HelloFresh vs Goodfood: Which meal kit service offers the best value?

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    Meal subscription kits like HelloFresh and Goodfood can be a great way to spice up your cooking. Recipes are relatively straightforward, making it less intimidating to experiment with new recipes. Plus, you do not need to worry about food waste since you are only sent enough of each ingredient to make your chosen dish—and the ingredients are delivered straight to your doorstep, maximizing convenience. Depending on your credit card provider, you may even be able to earn higher grocery cashback rates. At the end of the day, HelloFresh and Goodfood boxes are full of perks—it is hardly a surprise that they have become popular. 

    That being said, products that make life easier can be expensive. It is always a good idea to compare brands before ordering to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Still, it can be hard to tell which subscription is a better deal just by looking at each company’s website. To help settle the debate between HelloFresh versus Goodfood, I recently ordered trial boxes from both companies. Below, I will be comparing what I received (and some of the choices that I came across) to figure out which subscription kit is the best deal. 

    Both HelloFresh and Goodfood offer different sized boxes depending on how many recipes and servings you would like to receive. When ordering my boxes, I opted for 3 different recipes and 2 servings per meal. I also stuck with non-premium recipes (or, recipes that did not require a surcharge) to keep the comparison as simple as possible. My HelloFresh order cost $32.99; my Goodfood order cost $29.56. Both prices include introductory promotions.

    Before we get into the comparison, I just want to be very clear that any opinions expressed below are 100% my own. Similarly, the orders were not sponsored or gifted by HelloFresh or Goodfood. I did receive a partial refund from Goodfood’s customer service, but this was due to a moldy ingredient (and they did not know that I would be writing about their service). Also, please note that if you make a purchase through one of Hardbacon’s links, we may earn a small affiliate bonus.

    HelloFresh vs Goodfood: Dollar Value of Ingredients

    For a meal kit to offer a good value, it needs to send out valuable ingredients for a reasonable price. To that end, I made a list of which ingredients I received with each recipe, then noted how much you would have to spend to buy the same ingredient at a Canadian supermarket. 

    Since you cannot buy most ingredients in precise quantities, I included both the price for a whole supermarket item (e.g. a full bag of rice) and the equivalent cost for the portion of the ingredient that would be used in the recipe (e.g. ½ cup of pasta). The ‘price for portion needed for recipe’ columns reflect the value of the amount of an ingredient needed in a recipe. The ‘price for entire grocery package’ columns reflect how much it would cost to purchase a single unit or item in the grocery store, regardless of how much will be leftover once the meal has been prepared.

    HelloFresh Ingredient Cost Comparison

    As mentioned above, my trial HelloFresh box cost $32.99 for 3 recipes and 6 servings. Without a promotion, it would have cost $82.99. 

    If I wanted to purchase enough of each ingredient to replace what I received in my HelloFresh order, I would have to spend approximately $105.62 at the supermarket. This works out to 127% of the cost of the full price box and 320% of the cost of the introductory box. However, keep in mind that you would not be able to purchase the exact quantity of each ingredient that you need at the supermarket. The $105.62 bill assumes that you are buying every single ingredient and does not account for making additional meals later. 

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    If you used every single leftover ingredient in another dish, the groceries that you would have received from HelloFresh would only account for $33.26 worth of your grocery bill.  This works out to 100.8% of the trial box’s cost and 40.8% of the valuation of the regularly priced box.

    Ultimately, you end up getting the best value out of a meal subscription kit if you opt for recipes with ingredients that you do not usually purchase. HelloFresh and Goodfood both list their recipes’ ingredients on their websites, but I have also created breakdowns of the equivalent grocery store cost for everything that I received in my boxes. You can find the HelloFresh breakdowns below.

    Chive Chicken and Wild Rice with Buttery Carrots

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    Chicken breasts$14.00$7.00
    White rice medley$3.47$1.39
    Cream cheese$4.58$0.87
    Chicken broth concentrate$2.27$0.63

    Beef and Roasted Red Pepper Ragu with Spaghetti

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    Lean ground beef$6.97$3.87
    Sweet bell pepper$1.82$1.21
    Italian seasoning$2.27$0.68
    Crushed tomatoes$1.30$1.30
    Parmesan cheese$5.48$0.49
    Chili flakes$2.27$0.11
    Beef broth concentrate$2.77$0.55
    Tomato sauce base$1.97$1.97
    Garlic salt$2.27$0.04

    Breaded Baked Chicken with Buttery Rice and Lemony Mayo

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    Chicken breasts$14.00$7.00
    Parboiled rice$5.47$0.40
    Green peas$2.47$0.18
    Panko breadcrumbs$4.70$0.93
    Garlic salt$2.27$0.15

    Goodfood Ingredient Cost Comparison

    My Goodfood order cost $29.56 for 3 recipes and enough ingredients to make 2 servings per recipe. If I had not been eligible for their introductory offer, it would have cost $86.94.

