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Written by: Mirela Niculae on Mar 17th, 2022

Factor vs. Freshly 2022: How Do They Compare? Pros & Cons

Whether you’re a student living with roommates, a parent responsible for family dinners, or a professional living on your own, either of these prepared meal delivery services could be a big time-saver. But which one comes out on top?

To find the answer, I ran a Factor vs. Freshly comparison. I discovered that Freshly is more cost-effective and has a handy mobile app, but if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you might find the offerings limited. On the other hand, Factor caters to more diets and preferences, giving you lots of control when choosing your meals, but it’s more expensive.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a simple, budget-friendly option, you really can’t beat Freshly. If you want to know more about how I chose the winner, read on.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Freshly ($7.74) per serving

🍔 Menu Variety:

It’s a tie

⏰ Prep Time:

It’s a tie

🍴 Customization:

Factor (4 dietary options)

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Freshly

🙋 Customer Support:

Freshly

Menu Variety

Winner: It’s a tie! 

This was a close-run thing. I love Factor’s more balanced menu and sweet treats in the Factor+ extras, but Freshly has almost double the number of meals to choose from.

Interestingly, Freshly’s weekly menu is mainly chicken- and turkey-based, with only a handful of pork and beef meals to mix things up. Factor seems to take a more balanced approach. Although the majority of its meals also involve chicken, the ratio between chicken, turkey, other meats, and vegetable options is more even.

What gives Factor the advantage is its optional Factor+ extras, which you can add to any meal. These are priced individually and added to your normal subscription costs, but they’re so worth it! From Wellness Shots and soups to shakes, smoothies, and keto-friendly snacks – I had a hard time keeping my clicking finger in check when selecting my week’s meals!

Factor and Freshly both offer a decent variety of international cuisines and flavors – Thai, Greek, and Mexican dishes appear alongside American, Italian, and Indian favorites, to name but a few. 

I really like that you can experience food from all over the world without traveling thousands of miles. You don’t even have to figure out the ingredients (or do the shopping) yourself. 

Here are a few delectable dishes from Freshly:

Meal Customization

Winner: Factor

 Factor wins this round hands down, due to its clearly labeled and diverse dietary preference options.

Freshly makes it very clear from the get go that most of its meals are gluten-free. Plus, there are several vegetarian options (around seven per week), which is a good start. On the other hand, Factor is more focused on specific diets, and even includes a few weekly vegan choices (four per week). 

With Freshly, you have the freedom to choose your meals; it doesn’t have a “set menu” option. With Factor, you can either pick your own meals or Factor can decide your whole week’s menu for you, saving you the hassle of trying to decide on a good balance. With both services, you can exclude or include whichever meals you like.

You can easily filter your Factor meal options on the website by following the relevant dietary category (Keto, Calorie Smart, Vegetarian, Vegan, or regular meals). Each category is represented via a colored tag so it’s easy to find the ones you want.

Once you click on a meal, you can find detailed nutritional information alongside a full list of ingredients, a description of the meal, and pictures that will make your mouth water.

The Freshly website isn’t quite as precise.  While it’s easy to browse, the menu offers four seemingly arbitrary categories: Purely Plant, Signature Collection, FreshlyFit, and Proteins & Sides. The labels can be confusing as some don’t provide clear indications of which dietary requirements they satisfy.

Once you’ve clicked on a meal it does show the relevant subcategories but you need to go through each meal individually to find out if it’s suitable for your dietary needs or allergies, which I found quite time-consuming. 

On the other hand, the ingredients and nutritional information lists are more visual than Factor’s, but they’re also lacking in detail at first glance. You need to click on “show more” to see the full lists.

Luckily, Freshly’s app is its redeemer: it gives you the option to indicate which foods you feel neutral about, which foods you enjoy, and which foods you want to avoid. There are also filters such as “Carb Conscious,” “Curb Calories,” and “Sodium Smart.” It uses this information to tailor meals to your tastes.

I couldn’t find any seafood-based meals on Freshly’s website menu, although it does seem to offer those when you browse through the FAQ. Factor, however, has at least one seafood-based meal per week on the menu, and there are two add-ons (shrimp and pan-seared salmon) that you can also select if you’re looking for more fish in your meal plan.

If you’re unsure about what kind of meals you should be eating, both services offer one free consultation with their in-house dietitian or wellness expert. You can chat with them to figure out the ideal meal plan for you.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Freshly

Hands down, Freshly is the winner here! I love how it uses badges (labels applied on the food packaging) to clearly mark the food you should eat first and the range of delivery days.

Both Factor and Freshly deliver your meals weekly. Factor only delivers Monday to Wednesday, whereas Freshly offers delivery seven days a week. The exact delivery day will depend on your location so check this before signing up. I prefer my meals to be delivered on Mondays and both services honored my preferences.

Both services deliver direct to your door, which is awesome because it means you don’t have to schlep the whole box up flights of stairs or down a long driveway.

Packaging from both is recyclable and even the denim insulation that Freshly uses to keep the food fresh is 85% biodegradable, so it’ll be broken down over time to natural elements, without causing any harm to the environment.

Factor uses reusable gel ice packs, so you can keep them for when you’re going on a picnic, or when you want to keep things in a cooler box when barbecuing outside.

The food arrives neatly packaged and labeled, and the food will still be cold – although the gel packs may start to melt, which is normal.

Freshly puts a badge on the food it suggests you eat first. If you’re worried about the food going off, you can always freeze the meals and reheat straight from frozen – for me, that’s one of the biggest advantages of these prepared meals. 

