Marley Spoon Review 2020: Testing Martha Stewart’s Meal Kit

marleyspoon.com
ClassicVegetarianGluten-free
Our Score:
9.0
User Score:
  • Prep & Cook Time:

    20 - 30 Min

  • Type Of Food Options:

    Classic,Vegetarian,Gluten-free

  • Recipes Per Week:

    20

  • Free Delivery

    No

  • Written by: Felicity Kay on Nov 25th, 2020

    Bottom Line

    A high-quality, delicious and plentiful meal kit delivery service from Martha Stewart with an excellent price point - but if you have a specific dietary preference, you might be disappointed. 

    What I like

    • Starting from $6.99 per portion

    • 22+ recipes a week on offer

    • Extremely easy to follow recipe cards 

    What I don’t like 

    • $8.99 shipping charge per week

    • No specific dietary preference plans  

    Delivery

    Marley Spoon offered me deliveries on every weekday, between either 8am-9pm or 9am-8pm. Forgive me, but I didn’t really see much of a difference between these two slots (as most of us are out to work at that time), but I guess there’s a reason why those two similarly-times slots are on offer. It didn't really make a difference for me, as the kit was delivered at around 12pm, and I picked it up at around 7pm when I arrived home to find it at my front door. 

    While these delivery times and days are perfectly acceptable and serviceable, both Every Plate and Blue Apron offered me Saturday deliveries. This isn't such a big deal, but a Saturday delivery allowed me to cook over the weekend. If you need to, you can also skip weeks, but this is pretty much the same with all of the meal kit delivery services that I’ve reviewed. 

    Marley Spoon’s packaging left me impressed, but a little annoyed. As a plastic-free wannabe (and I really, really try), most of it was recyclable. The meals were wrapped in paper bags (also recyclable), but there was a little bit of plastic used for some of the other, loose ingredients - nothing excessive, as with other meal kit delivery services (Blue Apron, I’m looking at you), but there was still some use of plastic, which isn't recyclable in my local area.

    I’ve also read around a bit online, and though Marley Spoon makes a real effort to help you recycle their packaging’s separate parts, I’ve seen reports from other users that sometimes, delivery comes with bubble wrap (which isn't recyclable) and plastic sleeves with cotton padding. 

    Pricing

    Pricing at Marley Spoon varies according to how many people you're feeding a week, and how many meals you want to be delivered. 

    With each plan, there is a $8.99 delivery charge - this is the same price as Every Plate’s delivery charge, and more expensive thanSun Basket’s and Hello Fresh’s $6.99 delivery charge. It’s way more expensive than Blue Apron and Home Chef’s free shipping. 

    For 2-person plans, the cheapest per-serving price you’ll get is $8.49, with 4 meal orders. For 2 meals a week, you’ll be paying $10.25 a serving. That’s a little bit pricier than other meal kit delivery services on the market (for a cost comparison, Every Plate charges $4.99 per serving as standard; Sun Basket, one of the more expensive providers, charge $10.99 per serving). 

    For 4-person plans, the cheapest you’ll be looking at, for 4 meals ordered, is $6.99 per serving. This is a lot cheaper than other, similar plans - Hello Fresh’s 4-person, 4-meal plan costs $7.49 per serving, as does Blue Apron’s. 


    Menu and Meal Options


    Pricing

    From, $6.99 per serving

    Foods served

    Meat, vegetarian, fish

    Shipping costs

    $8.99 a week


    There are 22 meal options on offer here, spread across different filters. You’ll be given suggestions to fill your delivery box with, and you can easily edit these. 

    Click through to any of the filters, if you're feeling like you want something specific Health and Diet, Under 30 Minutes and Family Friendly were some of my favorite filters - and you’ll see extra information and tags on each recipe card: 

    I really appreciated those extra tags, although I also would have liked to have seen some allergen information “at a glance”. It would have saved me a bit of extra time. 

    I really liked how exotic the recipes on offer were (I mean, I wouldn't have expected any less from Martha Stewart herself), and it presented a nice change from other meal kit delivery services, such as Home Chef, Every Plate and Blue Apron, who had pretty straightforward, American fare on offer. 

    Click through to any recipe card, and you’ll see allergen and nutritional information, serving time and even the level of difficulty - which was very helpful for me.

      

    I also really liked the six steps, with clearly presented images, which gave me an idea of what my cooking process should look like. 

    One thing that’s important to mention: if you have any type of dietary need, Marley Spoon is probably not the meal kit delivery service for you. I go into it more below, but the long story short is, while you can exclude some ingredients from your order - beef, pork, shellfish and more - there’s not much more than that. If you have a really serious allergy or dietary need, you’ll find it tough to customize Marley Spoon the way you need to - it might be better to check out someone like Sun Basket (for dietary preference-specific plans) or Home Chef (excellent customization options) instead. 

