A cool, modern, “no fuss” approach to meal delivery services – but how does it compare to the biggest competition in the world of healthy prepared meals?
Antibiotic and hormone-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO meals, guaranteed
No cooking needed – just heat and eat!
Meals are quite expensive compared to other meal delivery services
Upgrade options are pricey
Busy people who want to eat balanced meals
Dieters who are careful about calorie or carb intake
Athletes who want their meals packed with macronutrients and minimal calories
Health-minded foodies who value meals that are free of hormones, GMOs, antibiotics, and refined sugars.
Some of the meal delivery services I’ve tried have been a little, well, on the bland side – and I’m not necessarily talking about the food. Factor looks way cooler than any service I’ve tried before, with everything from the website right down to the packaging designed to impress.
The food is also aimed squarely at millennials. It’s much more exotic and aspirational than many other delivery sites I’ve tried.
But is Factor a case of appearance over substance or does it live up to the promise of fresh, prepared meals that support even the busiest of lifestyles? I took a closer look, and compared it to its biggest competitors, including Freshly and Fresh n’ Lean.
Factor prepares its meals with GMO-free and mostly organic produce. All poultry and eggs are cage- and antibiotic-free, all meats pasture-raised or grass-fed, and all salmon sustainably sourced.
Factor’s meals are aimed at the health-conscious, with lots of lean protein and fresh vegetables. While it offers a wide and tasty variety of menu choices, those looking for heavy comfort food meals will do better elsewhere.
I liked Factors’ website because you can view the current menu along with all the nutritional information and ingredients for each meal before signing up. You can also view the individual plans and see the prices but once you select a meal plan, you need to enter your email address and zip code before continuing.
Once you’ve chosen your meal plan (more on that below), you’ll be taken to pick specific meals and make any necessary substitutions:
You’ll be asked if you want to upgrade your protein – though it’s pretty pricey to do this.
After choosing your meals, add-ons, and any substitutions, it’s time to enter your delivery details and pay.
Factor is the first meal delivery company I've seen that offers Google Pay as well as credit card payment, which I thought was pretty cool.
On the basic menu, Factor has more than 20 options to choose from each week. If that’s not enough, you can upgrade your order with Factor+ Add-Ons (for an additional price) and add items like protein shakes, extra meat and fish, and even desserts:
The standard menu looked delicious and even had some helpful icons underneath each option that explain the key when you hover over them or tap them. This helped me choose meals that satisfied my selected diet:
Everything looked so good that I found it difficult to decide on dishes…but luckily, Factor helped narrow down the options. All I did was set a few dietary specifics with these helpful filters:
For some diet filters, like High Protein and Ketogenic, there were a good number of dishes to choose from (13 and nine, respectively), but there were only two plant-based options on the menu for the week and three vegetarian meals. This wasn’t an issue for me but it’s something to bear in mind if you follow a strict diet.
In Account Settings, I was then able to personalize my chosen dishes by removing some ingredients I wasn't a fan of. This left me with some very exciting options.
Here’s a quick overview of Factor and the dietary requirements it’s best for:
From $11 per portion
Balanced, vegetarian, pescatarian, keto, paleo, low carb, high carb
Factor delivers to all contiguous US states between 8 am to 8 pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, although the exact delivery day depends on your zip code. However, similar meal delivery services like Freshly gave me the option of six different days, including Sundays.
I did like that the first delivery day available to me was only four days from the time of my order. It’s just as quick as booking an online supermarket delivery slot.
Something that consistently comes up with meal delivery services is whether the packaging is fully recyclable.
Of course, some meal delivery services have to use plastic bags for some of the ingredients. Unfortunately, plastic bags often can’t be recycled, so they go in the general waste instead.
As a plastic-free wannabe, this doesn't sit very well with me… so I was pleased to see that, like the prepared meals from Sunbasket, everything about Factor, from the main cardboard box to the plastic containers each meal was packed in, was completely recyclable or reusable.
I always worry that prepared meals will be bland and rubbery when I reheat them…but that wasn’t the case with Factor. When you think about it, it’s not that different from heating up leftovers – except in this case the original meal was cooked by a professional chef.
I had the complimentary nutrition coaching session before choosing my meals. My coach listened to the past issues I'd had with eating and asked me about my goals. They recommended I eat more protein, so I selected the high-protein meals from the menu.
Let’s take a look at what I chose.
The Breakfast Enchilada Bake was a great way to start the day:
Followed by this mujadara for lunch:
And how about Winter Spiced Salmon for dinner?
