We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Jessica White
Jessica White
Updated on Apr 4th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

CookUnity vs. Freshly 2024: Which Wins?

Update November 2023: Unfortunately, Freshly has stopped trading and is no longer accepting new orders. As an alternative, we recommend Factor. It offers healthy prepared meals for a range of specialized diets. You can also save money with our special discount code: Get $130 Off + Free Wellness Shots for Life!.

Deciding between Freshly and CookUnity depends on your specific preferences. If you lean towards quick, nutritious meals that fit a busy schedule, Freshly might be your ideal choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a variety of chef-prepared, gourmet options, CookUnity could better meet your culinary desires. 

I have thoroughly compared CookUnity and Freshly for you. This analysis covers meal variety, quality, pricing, delivery, and sustainability. My goal is to provide a clear, unbiased perspective, helping you make a well-informed choice that suits your dietary preferences and lifestyle.

CookUnity stands out as the superior choice in this comparison. It offers a vast selection of over 200 chef-crafted meals, emphasizing gourmet quality and diverse cuisines. CookUnity's dedication to high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients, along with its customization options, makes it an ideal choice for those seeking variety and nutritional value in their meals.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Freshly ($6.90 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

CookUnity (200+ choices per week)

🥦Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

CookUnity

⏰ Prep Time:

Freshly

🍴 Customization:

CookUnity

👍 Ordering and Delivery

CookUnity

📦 ​​Packaging and Eco-Friendliness

CookUnity

🙋 Customer Support:

CookUnity

👑 Overall Winner

CookUnity

Menu Variety

Winner: CookUnity

CookUnity is the winner with over 200 menu options. It boasts a remarkable variety, offering hundreds of chef-cooked dishes. The focus is on a wide array of cuisines, primarily featuring main courses.  Screenshot of CookUnity's menu showing tabs for East Coast, West Coast, Texas, and Midwest

CookUnity also offers breakfasts, treats, and drinks. This enhances its already extensive selection. This addition ensures a more comprehensive culinary experience, catering to all meal preferences. When ordering for a family, it's important to note that each meal serves 1 person, so larger orders are necessary to accommodate everyone's needs.

Freshly offers 50+ meals per week, showing less variety than CookUnity. It provides a decent selection of main courses, ensuring you have enough options to avoid mealtime monotony. 

Like CookUnity, Freshly also focuses mainly on main dishes. It skips on extras like desserts or breakfast items. However, you can find a small range of proteins and sides to add a bit extra to your meal. This similarity underlines its commitment to providing substantial, satisfying meals. Image of 5 plated meals and a Freshly prepared meal in its packaging

Both services deliver fresh, prepared meals to your doorstep. This convenience means you spend less time preparing food and more time enjoying it. CookUnity meals have varying cook times, depending on whether you use a microwave or stove. 

In terms of dietary accommodations, both services cater to various needs. Whether you're following a specific diet or have particular food preferences, you'll find options that suit your lifestyle. However, CookUnity takes a slight edge with its chef-driven, gourmet-style meals, offering a more upscale dining experience at home.

Sample Meals

CookUnity's extensive range of filters simplifies finding a suitable dish. You have the option to search by chef, protein type, and cuisine, which is particularly helpful given the vastness of its menu. These filters streamline the process of discovering meals that align with your taste preferences. Image of CookUnity's Mushroom Lentil Bolognese dish

  • Best low-calorie dish: Mediterranean Chicken Thighs

  • Best quick-prep dish: Beef & Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

  • Best vegan dish: Mushroom Lentil Bolognese

  • Best family dish: Salmon Burger with Sriracha Aioli & Tater Tots

You can easily search Freshly’s meals by filtering the menu. This makes it a breeze to find dairy-free, low-calorie, or gluten-free options. Based on my experience, I've selected a few meals that stood out and might be worth trying. Image of Freshly's Middle Eastern Falafel Bowl dish

  • Best low-calorie dish: Protein-Packed Chicken Parm

  • Best quick-prep dish: Southwest Beef Stew

  • Best vegan dish: Middle Eastern Falafel Bowl

  • Best family dish: Baked Turkey Meatballs

Meal Customization

Winner: CookUnity

CookUnity is the winner of this category with its streamlined signup process. During the initial setup, CookUnity allows you to select dietary preferences, favorite proteins, and ingredients to avoid due to sensitivities, like shellfish, sesame, or wheat. This personalized approach ensures that your meal plan aligns closely with your dietary needs and preferences. Screenshot of dietary preferences screen during the signup process for CookUnity

It particularly excels in catering to niche diets. CookUnity offers a wide array of vegan options, as well as meals tailored for paleo and keto diets. This diversity makes it an excellent choice for those who follow specific dietary guidelines or have unique nutritional requirements.

