Hungryroot and Freshly are two very different meal services with distinct advantages and disadvantages. So, which service is best for you?
Hungryroot is a meal kit service that caters to a broad audience with almost any dietary need and taste preference. Freshly delivers fully prepared meals and caters to busy individuals or couples who need to grab, heat, and eat.
Freshly’s greatest strength is its convenience since all meals come fully prepared. All you have to do is heat your meal, or freeze and reheat it if you need to save your meals for later.
Hungryroot’s is my favorite of the two thanks to its customization, and Freshly simply can’t compete.
Hungryroot wins for its 100s of ingredient options, 300+ recipes, over a dozen beverages, and more. Menu options equate to that of your local, wide-variety, thoughtfully sourced, and high-quality produce grocery store. Inventory gets refreshed every Monday and Thursday. Freshly rotates some meals weekly but only offers around 35 meal options at a time.
Hungryroot’s 300+ recipe options include standard American, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Indian, Thai, and more. You can find complex flavors in dishes like Sesame-Ginger and Scallop Stir-Fry, or simple dishes like a cheeseburger. If you aren’t a fan of the meals you ordered, you can try something entirely different in your next delivery.
Recipe ingredients are exchangeable with a wide variety of inventory options. Greens range from fresh spinach and arugula to snap peas, including various salad mixes – not to mention the kohlrabi noodles!
Organic, grass-fed, and wild-caught options are available, as well as seasoned or unseasoned protein, including kalua pork or honey BBQ-marinated salmon.
Left: Hungryroot’s Best of Summer Salad with Wild-Caught Gult Shrimp
Right: Hungryroot’s Colorful Plant-Based “Chorizo” & Veggie Hummus Bowl
If you’re a snacker or enjoy ready-to-eat meals, you can choose from 65+ snacks, 20+ microwave-ready options, and 20+ healthy sweets. Snacks include healthy nut-based, fruit-based, bean-based, or grain- and oat-based bites. Organic dark chocolate banana bites and crunchy ranch chickpeas might just be in my next order. Ready-to-eat meals cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and side options.
Whether you are single and want a satisfying, spicy, and fat-rich dinner, or a parent preparing meals for your pasta and meatball-loving kids, Hungryroot’s ingredients and recipes are accessible for all palates.
While Freshly’s cuisine options include some of the same as Hungryroot’s, the variety within each cuisine is limited, and ingredients are not exchangeable.
However, Freshly has a decent selection of 35+ meal options per week on Freshly’s menu. The menu is mostly standard American, but does include some Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, and Thai options on rotation. You can see nutritional information for each fully prepared meal before you add it to your cart.
All ingredients are listed, allergy information identified, and dish composition is explained clearly. Freshly even shows how your meal will look in its microwave-safe container.
Customization is Hungryroot’s greatest strength, as you can customize each ingredient, meal size, and type of meal. You take a quiz to create your order according to allergy and dietary needs, how many people you’re feeding, what you like to eat, and how many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks you want.
Based on your preferences, Hungryroot fills your cart with its suggested meal kits. Before you complete your order, you have the option to customize any ingredient in your meal kits. All order features are easily customizable through the app or your account login on Hungryroot’s website.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, shellfish-free, vegan, vegetarian, carb- or protein-conscious are all accommodated in Hungryroot’s inventory. If you like a recipe but want to change an ingredient to accommodate or optimize your dietary preferences, you can do so before finalizing your order.
Freshly offers similar dietary accommodations, but they are far more limited, and ingredients are not interchangeable like Hungryroot’s. If a Freshly meal contains ingredients contradicting your dietary needs, a red triangle will appear next to the meal as you browse the menu:
Customizing is easy with Hungryroot’s website and app. You can browse grocery or recipe options by 30+ factors in featured groceries, proteins, spice level, dietary needs, serving size, amount of calories, and prep time.
Once you’ve met the minimum meal order for your plan option, you can add a la carte groceries from Hungryroot’s entire menu. If you want to exceed your meal plan, you can add items at an additional cost, which will show immediately in your total order price.
With Freshly, you can only order whole meals with zero a la carte options. If you are feeding two people, you simply order two of the same meal or two different meals. It recently started offering the option to increase portions for specific proteins.
The catch is that an added portion of protein will replace one of your meals for the week. If you have a four-meal plan per week but added a portion of protein to one of your meals, you’ll only receive three regular meals (with one extra portion of protein in one of them).
