Looking to cut down on weekly takeaways? Meal kit deliveries like Marley Spoon and HelloFresh are the most practical and exciting solution to keep enjoying some restaurant-style dishes without wasting hours on food shopping and meal prep.
While they’re both excellent companies, they offer different meal plans and options that could very well make all the difference for you.
Let’s help you figure out whether Marley Spoon or HelloFresh is the secret kitchen helper you were hoping for!
Marley Spoon overview: exciting recipes by Martha Stewart
Embracing a collaboration with the popular celebrity chef Martha Stewart to stand out in the competitive US market, this German-based company focuses on helping people save time while still enjoying flavorful meals together (1).
“Our love for food paired with the belief that cooking does not have to be overly complicated or time-consuming is what made us want to launch the business.” - F. Siegel, CEO
With simple but versatile meal plans, Marley Spoon is a fantastic option for couples or families that want to cover either a few or almost every dinner per week.
Discover even more about the unique features of this meal kit delivery in our Marley Spoon review.
HelloFresh overview: the largest meal kit delivery in the US
Another German company, HelloFresh didn’t only manage to survive in an American market already dominated by several meal kit delivery giants: it became the largest one, stealing Blue Apron’s title in 2018 (2).
How? Easy: they focused on simplifying the lives of the busiest professionals with tasty but quick and straightforward recipes (3).
“HelloFresh is on a mission to make us less ‘hangry’ after work.” - Forbes
Overall, it’s a practical meal kit delivery for singles, couples, families, and even student houses without many dietary requirements.
Intrigued? Check out our HelloFresh review.
Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh comparison: their main juicy features
Despite a few similarities, this quick Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh overview will give you a better understanding:
Already spotted something that seems to match your needs? Let’s double-check by diving into the core of our Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh comparison.
Meal Plans & Prices
One of the Marley Spoons features that immediately stands out is the fact that they cover more dinners than the average meal kit delivery.
Whether you were only hoping for a solution for a couple of nights or even six, both their two- and four-people plan can accommodate your specific wish. The fact that their vegetarian plans can do so for up to five nights is also quite generous compared to most competitors.
However, keep in mind that their price-per-serving will be affected if you only choose a couple of nights a week. While plans with more people and nights can get it as ridiculously cheap as $6.39, the most basic ones will set you back $10.25 per serving.
That’s why (unless budget isn’t one of your concerns) Marley Spoon makes more sense for families or couples who’re thinking of covering a few more dinners every week. In that case, it’s actually very good value for money considering the quality of the food!
HelloFresh covers fewer nights: between three and five with their two-people plan or two and four with the family option.
Still, the price difference isn’t as drastic: while busier plans work out cheaper with Marley Spoon, the most expensive HelloFresh can get per serving is only $8.99.
This makes it a more affordable option for singles, couples, or families who only wish to cover two or three dinners a week… or students who are ready to ditch boring microwavable meals but could do with a 50% discount.
HelloFresh also has slightly more customizable plans: as well as the vegetarian option, they offer family-friendly, calorie smart, and quicker alternatives, too.
Keep in mind that both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh will charge you for delivery (the first one being one dollar more expensive) and they haven’t really got plan options for more specific dietary requirements or to avoid an ingredient or allergen with your subscription. However, Marley Spoon does usually let you remove them from most recipes.
Winner: draw. Marley Spoon can be a more convenient option for large boxes, whereas HelloFresh can simplify the evenings of smaller households.
Both Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh choose the best ingredients.
We love the fact that Marley Spoon creates recipes around seasonal produce for an even more sustainable process.
Still, HelloFresh has clearly put a lot of effort into sustainability, and they’re very transparent about their suppliers: as well as listing the provenance of every single ingredient, they’re part of several eco-friendly initiatives like the Seafood Watch (4).
Personally, we’ve had outstanding experiences with both Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh.
However, a few customers complained because they occasionally received boxes with one missing ingredient from HelloFresh and a couple of not-so-fresh products from Marley Spoon. Still, let’s be honest: these occasional accidents can happen with most meal kit deliveries.
Winner: HelloFresh. Both meal kit companies are super fresh and clearly have an eye for sustainability, but HelloFresh’s transparency is always a plus.
Both Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh divide their recipes into six straightforward steps using simple recipe cards full of descriptive pictures.
The main difference?
- Marley Spoon relies on Martha Stewart’s collection of over 18,000 recipes (5) which are often global-inspired and perfect if you’re happy to experiment a bit more;
- HelloFresh is a safer choice for picky eaters or if you’d rather add a modern twist to more familiar dishes. We’ve found that some HelloFresh recipes were even easier and quicker to prepare, too.
Marley Spoon has a menu of 22 new weekly recipes. HelloFresh can vary, but you obviously get fewer options with more specific plans. Still, we found that Marley Spoon offered a bit more choice and variety, especially for vegetarians. They sometimes have the option to include add-ons like smoothies or desserts, too.
