11 Tasty Food Subscription Boxes: All the Pros & Cons (PHOTOS)

Zlata Faerman | Dec 18, 2015 Food & Party
11 Tasty Food Subscription Boxes: All the Pros & Cons (PHOTOS)

hellofresh boxSometimes, life is too busy to think about what you're going to eat for your next meal. That's usually when people opt for something quick and easy, but not necessarily anything healthy. That's where the glory of subscription food boxes come in!

Services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron provide you with the convenience of having a recipe and its corresponding ingredients mailed to your doorstep. Box subscriptions make meal planning as easy as clicking on what it is you want for dinner that week. They're also perfect for snagging specialty items -- from spices to desserts.

So, save the headache of making time for the grocery store, and sign up for any of these 11 awesome box subscription services. 

 

Image via HelloFresh.com

  • HelloFresh

    1

    Image via HelloFresh

    HelloFresh offers healthy meals made from farm-fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients that are pre-measured and delivered right to you. Recipes include a protein, starch, and fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritionally balanced meals. They also have vegetarian recipes available. Choose the best subscription option for your home, all less than $11 per meal. Bonus: Jamie Oliver will start contributing recipes to HelloFresh beginning in January.

    Pros: Veggie options available, family-size portions option, choose your preferred meals

    Cons: Mix and matching not available, home chef does all prep work

  • The Purple Carrot

    2

    Image via Aya Brackett/The Purple Carrot

    The Purple Carrot offers whole food, plant-based, vegan meals. Recipes are nutritionally balanced with a big variety to choose from each week. Purple Carrot welcomes meat eaters too who want more plant-based meals in their diet to try them out. Prices start at $68 for three meals a week for two people.

    Pros: Great packaging, low calories, endorsed by Mark Bittman

    Cons: Pricey, only vegan options 

  • Love With Food

    3

    Image via Love With Food

    Love With Food is a box filled with gluten-free, organic, and all-natural snacks. For every box sent, two meals are donated to feed hungry children in America. To date, they've donated more then 700,000 meals. Subscriptions start at $20.

    Pros: Excellent variety, charitable component

    Cons: Unpredictability with product, not the best value

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  • Veestro

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    Image via Veestro

    Veestro provides plant-based meals created from wholesome ingredients that are ready to heat and eat. A typical Veestro day might include a three-layer scramble for breakfast, soba noodles with peanut sauce for lunch, lentil meatloaf for dinner, and raspberry tofu cheesecake for dessert. Customers can order meals and snacks à la carte, or choose from one of their subscriptions programs. Plans start at $99 for 12 meals.

    Pros: Frozen prepackaged meals can be packed for lunch, offer juice packages too

    Cons: Frozen and therefore not fresh, plastic trays

  • Hatchery

    5

    Image via Hatchery.co

    Supporting local business and small-batch makers, Hatchery sends individually curated samples of over 600 all-natural ingredients to use each month. Each box contains stories behind the products and recommendations on how to use them from their makers. The company works close with its constantly growing pool of 300+ makers to handle everything from promotion to sales to distribution, giving them a true opportunity to compete with traditional retail giants. Boxes start at $20.

    Pros: Informative profile cards, high-quality curation

    Cons: More about tasting each item than getting a significant retail value

  • Graze

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    Image via Graze

    Graze delivers boxes made of up perfectly portioned, nutritious snacks that are customzed based on your tastes and dietary preferences. Boxes start at $7.

    Pros: Small enough to fit in your mailbox, great variety

    Cons: Not the best fit for people with allergies

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  • NatureBox

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    Images via NatureBox

    NatureBox offers over 100 snacks that mare made with ingredients that are free of hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, sweeteners, and artificial flavors. You can choose from nuts, popcorn, dried fruits, and more. Boxes start at $10.

    Pros: Minimally processed ingredients, individually wrapped packaging that lasts a while. (No Chip Clip required!)

    Cons: No dietary restriction options

  • Home Chef

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    Image via Home Chef

    Home Chef helps you cook yummy, chef-approved meals that accommodate many special diets, including gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and more. Everything is pre-portioned and prepped to make cooking a breeze.

    Pros: No need for meal prep, allows you to select meals

    Cons: Caloric content, speedy delivery time 

  • eCreamery

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    Image via eCreamery

    eCreamery lets you create your own flavors of ice cream, gelato, or sorbet. They have over 30 flavors and 40 mix-ins to choose from. You can also design and personalize your own labels, perfect for when you're hosting. The site offers dairy-free, fat-free, and gluten-free options, as well. A 3-month subscription starts at $200, which comes out to about $16 a pint.

    Pros: Customization factor, it's ice cream (!)

    Cons: Splurgey

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  • Plated

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    Image via Plated

    Plated offers chef-designed recipes using seasonal ingredients right to your door. Once you choose a package plan, you can customize the number of plates you want and schedule delivery to the day. Most dinners are ready in just 30 minutes.

    Pros: Packaging, reputation, variety of recipes

    Cons: Recipes might not be the best fit for a picky eater

  • Blue Apron

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    Image via Blue Apron

    Blue Apron delivers fresh ingredients in several different meal plan options to cook restaurant-esque, gourmet dinners in your own kitchen. Meals are about 500-750 calories per serving, and each delivery comes with three meals for either two, four, or six people. Different recipes are offered each week, and not one recipe is repeated for an entire year.

    Pros: Fun to do with your partner, quality reputation, well-insulated box, meals keep for at least a week, offers add-on wine package

    Cons: Some meals can take longer than the estimated time to prepare, lots of packaging to toss, set menu you can't really control, expensive for a home-cooked meal, and offers add-on wine package ... (See what we did there?)

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