Ordering with Hungryroot and Freshly is simple. Once you take your preference quiz, Hungryroot adds suggested meal kits to your cart. Before you finalize your order, you can customize any ingredient in your meal kits.
With Freshly, you filter options based on dietary preference and choose which meals you want from the list of meals that fit your preferences.
Both services have easy-to-use apps and customer portals on their websites where you can adjust order composition and delivery days, and track your order. Subscriptions for both services auto-renew, but you can cancel without cancellation fees.
Canceling a weekly order or changing delivery days is allowed for both services as long as you do so before the cutoff days. Hungryroot requires that you make changes on the Monday or Thursday before your delivery day, and before 7 pm EST. You can easily do this through the app or website portal.
Freshly's cutoff is 5-6 days before your chosen delivery day, which you can complete via the app or website portal. You can cancel your Freshly subscription without customer service, also via the app or portal. I go into more detail about Freshly's customer service in the following section.
However, canceling your Hungryroot subscription requires getting in touch with a customer service agent. This is not as simple as most other services that allow you to cancel via their apps or websites, like Freshly allows.
To reach a Hungryroot customer service agent, you must reach out via text. Hungryroot customer service responds within 10 am - 6 pm EST. I go into more detail about this texting service in the following section.
Both services deliver seven days a week to the 48 contiguous states, but may only deliver on specific days in your zipcode. As you check out, you can enter your zip code to see available delivery days.
For both services, if no delivery days are available when you type in your zip code at checkout, delivery to your zip code is not yet available. Freshly offers the option to sign up for an email notification when it begins delivering to your zip code.
Freshly order sizes range from 4-12 meals per week, but you can create a second subscription under the same account if you want to order more.
Hungryroot's minimum order is three meals of two servings each, and you can order up to 16 servings. With its a la carte and snack options, you can easily increase servings for your weekly order. Bulk ordering is not available.
Unboxing your delivery is simple and easy with both services. Freshly's meals are individually wrapped and labeled, as are Hungryroot's individual groceries. Inside your box for both services is a sheet or two detailing your inventory.
While Hungryroot's meal kits are not bundled together, there is a list of recipes and their accompanying ingredients for each meal kit on the inventory list. The advantage of receiving individual ingredients is that you can mix and match should you feel culinarily inspired, or have picky eaters to feed!
Each delivery box is refrigerated with insulation wrap and ice packs at the bottom. Hungryroot receives extra points since it makes the added effort to ensure eco-friendly packaging. You can save your ice packs for reuse or even water your plants with their eco-friendly liquid!
Hungryroot includes recycling instructions for each recyclable packaging piece. Most of Freshly's packaging is recyclable, but not nearly as much as Hungryroot’s, and recycling instructions are not included in your delivery box. Freshly's recycling instructions are included on its website, but I find having them in the box significantly increases convenience.
Freshly meals are all ready-to-eat or microwave-ready and only require 2-3 minutes of heating, while Hungryroot requires up to 10 minutes of prep.
No meal prep, mixing, chopping, or cleaning is required for Freshly meals since all meals arrive prepared and ready to heat. All meals can be frozen and reheated if you don’t finish them on time. Freshly recommends reheating meals in the microwave for two minutes, then at 30-second intervals until your food is ready.
Meals have an average shelf-life of 3-5 days for both services. Use-by dates are noted on each nutrition label to optimize freshness in your meal consumption planning, and Freshly takes an extra step to ensure fresh usage. Foods that should be eaten first, like seafood, have an added badge to grab your attention.
Both services send food refrigerated, cold to the touch, freshly prepared, and never frozen. Hungryroot’s foods are not fully freezable since they mostly arrive un-cooked and may include fresh produce, depending on your order. However, you can still freeze some foods, like certain proteins.
While Hungryroot meal prep only takes up to 10 minutes, combining and cooking some ingredients is still involved. For those who just want to quickly microwave their meals without any hassle other than removing minimal packaging, Freshly is the better choice.
Freshly knocks customer service out of the park with live customer support chat 24/7 with friendly, responsive agents.
At first, you will be connected with a bot. If your questions are related to an existing account, the bot will take you through several question-and-answer exchanges to determine whether it can fulfill your requests before it sends you to a live agent. I had a food prep-related question and was immediately sent to a live agent.
