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Marley Spoon Review 2021: Testing Martha Stewart’s Meal Kit

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

    30 min. meal kits

  • Type Of Food Options:

    Classic,Vegetarian,Gluten-free

  • Recipes Per Week:

    22 recipes

  • Free Delivery

    No

  • Written by: Felicity Kay on Mar 25th, 2021

    Marley Spoon Review 2021: Testing Martha Stewart’s Meal Kit

    Martha & Marley Spoon in a Nutshell

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

    What I liked

    • Prices from $6.99 per portion

    • 29 recipes a week on offer

    • Extremely easy-to-follow recipe cards 

    What I didn’t like 

    • $8.99 shipping charge per week

    • No specific dietary preference plans

    Marley Spoon Overview

    I’m a bit of a Martha Stewart devotee, so when I found out there was a Martha meal delivery kit, I just had to try it. I was hopeful that this would be more than just a brand name tie-in and that I would get a feel for the “Martha-ness” of the kit. 

    At first glance, everything on the website looked to be of the high quality I associate with Martha Stewart. But when I had a closer look, and compared it to other top names like Home Chef and Blue Apron , I found that the face of a brand isn’t everything.  

    How Marley Spoon Works

    Signing up to Marley Spoon is easy. Choose a plan for either two or four people and decide how many meals you want to get. You can order between two and six, and while the price of shipping never changes, the cost per meal drops according to the number you order.

    I really liked the Make your box vegetarian option. Similarly, Home Chef has its Customiz-it tool that lets you swap the protein of any meal to the plant-base Impossible Meat.

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

    So far, nothing too different from competitor meal kit delivery services, other than the lack of weekend delivery, which some companies like Blue Apron do offer.

    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 29 on offer. That’s the most I’ve ever seen in a meal kit delivery service – even beating Home Chef’s robust menu, which my colleague write about in her real-life review . But you’ll see the four meals 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:

    Editing a few of these preferences changes your 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 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 one portion across each recipe, I was only given the option to choose either two or four portions. 

    Once you’ve chosen your meals, click Save, and sit back and wait for your delivery to arrive. Overall, I was very pleased with the ordering service. 

    Marley Spoon Prices

    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’s a $8.99 delivery charge – this is obviously more expensive than Blue Apron’s free shipping

    For two-person plans, the cheapest price you’ll get per serving is $8.49, with six meal orders. For two meals a week, you’ll be paying $10.99 a serving. That’s somewhat expensive when you compare it to other middle-of-the-line meal plans like those from Home Chef , which starts at $6.99 per serving. 

    For four-person plans, the cheapest price you’ll be looking at is $6.39 per serving. This is cheaper than some similar plans – HelloFresh’s four-person, four-meal plan costs $7.49 per serving, as does Blue Apron’s. 

    Marley Spoon Menu

    There are 29 meals on offer each week, spread across different categories. You’ll be given suggestions, and you can easily edit these. However, this service is best for those without any specific requirements.

    While you can exclude some ingredients from your order – beef, pork, shellfish, and more – you’re not able to do much more than that. If you have a serious allergy or specific dietary need, you’ll find it tough to customize Marley Spoon the way you need to. It might be better to check out a company like Sunbasket for specific dietary preferences, or Home Chef (which offers excellent customization options) instead. 

    Here’s a quick look at how much Marley Spoon costs and what it offers:

    Pricing

    From $6.99 per serving  

    Foods served

    Balanced, vegetarian, pescatarian  

    Shipping costs

    $8.99 a week

    Best alternatives

    Home Chef and Blue Apron


    Click through to any of the filters if you're looking for something specific. Health & Diet, Under 30 Minutes, and Family-Friendly were some of my favorite categories. You’ll also 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 some time. 

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

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

    Marley Spoon Delivery

    Marley Spoon offers deliveries every weekday, either 8 am to 9 pm or 9 am to 8 pm. Forgive me, but I don’t really see much of a difference between these two slots and as expected, it didn't make a difference to me. The kit was delivered at around noon, and I picked it up at around 7 pm when I arrived home from work to find it at my front door. 