Where Freshly stood out, though, was with its simple-to-use app, through which you can even track your order and delivery. If you’re still unsure about when your food will arrive, you can contact the 24/7 support team via the app, too.

Meal Prep

Winner: It’s a tie

Factor and Freshly chefs use fresh, unfrozen ingredients for their meals, and they compile their menus with the help of dietitians and nutritionists. This means that you’re getting nutritious, fresh food every week, and it doesn’t even need thawing out.

If you spontaneously decide to go out on one or two nights or you have a couple of last-minute business lunches at work, you can just freeze the pre-packed meal for another time.

The meals from both Freshly and Factor come in microwave-safe plastic containers (and Factor specifically states that its packaging is BPA-free). 

You don’t need to add anything – your whole meal is already prepped and ready to heat. The Factor+ add-ons are also delivered ready to heat. Of course, you won’t need to heat things like smoothies, energy bites, and Wellness Shots, but with the other options, it works exactly the same as the meals.

Since both these services offer prepared meals, the “difficulty levels” and prepping/cooking times of all meals are roughly the same: easy as pie. They take just 2-3 minutes to reheat in the microwave, depending on your microwave’s power. 

I love it! When I’m hungry, I want to eat as soon as possible, not spend an hour reading a complex recipe while prepping and cooking a meal for myself.

Customer Support

Winner: Freshly

Both Freshly and Factor have a comprehensive FAQ section where users can find detailed answers to their inquiries, but Freshly offers more contact methods and its team is more readily available. 

Factor’s team is available via phone or live chat, but only Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm CT and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm CT. On the other hand, Freshly’s team is more readily available via 24/7 phone, Facebook Messenger (7 days a week, 8 am - 1 am EST), and email

What I like about both teams is that they are open for discussion, whether you are a paying customer or just shopping around. So if you have a question you can’t find the answer to, it’s easy to reach out to them.

Pricing

Winner: Freshly

Freshly knocks Factor out of the park where starting prices are concerned.

Aside from the meal’s contents, price is my most important consideration. Freshly is the more affordable of the two, with the lowest meal price a mere Price: Missing price for Product undefined (if you order 12 meals a week), compared to Factor’s lowest price of $5.50 per meal (for 18 meals a week).

If you’re looking for smaller plans, Freshly’s 4-5 Meals plan works out to $11.79 per meal while with Factor it would be $15.00 per meal on the same size plan. Also, Factor’s add-ons range from $8.99 to $30.00.

Freshly’s website gives you the estimated shipping costs for each meal plan at checkout. The costs depend on your location and meal plan and range from $9.99 to $11.99. 

Both of these services offer the option to pause your subscription for up to four weeks if you’re going away, so you won’t waste money on a delivery that you won’t be able to use.

Features Comparison: Factor vs. Freshly


Factor

Freshly

Best for

People who follow a specific diet

Busy people on a budget

Starting price

$5.50 per serving

$7.74 per serving

Shipping cost

$9.99

$9.99-$11.99 depending on location and meal plan

Minimum order

4 meals/week

4 meals/week

Menu Variety

29+ choices per week

30+ choices per week

Prep Time

2-3 min to reheat (meals are prepared)

2-3 min to reheat (meals are prepared)

Clean-Up

None

None

Convenient Options

Oven-ready, microwave-ready

Oven-ready, microwave-ready 

Allergy Options

Allergens mentioned for each recipe

A certified gluten-free food service

Possible allergens specified on the label

Special Dietary Options

Keto, high-protein, low-carb, low-calorie, vegetarian, 

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

Customer support

Online chat, phone

24/7 online chat, email, phone

Promotions

$120 Off! Code: DELIVERYRANK120

Save $125, Promo Code: SAVE125AFF

And The Winner Is: Freshly

Freshly has more meals on the menu than Factor and a handy app through which you can manage your meals, subscription, payments, and everything else while on the go. 

If you’re on a tighter budget, and aren’t too bothered about specific dietary options, Freshly’s low prices are definitely a plus. It also made it onto our list of the best prepared meal delivery services of the year.

Although Factor has a larger variety of menus to choose from – Keto, Vegetarian, and Calorie Smart, plus add-ons – it doesn’t have an app and its website doesn’t quite give you all the information upfront, such as payment options and shipping costs. 

However, if you have more room in your budget and specific dietary requirements, Factor could be the right choice for you. 

FAQ

Is Factor Good for a Healthy Lifestyle?

Factor features a diverse menu that caters to several specific diets such as Keto or Calorie Smart. Overall, the meals are tasty and rich in nutrients, which is a good step towards a healthy lifestyle. Still, there are other factors at work here such as physical activity, rest, and more.

How much does Factor cost per month?

When comparing Freshly and Factor’s prices, it’s clear that Factor is on the pricier side, but the cost per month depends on the number of meals you order and the number of add-ons to each order.

Factor’s price per meal changes according to the amount of meals you order, and can go as low as $5.50/meal if you order 18 meals per week. On the other hand, if you stick with the minimum order (4 meals/week) it will cost $15/meal.

Where do Freshly’s meals come from?

All Freshly’s meals are cooked by professional chefs in specially-equipped kitchens all over the country. All the kitchens are well-suited for small-batch production and all safety rules are thoroughly followed.

About The Author

Mirela Niculae

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Mirela is passionate about eating healthy and well-balanced meals that promote weight loss and a good life. She's been writing online content for about 6 years with a focus on technology and personal development. She lives in Romania and loves exploring new cultures through food and conversation.

Mirela is passionate about eating healthy and well-balanced meals that promote weight loss and a good life. She's been writing online content for about 6 years with a focus on technology and personal development. She lives in Romania and loves exploring new cultures through food and conversation.
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