Ben Todd | Jun 2, 2017 | 1
HelloFresh Review: Fresh or Foul? Hello Fresh Or Not?
HelloFresh is a food delivery service. Like others in the food delivery industry, they deliver meal kits and recipes. They deliver a recipe sheet for you to follow, and they deliver the exact amount of ingredients you need to cook and complete the meal. Hello Fresh do not advertise themselves as a food delivery company (which is fair enough), they say they are a meal kit service, but some people think this means they deliver the tools and equipment to make meals, which is not so, they only deliver the ingredients and the recipe.
Is It Hello Fresh or HelloFresh? Google and many reviewers call it Hello Fresh because it is more search engine friendly, but the company calls itself HelloFresh. It may not be the biggest or most popular in the US, but you will find Hello Fresh services in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Canada and Belgium.
Farm-To-Table, Sustainable, Clean Food And Cooking
These are expressions that keep creeping into HelloFresh’s advertising, which is their choice, but don’t forget that your local supermarket and farmer’s markets offer the same choices. The fact that Hello Fresh offers food from sustainable places and so forth is good, but it is not a unique selling point these days. Still, if a company is using environmentally friendly choices and ethically sound choices, then give them your business.
Does using HelloFresh dumb down your cooking skills? Yes and no. It is unfair that people point out the cooking skills issue with HelloFresh and not the other food delivery services. Using HelloFresh will improve your overall cooking skills, and it will make cooking more enjoyable, but it will lower some of your food preparation skills, but life is about give and take. You can always visit the supermarket and prepare your own meals from scratch if you wish.
[–] Beware of cheap marketing buzzwords
[//] Find out which of their products are environmentally friendly
[+] Using Hello Fresh will raise your overall cooking skills
They Do Not Limit Your Selection
There are some food delivery services that give you set menu for the week with the chance to change it completely for another set menu. Techniques such as these are used to reduce wastage and keep prices down. However, HelloFresh do not use such techniques, which is why you have a wider choice with HelloFresh.
A flexible selection function is a good and a bad thing. It means you may completely avoid certain types of food, such as food that is a little spicy. However, people are creatures of habit, and most will pick menu items that they know they like, giving them a less varied diet. At least if your choices are forced on you, then you are forced to try new things and eat a more balanced diet.
[+] Their flexible selection function suits most customers
[+] Choose the things you like and avoid the things you don’t
[+] Food choices are not forced upon you
Price Package Options And Are They Going Downhill?
You may choose between the classic two-person box and the classic four-person box. The classic boxes include meat on most occasions. HelloFresh offer a vegetarian option where you may choose between a two or four person box. Unlike most food delivery companies, HelloFresh charges less for vegetarian meals than they do for omnivore meals, which is fantastic.
What about their free offers and issues around cancelling your orders? You should be forewarned that if you get involved with this company, then you will have to buy a few meals before they let you go. For example, if you opt for their free box offer, you can cancel right after receiving it, but you will still be charged for another order and will be unable to get a refund. If you do not cancel right away, they may charge you meal after meal until you do cancel. Beware that you are giving them consent when you give them your payment details (why else would they need your payment information?).
Are They Going Bust?
The company is not going downhill, but the company is in a little trouble as it adjusts to become more profitable. They are making administrative and organizational mistakes that are costing them a lot of money. Even the minor perks they offer, such as flexible meal choices, are costing them money they shouldn’t be wasting. Their poor organizational skills are leading to shrinkage and refunds that could easily be avoided. The company is trying to cut costs with new delivery companies and new packaging options. They are making mistakes, but it is all part of their growth and adjustment. If they evolve, as all good companies do, then they should be fine.
[+] They charge less for vegetarian boxes
[–] Do not fall for their “free” offers
[//] The company is not going downhill yet
Not Wasteful, But A Little Less Organized
HelloFresh have more online complaints about them missing items in customer’s deliveries. It is because they are a little less organized than their closest competitors are, but on the flip side, they waste less food than some of their competitors. Call to report the error, and you are usually compensated in some way or another.
The way the meals are packed makes them easier to store in your fridge, and Hello Fresh wrap their items so that they are less likely to suffer damage during transit. Other food delivery services offer slightly lower prices, and other services offer better protein options, but these are minor criticisms.
[–] A little less organized than their nearest competitors
[+] Meals are very easy to store in your fridge
[+] The packing process helps to avoid damage en-route
Why Are There Inconsistent Reviews Online About HelloFresh?
The reason is, as stated earlier, that the company is not as organized as it should be. For example, one review may say that the vegetables are fresh, and another says they are not. This is because one depot may order in its produce a little early and ship it late, and another depot may have a slightly longer preparation time that lowers the amount of freshness for the end result. Don’t forget that companies as big as this have a number of different producers, preparers, warehouses, factories and delivery teams. One warehouse may run smoothly with fantastic managers, and another may be a shambles. It would explain why there are inconsistent user reviews online.
There are oddly mixed views about HelloFresh’s customer services online. Every experience I have had with them has been truly awful. The service staff are just terrible. Their Live Chat team is very slow and outright rude, and their phone staff are patronizing.
