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

HelloFresh vs. Purple Carrot 2024: Which One Wins?

Deciding between HelloFresh and Purple Carrot can be tricky. For many, the modern world’s busy pace makes home-cooked meals a challenge. Meal kits offer a solution, but it’s important that you pick the right one.

I compared HelloFresh and Purple Carrot based on several crucial features. These include meal variety, ingredient quality, price, ease of preparation, and dietary options. Each service has its strengths and weaknesses.

HelloFresh emerged as the clear winner in my analysis. By diving into this comparison, you'll uncover which service aligns best with your culinary desires and lifestyle. Making the right choice can lead to flavorful, hassle-free dining at home.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

HelloFresh ($3.32 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

HelloFresh (100+ choices per week)

🥦Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

Purple Carrot

⏰ Prep Time:

Purple Carrot (2 to 45 minutes)

🍴 Customization:

HelloFresh (6 dietary plans)

👍 Ordering and Delivery

HelloFresh

🙋 Customer Support:

HelloFresh

👑 Overall Winner:

HelloFresh

Menu Variety

Winner: HelloFresh

HelloFresh stands out due to its diverse meal offerings. While Purple Carrot strictly provides vegan dishes, HelloFresh caters to a wider palate. It offers a commendable 6 distinct menu categories. Plus you can mix and match between these options. 

I like the flexibility of HelloFresh. Its 6 plans include Pescatarian, Vegetarian, Meat & Veggies, Fit & Wholesome, Family-Friendly, and Quick & Easy. Among them, you can also find around 5 recipes each week that cater to vegans. This flexibility allows you to tailor your orders based on personal or family preferences. Image of Vegan Sweet and Savory Tofu Bowls from HelloFresh

When it comes to weekly offerings, HelloFresh takes the lead with 100+ meal and market add-on choices. This is a significant variety, especially when considering the breadth of the menu. Purple Carrot, though unique in its offerings, provides fewer options with around 28 per week.

Purple Carrot's selection includes a range of meal types. There are 12 meal kits, 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 16 prepared meals. This makes it a convenient option for vegans looking to cover all of their meal choices. Screenshot of Purple Carrot's menu with tabs for dinners, breakfasts, lunches, and plantry

You can also find a limited selection of "plantry" items. While it's more limited, it is tailored for those dedicated to a plant-based lifestyle. It includes vegan cheeses, snacks, soups, and juices. These curated choices ensure vegan customers have quality options every week.

In the realm of cuisine diversity, HelloFresh is ahead. Purple Carrot emphasizes exotic dishes from cultures like African, Indian, Latin American, and Asian. This specialized menu might not appeal to everyone. Image of 6 dishes on the HelloFresh menu

HelloFresh presents a broad spectrum of global cuisines. These range from standard American to Mediterranean. With its expansive menu and a specific Family-Friendly plan, it might be a preferable choice for households with diverse dietary preferences or those with children.

Sample Meals

Searching through HelloFresh's menu is a breeze. The platform organizes its offerings based on your selected plan, ensuring a tailored browsing experience. Additionally, individual recipes come with tags, streamlining the process for you to quickly identify and select meals that align with your preferences or dietary requirements. Middle Eastern Chickpea Bowls dish from HelloFresh

  • Best low-calorie dish: Middle Eastern Chickpea Bowls

  • Best quick-prep dish: Parmesan Chive Chicken & Potatoes

  • Best family dish: Tex-Mex Beef & Pepper Enchiladas

  • Best high-protein dish: Pan-Seared Sweet Soy Glazed Chicken

Reviewing Purple Carrot's menu is quick and straightforward. Given its more limited selection compared to broader services, users can easily glance through the entire offering in one go. The tagging of individual recipes further simplifies the process, allowing customers to identify and choose meals that suit their tastes or dietary needs efficiently. Vibrant Veggie Burgers from Purple Carrot

  • Best low-calorie dish: Okonomiyaki-Style Brussels Sprouts

  • Best quick-prep dish: Thai Peanut Noodles

  • Best family dish: Vibrant Veggie Burgers

  • Best high-protein dish: Hoisin Tofu Steaks

Meal Customization

Winner: HelloFresh

HelloFresh is the winner here thanks to its HelloCustom feature. This allows you to specify protein preferences, such as beef-free, pork-free, seafood-free, and veggie. It also gives the flexibility to change, swap, or upgrade over 12 sides and proteins every week, depending on the recipe availability. Screenshot of HelloFresh's HelloCustom feature with recipe swap options

This level of customization is great for picky eaters. For instance, you can opt to replace potatoes with broccoli or switch chicken for steak among other choices. The adaptability ensures that meals are tailored to individual tastes and dietary requirements.

