Deciding between Sunbasket and HelloFresh can be a difficult choice, as both services have strengths. Sunbasket offers meal kits and prepared meals with an emphasis on diet-friendly food, while HelloFresh has meal kits designed for families of all shapes and sizes.
My team and I have explored these services in depth to determine the winner. I’ve weighed out their strengths and weaknesses to help you make a better-informed decision. My criteria includes menu size, diet options, pricing, and more.
HelloFresh wins it for me thanks to its larger menu and more varied recipes. It’s also cheaper than Sunbasket, making it the clear winner. Read on for all the details of why HelloFresh is the superior meal delivery service.
HelloFresh ($3.32 per serving)
🍔 Menu Variety:
HelloFresh (60+ weekly entree options)
⏰ Prep Time:
(6 dietary options)
👍 Ordering and Delivery:
🙋 Customer Support:
|👑 Overall Winner:||HelloFresh|
HelloFresh gets an easy win in this category because of its impressively large menu. It offers 60+ unique entree recipes per week, while Sunbasket only offers 20 meal kits and 10 ready-made meals.
HelloFresh’s menu includes international cuisines like Pan-Asian and Middle Eastern. There are also plenty of traditional American dishes to enjoy. The recipes are family-friendly, including crowd pleasers like Turkey & Corn Queso Blanco Burritos, pictured below.
Sunbasket is less family-friendly and caters more to an adult palate. The menu features recipes like Havana Shrimp Mojo Tostadas and Thai Green Curry Chicken. There are also a few recipes that will appeal to picky eaters, but I don’t think there’s enough variety for an entire week.
Sunbasket’s Market has additional meals and ingredients that you can order à la carte. Food items include small heat-and-eat dishes like personal pizzas or breakfast sandwiches. There’s also a good selection of proteins including organic steak, wild-caught seafood, and Impossible Burger.
HelloFresh has a similar Marketplace with breakfasts, lunches, and other quick meals. The section is only available and visible to active subscribers, but you can expect a wide range of choices. You’ll also find protein add-ons, desserts, condiments, and spices.
I like that HelloFresh offers a good selection of different dietary and plan options. There are 6 meal plans (Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family-Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick and Easy, and Pescatarian), and you can mix and match. Sunbasket also tries to cater to several culinary needs, but the offer is limited.
Both services strive to offer organic ingredients whenever possible. However, none can guarantee 100% organic meals. Sunbasket promises that its meals include organic fresh produce 99% of the time, while HelloFresh focuses more on the produce quality in each meal kit.
Both companies feature responsibly raised meats free from antibiotics and hormones. Additionally, the seafood is both wild-caught and farm-raised, depending on the best available options.
Overall, HelloFresh wins the menu variety category due to its menu size and culinary diversity. It also doesn’t hurt that all of its meals are family-friendly, accessible to beginners, and quick to make.
Only HelloFresh offers customization, but both services cater to many dietary needs. HelloFresh’s menu includes meals that fit diets like vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, low-calorie, low-carb, and high-protein.
HelloFresh uses tags to help you identify meals that fit your preferences. For instance, if you want to order only easy-prep meal kits, you can search for tags like Easy Cleanup, Easy Prep, Quick, 10-min Lunch, or Fast & Fresh.
Sunbasket caters to a wider variety of diets than HelloFresh. Its menu includes paleo, gluten-free, vegan, diabetes-friendly, dairy-free, and soy-free options. Sunbasket also has a better filtering system, which makes it easier to find the meals you want. However, you can only filter by one option at a time. You can’t search for dairy-free meals that are also gluten-free.
Also, neither service is gluten-free certified. Therefore, the meals may not be suitable if you have a severe gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It could work for you, though, if you have mild allergies or simply prefer to avoid these ingredients for personal reasons.
Sunbasket lets you choose your specific preferences during sign-up. You can select diets like Keto-Friendly, Paleo, High Protein, and Mediterranean. You can also choose to avoid ingredients like shellfish, dairy, beef, and more. However, these options are only available for meal kits, and you can’t mix and match between meal kits and ready-made meals.
HelloFresh has 6 menus, but you can order from any of them for your weekly meals. However, there are no plan options for specific allergies. The kitchen handles all common allergens, so people with severe allergies should use caution.
HelloFresh’s HelloCustom feature gives you a lot more control than Sunbasket. It allows you to swap, upgrade, and replace the protein and side options for 12+ meals on each weekly menu. For instance, some recipes allow you to replace broccoli with potatoes, steak with chicken, or shrimp with chicken.
