Friday 4 October 2013

Hello Fresh Meal Boxes (Review)

I’d not heard of HelloFresh before when they contacted me but when I mentioned their meal delivery service to a few friends I was told to bite their hand off for a complimentary hamper to review, as apparently they provide fabulous restaurant quality meals without the effort. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I took a look on their website and it was all well laid out and easy to understand. There are three types of box of choose from – classic, vegetarian and family. Immediately my eye was drawn to the family box as that is what I have to cater for, a family of 5. Whilst the meals look very nice, I found them to be far fancier than my children would normally eat.  I would not say my kids are fussy but we have average home cooked family meals – things like shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognese, chicken stir fry or chilli. In the main these were not the type of meals provided by Hello Fresh. Some of the ones I saw reminded me of the meals I enjoyed when I used to frequent nice restaurants in London.

I then took a look at the classic box and found this to be better as you could do meal swaps, I’m not sure why you can’t do swaps with the family box. The swaps meant I found three meals that I thought all my family would eat and I went ahead and placed my order for Tuscan meatballs, Doona chicken and Orecchiette with herbed pork. The classic box is packed for either 2 or 4 diners and I choose the box for 4 as I felt this would be enough for the 5 of us, as the kids would not eat a full adult portion each.

I did not order using the regular method as I had to email my contact my choice and also delivery instructions. My order appeared to be dealt with efficiently and I received an email to remind me that my box would be arriving and it stated the delivery instructions that Hello Fresh had recorded for me, sadly these were not the same ones I had provided.

Boxes can be delivered to your door on a Tuesday or Thursday and will arrive between 9am and 4pm, time slots are not available, so you either need to be in to receive the box or to have allocated somewhere safe for it to be left.

The three meals for 4 persons box costs £59.00 including delivery and you literally do not need anything else to complete your meals except oil, salt and pepper. That works out at roughly £20 per day and £5.00 per person. This is higher than we would normally spend but the quality is good and if you like things made simple for you then I don’t think it is that extortionate. I can see Hello Fresh being really popular with couples without kids who work long hours but still enjoy cooking.

My box arrived on the day it was scheduled and the food was very well packed, I probed the meat to test the temperatures and it was fine for delivery, the chicken was at 6.7 degrees which is slightly higher than I might have liked but I think this was because the plastic carton is too large and the ice packs had difficulty reaching the meat. The other meat products were perfect at 4 degrees. The box looked good and the food temping, my issue was that two out of the three meals in the box where not what I had ordered.

With the classic box, you can order your 3 or 5 meals and then there are swaps available if you think that something might not be popular.  The swaps I had specifically requested did not arrive with me.  I emailed my contact at Hello Fresh straight away and she was very apologetic but here I am now over two weeks later and I have not heard another word, I hope this is not their normal customer service.  Had I of paid for these meals I would have kicked up a massive fuss as I ended up with two meals that I knew my family would not eat and I gave away unwanted food – like duck, lemons, rocket, radishes etc.

The ingredients appeared to be good in the main and I was happy with the portion sizes except the new potatoes, I felt the were skimpy, what you see in the bag below is supposed to be enough for 2 people and one of them is green so needs chopping off. I'm not sure if you can see either, on the recipe card it shows about 9 potatoes as the portion for 2 people, whereas I was sent 5.

The one meal I had ordered I did make following the recipe card included and it was excellent, my husband and I really enjoyed it. I did find it slightly odd to take the meat out of sausages and to fry it as mini meatballs but it worked!

In conclusion, I would not order a Hello Fresh meal box again for a number of reasons. Firstly I am not impressed with their customer service and sending the wrong meals, second I can cook better meals for much less cost and as I have the time to do so it would be silly not to and lastly the meal selection is just too fancy for my average family.

As I said before if you are a busy Working couple who want easy restaurant quality meals that you can cook within about 30 minutes then Hello Fresh might well suit you. Try a box out and use HELLOPAR1 for £10 off your first box.

We were sent this box free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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