Imagine having more energy from eating well, plus getting more free time on your hands for workouts, other healthy habits, and generally maximizing your day.
That’s the main premise of Factor, and I can definitely stand by that one!
Customer service at Factor is super flexible – you can even contact customer support via text.
There’s email, phone, and text support as well as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for getting in touch. The team is available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm CT.
When I texted, I got a response within minutes, and my issue was sorted in just a few texts – very impressive indeed. For more about my experience with the customer service team when I decided to cancel, check out this post about how to cancel or pause your Factor subscription.
Factor is pricier per portion than competitor Freshly. However, that price includes shipping, and the price per serving goes down the more meals you order.
You’ll notice that the pricing structure is pretty straightforward – plans are based on the number of meals you order each week. That’s more than can be said for Fresh n’ Lean, which has different pricing depending on the meal plan you choose, how many meals you want per day, and how many days per week.
Factor also offers some pretty exciting features as part of the price you pay for meals:
Yep – a completely free 20-minute consultation to discuss your nutrition. It’s such a fantastic idea to help customers achieve their health-related goals. A free consultation with a trained professional before getting started will help you to choose the best meals for your needs.
Factor is one of the only prepared meal delivery services to offer this outside of the classic weight loss program niche.
Factor has a good selection of healthy meals, but there are a few options out there that might be a better fit for you.
Alternatives to Factor
Optional Snack or Breakfast
Freshly is an entirely gluten-free service. Its new line, FreshlyFit, offers meals that are designed for athletes, body-builders, and anyone looking to maximize protein and fiber with minimal carbs and calories. Keep in mind that almost all of its meals are centered around some kind of animal protein so vegetarians should look elsewhere.
Fresh n’ Lean is similar to Factor in that its meals are gluten-free and pack in the macros in every meal. While Factor offers a few vegetarian and one or two vegan meals every week, Fresh n’ Lean has dedicated Vegan and Vegan Low Carb menu plans.
Each week, Sunbasket offers over 20 Fresh & Ready meals that you simply heat and eat. It also uses organic and sustainably raised ingredients, and its $8.99/serving starting price is considerably cheaper than Factor.
Factor felt tailor-made for me. I loved that it took away the stress and hassle of not only knowing what to eat but having the time to make it – and make it well.
The 20-minute complimentary session with a nutritionist was very helpful. It was an appreciated touch, especially considering it came at no extra cost, and one I’ve never seen from a meal delivery service.
Although I liked having the option of the meal upgrades, they were a bit pricey. In fact, Factor is quite pricey in general. If you’re looking for prepared healthy meals to fuel your active lifestyle at a lower cost, then FreshlyFit is worth looking into instead.
Factor makes it easy to cancel your subscription. There’s no need to email anyone or call a hotline. Instead, you can cancel either on the website or through the mobile site in just a couple of clicks.
Like every meal delivery service, make sure you make any changes ahead of the deadline (of 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday) and remember you can’t modify or cancel an order that’s already been processed.
Don’t think that it’s back to old-fashioned meal prep for you. Why not see if FreshlyFit can better suit your needs?
If Factor isn’t what you’re looking for, there are great alternatives that might fit the bill. There’s FreshlyFit, which offers prepared food that’s low in calories and completely gluten-free.
Fresh ‘n Lean may be more suited to your needs if you are into fitness. While Factor’s meals are healthy and low in fat, Factor isn’t so directly focused on training or competition diets.
With its Fresh & Ready meals, Sunbasket
has made a strong entrance into the prepared meal delivery market. Sunbasket’s prepared meals are well suited for a range of diets, including paleo, and are made with organic ingredients.
Like most meal delivery services, the cost of Factor varies depending on how many meals you order. The more you order, the less expensive the cost per portion. Meal prices start at $11 per portion if you choose 18 meals a week or $15 for just four meals (with options for six, eight, and 12 meals in between). No matter how much food you order, shipping is always free.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Sunbasket/affiliateLink] is a great alternative. Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready meal plans start at $8.99 a serving, with its four-meal plan costing just $11.99.
Absolutely! Factor says it delivers “no-nonsense good food, free from fluff” that helps take the guesswork out of healthy eating. Factor offers keto, high protein, low-carb, paleo, plant-based, vegetarian, low-calorie, and dairy-free options. There’s also the option for a free 20-minute dietitian consultation so you can make sure you’re eating the healthiest options for you.
If you want an entirely gluten-free alternative to fuel your healthy lifestyle, check out FreshlyFit.