HelloFresh wins this category due to its menu and the HelloCustom feature. However, Sunbasket’s filtering system is quite impressive and makes browsing the menu a lot easier.
This category is a tie since the ordering, delivery, and unboxing experience is pretty much identical. Ordering from either Sunbasket or HelloFresh is as simple as it gets. Both websites let you get started with one simple click.
Both competitors let you see the menu to give you an idea of the recipes on offer. Sunbasket displays its menus 3 weeks in advance, while HelloFresh shows you menus 5 weeks in advance. HelloFresh doesn’t, however, let you see its market add-ons without a subscription.
HelloFresh’s minimum order requirement is 2 meal kits for 2 people per week. You can order up to 6 recipes for 4 people per week. Though the ordering experience is virtually identical, both Sunbasket and HelloFresh differ when it comes to delivery.
The minimum order for Sunbasket’s meal kits is 2 dinners for 2 people per week. You can order up to 5 meal kits for 4 people per week. In terms of Fresh & Ready prepared meals, you can order as few as 4 per week, up to a maximum of 10 per week. Each prepared meal is a single serving.
HelloFresh offers delivery any day of the week (Monday to Sunday) to anywhere in the US, minus AK and HI. Changes to your delivery, including the date, can be made before the weekly cutoff date, which is 11:59 pm PST, 5 days before your next scheduled delivery.
Sunbasket customers can choose deliveries between Sunday and Thursday to most contiguous states. Deliveries aren’t possible to AK, HI, MT, ND, and parts of NM, but the exact delivery dates may vary by your location. If you need to change your delivery date or make any other changes to your order, you can do so by the weekly cutoff date, Wednesday before your delivery, by 12 noon PST or 3 pm EST.
Making changes to your account is easy with both services. HelloFresh and Sunbasket each have mobile apps, and you can check out the user-friendly websites. Everything can be done from within your account portal without needing to speak to someone directly.
The unboxing experience is fairly similar with both Sunbasket and HelloFresh. The only exception is Sunbasket’s prepared meals, which are packaged differently from either service’s meal kits.
Both competitors offer neatly packaged, clearly labeled ingredients. Food items are packed separately for easier organization. Any storage instructions you’ll need are also included in each delivery box.
HelloFresh recommends keeping all proteins frozen until you’re ready to cook them. At that point, take them out a few hours before you wish to cook so they have time to thaw. Make sure to use up the meats within 5 days once they’re thawed and the seafood within 2 days.
Sunbasket recommends that you immediately refrigerate the ingredients to prevent them from spoiling. It also suggests you consume any meals with fresh seafood first, then any Fresh & Ready meals. Sunbasket also recommends eating any of its Pre-Prepped Meal Kits before Classic Meal Kits. These guidelines ensure optimal freshness for your meals.
Some Fresh & Ready meals can be frozen to cook later. The preparation instructions will tell you which ones are freezable and include other storage instructions. You’ll need some staples, including olive oil, grapeseed or sunflower oil, plus salt and freshly ground pepper. Occasionally, a recipe might also call for wine or butter as an optional recipe item.
Sunbasket’s packaging materials are all recyclable depending on your location. A few items, like lids made with #4 plastics, may not be accepted by all recycling facilities. Check the rules in your area to confirm.
HelloFresh’s packaging is also mostly recyclable with the exception of its cooling gel. The gel packs – used to keep your ingredients chilled – should be cut open and emptied into the trash. The outer shell can then be recycled alongside the delivery box and insulation.
Both competitors offer meal kits, which take 15 to 45 minutes to prepare. Most of HelloFresh’s recipes are in the 30-minute range, while Sunbasket meal kits usually take 20 minutes. Both services have a wide range of prep time options, however.
Sunbasket also has prepared meals, which take just 5 minutes in the microwave. The weekly order is limited to 10 options, which may not be enough to support you and your family through the week. HelloFresh doesn’t offer microwavable prepared meals.
HelloFresh has a better selection of speedy-prep meal kits. These include 5- and 10-minute lunches as well as 15-minute meal kits. Sunbasket has a smaller selection of 15-minute meal kits. Both services offer user-friendly recipes, but they may take longer to prepare for less-experienced home cooks.
Both companies provide meal kit ingredients that have never been frozen. This ensures you get the best-tasting food possible. It’s also why it’s important to use them soon after you receive them. If you won’t be able to cook them in time, you can freeze some ingredients.
You will have to do some ingredient prepping with the meal kits from both companies. Some of Sunbasket’s ingredients are pre-chopped and ready to cook, while HelloFresh provides you with pre-measured ingredients you’ll need to prep yourself.