HelloFresh categorizes its meals into 6 dietary plans. Although the full menu remains accessible, the chosen plan influences the display order, pushing meals that match your needs to the forefront. This is a user-centric approach that enhances your recipe selections.

Both services highlight any allergens in their recipes. Common ones like wheat, fish, soy, and milk are indicated. However, due to shared preparation facilities, there's a residual risk of cross-contact, which might be problematic for those with severe sensitivities. Screenshot of recipe with listed allergens highlighted

If you have dietary restrictions or preferences, Purple Carrot’s menu is clearly labeled. It offers distinct choices like gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and high protein options. While direct menu filtering isn’t available, every recipe card is clearly labeled on the website, so you know the ingredients well in advance.

Both services operate on a meal kit model. This means that while specific ingredient exclusions aren’t possible during the ordering phase, once the kit reaches you, it's entirely up to your discretion to include or omit ingredients as you see fit.

Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

Winner: Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot prioritizes quality in its ingredients, ensuring the majority are non-GMO. Most of its non-produce items, which encompass vegan cheeses, beans, nut milk, tofu, tempeh, and yogurts, are confirmed organic. This commitment speaks to its dedication in offering wholesome, plant-based meals to customers.

HelloFresh's approach to ingredient sourcing is somewhat different. While it does highlight that some of its ingredients are organic, it stops short of providing a guarantee for all. You can find recipes that are labeled as organic. Plus it aims to source its meat and fish from suppliers that follow high standards of animal welfare. image of nutritional details provided on recipes for HelloFresh and Purple Carrot

Both HelloFresh and Purple Carrot provide nutritional details on every recipe. However, when delving into specifics, Purple Carrot goes the extra mile. Its nutritional information is more detailed, giving a more comprehensive overview of each meal's content. This attention to detail can be particularly beneficial for those closely monitoring their dietary intake.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: HelloFresh

HelloFresh takes the win here as it delivers to 48 states. This outpaces Purple Carrot which doesn't cater to Alaska or Hawaii. This broader delivery range gives HelloFresh an edge. While Purple Carrot has its own merits, its geographical reach falls slightly short.

Ordering from both services is user-friendly and intuitive. On HelloFresh, I simply clicked on Our Plans to select my desired menu and proceed. Meanwhile, on the Purple Carrot platform, choosing between Meal Kits or Prepared Meals is as simple as hovering over the Menus button. Image of a phone displaying the HelloFresh app

HelloFresh offers a mobile app which definitely enhances the ordering experience. This app addition makes it easy to place your order of up to 6 recipes for 4 people each week. In contrast, Purple Carrot allows selections of up to 4 meal kits of 4 servings and 6 to 10 prepared dinners weekly. You can also mix and match these in your account.

Delivery schedules vary between the 2 services. HelloFresh operates from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, with the specific day dependent on your location. Purple Carrot delivers between Monday and Wednesday from 8 am to 9 pm, with the exact day also based on your location.

Both services have specific cut-off times for changes or cancellations. For Purple Carrot, you need to make alterations by 11:59 pm EST on the Tuesday before your next week's delivery. With HelloFresh, adjustments should be made by 11:59 pm PST 5 business days before your upcoming delivery. Image of Purple Carrot's Chilled Farro Antipasto in a microwaveable tray

Unboxing is straightforward for both, and packaging recyclability is similar. All ingredients are clearly labeled, ensuring a smooth cooking process. Concerning packaging, while certain components are recyclable, others aren't; it's best to check specifics based on your location and local recycling guidelines.

Meal Prep

Winner: Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot emerges as the clear winner due to its offering of prepared meals. These ready-to-eat options can drastically reduce the time you spend in the kitchen, making mealtime more efficient. While HelloFresh does provide quick options, the convenience of having a meal already crafted cannot be overlooked.

Both services shine when it comes to their meal kits. Purple Carrot's meal kits typically require about 30-45 minutes of preparation, with the majority hovering around the half-hour mark. In contrast, HelloFresh offers a broader range: some meals can be whipped up in a brisk 10 minutes, while others, especially main courses, might demand closer to 45.  Image of Purple Carrot's Chilled Farro Antipasto in a microwaveable tray

Both HelloFresh and Purple Carrot deliver fresh meals and ingredients. With HelloFresh, if meats aren't used within 5 days, they should be frozen. Once thawed, the meat remains good for another 5 days, while seafood should be consumed within 2 days. Vegetables are pre-portioned for convenience and are best when used within a week.

Purple Carrot sets clear storage recommendations for its products. Whether it's the meal kit ingredients or the prepared meals, refrigeration for no longer than a week is advised. Certain dishes with perishable components, like salads or leafy vegetables, should be prioritized. 

