HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: big-name Australian meal kits compared

HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking to save on the time and hassle of grocery shopping and/or trying to think of ideas for what to eat every night, meal delivery kits can be a neat solution. Each week, meal delivery services such as HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer a different menu of meals to choose from, with all the necessary ingredients and instructions you’ll need to cook them delivered in one convenient box.

Of these services, arguably none are more well-known than HelloFresh and Marley Spoon. HelloFresh has been operating for over a decade in Australia and has built itself a strong reputation, while Marley Spoon is only a few short years behind and has developed quickly enough to be a household name.

But how do HelloFresh and Marley Spoon actually compare to each other? Having spent our time with both subscriptions, we’ve put the two head-to-head below to help you determine which best suits your culinary needs.

Marley Spoon meal prep

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: price and availability

When it comes to plan options and pricing, HelloFresh and Marley Spoon are actually quite similar. For starters, both offer weekly meal plans for either two or four people, with the most meals per week offered by each topping out at five per person.

Marley Spoon does offer a point of difference in terms of plans, however, with a minimum meals-per-week option of two, compared to HelloFresh’s minimum of three. For those who like to keep their food options open, Marley Spoon’s two-meal subscription might be ideal.

Two-person meal kit pricing

For two-person meal plans, prices between the pair are similar, with HelloFresh only marginally cheaper than Marley Spoon:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 HelloFreshMarley Spoon
2 meals per personN/AAU$64.45 inc. shipping (AU$16.11 per meal)
3 meals per personAU$79.99 inc. shipping (AU$13.33 per meal)AU$85.43 inc. shipping (AU$14.24 per meal)
4 meals per personAU$99.99 inc. shipping (AU$12.50 per meal)AU$106.41 inc. shipping (AU$13.30 per meal)
5 meals per personAU$114.99 inc. shipping (AU$11.50 per meal)AU$125.39 inc. shipping (AU$12.54 per meal)

Four-person meal kit pricing

It is a similar story with regards to meal plans for four people, with HelloFresh slightly cheaper than Marley Spoon, but never by more than AU$1 on a per meal basis:

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Header Cell - Column 0 HelloFreshMarley Spoon
2 meals per personN/AAU$102.41 inc. shipping (AU$12.80 per meal)
3 meals per personAU$134.99 inc. shipping (AU$11.25 per meal)AU$142.37 inc. shipping (AU$11.86 per meal)
4 meals per personAU$159.99 inc. shipping (AU$10 per meal)AU$170.33 inc. shipping (AU$10.64 per meal)
5 meals per personAU$174.99 inc. shipping (AU$8.75 per meal)AU$180.29 inc. shipping (AU$9.01 per meal)

Note: per meal prices listed above are based on weekly prices inclusive of shipping

Hello Fresh

(Image credit: Future)

HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: menu and recipes

Both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer a rotating menu with a new selection of meal options to discover each week, essentially guaranteeing that you won’t be eating the same meals week after week.

Per week, HelloFresh offers a menu of over 25 recipes encompassing eight total categories, including Classic, Vegetarian, Family-friendly, Calorie Smart, Quick & Easy, Carb Smart, Flexitarian, and Protein Rich. Of these, the service suggests that its weekly recipe options are as follows:

Marley Spoon, meanwhile, goes to even greater lengths when it comes to weekly variety, with a per-week menu of over 50 recipes to choose from. Unlike HelloFresh, it doesn’t divide its menu into categories, but does provide information for each recipe about what dietary or preference specifics that they qualify for. 

The Marley Spoon weekly menu

(Image credit: Marley Spoon)

Without doubt, this variety helps Marley Spoon to stand out, particularly for those who might have specific dietary requirements or who are looking to change their diets to better fit a health or fitness goal. Those with food sensitivities such as lactose intolerance or a gluten intolerance will also be pleased to see that each recipe is clearly labelled to highlight these elements.