Freshly, on the other hand, customizes your menu with its range of plans. Freshly’s dietary options are comprehensive, including gluten-free, low-carb, low-calorie, soy-free, dairy-free, high-protein, and vegan choices. Furthermore, all of its meals are gluten- and peanut-free, catering to common dietary restrictions and allergies. Screenshot of the types of dishes on Freshly's menu including gluten-free, dairy-free, and more

However, it’s important to note that individual meals can’t be customized by either service. This means that while you can select your general dietary preferences, you cannot tailor specific meals to your exact specifications.

There’s an extensive range of options on CookUnity’s menu. This means it's usually not difficult to find meals that meet a variety of dietary needs. This abundance of choices ensures that you can enjoy a diverse range of meals while still adhering to your dietary requirements.

Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

Winner: CookUnity

CookUnity excels at providing high quality, nutritious ingredients. It uses fresh, high-quality ingredients prepared by skilled chefs, focusing on natural, unprocessed foods. Each meal is fresh, not frozen, and transparency allows you to see the chef and ingredients for each dish. This approach caters to both taste and health. Image of a seasonal meal next to a photo of the chefs Larry and Marc Forgione

Sustainability and responsible sourcing are key to CookUnity's approach. It prioritizes local, seasonal, and when possible, organic ingredients. All meats and poultry are ethically sourced, with a commitment to non-GMO products. Fish are wild-caught or responsibly farmed, aligning with ethical standards.

Freshly, meanwhile, uses whole foods and healthy substitutes. For example, using Greek yogurt instead of cream. Meals are free from artificial preservatives, balancing proteins, fats, and carbs.  Image of the nutritional info and macronutrient ratios for a dish on CookUnity's menu

Both services provide nutritional information for every meal. Detailed nutritional information ensures you can tailor meals to your dietary needs. I’m impressed with CookUnity’s approach of providing clear macro nutrient information too.

Ordering and Delivery

Winner: CookUnity

In terms of ordering and delivering, CookUnity is the winner. It allows you to order between 4 and 16 meals per week. This makes it a suitable option for both individuals and families. This caters to different household sizes and eating habits. CookUnity delivers fresh meals across nearly all US states but check your zip code before ordering.

CookUnity also provides efficient shipment tracking. For residents in New York or Los Angeles, text message notifications keep you updated on your delivery status. For those located elsewhere, email notifications serve this purpose. This system ensures that you are well-informed about your order's progress, regardless of your location.

Freshly, on the other hand, offers a slightly smaller order range. You can order between 4 to 12 meals per week. This range is still ample for most individuals or small families.  Image of the US map highlighting current delivery areas on CookUnity's website

Managing your CookUnity account and orders is a user-friendly experience. You can make changes to your order or adjust the delivery date and time through your account. The cutoff time for making these changes is 3 to 6 days before your delivery day, depending on your location.

Freshly’s account management features were fairly standard. When I tested out the Freshly website, it was no more or less difficult to navigate compared to CookUnity. However, the website and support features are no longer available now that Freshly is closed.

Unboxing

Winner: CookUnity

CookUnity's packaging is practical and environmentally conscious. Orders are delivered in recyclable boxes and insulated tote bags, with gel packs. This reflects a commitment to sustainability. The returnable packaging program in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago encourages customers to return the bags, further reducing waste. Screenshot of an image and text explaining CookUnity's packaging recycling program with Dispatch Goods

Freshly is also committed to global sustainability. Its meals are delivered in environmentally friendly packaging that is compostable, reusable, or recyclable. This round goes to CookUnity, however, as its packaging is overall superior.

Meal Prep

Winner: Freshly

Freshly stands out for its ultra-convenient meal prep. Meals heat up in as little as 3 minutes. This makes it an ideal choice for those with limited time or cooking facilities. This rapid preparation means you can enjoy a wholesome, tasty meal almost instantly, without sacrificing quality for convenience. Image of Freshly's Steak Peppercorn meal on a plate next to a microwave

CookUnity recommends stovetop preparation methods. This enhances the meals' taste and texture, mirroring a home-cooked meal. The instructions are straightforward, allowing for a quick warm-up in about 5 minutes, or a longer cooking time for a richer culinary experience as suggested by the chefs. 

Some CookUnity dishes may take up to 20 minutes to prepare. However, the process is hassle-free as there's no need for chopping or mixing, and the meal containers are safe for both microwave and oven use. 

