You can’t move from social media feed to shopping basket online these days without bumping into the food subscription service kings that are HelloFresh. I’ve always been intrigued and part-way lured in by their squeaky clean image and promise of fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep like some sort of millennial milkman (or woman, duh). However my love for picking out my own culinary components and adding my own creative touch to whatever I’m cooking has always had the power to pull me back in.
So, you might ask, what’s the deal with this here blog post… Well when the guys at HelloFresh got in touch asking if I’d like to take their Classic Box for a spin, I did just that. I thought I’d ask a few of the questions I thought you might like answering if you too are sitting on the ingredient subscription box fence.
What comes in the HelloFresh Classic Box?
Okay so first thing’s first, what is actually in the box. On the website there are three different types of ingredient box to choose from: the Family Box, the Classic Box and the Rapid Box each with their respective prices (more on that in a minute). The website allows you to select how many people you would like the box to cater for and make them aware if you’re a vegetarian. I got sent the Classic Box (non-vegetarian) for 2 people and it contained all of the ingredients for 3 hearty meals: Pulled Chicken Burgers, Sicilian-Style Caponata and Speedy Steak Stir Fry.
I was immediately pulled (sorry, bad pun) towards the chicken burgers so that’s the recipe I’m going to focus on in this post. As you’ll see from the images below, the box came complete with pretty much everything you need to make the meal apart from bog standard kitchen essentials like salt, pepper and water. Along with the beautifully packed ingredients came a concise recipe card which also detailed allergen information, fun foodie facts, nutritional breakdowns, serving suggestions and timing advice.
How much is the HelloFresh Classic Box?
So how much will the above set you back I hear you ponder. A Classic Box containing 3 meals for 2 people costs a princely sum of £34.99 (there is a promo on at the moment for 50% off if you’re keen). The website breaks this down to £5.83 per meal (or £2.92 if you do take advantage of the half price offer) which when you actually sit down and think about it, is probably around the same as if you were to go and buy the ingredients from the supermarket yourself. Okay so the best part of 35 quid might sound steep (and it may very well be a little more than your average discount grocery store) but don’t forget, you are also paying for the convenience of having the post-work food shop hassle dealt with for you.
What is the quality of HelloFresh ingredients like?
To be completely honest, I was a tad dubious about how fresh the ingredients would be after going through the whole delivery process but I couldn’t have been more impressed by the quality. I was particularly skeptical about the meat situation but the chicken (as well as the sausage meat and steak that was included for the other two recipes) came packaged with plenty of ice with decent use by dates. All of the fresh vegetables were in perfect condition – not a bump or bruise in sight – and plentiful in their quantities. If I were to pick at anything in the Pulled Chicken Burger recipe, it would be as pernickety as saying we could have done with a BBQ dipping sauce each but hey, maybe we’re just greedy.
Are HelloFresh recipes easy to follow?
One of the main premises behind the ingredient subscription box concept is to make cooking more accessible to those who either don’t enjoy it or don’t find cooking skills come naturally to them. I’d say this places particular pressure on the enclosed recipes to be as concise and easy to follow as possible and the HelloFresh recipes definitely deliver. The recipe is a step-by-step guide with the written method supported by images to demonstrate and no stone was left unturned. The recipes are printed on A4 card so they’re easy to see and great to file away and keep for future use. Failing that (or if you manage to spill a sizeable blob of barbecue stock over the hard copy like I did) all of the HelloFresh recipes are available to access online.
As you can see from the image above, I chose to manipulate the original recipe pretty much beyond recognition. This was a) an attempt to reduce the calorific content as much as possible (I’ve got to fit into unforgiving swimwear in a few weeks) and b) because neither of us are fans of lettuce or mayonnaise. The great thing about these recipe boxes though is nothing has to go to waste – I passed one of the meals and recipe card onto my auntie to try out in her new kitchen and some of the non-perishable components I have stored away in my cupboards for future use in one of my own concoctions. Whether you’re going to stick to the recipe and ingredient quantities religiously or tailor it to your own tastes, I promise you’ll be impressed with the outcome.
So all in all, although the quality of the ingredients was pretty much faultless, the recipe cards were super easy to follow and I had a whole lot of fun doing it, HelloFresh probably isn’t something I would personally subscribe too. Let me rephrase that – food subscription services like and including HelloFresh aren’t something I would personally subscribe to as, by nature, it negates all of the things I enjoy most about home cooking. I enjoy picking out ingredients, tangibly selecting them off a shelf and chucking them together in a rather more spontaneous way of cooking. I just kind of love everything food subscription boxes like HelloFresh and Gousto set out to eliminate from your life, no matter how efficient they are at doing it.
That being said, if you’re not the kind of person who gets a pathetic kind of buzz from stalking the Aldi Specially Selected aisle after work every night or experimenting with what your kitchen cupboards have to offer, this is a great idea. Fresh ingredients delivered straight to your door, with good use by dates, consise measurements, fantastic flavour combinations and recipes you can reuse as many times as you like – winner!
This post was written in collaboration with HelloFresh but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs, nails are my very own.
I’m yet to try Hello Fresh as I’m just like you – I love selected recipes myself and stocking up on the ingredients, oh and the middle aisle of Aldi is LIFE, but I’m impressed with the brands here. I know Stokes can be quite expensive, so to see smaller, portion sized ingredients from top brands included, is quite good. One to keep an eye out for a discount code for on those weeks when I just can’t face cooking!
Ruth // http://www.ruth-writes.co.uk