An honest review of HelloFresh Meal Kits by Tatiana Schoch

Meal delivery services and meal box kits are on the rise to cater for our busy lifestyles with the aim of encouraging more home-cooked, fresh meals. HelloFresh is one of those companies that has landed in Switzerland with the goal of keeping meals exciting, simple and delicious.  So here’s Nutrition A-Z mama, Tatiana Schoch, sharing her personal experience with HelloFresh’s meal kits…

Why did you choose Hello Fresh and how easy was the sign up process?

A friend sent me a voucher and then talked about it a few months ago, when I complained about having little to no time to prep meals and go grocery shopping. It sounded like a good idea to try something different and the price point (89.- for 3 dinners for 2) seemed to be acceptable. The sign up process was easy. I just had to download the app, choose a meal plan (I chose express out of 4 options) and roll with it.

How would you describe the quality of the produce?  

I’ve ordered 3 times in total. The first one was very good, with fresh ingredients (just like the name implies), lots of extras (granola bars, some spices, some vouchers) and, most importantly, the produce – both meat and veg – was bio. The second order came with some rotten green beans and an old piece of garlic. I wasn’t impressed, wrote to the customer service, who then apologised and credited us 12.- towards my next order. The third and final order was very disappointing since it contained canned ingredients for each of the three meals, namely: beans, lentils and tomato sauce for a soup. All those ingredients were by no means “fresh” and cost close to nothing – I estimated 4.- for all. And again, there was a rotten onion in the mix.

Were you satisfied with the variety of meals?
​In short – yes, but I don’t think it’s an every week thing. Every other week, maybe. The app is well designed and let’s you see what’s coming up the following week and “pause” your order on Wednesday the week before.

As a busy mum, how quick and easy were the recipes? Prep time of 20-25 mins, just as the express box stated. The instructions were easy to follow
​ (all in simple German, with pictures). ​

 To date, what were your 2 favourite meals and 2 least favourite?

The two best ones were “Lemon gnocchi with spinach” and “pasta salad with pesto”. Least favourite were a strange dish with canned lentils, leak and chicken (the lentils were far too gooey and not fresh) and I actually didn’t even attempt to cook the soup with root vegetables and canned tomatoes. The recipe didn’t sound appealing at all.

What would you like them to improve on?

There’s lots of room for improvement and I hear from the same friend that recommended the service to begin with that they were much better a year ago, when they started. They’ve come down in price by 10.- and have a bit more seafood dishes,  although none of ours boxes had any shellfish or tofu. The app itself is linked to the US help line, who obviously can’t help you and ask you to redirect the questions to the Swiss based team. Facebook seemed like the best way to communicate with HF, but I’m not a big fan of social media, so it was cumbersome. There’s lots of packaging to deal with and they say they’ll collect it after your 4th order, but who stores garbage for a month? When I sent in my last complaint about canned and rotten food, I was told they’ll give me a 5 franc credit and would be sorry to see me go. It felt very impersonal and I didn’t regret ending this service.

Finally, would you recommend Hello Fresh to other mums? 

No, I would not. I would wait for someone else to get on the market with better produce and perhaps slightly cheaper. At the end of the day, if you do some meal planning, you can replicate this. I did like the convenience of having groceries delivered to your door, having somebody else thinking through the portions to minimise food waste and yes, it was fun to try out new things. We might consider going back on for 1 x month, but I’m simply afraid of receiving more rotten or canned produce of poor quality. ​One more drawback is the fact that you can’t voice your intolerances/food allergies. It’s not something HF accommodates for. ​

Have you tried HelloFresh or other meal kits delivered to your doorstep? Do share your experience in the comments below!

Leave a Reply