HelloFresh also offers several Easy Prep, Easy Cleanup, and One-Pot recipes for its busier customers. Each recipe card will tell you which category it falls under, so you know exactly how long it will take and what you can expect.
HelloFresh’s customer service comes out on top by a slim margin. Its in-depth and searchable FAQ section and longer hours of operation gave it the win. The quality of service I received from both customer support teams was, however, similar.
Sunbasket’s FAQ section isn’t searchable, so you’ll have to manually locate whatever question you might have. It’s not a major annoyance, but the devil is in the details! Both sites’ FAQ sections provide plenty of information, so either way, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
In terms of the actual customer service, my experience with both services was great. Each offers support via live chat or phone as well as an FAQ section. I tried out the live chat feature on both competitors’ sites and found the agents to be professional and friendly.
If you need to cancel your subscription, it’s easy to do so on both companies’ websites. You just have to log into your account dashboard and go through the steps there. Neither service makes you talk to an agent.
With Sunbasket, make sure to do so before the weekly cutoff on Wednesdays at 12 pm PT (3 pm EST). HelloFresh requires you to cancel your subscription before its weekly cutoff by 11:59 pm PST, 5 days before your next scheduled delivery.
HelloFresh’s live chat agent confirmed that it offers 24/7 phone and live chat support. That’s pretty crazy if you think about it, as virtually no other meal delivery service offers that. It’s great to see that you can call or chat with HelloFresh at any time of day with any questions or concerns you might have, whether you’re already a customer or not.
Sunbasket’s support chat and phone line are open from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 8 pm. During the weekends, the team is available from 6 am to 1 pm PST. I found that connecting with an agent via live chat during business hours only took about 15-20 seconds, which is pretty remarkable.
HelloFresh pricing starts at $3.32 per serving for the maximum box size available (24 servings). The price per serving increases for smaller orders, getting up to $12.49 for the minimum order of 4 servings.
Overall, HelloFresh is more affordable for families and couples who order more food. However, I think the service is still acceptable even at its highest price. According to HelloFresh, the 3 meals for 2 people per week plan is the most popular with customers.
Sunbasket’s meals are individually priced starting at $4.27 per serving. Its meal kits are generally more expensive than its prepared meals. With both services, any extras or add-ons are priced separately from your meal subscription.
Both companies will charge you for shipping, but Sunbasket offers free shipping for the first order. Also, Sunbasket practices a fixed shipping fee per order, while HelloFresh’s price is calculated during checkout based on your location. In both cases, the fee works out to about $10 per order.
$4.27 per serving
$3.32 per serving
Depends on your location
2 meals for 2 people per week / 4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people per week
30 entrees per week
60+ entrees per week
2 to 45 minutes
5 to 50 minutes
Low-prep meal kits and microwave-ready
Easy Prep, Easy Cleanup, One Pot
Allergies catered to
Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free
Doesn’t cater to specific allergies
Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, carb-conscious, low-calorie, keto-friendly
Vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein
Live chat and phone from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 8 pm, and on weekends from 6 am to 1 pm PST
24/7 phone and live chat support
HelloFresh takes the lead with its impressive offering of 60+ weekly entrees. These cover not just dinner but also lunch and breakfast. Its flexibility is a significant advantage, a feature which Sunbasket lacks. Additionally, I found the pricing system of HelloFresh to be more straightforward and user-friendly.
Sunbasket does have its merits, especially its unique menu. I admired the diverse range of options they provide, encompassing main meals, breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and sides. This variety ensures that there's something for almost everyone.
Both companies cater to a unique set of customers with their distinct offerings. Depending on your preferences and priorities, either could be a suitable fit for your culinary needs.
Your ultimate choice is a matter of personal preference. However, when ranking the best meal delivery services, only HelloFresh secured a spot on our list. This speaks volumes about the quality, variety, and user experience that HelloFresh delivers.
HelloFresh starts at $3.32 per serving for the maximum order. Your weekly cost will depend on the box size you choose to purchase, with the minimum order being 4 meals per week. The larger your subscription, the cheaper your price per serving.
Yes, Sunbasket offers a few premade meals. It also offers meal kits – so it’s completely up to you what you want to do. For those nights that you’re busy, you can grab the prepared meals, and if you ever feel like getting a bit more adventurous, you’re welcome to order some of the meal kits as well.
Yes, HelloFresh is a great option for novice cooks who want to improve their cooking skills. The company offers a wide range of easy-prep meal kits and one-pot recipes that don’t need any complex cooking methods.