    Much like the HelloFresh analysis above, I broke down each Goodfood recipe in terms of how much it would cost to purchase each ingredient at the supermarket and how much of your grocery bill would actually go towards the recipe (as opposed to leftover ingredients). In total, it would cost $161.48 to purchase every single ingredient from a grocery store. This works out to 546% of the cost of the introductory Goodfood box and 185% of the regular price box. However, only $31.55 worth of those groceries would be used when making the recipes, or 106% of the cost of the introductory box and 32% of the regular price box. Note that two spice blends were not included in the per portion section of this breakdown due to the fact that the amounts were small and difficult to estimate. For an ingredient-by-ingredient breakdown, please consult the tables below.

    Za’atar-Roasted Cauliflower Vegan Nourish Balls with Hummus, Walnuts, & Red Kale Tabbouleh

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    Red kale$3.99$3.99
    Apple-tahini vinaigrette (calculated as 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% tahini)$9.44$0.35

    Nick’s Pick | Carb-Wise: Cheddar Beef Meatballs with Bourbon-Spiced Broccoli over Bulgar

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    ground beef$5.97$3.32
    vegetable demi-glace$7.99$5.33
    BBC on Bourbon Street spice blend (calculated based on ingredients sticker)$36.78*

    Ground Beef Larb Noodle Salad with Rainbow Vegetables – Sweet Chili-Lemongrass Vinaigrette

    IngredientPrice for Entire Grocery PackagePrice for Portion Needed for Recipe
    Ground beef$5.97$3.32
    Cherry tomatoes$6.97$1.44
    Shanghai noodles$3.49$1.73
    Ponzu lime sauce$7.50$0.76
    Sweet chili sauce$3.97$0.26
    Sesame spice blend (calculated based on ingredients sticker)$12.80*

    The Winner: Goodfood

    On average, the dollar value of the ingredients that Goodfood sends out are worth a higher percentage of the box’s subscription price than its HelloFresh counterpart, making Goodfood a better value. However, it is worth noting that there can be a significant difference between the dollar value of two recipes’ ingredients, regardless of which company they come from. Depending on which recipes you select, you could easily put together a HelloFresh box full of expensive ingredients—or a Goodfood box filled with groceries that you drastically overpaid for.

    HelloFresh vs Goodfood: Recipe Variety

    Recipe variety is key to getting good value out of a meal subscription kit. After all, the subscriptions tend to offer the most value when they allow you to experiment with ingredients that you do not already have. Plus, if a company does not accommodate food restrictions, you may end up supplementing the ingredients that they send with additional (costly) groceries. At the end of the day, variety improves value.

    HelloFresh Recipe Variety

    HelloFresh’s website says that the company has created over 2,500 recipes, but your week-to-week choices are much slimmer: I was only able to choose from about 45 recipes when building my box. Recipe categories include family-friendly options, recipes that take under 30 minutes to make, spicy choices, and more. Some meals require a surcharge to order. 

    When I signed up for my box, I was given the option to request vegetarian or pescatarian meals. The recipe selection interface also has a custom graphic to identify vegetarian meals, but there was no way to manually filter the recipes by dietary restrictions (vegetarian or otherwise). I did not see any other icons to represent dietary restriction-friendly meals.

    Goodfood Recipe Variety

    Goodfood might not have a massive recipe database, but their recipe selection interface makes up for it. They offer at least 40 recipes each week and organize recipes into different navigable collections (including vegetarian-friendly and low-pesticide options). They also identify keto- and vegan-friendly meals as such in the recipe title. Unfortunately though, like HelloFresh, some Goodfood recipes are considered premium and require an extra fee to order.

    The Winner: Goodfood

    Goodfood offers a wider variety of meals and makes it easier to filter for dietary restrictions, making it the clear winner of this category. That being said, there are still a number of dietary restrictions that both platforms ignore. If you have dietary restrictions, I highly recommend checking that a company has recipes that you can eat (and will enjoy) before placing an order.

    HelloFresh vs Goodfood: The Verdict

    At the end of the day, Goodfood seems to offer customers a better value than HelloFresh does. The value of the ingredients delivered tend to make up a higher percentage of the subscription cost and the company has a wider range of recipes available on a weekly basis. However, the best value from either kit ultimately comes from cooking with ingredients that you would not otherwise purchase. As a result, if you really want to maximize the value of a meal subscription kit, it might be wise to scroll through both companies’ recipes and figure out which provides the best value considering your own cooking habits.

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    About The Author: Athanasia Nikolakakis
    Athanasia is a freelance writer and personal finance enthusiast. Whenever she has to make a purchase, she takes pride in hunting down stackable discounts and finding great deals. She is currently finishing up a Bachelor of Arts in English and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto.

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