Food boxes have proliferated in recent years. One name that has stuck around, for a long while now, is Hello Fresh. It keeps going from strength to strength while alternatives to Hello Fresh seem to flounder and falter, before disappearing into the ether.
However, just because it's popular, does not mean that customers don't have their fair share of questions they want to ask about Hello Fresh. Here, we answer some of the questions you have always been dying to ask, but thought them too simple or obvious.
Knowing what’s in a Hello Fresh food box is crucial to understanding how alternatives to Hello Fresh so often pale in comparison to the original** food box **delivery company.
On the face of it, Hello Fresh delivers recipe cards with step-by-step instructions, an insulated cool bag with ice packs for any meat and dairy ingredients, and other pre-portioned ingredients required for the recipes a customer has chosen that week.
While customers have to provide basic pantry items such as oil or salt and pepper, in addition to basic cookware, the company pretty much takes the majority of the hard work of catering out of the equation.
What this basic list of what’s included does not tell you, however, is the produce is all extremely high quality and painstakingly sourced to ensure all food is produced ethically and sustainably. That’s particularly the case when it comes to meat which is always higher welfare.
We briefly mentioned above that Hello Fresh always ensures that its food is produced ethically and sustainably. More specifically, when it comes to meat and poultry, that means only ever choosing meat and poultry from suppliers who are ‘farm assured’. Hello Fresh also ensures that their suppliers undergo regular animal welfare audits.
The company also tries to minimise the number of extra food miles it takes delivering meat and poultry to their warehouses, as well as trying to minimise warehouse usage in general. The hope is to help reduce food waste in the supply chain overall.
Hello Fresh has a procedure called the Supplier Approval Process. All suppliers must pass that test before becoming a Hello Fresh supplier. They only ever accept products from suppliers who have certification from institutions which maintain leading auditing standards. But the company does not stop checks at that point. They continue to maintain close relationships with suppliers - including regular visits.
They do so to ensure that customers are always receiving the highest possible quality of produce, which helps make their recipes even tastier.
Despite Hello Fresh’s dedication to sourcing ingredients that are high quality and produced sustainably, the ingredients they use are not always organic. Some definitely are, but they do not require food to be organic to be included in their boxes - only that it is of the highest standard with the best possible flavour.
Hello Fresh recognises the need to reduce food packaging - given how it is so reliant on single use plastic. As a brand striving to reduce the impact of food production and food supply on the planet, reducing its plastic content in its food boxes is important to them.
However, there are some ingredients that still need plastic packaging as there are rules in place on how they must be delivered to ensure customer safety. That does not mean the company is sitting back and relaxing though. Instead, it has a packaging reduction programme in place which has been running since 2017. In that time, they’ve reduced the amount of plastic wrapping in their food boxes by 20%.
That includes removing all black plastic (which is hard to recycle), replacing trays with skin packs and continually working alongside industry bodies like WRAP to help innovate to find environmentally friendly ways to package food that means consumers stay safe too.
Companies like Hello Fresh often say they are committed to reducing their packaging waste, but actually do very little about it. If you are looking at alternatives to Hello Fresh, you may want to check that your potential **food box **delivery company manages to uphold the high standards that Hello Fresh does first.
While reducing the plastic packaging in a Hello Fresh food box has been a big priority for the company, not all of its packaging can sadly be recycled. However, the company is very clear on what can and what can’t be recycled. Its cardboard can all be recycled, and customers will find packaging labels outline what is recyclable too.
It’s also good to know what state old packaging has to be in to be recyclable. Cardboards often need to be dry or free from food for example.
The company also includes two types of cool pouches in its boxes. There is the plastic cool pouch which is currently made out of recycled PET. Sadly, as it is recycled polyester, the PET cool pouch in boxes cannot be recycled. Polyester can only be used a certain amount of times.
However, what’s great news is that they have a new paper cool pouch. This is recyclable which will please the ears of those trying to do more for the environment. Customers will be happy to know that at recycling plants, sorting equipment can recognize the pouch as paper and sorts it into the appropriate places for mixed paper and corrugated boxes.
Being able to plan ahead and see what food you could choose in future is one of the key ways that customers can take advantage of one of Hello Fresh’s biggest advantages - the variety of food it offers. Without being able to check what’s coming up, you may pick something that is not on the menu next week.
It also helps you doubly ensure you are eating a varied and balanced diet. While the chefs at Hello Fresh work tirelessly to ensure that all your food is not only tasty, but good for you too, knowing that you are not always going to choose pasta every night for one week also helps.
To see the upcoming menu, customers need to login and click on the button ‘my menu’.
For some reason, companies like Hello Fresh don’t always let customers see the current range of recipes on offer before they sign up for a subscription. It can be a bit like shopping in the dark, so it’s great to see that Hello Fresh is a company that definitely lets customers see upcoming menus.
In fact the next four weeks of menus are available on the company website, regardless of whether a person has already subscribed or not. It means people can be sure that they are buying a product that is suitable for them, and that each and every week there are a handful of recipes that they would like to eat.
Companies like Hello Fresh don’t always allow customers to add extras, which can really add so much more value to a food box. Hello Fresh is one of the few food box delivery companies that has recognised that added extras can go a long way to helping customers lead an easier and simpler life.
For that reason, Hello Fresh now offers delicious side dishes and desserts in addition to some lunch kits and even brunch recipes. It means even more aspects of a customer’s catering needs are answered in just one food box.
Hello Fresh understands and recognises the importance of helping people stay safe while creating food from their food boxes. All the company’s allergens are labelled on their upcoming recipes as well as the ingredient packaging - to make doubly sure customers can see exactly what’s going into their food before making their food choice and whilst they’re making their meals.
However, the company works with suppliers who often have a huge range of ingredients at any one time. As a result, Hello Fresh cannot guarantee that no traces of allergens may be present. That’s why the company does not offer a gluten free or dairy free option. Plus, some of their meat suppliers are certified as Halal, while others aren’t. As a result, they cannot assert that their meals are suitable for those following a Halal diet.
Looking at the answers to these questions, what stands out is Hello Fresh’s dedication to maintaining high standards for its customers, and their want to make customers’ lives easier. The company’s food boxes continually deliver quality ingredients to produce delicious meals - ensuring that customers have the hassle taken out of catering for themselves and their household. Instead, customers can enjoy the process of making home-cooked meals and eating them with their family or friends.