As of January 2023, the Freshly meal delivery service has ceased operations. For more information, visit the company's website.
Freshly and Snap Kitchen both offer single-serving, fully prepped meals that are designed to be quickly reheated in the microwave, Both are subscription services that deliver up to 12 meals per week. Though broadly similar, there are also significant differences. The cost of Freshly is lower than Snap Kitchen's, especially at the 12-meals-per-week level, and it has a slightly larger menu and more frequently adds new meals. On the other hand, Snap Kitchen accommodates more types of diets than Freshly, with meals that are generally simpler, often built from just protein, vegetables, and sometimes sauce.
We tried both services to see which one was the better value overall. We compared Freshly to Snap Kitchen in a number of categories, covering every aspect of each service in depth so you can know what you're getting into before deciding to give either one a try. Read on to determine which one is best for you.
Snap Kitchen Pros and Cons
Fully prepped meals that arrive fresh, not frozen
Only 6 or 12 meals per week
Not suitable for vegetarians
Slow to add new meals
Freshly Pros and Cons
Helpful menu sorting filters
New meals added weekly
Affordable price point
No free shipping
Few plant-based options
Frequent use of processed ingredients/additives
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Price
The cost of Snap Kitchen is very straightforward. There are only two plans: six meals per week for $13.84 each and 12 meals per week for $11.34 each. That's close to $83 weekly on the six-meal plan and $136 on the 12-meal plan. Shipping is included in the price, and there are no up-charges for any of the meals.
Freshly has several plans, delivering from as few as four meals to as many as 12. The plans are priced as follows:
- Four meals a week is $50.00, plus $9.99 shipping = $59.99
- Five meals a week is $62.00, plus $9.99 shipping = $71.99
- Six meals a week is $68.00, plus $9.99 shipping = $77.99
- Seven meals a week is $75.00, plus $9.99 shipping = $84.99
- Eight meals a week is $83.00, plus $9.99 shipping = $92.99
- Nine meals a week is $92.00, plus $10.99 shipping = $102.99
- 10 meals a week is $100.00, plus $10.99 shipping = $110.99
- 11 meals a week is $108.00, plus $11.99 shipping = $119.99
- 12 meals a week is $115.00, plus $11.99 shipping = $126.99
As you can see, Freshly costs less overall than Snap Kitchen, even though Freshly charges you separately for shipping. A handful of Freshly's menu items carry additional charges, such as à la carte proteins and some meals with steak and/or seafood, but even if you ordered these items consistently, you'd still probably spend a little less than you would with Snap Kitchen.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Meal Choices
Both services offer single-serving meals with a diverse selection of proteins, sides, and internationally inspired flavor profiles. Snap Kitchen generally favors the protein-and-sides structure, while Freshly's menu leans heavily on the bowl format. But Snap Kitchen has bowls, too, and Freshly has many options for meat and sides. In other words, the broad structure and selections of the two menus are pretty similar.
In terms of dietary accommodation, it's a bit of a toss-up. Snap Kitchen caters to a few specific diets, like Whole 30, low-carb, keto, and paleo, but has no vegetarian or vegan meals. Freshly insists that it doesn't design its menu to fit any specific diets. However, the company's "FreshlyFit" and "Purely Plant" categories provide some vegetarian, vegan, and keto-esque meals.
Snap Kitchen's meals tend to be simpler and "cleaner" than Freshly's, a trend which is apparent from a glance at a few ingredient lists. Xanthan gum, for instance, frequently appears in Freshly's dishes, as do things like gum arabic, corn starch, tapioca starch, and waxy rice starch.
Snap Kitchen gives you nearly 30 entrees to choose from, plus a handful of breakfast items, side dishes, and extra proteins. Because the company makes only small rotational changes to its menu on a monthly basis, its menu is very stable relative to other meal delivery services, most of whom change menus on a weekly schedule. If you're on a 12-meals-per-week plan, you'll likely start repeating meals after the three-week mark.
Freshly has a similar selection, with nearly 40 meals to choose from (including three breakfast items), and new meals are added onto the menu on occasion. However, there are limited options for sides and extra proteins. If we were choosing based on the overall abundance of entrees, we'd go with Freshly—but it's a tight race.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Creativity of Dishes
Freshly clearly dominates in this area. Not only is its menu broader, but the dishes are generally more complex and interesting (at least in the description) than Snap Kitchen. Whether this translates into a better sensory experience, we'll cover that in the next section.
The most complex, interesting, and delicious dish we had from Snap Kitchen was the cajun salmon. The collard greens, bacon, cajun spice rub, beautifully cooked salmon (especially for having been microwaved), and remoulade sauce came together harmoniously. It was a superb dish, but not especially surprising, nor it would not have been difficult to put together on our own.
In contrast, the most creative dish we had from Freshly was the escovitch steak with jerk broccoli, peppers, and coconut rice, designed by chef Kwame Onwuachi as part of the company's "Chef's Special" meal collection. According to Freshly, the escovitch sauce is made with "julienned bell peppers, onions, and habaneros cooked down with vinegar, lime, ginger, and carrot juice." The steak is accompanied by "a bed of caramelized onion coconut rice made with basmati, coconut milk, and a hint of agave," and "a side of spicy jerk broccoli, made with 10+ authentic ingredients, including ginger, smoked habaneros, garlic, thyme, and allspice." Is that something we'd likely make ourselves? No.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Flavor, Freshness, and Quality
While Freshly dominated on creativity, we felt that Snap Kitchen delivered more flavor, freshness, and quality. For instance, of the two dishes we discussed above, we preferred the salmon. The protein was prepared better, and the flavors, though perhaps simpler and less "creative," had a more memorable impact. We'd order that salmon again and again, while the escovitch steak was, sadly, rather forgettable.
