Written by: Felicity Kay on Sep 17th, 2020

Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh: Does Cheaper Mean Lower Quality? 

Sun Basket is well-known for its specific brand of California goodness, fresh ingredients and- finally - catering specifically to those with dietary preferences (vegans, paleo and keto eaters, here’s one for you finally!). But how does it compare to rival Hello Fresh? 

I’ve reviewed over 10 meal kit delivery services. Here’s what I thought about Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh. 

Quick Overview



Sun Basket

Hello Fresh

Meals starting from

Meals starting at $10.99

$7.49 for 3 meals a week for 4 people

Shipping costs

$6.99 per week

$6.99 per week

Dietary preference plans?

Paleo, vegan, keto - a wide range of dietary preferences

None

Meal variety

18+ options per menu

17+ options per menu

Pricing and Shipping 

What I like most, when comparing Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh, is that they both have a $6.99 shipping charge - which is something that annoys me about both companies, so in this respect, they’re on an equal playing field. 

But, that’s where the comparisons end. Because Sun Basket is a little pricier than most other meal kit delivery services, with meal servings starting from $10.99, the added shipping fee seems a little steep. Still, for those of you with dietary preferences, this added cost might be justified as it's pretty tough to find any other meal kit delivery service that caters specifically to those with dietary preferences

That’s why Hello Fresh’s prices seem a little more attractive: starting at $7.49 per serving, for 3 meals a week. For 2 people, eating 3 meals a week at Sun Basket (at $11.99 a portion), you’ll be paying $72, including shipping. Over at Hello Fresh, those same 2 people eating 3 meals will pay $8.99 per serving, bringing the total to $54. Both of these prices include shipping. 

The cost difference is dramatic when it comes to 4 people eating. At Sun Basket, this will cost $176, while the same number of people and meals at Hello Fresh will cost $127. 

This means that Hello Fresh is actually cheaper than Sun Basket, across both 2-person and 4-person plans. 

But remember, it's not only about pricing: while Hello Fresh may be cheaper, remember that if you have a dietary preference, Sun Basket will cater specifically to it, while Hello Fresh doesn't really have anything near as specialized as that.     

Winner: Hello Fresh

Delivery and Packaging 

Both Sun Basket and Hello Fresh deliver your meal choices weekly - while Hello Fresh offered me every day of the week to deliver, Sun Basket gave me Monday-Thursday options. 

That’s not a big deal, and with a delivery window of 8am-9pm, the box arrived when it said it would, and was placed outside my front door. Hello Fresh actually gave me an online tracking link, allowing me to watch - in real-time! - when my delivery left the warehouse and arrived at my front door, although I’m not even sure that’s strictly necessary. It’s definitely a cool idea, in any case. 

With Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh, I’m ashamed to say that both companies disappointed me when it came to packaging. I’m plastic-free (and proud!), so at first, I really liked Sun Basket’s limited use of plastic...or so I thought.  

In the big (recyclable) cardboard box I received, I was delighted to see some paper bags with ingredients. But, once I actually opened these bags and looked inside, I was horrified to see that they were filled with plastic bags, wrapping each of the loose ingredients. Seriously, Sun Basket? What’s the point in double-wrapping? At least the other dressings for each meal were placed in reusable, screw-top containers so I appreciated that at least. 

Hello Fresh was similarly disappointing, with some unnecessary plastic usage. Although recyclable packaging, the individual, loose ingredients were also wrapped in plastic bags (although not plastic in paper bags, as with Sun Basket). 

In this case, neither companies are winners, although I guess I could say that Hello Fresh wins for its innovative trackable delivery, and Sun Basket ‘wins’ for its relatively lesser use of plastic packaging.  

Tie: Both Sunbasket and Hello Fresh        

Meal Variety

Things get pretty differentiated when it comes to Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh’s meal variety: Sun Basket are really good at catering for specific dietary plans -

On each plan, you’ll have the option of choosing from 18 meals a week.

While it doesn't have the same tailored and specific dietary plans as Sun Basket, Hello Fresh has 4 food preference plans for you to choose from-

 

This is a little bit misleading, and I don't know why they don't advertise their full range of plans. Once you finish the sign up process. There are a few more, specific, options to choose: 

No matter the plan I selected, I always saw between 17-20 meal options. In each recipe card, there was also a suggested wine pairing (which you can add to your order), as well as clearly displayed allergen information. 

Cooking-wise, Sun Basket had some really great Tips and Techniques videos on its site, which really helped me with some of the trickier instructions I saw in the recipes, such as “lay the carrots flat and shave the carrots into thin ribbons”. For a non-cook like me,this would have been confusing if I didn't have the reference videos. 

I experienced the same with Hello Fresh, but without the helpful videos to keep me on the right track. While the recipes were easy to follow, occasional instructions did confuse me: cooking something “to its desired doneness” left me clueless, and I burned my meal a bit. It was still tasty. But I would have appreciated a more specific time frame, or something

While Hello Fresh has more meal variety, Sun Basket wins here, for the helpful video section as well as the range of plans on offer.  

Winner: Sunbasket  

Dietary Preferences

If I haven't mentioned it enough, Sun Basket seems to be one of the best meal kit delivery services for anyone with a specific dietary preference. From paleo, to a Mediterranean diet, to even Diabetic-friendly, Sun Basket wins over Hello Fresh, hands down. 

Or does it? Hello Fresh isn't so far off from Sun Basket’s dietary preference variety, as it turns out: at Hello Fresh, you have a range of “free” plans to choose from (beef-free, pork-free, seafood free), as well as these plans: 

  • Quick

  • Calorie-smart

  • Variety

  • Family-friendly.

It’s not quite as specific as Sun Basket’s dietary preference list, but it's still something. Just for the sake of that specificity, Sun Basket wins over Hello Fresh in this category. 

Winner: Hello Fresh

How Easy is it to Order?

Both Sun Basket and Hello Fresh are easy to order from - you just set your preferences,  choose your meals and they're delivered to your front door. 

Although, I did really like Sun Basket’s filtering.

...and it definitely made it easier to check out recipes that catered to my food preferences, or if I wanted to try out something specific, such as gluten-free recipes. 

While Hello Fresh doesn’t have nearly as good filtering, I really liked its trackable delivery (but maybe that’s just me). 

With both of my Sun Basket and Hello Fresh orders, I picked up my deliveries at around 7pm from my front door, and all of their contents were still chilled and well-presented. I'd say in this case, Sun Basket wins for its filtering, while Hello Fresh wins for its trackable deliveries.  

Tied: Hello Fresh and Sunbasket

The Verdict

Sun Basket and Hello Fresh cater to very different types of people: Sun Basket is a solid solution for those people looking for a well-sourced meal kit delivery service with plans for dietary preferences; Hello Fresh is an excellent choice if you're looking for a meal kit delivery service with some nice variety, but you're not a really picky eater. 

I'd say that both of them have excellent (and delicious) meal options, and since both of them have a $6.99 delivery charge, there’s no real contest. If price is a sticking point, however, you’ll find that Hello Fresh is just cheaper. 

Winner: Sunbasket if you have dietary preferences

Hello Fresh if you don't have dietary preferences

About The Author

Felicity Kay

Writer

Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!
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