Customer Support

Winner: HelloFresh

HelloFresh takes the lead in customer support, primarily because of its user-friendly app, which Purple Carrot currently lacks. The app is not just for placing orders, but it provides an accessible means to reach out for assistance while on the move.

Live chat stands out as the most efficient support tool for me. HelloFresh features Brie, its chatbot, ensuring 24/7 assistance availability. Should you need a live agent, transitioning from Brie during active chat hours is swift and seamless. Screenshot of live chats from HelloFresh and Purple Carrot

On the other hand, Purple Carrot offers a live chat service too. Its hours are from 9AM to 8PM EST Monday to Thursday and 9AM to 3PM EST on Fridays. While it doesn't employ a chatbot, its FAQ section can be navigated by searching specific terms, helping you find answers without delay.

Managing subscriptions is straightforward with both companies. There’s a distinct cutoff time for modifications. For Purple Carrot, any changes or cancellations must be made by Tuesday, a week prior to your next expected shipment, by 11:59 pm EST. HelloFresh requires adjustments to be finalized by 11:59 pm PST, 5 days before your upcoming delivery.

Pricing

Winner: HelloFresh

HelloFresh offers more affordable rates compared to Purple Carrot. Choosing its largest plan, which includes 6 recipes for 4 people each week, starts at about $3.32 per serving. However, opting for the smallest offering increases the cost per meal.

Purple Carrot has a different pricing structure. Its most extensive plan, which includes three dinners each serving four people, comes in at around $11 per serving. Additionally, the prepared meal kits are generally priced $2 higher than standard meal kits.

Shipping costs vary between the two services. HelloFresh has a standard fee of $10.99 per delivery, with the first order shipped free. On the other hand, Purple Carrot offers free shipping for orders over $100, while others have a $10 charge.

HelloFresh vs. Purple Carrot – Quick Overview


HelloFresh

Purple Carrot

Best for

Meal kits, groceries

Vegan prepared meals

Starting price

$3.32

$8.50 

Shipping cost

$10.99

$10 or free on orders over $100

Minimum order

2 recipes per week for 2 people


3 meal kits of 2 servings each per week, or 6 prepared meals per week

Menu variety

100+ choices per week

12 meal kits, 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 16 prepared meals

Prep time

10 to 45 minutes

3 to 45 minutes

Low-prep options

10-minute lunches, 15-minute meal kits

Low-prep meal kits, prepared meals

Allergies catered to

8 major allergens marked on recipes

Gluten, nuts, soy, and dairy

Special diets

Pescatarian, vegetarian, low-calorie, high-protein, Mediterranean, low-carb

Vegan, high-protein, low-calorie, gluten-free

Customer support

Online chat, chatbot, email, phone, app

Online chat, email, phone

Promotions

10 Free Meals Across 7 Boxes, First Box Ships Free + Free Dessert for Life


Get $100 off your first 4 Boxes at Purple Carrot! ($25 off each box!)

And The Winner Is: HelloFresh

HelloFresh emerges as the overall victor in this comparison. It offers expansive menu variety and competitive pricing. Its vast range of weekly meal choices sets them a step ahead, making it challenging for Purple Carrot to match in terms of options and affordability.

For vegans, Purple Carrot offers a much wider range of dishes. It offers a selection tailored specifically to vegan dietary preferences, ensuring both taste and nutritional requirements are met.

While both services have their strengths, HelloFresh's broader appeal gives it the edge. It is particularly good for families and picky eaters. There are plenty of quicker prep options for those short of time. It also features highly on our list of the best meal delivery services

Purple Carrot, however, carves out its niche in the market. Particularly for those prioritizing the convenience of prepared meals. These meals are a great solution for busy weeknights, needing just a quick heat-up before being ready to enjoy.

FAQ

Is Purple Carrot better than HelloFresh?

It largely depends on your preferences. While HelloFresh offers a broader menu variety and more competitive pricing, Purple Carrot shines with its vegan-focused meal plans. For general variety and affordability, I'd lean towards HelloFresh. However, for vegan options, Purple Carrot is a strong contender.

How healthy are Purple Carrot meals?

Purple Carrot meals are predominantly healthy. They're plant-based and crafted with nutrition in mind. While individual meals might vary in nutritional content, the emphasis is on fresh, whole ingredients to ensure a balanced vegan diet.

Is Purple Carrot affordable?

Purple Carrot's pricing is higher than some competitors, like HelloFresh. The cost is around $11 per serving for its meal kits. However, it's essential to factor in the quality and specialization of the vegan offerings when evaluating value for money.
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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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