In terms of the recipes and how they taste, in both cases the overall experience will ultimately depend on your abilities to follow instructions and handle yourself in the kitchen. Both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon make this easy with clearly printed recipe cards included in each box, which detail the full step-by-step cooking process, including recommended heat settings and cooking times. With these easy-to-follow recipe cards and a majority of each recipe’s ingredients included with each box, HelloFresh and Marley Spoon both achieve what they set out to – that is, offering an easy, organised way to enjoy a diverse variety of meals without having to spend too much time in the supermarket, or trying to think of ideas come dinnertime.

HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: delivery and ingredients

Both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer similar low-fuss delivery processes. You simply select the day you want to receive your delivery, and then wait to anticipate its safe, seamless arrival. HelloFresh has recently expanded its delivery options to open up every day as a possibility, with cut-offs for changing or skipping your weekly order typically one week before the desired delivery date. Marley Spoon isn’t far off, with delivery available Tuesday to Sunday in some regions.

Hello Fresh

(Image credit: Future)

Delivery boxes for both services contain pre-packaged ingredients, including meat and other cold items packaged alongside ice packs to ensure these items stay cool until you can get them to the refrigerator. As with many similar meal kit delivery services, the quality of ingredients for HelloFresh can occasionally be inconsistent, with fresh produce such as tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and so on occasionally arriving in less than ideal condition – such as being unripened, or a little soggy – but these instances are usually exceptions rather than the rule.

In our experience, meanwhile, Marley Spoon does manage a slightly superior consistency in this area. While some use-by dates on refrigerated items can be a bit short, this isn’t a problem so long as you’re looking to cook your meals before the week is out.

HelloFresh offers delivery to many high-population areas across mainland Australia, with the full list including:

Adelaide, Albury, Ballarat, Bendigo, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Canberra, Central Coast, Central West NSW, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Gippsland, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Melbourne, Mildura, Newcastle, North Coast NSW, Northern Rivers, Perth, Rockhampton, Shepparton, Southern Highlands, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Toowoomba, Townsville, Tweed Heads and Wollongong.

Marley Spoon offers its delivery to the metro and surrounding areas of: 

Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, the greater Perth region, Sydney and Wollongong.

This makes Marley Spoon the obvious choice if you’re located in Tasmania, as HelloFresh doesn’t currently offer delivery to Australia’s southern-most state.

HelloFresh vs Marley Spoon: verdict

Comparing HelloFresh and Marley Spoon across the key areas, despite its higher price, Marley Spoon just manages to edge out HelloFresh on the back of its unrivalled meal variety.

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Header Cell - Column 0 HelloFreshMarley Spoon
Recipes per weekOver 25Over 50
Delivery days7 daysTues - Sun
Cheapest per-meal costAU$8.75 (5 meals for 4 people plan)AU$9.01 (5 meals for 4 people plan)
Vegan recipe optionsYesYes
Allergen infoClearly listed in click-through for each recipeClear labelling on menu, limited information
Additional ingredients required?Yes; listed on website and recipe cardsYes; listed on website and recipe cards

For those with food sensitivities or more specific dietary requirements, both offer HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer some assistance finding suitable meals from their menu. HelloFresh does a great job making its allergen information clear if you click through into a recipe, while Marley Spoon labels each of its recipes with clear indications of what diets or sensitivities they will best suit.

With that said, if you’re looking to save a few extra dollars, HelloFresh similarly offers a diverse menu on a week-to-week basis. In the case of either service, you can feel confident knowing you’ll get everything you need each week to cook yourself some seriously tasty meals, and potentially help you get a step or two closer to your health and fitness goals too.

James Cutler
Staff Writer

James is a full-time journalist with the TechRadar Australia team, covering all aspects of tech with a particular focus on phones, TVs and home entertainment, AR/VR, gaming, gadgets, and the web. He has worked for more than six years in broadcast, digital and print journalism in Australia covering a range of topics with a constant eye on and interest in tech developments driving society’s transitions into the future. In his spare time, he can typically be found bouncing between one of a number of gaming platforms or watching anything horror/true crime.