    While these delivery days and times are perfectly acceptable and serviceable, a Saturday delivery does allow me to cook more 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 Unboxing

    Marley Spoon’s packaging is impressive but occasionally left me a little frustrated.  

    Most of it is recyclable. My meals were wrapped in recyclable paper bags, but some of the loose ingredients were wrapped in plastic. It wasn’t excessive, which is sometimes the case 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 online, and though Marley Spoon makes a real effort to help you recycle its packaging’s separate parts, I’ve seen reports from other users that some deliveries come with bubble wrap (which isn't recyclable) and plastic sleeves with cotton padding. 

    Favorite Marley Spoon Meals

    I liked the look of these recipes: 

    • Tandoori Salmon with Basmati Pilaf & Cucumber Raita

    • Tomato & Pesto Tortellini Bake

    • New Orleans BBQ Shrimp & Grits 

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

    I found it easy to follow each recipe, especially as each step was broken down. It even gave me time estimations for each part.

    These small details really helped, and the results came out perfectly. In fact, I think these are some of the easiest meal kit recipes I’ve ever followed. 

    The meals were tasty – and I was super proud of myself for creating something almost-perfect! 

    One thing I should mention, though: While most meal kit delivery services expect you to have your own butter, salt, and pepper, Marley Spoon also assumed I would have 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. You do need to make sure you have some basic pantry items to hand.

    Marley Spoon Customer Service

    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. 

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

    The only slightly annoying thing was the lack of a search function. Come on, Martha. Every other meal kit delivery service has a search button on its FAQ page! 

    To find out more about my experience with Marley Spoon’s customer service, check out this review I wrote about what happened when I tried to cancel my subscription.

    Alternatives to Marley Spoon

    While you might assume that a Martha Stewart-affiliated meal kit should be organic, that’s not one of Marley Spoon’s selling points.

    If that’s important to you, Sunbasket  is a great option. It’s USDA-certified organic, and it offers a range of diet plans including vegan, and paleo menus. Of course, all these “perks'' don't come cheap, but if you don’t mind paying a premium, Sunbasket fits a range of requirements.

    If you’re looking for an easy-to-follow meal delivery kit, with prepared meal options for those busier nights, take a look at what’s on offer at Home Chef . The clear instructions don’t assume everyone is a culinary genius (though you might want something more challenging if you’re more comfortable in the kitchen). 

    It also has creative recipes, delivery across multiple weekdays, and individually priced meals so you don’t need to be tied to a particular plan.

    The Bottom Line

    The meals on offer are as delicious, exotic, and easy to make as you’d think that a Martha Stewart meal kit would be. I can also see that Marley Spoon makes an effort to keep the packaging recyclable, which is no small feat. 

    However, the shipping fee, and the lack of more variety in the menu still makes Home Chef and Blue Apron look like better and more affordable alternatives. 

    How much does Marley Spoon cost?

    The cost of Marley Spoon depends on how many people you’re feeding each week and how often you want them to eat! The four-person plan, with six meals a week, starts at a very reasonable $6.99 a serving. Just looking to feed two? The cheapest per-portion order is $7.89 for six meals a week. No matter how much you order, shipping costs $8.99.

    Home Chef is the most popular competitor, and offers shipping of just $6.99 on orders of $50 or more

    Is Marley Spoon good for weight loss?

    Any weight loss program should be done with the supervision of a doctor or dietitian. That said, Marley Spoon does offer recipes that could be incorporated as part of a healthier lifestyle. Just look for the Low Carb, Healthy, Nutritious, or Low-Calorie tags to find the best options for you.

    Home Chef, on the other hand, makes finding low-calorie meal kits easy with its dedicated calorie-conscious menu

    What’s on the Martha & Marley Spoon menu?

    Marley Spoon offers 29 weekly recipes that are easy to prepare. Just follow six simple steps and you’re there! Can’t or won’t eat something? You can choose Vegetarian & Vegan options and opt for some of the Health & Diet choices. There’s also Family-Friendly recipes to get everyone enjoying food together.

    Need more variety in the meal types? Home Chef gives you all of the same menu options, as well as premium meal kits for special occasions, oven-ready meal kits for fast home-cooked meals, and even entree salad meal kits.

    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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