I’ve heard a lot about Hello Fresh but didn’t really think it was worth trying as both Daddy Dino and myself are good cooks. It seemed more suited to non-cooks but I was given a discount code to try my first box for 50% off so I thought I’d give it a go. Here is what I thought of my first Hello Fresh order.
Ordering Your Hello Fresh Box
Ordering from Hello Fresh is really simple, there’s even an app and as you can see from this article, I do love an app to make life easier! Picking your meals and getting set up is easy, you can enter how many people you want meals for, how many meals you want, any dietary requirements and how often you want deliveries. Hello Fresh will then automatically select recipes for you and add them to your next delivery. You can look through these and edit the selections up until the cut off point which for us was the Sunday before the delivery day which is Friday (I don’t know if this varies by location).
I selected to have three meals for three people (the Dinosaur wouldn’t eat a whole meal so we can split it between the four of us). As we are trying to eat healthily and Daddy Dino is following Slimming World, I opted to change some of the recipes that had been selected for us, this meant that a couple of them were classed as premium meals which meant I had to pay a little extra for them. You can also add on extras like deserts or accompaniments like extra vegetables or garlic bread. In total, I paid £26.96 for three meals with enough to feed three people. The recipes I selected were Teriyaki Salmon Fillet Tacos, Porky Pappardelle and Speedy Creamy Chorizo & Sweetcorn Pasta
Hello Fresh Packaging & Delivery
Your meal kits come in a cardboard box by courier. Inside there is one brown paper bag for each recipe, the recipe cards for the meals you have chosen and another brown paper insulated bag with a reusable ice pack and all your chilled ingredients such as meat, fish or dairy ingredients. The box states on the outside that the package contains food so the doorbell should be rung and the parcel should not be left on the doorstep. Unfortunately for us, the courier (DPD) didn’t follow this instruction and just left the box on the doorstep. Fortunately, as we have a Ring Video Doorbell, the motion sensor alerted me to the fact that someone had approached my front door so the box wasn’t left outside for long.
When I picked the box up and brought it in I noticed that the bottom of the box wasn’t sealed properly so I was worried that dirt could have got in or that the contents could have escaped. When I opened the box I saw that there were 4 paper bags inside and 2 recipe cards. Unfortunately, all 4 of the paper bags were torn with some ingredients falling out, the insulated bag for the chilled items had disintegrated in one corner where it was wet, the liquid that had leaked had also made the box wet and 1 of the recipe cards was missing. On closer inspection, it turned out that the packet of salmon from one of our meals had split and leaked everywhere. This meant that all the items in the insulated bag were covered in the liquid from the salmon packet. So far it was not a good first impression.
Hello Fresh Box Ingredients
I unpacked all the bags to make sure nothing had escaped from the damaged packaging, to see if the salmon was spoiled and to clean the salmon liquid off of everything it had leaked on. The first thing that surprised me was the amount of single-use plastic contained within the paper bags. For a company that claims to be carbon neutral, Hello Fresh didn’t seem to have put a lot of thought into the packaging of the different ingredients. As a family, we are embarking on a quest to be more eco-conscious so I found this quite disappointing.
The ingredients supplied were all excellent quality although I was a little disappointed with some of the quantities, the salmon fillets, in particular, were tiny and I felt there wasn’t enough for the recipe without making the portions look really meagre. It would also be nice if lower-fat versions of things like mince or creme fraiche could be available as substitutions or provided as standard.
I was particularly impressed with the chopped tomatoes and herbs which were supplied in a tetra pack. We used chopped tomatoes a lot when we are cooking as they make an excellent base for things like tomato-based sauces but we usually buy them in tins. The cartons that came with the Hello Fresh box were very easy to open and the contents were nice and thick, more like a combination of chopped tomatoes and passata.
Ease of Use
The recipes were extremely easy to follow, especially if you used the app as you could enable voice activation so that you could tell it to go onto the next instruction, you could also enable the timers so that you could time the various different cooking stages. Both the app and the written instructions have photographs of the individual ingredients to make them easy to identify if you are unfamiliar with them.
I really liked the app and preferred this for following the method however once it got to Sunday and therefore a new week, I could not find the recipes for the dishes we had. This meant I had to use the paper instruction sheet for our final recipe which we had on Sunday night. It wasn’t a huge issue but it was annoying that I couldn’t easily search for the recipes we had already had delivered.
The Taste Test
There are some very picky eaters in my house so I was expecting to hear a lot of “eurgh, I don’t like that!” so was pleasantly surprised to find that 2 out of the 3 meals were a hit. The Unicorn is a big lover of salmon and also tortilla wraps so I thought she would really enjoy the salmon tacos but she wasn’t keen on the sauce on the salmon however she did enjoy the wraps and the sweet potato chips. Of the three meals we had this was the least popular, it wasn’t inedible it just wasn’t quite to our taste.
Our other dishes were delicious and we will definitely be adding both recipes to our regular repertoire. The porky pappardelle even had enough left over for a large portion for my lunch on Monday while I was working. The sweetcorn and chorizo pasta was a hit with both children and neither of them complained about the spinach so it was nice to be able to get extra veg into them without any fuss or having to disguise them. All in all the meals tasted delicious and we did enjoy eating them.
Would I buy a Hello Fresh box again? In short, the answer is no. Not at full price anyway. I used a discount code to get my first box which meant that I had a 50% discount meaning this box was very reasonably priced. As a novelty just to try it was good and it would be ideal for someone who wants to learn to cook, especially if they are on their own as you only get sent the ingredients you need to make one portion per person. For a busy family of four who can already cook it seems a very expensive way of cooking (when paying full price). I could easily go to the supermarket or to local shops and buy what I need to make these meals for far less than Hello Fresh can do. I could also then make them healthier by selecting leaner meats and reduced-fat cheese and dairy. In the year of the squeeze, I think that Hello Fresh is a luxury that only a select few will be able to enjoy.