnivores
There are options for vegetarian and vegan meals, but most are designed to consist of an animal protein (either chicken, beef, pork, salmon, shrimp, etc.), sauce, and a vegetable side. Calorie content ranges from just under 500 calories per serving (lower calorie category) to close to 900 calories per serving. Of the meals we tried, fat content ranged from 23g per serving to 60g per serving, including saturated fat ranging from 3.5g per serving to 29g per serving. Carbohydrates ranged from 13g to 52g and sodium for all meals was between 770mg and 890mg per serving. Protein content ranged from 15g (Indian-style vegetable rice with roasted mushrooms) to 45g (the breakfast tostada bake).
The majority of meals at Factor are designed for omnivores and are not specifically allergen-friendly. Though it is possible to find some meals free of certain allergens, all meals are processed in a facility that also processes all major allergens, so cross-contamination is always a possibility. For personalized guidance on which meals are best for your nutritional needs and goals, we recommend contacting customer service or Factor's team of dietitians.
Factor Is Good For
Factor is good for meat-eaters who live highly active lifestyles and are looking for meals designed for keto or paleo eating patterns higher in protein and lower in carbs. Because meals are single serving, this is a great service for singles or couples. Factor is also good for providing additional support to help you meet specific health goals if you take advantage of the personalized nutrition services.
Factor Is Not Good For
Factor is not ideal for those who follow 100% plant-based or vegetarian diets since options are limited if using the meal service on a regular basis. These meals also require reheating and are not meant as grab-and-go items. Factor is also not recommended for picky eaters since there is no customization available. Families may also be challenged ordering from Factor since all items are designed to feed just one adult.
Add-ons: Large Selection of Beverages and Other Items
There are over 30 different add-ons available at Factor. These include plant-based snack bars, a variety of cold-pressed juices, wellness shots, smoothies, desserts, and energy bites. Trays of vegetable sides, larger portions of soups, and single proteins can also be found in the Add-On section.
In addition, Factor employs a team of registered dietitians who are available for a free, 20-minute consultation or longer-term nutrition counseling.
Customer Service: Responsive and Helpful
Customer service can be reached by phone, live chat, or text message Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. Customer service can also be emailed. We reached out to customer service via email after hours and received a response within 12 hours. The information was personalized and helpful and the customer service representative was very friendly, offering additional assistance if needed.
Making Changes and Canceling: Easily Done Online
All modifications can be easily made online. Orders can be edited up to one week in advance of delivery and your plan size, billing, and shipping information can also be changed online. Multiple orders can also be skipped through your account portal. There is also a mobile app, which can be used for changes and customizations.
The Competition: Factor vs. Sakara Life
Factor and Sakara Life both offer single-serving, refrigerated, ready-to-heat meals marketed as being health conscious to foster overall well-being. Comparatively, Factor meals are more keto- and paleo-friendly, higher calorie, higher protein (mainly animal protein), and higher fat that are richer and heavier in flavor. On the other hand, Sakara Life meals are 100% plant-based, generally lighter and less rich, and contain good, healthful ingredients. Many Sakara Life meals do not require any reheating and can be eaten straight out of the refrigerator, whereas Factor meals all need to be reheated. The packaging and presentation for Sakara Life meals are more upscale, although this comes at a much higher price point.
Factor meals could be a great fit for those with busy lifestyles trying to adhere to ketogenic or paleo diets, as well as those with highly active lifestyles who want higher-calorie, higher-fat, and higher-protein meals and also care about quality sourcing. For the typical consumer, we recommend taking advantage of the company’s nutrition services to determine which meals and meal plans are the best fit for your lifestyle and health goals.
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
- Product Name Factor
- Lowest Price per Serving $11
- Number of Diets Served 5
- Number of Recipes 24
- Delivery Area 48 states
- Serving Sizes Available 1