Customer Support

Winner: CookUnity

In the realm of customer support, CookUnity takes the lead. It provides responsive and detailed assistance. You can contact CookUnity via email, live chat on its website, or text message. My personal experience with its email support was very efficient. I had a detailed reply to my ingredient quality query within a few hours.  Image of email reply detailing ingredient quality and standards from customer agent at CookUnity

Freshly, while not the winner, still offers robust customer support. The service has an extensive array of FAQs that are easy to navigate. For subscribers using the iOS app, canceling a subscription is straightforward: simply click on Cancel Subscription, answer a few questions, and the process is complete. 

Both services demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction. CookUnity impressed me with its quick and thorough responses, making it an excellent choice for those who value prompt and detailed support. Freshly, on the other hand, excels in providing a variety of accessible support options, catering to different preferences for customer service interactions.

Pricing

Winner: Freshly

Freshly's meal pricing is based on the number of meals you order each week. The cost per meal varies, with prices as low as $6.90 per meal when you order the maximum of 12 meals per week. However, if you opt for the minimum order of 4 meals per week, the cost increases to $11.79 per meal. 

In addition to the cost of meals, Freshly charges for shipping. The shipping fee varies based on the size of your order and your location. The cost of delivery fluctuates between $9.99 to $11.99, depending on these factors. This additional charge is something to consider when calculating the total cost of your Freshly order. Screenshot of the meal plan sizes from Freshly showing how much you can save by ordering more

CookUnity, on the other hand, offers a different pricing structure. The cost per serving starts at $11.09 when you order 16 meals per week, totaling $177.44 per delivery. However, if you choose to order just 4 meals per week, the price per serving rises to $13.59. CookUnity doesn’t charge extra for shipping, making larger orders more economical. Image of 2 Chef Specials dishes on CookUnity's menu costing an extra $4.99 and $9.99

Additionally, CookUnity's Chef Special meals come with a surcharge. This extra cost varies, ranging from an additional $2.99 to $9.99 for select dishes, such as the Adobo Short Ribs by Chef Andres Mendez. These premium meals offer a gourmet experience but at a higher price point, an important consideration for those who enjoy specialty dishes.

CookUnity vs. Freshly – Quick Overview


CookUnity

Freshly

Best for

Chef-prepared gourmet meals

Prepared meals on a budget

Starting price

$11.09 per serving

$6.90 per serving

Shipping cost

Free

$9.99 to $11.99

Minimum order

4 meals per week

4 meals per week

Menu variety

200+ choices per week

50+ choices per week

Prep time

5 to 20 minutes

2 to 3 minutes

Low-prep options

Oven-ready, microwave-ready

Oven-ready, microwave-ready

Allergies catered to

Allergens stated on menu

Certified gluten-free food, allergens specified on the label

Special diets

Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein, plant-based, keto, paleo

Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein, plant-based

Customer support

Online chat, email, phone

Online chat, email, phone

Promotions

SAVE 30% ON YOUR FIRST WEEK

No active deal

And The Winner Is: CookUnity

In the comparison of CookUnity versus Freshly, my ultimate winner is CookUnity. This decision is based on a range of factors, including menu variety, meal quality, and overall service. CookUnity's wide array of gourmet meals and ability to cater to various dietary needs stands out, offering a more diverse culinary experience.

The choice between the 2 depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle requirements. If you're someone who prioritizes a vast selection of gourmet-style meals, CookUnity is the way to go. Its expansive menu and chef-prepared dishes offer a more refined dining experience at home.

Freshly is a strong contender for those who value convenience and quick meal preparation. Its microwave-friendly meals are designed for speed and ease, perfect for busy individuals who still want to enjoy healthy, tasty food without spending much time in the kitchen.

A notable point of difference is in the range of vegan options offered. CookUnity provides a wider selection for those following a plant-based diet, making it a more suitable choice for vegans or those looking to explore more plant-based meals.

However, if you are strictly plant-based, you might want to explore beyond these 2 services. For a wider variety of vegan options, I recommend checking out our list of the best vegan meal delivery services. These specialized services cater specifically to plant-based diets, offering an even broader selection of meals to suit your dietary preferences.

FAQ

Is CookUnity expensive?

CookUnity's pricing is moderate compared to other gourmet meal services. It offers meals starting at $11.09 per serving for a 16-meal weekly plan. This pricing includes a range of chef-crafted meals and does not charge extra for shipping.

Is Freshly and Factor the same company?

Freshly and Factor are not the same company. Freshly is a standalone company known for its healthy, single-serving meals that require minimal preparation. Factor, also a meal delivery service, operates independently with a focus on providing fresh, dietitian-designed meals.

Is CookUnity fully cooked?

All meals from CookUnity arrive fully cooked. They are prepared by professional chefs and are ready to eat upon delivery. The only requirement is to heat the meals, which can be done using a microwave, oven, or stovetop, depending on your preference.

Our Top Choice For 2024
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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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