      I chose these meals for my order: 

    • Tandoori Salmon with Basmati Pilaf & Cucumber Raita

    • Tomato & Pesto Tortelloni Bake

    • N'awlins BBQ Shrimp & Grits

    The Verdict

    I found it very easy to follow the recipe as it was laid out, especially as each step was broken down into further steps, and even gave me time estimations for each part (Sun Basket, for example, didn't, and I ended up burning parts of my meal). 

    These small things really, really helped me out - and the results came out perfectly. In fact, I think this was one of the easiest meal kit delivery service recipe instructions I’ve ever followed. 

    The meal was tasty - and I was super proud of myself for creating something almost-perfect. And then I did it two more times, with my other recipes from Marley Spoon! 

    One thing I should mention though - most meal kit delivery services ask you to include your own butter, salt and pepper, but Marley Spoon also assumed I had several types of vinegar and flour. I didn’t, but I went and bought some. 

    If I had one piece of advice to give to other non-cooks out there, it's that you should check (at the very bottom of the recipe card) which extra ingredients you’ll need before you get started. At one point I almost started cooking, just with what I was provided in my delivery box, until I discovered I was probably missing some stuff: I didn't have vegetable oil, for example:  


    How it Works 

    Signing up to Marley Spoon is very easy! Choose your plan...

    I really liked the “Make this box vegetarian” option - other meal kit delivery services - like Hello Fresh - have a completely separate vegetarian plan. 

    Enter your location and email, and you’ll see the delivery days and times available in your local area”: 

    So far, nothing too different from the usual - other than both Blue Apron and Every Plate offered weekend deliveries, meaning I could cook over my weekend. But nevermind. 

    Fill in your delivery address details, and choose a payment method (either credit card or PayPal), and check out. 

    You’ll then be taken to choose your meals. There are 22 on offer here (the most I’ve ever seen - even beating Home Chef!), but you’ll see the 4 pre-selected for you, alongside a reminder of how long you have left to edit your order.

    If you're not a fan of what’s on offer, you can edit your preferences in your taste profile. here’s what you’ll see:

    Changing a few of these options, changes your upcoming meal options. Click “edit recipes” on the meal selection screen, to see a nicely filtered range of options: 

    I really liked that I could choose my portion number here - this is the first of any meal kit delivery service that I’ve reviewed where you can do that! Unfortunately, you can't change it to below the number of diners you're ordering for - so when I tried to change it to 1 portion across each recipe, I was only given the option to choose either 2 or 4 portions. 

    Still - choose your meals, click “Save”, and sit back and wait for your delivery to arrive! I was very pleased with the ordering service. 


    Customer Support

    There are a few options for getting in touch with Marley Spoon: 

    I couldn’t resist the chance to call - and boy, was I rewarded! 

    The first thing you’ll hear is a pre-recorded greeting from Martha Stewart herself, welcoming you to Marley Spoon. You’ll then be put on hold until you’re connected to a customer support representative - and I was within 10 seconds. 

    Within two minutes, the helpful and friendly agent had sorted my issue, and finished the conversation. I was incredibly impressed. Home Chef, after all, had been helpful - but it had also left me hanging on the phone for over 40 minutes! 

    Otherwise, there’s also a very helpful FAQ page - divided into different sections. In fact, everything I needed to know was there - including about my allergy needs:

    I was pretty impressed. What I wasn't impressed by? The lack of a search function - come on, Martha - every other meal kit delivery service has search button on their FAQ page! 

    Canceling Your Plan

    Canceling your Marley Spoon plan is very straightforward. 

    I also really like how it's very upfront with the timings for canceling your plan, which (for example) Home Chef wasn't really:

    Click on “Pause or Stop Subscription” to be taken through the process. If you'd like to pause your subscription, you’ll also be offered the ability to pause it: if you'd like to cancel, you’ll be given that option too: 

    I liked how easy this entire process was.

    Expert Bottom Line 

    I couldn’t resist trying a meal kit delivery service designed by Martha Stewart herself - and I wasn't disappointed. 

    The meals on offer are delicious and just a bit exotic-looking, with very clear, helpful instructions. I can also see that Martha Stewart/Marley Spoon really makes an effort to keep the packaging recyclable, which is no small feat. 

    The pricing is good, although I was a little irritated by the $8.99 delivery fee, and the lack of dietary-specific meal options. Still, for the excellent customer service and range of meals on option, you can't go wrong with Marley Spoon. If you have some kind of dietary requirement, you might want to try your luck with a provider such as Sun Basket, which I felt was of a similar quality. 


    About The Author

    Felicity Kay

    Staff Writer, Delivery Rank

    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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