Luisa answered all of my questions within 30 seconds and in a very friendly manner. I believe Luisa was a human as she endearingly spelled my name incorrectly the first few times after I spelled it for her earlier in the chat. She eventually got it down. I paused a few times in the chat to think of more questions, and she always confirmed that we were still connected.
This was the same process with multiple other agents I connected with over a period of a week. I was always connected within a minute and my questions were answered quickly and clearly.
Hungryroot has more abnormal means of contacting customer service and does not currently have live phone or live chat service available. It currently offers email and texting options. Both are strictly available during 10am - 6pm EST, and texting is the best way to contact Hungryroot.
Hungryroot’s customer support texting service is intermittent at best. I found that agent response time varied between two minutes to five hours during hours of operation. While my questions were answered thoroughly, the timeliness of the answers was inconvenient.
Additionally, I sent an email during their hours of operation, and received no response several days later. Hungryroot just can’t compete with Freshly’s friendly, expedient 24/7 customer support.
Hungryroot is cheaper per serving for its minimum order, but Freshly is cheaper the more meals you order per week. The minimum order for Hungryroot is $70 + tax for six servings per week, or about $11.67 per serving, and the maximum order is 16 servings. Orders under $70 are charged $8.99 shipping.
Hungryroot pricing is not laid out as clearly as Freshly’s. Clear plan prices are not available, and instead, vary depending on the number and types of meals you order, and whether you purchase extra a la carte food. However, your average price per serving will show as you adjust your meal options.
Freshly pricing starts at four meals per week for $50 + $8.99 shipping + tax. That’s roughly $58.99 for four meals or about $14.25 per meal + tax. As the number of meals you purchase increases, the price per meal decreases. 12 meals per week is the maximum order, and costs $115 + $11.99 shipping + tax, or $10.58 + tax per meal.
Whether Hungryroot’s per-serving price decreases as you order more is unclear. What is clear is that shipping is always free for weekly orders over $70.
Customizable Meal Options
Affordable Prepared Meals
$6.99 or Free for orders $70+
$9.99 - $11.99
100+ choices per week
35+ choices per week
5 to 10 minutes
2 to 3 minutes
Microwave-ready, Oven-ready, Grill-ready, One-pot/pan, salads.
Fully prepared, microwave-ready.
Allergies catered to
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Shellfish Free, Egg Free
Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Carb-conscious, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian,
Plant-based, Carb-conscious, Calorie-conscious, Vegetarian,
Email or text, 7 days per week, 10 - 6 pm EST, excluding holidays, extensive FAQ
24/7 live chat, Call or text 7 days per week from 6 am - midnight EST, extensive FAQ
Hungryroot wins for me because of its incredible customizability. Its extensive recipe and ingredient selection that includes grass-fed, organic, free-range, wild-caught, and most dietary options, fits any palette or lifestyle.
This service may end up costing more than Freshly’s as your order size increases, but I think the range of cuisines and recipe flexibility is worth it. To compare Hungryroot to other healthy meal kit options, view our 10 Best Healthy Meal Delivery Services of 2022 list.
Freshly is for you if affordability and simplicity are your priorities, yet you still need to navigate some dietary concerns. All you need are three minutes and a microwave to enjoy your fully prepped Freshly meal.
Hungryroot meals are customizable and healthy depending on your dietary preferences, and you are free to choose whatever ingredients and products suit your lifestyle.
All products are free from partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives. Not all products are organic or non-GMO, but Hungryroot is increasing its sourcing of organic and non-GMO products.
Freshly meals are made-to-order and are healthy depending on your dietary preferences. Each meal is made by the company’s in-house chefs right before it is packaged and delivered.
Despite the convenience of ready-to-heat and freeze-for-later meals, you will not get fresh veggies or greens, fruits, or nuts in your meals. For those interested in a more raw food diet, Freshly meals are not for you.
I also asked my very helpful live customer support specialist, Luisa, which oil is used in Freshly’s food prep, and the company mostly uses 100% non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil. This type of canola oil is a non-harmful option with a mild flavor.
Hungryroot is more kid-friendly given its wide-range of recipe options and ingredients. You can customize orders to be more simple or complex depending on your or your child’s palate.
Freshly has some simple meals like pasta and meatballs, but ingredients are not customizable and come fully mixed and prepared with sauces already added.