Any Contradictory Evidence?
There are some online reviewers that claim the Hello Fresh customer service department is good, but it seems to depend on the query or problem you have. For example, if you have a simple missing item issue, then they have a procedure that often leads to an account credit. This is one of the occasions where dealing with the customer service department is a pleasant one.
If you make a complaint to the customer service department, you will not be greeted with empathy and/or a willingness to change, you will be met with smugness and condescension. For example, if you complain that one of their recipes asks for meat to be fried for ten minutes, and you find that the thinner edges of the meat start to burn after 5 minutes, then the response you get will be that many other people have cooked the meal perfectly and that you should work on your technique (which is another way of HelloFresh saying, it isn’t our fault, you are a crap chef). Also, if they screw up, they like to say that you misunderstood.
[+] Hello Fresh mishaps are often due to human errors
[–] The customer service department is hit-and-miss at best
[//] They could be better if they were more organized nationally
Do Not Buy Gift Boxes And Subscriptions For Friends
If you buy a subscription for a friend, you may have to pay for their ongoing subscription. Moreover, you may end up saddled with a subscription for their food if you buy a gift box. The company likes to get its claws into its customers, and if they cannot burden your friends with recurring payments, they will tie them to you instead.
Another issue is that sometimes there is not enough of a certain food type. It is almost as if they start to skimp on certain food items if they are running low at their warehouse (that is an assumption by me, not a fact). For example, if you have been using the service for two months, you may find that the same meal sometimes has less of a certain vegetable than it did last time, and many times the amount of protein product is too small for a typical omnivore appetite. Also, how else would you explain a receipt saying flat bread, when in-fact what you get are thick tortillas?
What Does The Online Community Keep Saying?
A common online comment is that cooking times are a little more than what the recipe cards state. The truth is that you do need to use your own judgment a little when cooking. Firstly, some variables may organically increase your cooking time, and that is not HelloFresh’s fault. Secondly, you may decide how long you should cook your food for. For example, you may like your meat well done, or your carrots soft, and you have the freedom to decide if you cook the meals yourself.
[–] Buying gift boxes for friends may end with somebody overpaying
[–] Sometimes the amount of different food products is inconsistent
[+] Take a little less or more time to cook the meals if you wish
Calorie Counting And A Peasant Food Palate
Like most food manufacturers and sellers, HelloFresh has to estimate how many calories are in their products. The Hello Fresh team uses up-to-date measuring systems that account for things such as various species of plants and seasonal differences as per the national records that are updated yearly. Most of their meals do not have more than 800 calories.
Most people have a peasant food palate that is also known as a steak and potatoes palate. Many other food delivery services send a series of fancy and exotic meals that people need time to adjust to before they start to love them. The food that HelloFresh sends will appeal to a steak and potatoes palate. Even the fancier meals that Hello Fresh send, such as dinners that include Fennel Panzanella, have an easy-to-love flavor that will not put off the steak and potatoes crowd.
[+] Their calorie reporting is as accurate as it needs to be
[+] HelloFresh food appeals to a wider audience
[+] Most meals have fewer than 800 calories
Do They Post Positive Reviews About Themselves?
Yes, of course they do, most food delivery companies do. You can usually tell which ones are fake by how long and fawning they are. You know the sort of thing, the whole, “I thought I would hate it, but boy was I wrong, I thought my husband would never eat such high quality suppers…” and so forth.
Pay particular attention to the review websites that allow user-contributed reviews, but that do not contain responses from the company. They tend to have more trolls on them that claim the company charged them $600 for one box, but they also tend to contain a higher concentration of very angry people who feel they have been scammed and don’t mind saying so.
Conclusion – Try It Before Making Your Final Decision
HelloFresh does make its fair share of mistakes, and some customers have felt the sharp end of HelloFresh’s screw-ups, but if you take what is written on this article as fair warning of the problems you may experience, you should certainly give the company a try. Many people regularly enjoy Hello Fresh meals and cannot remember what life was like without them. If you are looking for a food delivery company, you should at least try this service for a few weeks before making your mind up.
[+] Create nutritious dinners and teas for you and your family
[+] Their meals are suitable for people trying to lose weight
[+] You receive quick-to-cook food that US citizens enjoy
[+] They offer food that you see on restaurant menus
[+] You don’t have to research your own recipes anymore
[+] Skip deliveries or weeks if you wish
[+] Keep the recipe cards for personal use in the future
[+] HelloFresh offer efficient ways to make healthy cuisine
A Side Note From The Article Author Ash The Great
The reason HelloFresh is also called Hello Fresh is so that people searching on Google may find this article more easily. Google has done a lot to help stop writers “having” to pander to them. Gone are the days of stuffing up to 12 keyword synonyms at a 3% density, of link baiting, and writing 20 fake comments that mysteriously contain web page keywords. However, despite Google’s efforts, we still have to pander to them a little, and HelloFresh is also written as Hello Fresh so that you will find us no matter which version you type into Google.