Sure, more of Snap Kitchen's dishes were things we could have prepared ourselves. But in an important sense, this was a good thing. It reminded us of the flavor, freshness, and quality of home cooking. Freshly's meals, on the other hand, were often reminiscent of TV dinners, perhaps due to the processed gums and starches mentioned above.
Neither service had any major issues with freshness or quality, but we felt that Snap Kitchen was more flavorful and distinctive overall, sometimes by virtue of simply tasting the unadulterated ingredient, like a roasted cauliflower floret or a simple turnip mash. These simple elements left more of an impression on us than Freshly's more creative concoctions.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Recipe Clarity/Difficulty
Both Snap Kitchen and Freshly only offer fully prepared meals, designed for reheating in the microwave. There are no recipes to follow, only heating instructions. From package to plate, both services proved equally effective.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Supporting Material
Neither company provides much supporting material in the box. Because the meals are fully prepped, with reheating instructions printed on each meal's outer sleeve, not much more supporting material is needed. Snap Kitchen included a little cardboard habit-tracker card, which prompts you to write a healthy habit you'd like to develop, with bubbles to fill in when you complete your task. It's a nice idea, but hardly revolutionary.
Outside the context of the box, Freshly provides a consultation with one of its "Menu Experts," with the caveat that, although these folks are more than happy to discuss your dietary needs they "are not healthcare providers and are unable to provide medical advice."
Both companies have mobile apps, and both have blogs featuring health and lifestyle tips. If you like, Freshly's app can push a weekly notification with a health tip, as well as a weekly reminder to choose your upcoming menu.
At the end of the day, supporting materials are not a critical part of either service, so we'll call this a draw.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Types of Diets Served
Both services cater to people on a gluten-free diet. Snap Kitchen is totally gluten-free. Freshly is mostly gluten-free, but as of December 2022, some of Freshly's meals contain gluten.
Neither service is particularly suitable for vegetarians or vegans, but Freshly does have a few such options, while Snap Kitchen has none.
Both services have dairy-free and soy-free meals, but only Snap Kitchen makes them easy to find with its menu-sorting filter. Additionally, Snap Kitchen tags meals with nut-free and egg-free labels, while Freshly does not.
Freshly costs less overall than Snap Kitchen, even though Freshly charges you separately for shipping.
Snap Kitchen has a decent selection of paleo meals with about a dozen choices. The same goes for keto and Whole30. Freshly doesn't utilize these categories at all. Instead, the company has its own "FreshlyFit" category, which is low-carb meals with between roughly 200 and 500 calories. They might qualify as keto, but certainly not paleo.
At the end of the day, if you are on a particularly restrictive diet, you'll likely have more luck with Snap Kitchen than with Freshly.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Nutritional Value
From a macronutrient perspective, Snap Kitchen and Freshly are very similar. Most of the meals from both services are in the 300-500 calorie range, and neither offers any meal over 650 calories. Freshly has one meal with just 110 calories.
Both services allow you to sort the menu according to nutritional parameters. Although Snap Kitchen allows you to focus on specific ranges—for example, a meal around 300 calories with more than 35g of protein—we found Freshly's sorting filters a bit easier to use. On the other hand, Snap Kitchen gives each meal a visual pie-chart style macronutrient profile that makes it easy to quickly assess a particular meal's fat/carb/protein balance. Although Freshly has something similar, it's not quite as easy to grasp as Snap Kitchen's visual aid.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, Snap Kitchen's meals are generally "cleaner" with fewer ingredients; they are generally more recognizable and less processed which makes Snap Kitchen feel more wholesome, like real home cooking.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Customer Service
Snap Kitchen provides customer service via email, chat, and phone, as well as a comprehensive FAQ. Chat, email, and phone support are available Monday through Friday. We reached out by chat and phone with a few questions and received prompt and accurate answers.
Freshly delivers its customer support by FAQ, phone, text, email, and chat. Text and phone support are open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until midnight ET. We communicated via chat from the Freshly mobile app and reached a human agent within about 30 seconds.
Because it offers support through more channels with round-the-clock hours, Freshly wins on customer service.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Making Changes and Canceling
Like most meal delivery services, both Freshly and Snap Kitchen require that you make any alterations to your order prior to a deadline. In the case of both services, this deadline depends on your delivery day and location, but is usually several days before your scheduled delivery date. Up until the deadline, you can change your order all you like. Once the deadline passes, however, your order cannot be changed.
Account management features are very similar between the two services. With both companies, the mobile apps offer the best account management experience. You can change all your settings—your plan, delivery address, dietary preferences, skip weeks, and cancel your account—right from your phone.
Freshly vs. Snap Kitchen: Additional Features
Both companies have referral and affiliate programs that allow you to earn rewards for referring customers. Snap Kitchen has a retail presence in certain states. Freshly will set up service for your whole office through its business plan. Freshly also makes it easy to give its service as a gift.
This was a close contest. Freshly has more variety at a lower price point, great web and mobile user interfaces, a wide range of meal plans, and customer service available seven days a week. Snap Kitchen is more expensive, but also simpler, with only two plans and a smaller menu that doesn't change very often. On paper, there are many reasons to prefer Freshly, and yet, we just liked Snap Kitchen better. For us, the flavor, freshness, and quality experience carries a lot of weight, and Snap Kitchen just felt more wholesome and higher quality. At the end of the day, it's about the food.
Our testers ordered from, cooked, and rated 40 different meal delivery services. We carefully scored each one based on meal selection, nutritional information, sustainability, and customer service, as well as the flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient. Our Spruce Eats tester panel includes dietitians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.