While most meal kit deliveries (including HelloFresh) expect you to have your own oil, salt and pepper, Marley Spoon can sometimes ask you to grab additional ingredients like flour or eggs. This can be tricky if you’ve already started cooking and didn’t notice you’d run out of one of them... and a bit annoying considering the often higher price-per-portion.
Winner: HelloFresh. We loved recipes from both, but HelloFresh is often simpler, can please more people, and doesn’t involve unexpected additional ingredients.
Whether you need to skip a week, pause your subscription or change meal plans, don’t worry: both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh offer customizable subscriptions and user-friendly website interfaces to arrange this. They both have apps, too.
Both meal kit companies usually let you choose among three days a week to get your box delivered, although this can change quite drastically depending on your area.
However, we believe that Marley Spoon’s subscription deserves some bonus points: they offer you the option of adding leftovers or extra servings for larger dinner parties, too. This means that, if you have friends over, you can cover that meal with your Marley Spoon’s subscription by paying a little extra (and are guaranteed to impress them with your cooking skills!).
Winner: Marley Spoon. Both subscriptions are fairly customizable, but this extra serving option can really come in handy.
Both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh separate their ingredients per dish bags, which makes for a tidy fridge and an even quicker meal preparation.
While quite a lot of plastic is involved, it all seems to be recyclable, and both companies offer clear instructions on how to do so correctly.
We also appreciate the fact that Marley Spoon’s boxes and paper come from sustainably managed forests.
Still, HelloFresh has recently gone one step further: they’ve partnered with TerraPass to offset 100% of their direct carbon emissions, including shipping (6).
Winner: HelloFresh. Another very close tie, but carbon offsetting is a welcome plus, especially when so much plastic is involved in both meal kit deliveries.
Our final verdict: should you choose Marley Spoon or HelloFresh?
This Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh comparison was particularly tough since there were a few draws and very similar features and standards. However, we’re gonna have to be mainstream and agree with the general consensus of HelloFresh being one of the best meal kit deliveries.
This is because it manages to keep prices fairly low while still offering plenty of options like vegetarian plans, sends you fresh ingredients with full transparency, includes simple recipes with exciting twists on comfort food and familiar dishes, and is invested in sustainability.
Still, depending on your needs, Marley Spoon could actually be the best meal kit delivery for you. In fact, if you’re part of a large household and/or planning on covering lots of meals every week, we think it’d be a better and more affordable option, especially if you enjoy experimenting with new flavors.
1. How much does Marley Spoon cost a week?
Marley Spoon can cost between $52.95 and $176.75 a week (shipping included) depending on how many people and dinners you’re planning on covering.
2. Can you cancel Marley Spoon?
Yes, you can easily pause or cancel your Marley Spoon subscription whenever you want, as long as it’s at least six days before your next box is due.
3. How much does HelloFresh really cost?
HelloFresh costs between $62.93 and $128.83 depending on your plan, getting overall more expensive but cheaper per serving when you cover more nights a week and for more people.
4. Is Marley Spoon or HelloFresh better?
Marley Spoon is better if you value a wider range of global-inspired recipes and if you want to cover several nights a week. However, HelloFresh is better in most cases as it’s a more versatile subscription with more options for picky eaters: it’s usually cheaper per serving even if you’re only planning on covering two or three nights a week.
1. Loritz, M. (2018, November 22). Bringing fresh food to your doorstep: Interview with Marley Spoon CEO Fabian Siegel. Retrieved from https://www.eu-startups.com/2018/11/bringing-fresh-food-to-your-doorstep-interview-with-marley-spoon-ceo-fabiel-siegel/
2. (n.d.). (2018, March 27). HelloFresh Passes Blue Apron As Biggest Meal Kit Company In The US. Retrieved from https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/hellofresh-blue-apron-meal-kit-company/
3. Kwittken, A. (2018, March 27). Food For Thought: How HelloFresh Is On A Mission To Make Us Less 'Hangry' After Work. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/aaronkwittken/2018/03/27/food-for-thought-how-hellofresh-is-on-a-mission-to-make-us-less-hangry-after-work/
4. Parisi, J. (2018, June 8). HelloFresh Celebrates World Oceans Day With Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Retrieved from https://blog.hellofresh.com/hellofresh-monterey-bay-aquarium-seafood-watch/
5. (n.d.). How it works. Retrieved from https://marleyspoon.com.au/blog/how
6. (n.d.). A greener footprint. Retrieved from https://www.hellofresh.com/about/sustainability/greener-footprint
There’s no way you could be born in Italy and not be passionate about food! Since the pleasure of gathering around a table to eat together has been slowly dying out, Giada loves finding solutions that can make it work with our busy, modern lifestyles.
- Marley Spoon overview: exciting recipes by Martha Stewart
- HelloFresh overview: the largest meal kit delivery in the US
- Marley Spoon vs HelloFresh comparison: their main juicy features
- Our final verdict: should you choose Marley Spoon or HelloFresh?