- Meal variety: The dishes are primarily based on meat. There are not many options for vegetarians and vegans
- Freshness: All ingredients are fresh
- Ease of preparation: Pre-cooked dishes that only need to be heated, typically ready in three minutes
- Customizability: You can add sides and proteins to your main dish
- Customer service: Email, phone, FB messenger
- Price: $8.99–$11.79 per meal
Why do so many Freshly reviews praise this heat-and-eat meal delivery service? What makes Freshly unique? And what can you expect in terms of the food? To find out the answer, we decided to test the service and share our experience with you.
Here’s what we discovered about Freshly.
What Is Freshly?
Freshly is a well-known meal delivery service that’s been supplying hungry customers across the US with mouthwatering and nutritious dishes since 2012. Freshly’s founder, Michael Wystrach, established the company to improve his eating habits. What started as a small delivery service soon became (through word of mouth) one of the most famous meal delivery services in the US.
According to Freshly reviews from 2021, the company has almost 2,000 employees, including chefs, culinary-nutrition scientists, food scientists, and culinary technicians. In 2020, Freshly launched FreshlyFit, a new line of meals focused on low-carb and high-protein diets. In the same year, Nestle, the giant multinational food company, acquired Freshly for a whopping $1.5 billion.
How Does Freshly Work?
Freshly is a subscription-based service, and they don’t offer a free trial. Once subscribed, you will have complete control over your orders and will be able to modify them at will.
When it comes to the ordering process, you need to follow five steps:
- Add your zip code and email address in the sign-up box
- Pick your meal plan, i.e., the number of meals you want to receive each week (4, 6, 8, 10, or 12)
- Choose the delivery date
- Select your meals
- Add your contact info (delivery address and payment details)
The important thing you need to know about Freshly prices is that the company charges per week. Therefore, if you plan to skip a week or cancel your subscription, do it before the weekly deadline.
After you log in, you’ll be able to see the delivery details—your current, past, and future orders, as well as delivery dates and weekly deadlines. Here you can choose your meal, change the delivery days and the number of meals you wish to receive. Keep in mind that the deadline will stay the same each week if you don’t change the delivery day.
How to Cancel Freshly?
To cancel a subscription, enter the Settings (in the top right corner) and click on the “Cancel Subscription” link. It can be found under My Subscription.
That said, Freshly has the easiest cancellation process compared to other meal delivery services, i.e., you don’t have to notify the company about the cancellation or ask for permission. Just click on the “Cancel Subscription” button, and you’re done. Still, you will have to answer a few questions about the reasons for your cancellation.
Where Is Freshly Shipped From?
Freshly ships its meals from its facilities in Savage, Maryland; Phoenix, Arizona; Austell, Georgia; Commerce, California; and Linden, New Jersey. The company will send your meal from one of those locations, depending on your zip code. Freshly’s delivery partners are Veho, UDS, Axlehire, OnTrac, Lasership, FedEx, UPS, and CDL.
Where Does Freshly Deliver?
Freshly delivers over 1 million meals per week to 48 states (except for Hawaii and Alaska). The package will ship 1–2 days before the delivery date. Once it ships, you’ll be able to track it via the tracking number. Just click on the “Track my meals” button in the delivery section. On a negative note, the tracking is not always accurate.
Remember that your location will play a significant role when it comes to delivery speed. These small details influenced our overall Freshly ratings score.
In terms of packaging, we have good news for environmentalists. Freshly packs its meals in recyclable cardboard boxes filled with denim insulation and reusable gel packs to keep the food fresh for up to 60 hours without preservatives. The food comes in microwave-safe, recyclable Go-Green plastic containers, and you can re-use the gel packs.
How big are the boxes? Various reviews on Freshly will tell you that each package is different in size. The size will depend on the meal plan you choose:
- The 4-meal plan comes in a 16” x 13” x 9”, 16.1 pounds box
- The 6-meal plan comes in a 16” x 13” x 11”, 18.1 pounds box
- The 10-meal plan comes in a 16” x 13” x 14”, 27.2 pounds box
- The 12-meal plan comes in a 16” x 13” x 17”, 29.4 pounds box
Freshly Meals Review
Freshly is unique because it offers completely prepared, ready-to-eat food that only needs to be heated before serving. This is ideal for people who don’t have the time or don’t like to cook. Besides being ready within three minutes, Freshly’s meals are natural. They contain no artificial ingredients, refined sugars, or preservatives.
Regarding the variety of food, we were impressed by the number of meals you can choose from. There are over 30 different dishes to select each week, and some courses left us craving for more, as you’ll soon find out from our review of Freshly.
There are five menu categories you can pick (plus you can add proteins and sides):
- Crafted Classics
- Signature Collection
- Takeout Twists
- Purely Plant
We believe that Freshly’s menu offers a great combination of high-protein dishes and vegetables. Most dishes are gluten-free, and they average around 500 calories. On top of that, you can find essential information about each dish, from the ingredients used to the number of calories, carbs, fat, and protein.
On a sour note, you’ll find that numerous Freshly reviews criticize the company’s menu since it leans towards meat. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you won’t find many options.
Almost all of the ingredients come from the US, except for some fruits, vegetables, and shrimp. The USDA inspects the meat, which means there are no preservatives, chemical additives, or fillers.
Now, let’s talk about the food itself. For our review of Freshly meal delivery service, we chose one dish from each category.
Three-Cheese Turkey Lasagna and Shrimp & Andouille Paella
Our first choice was the three-cheese turkey lasagna with spinach and brown-rice pasta sheets from the Crafted Classics menu, followed by shrimp & andouille paella with roasted red peppers from the Signature Collection.
The verdict? Both dishes were absolutely delicious. The lasagna was creamy and flavourful, and we liked that the shrimp & andouille paella contained pretty big chunks of shrimps and sausages. We recommend using a non-stick skillet to heat your shrimp & andouille paella, not a microwave, to make it more crispy.
Crave-No-More Shepherd’s Pie and Chicken Tikka Masala
Next on our Freshly review menu came the famous Shepherd’s Pie. Is it as good as your grandma’s pie? Well, it’s different because Freshly’s Shepherd’s pie is paleo-friendly, and you’ll find pecans in the ingredients list. Nevertheless, we did like how it tasted.
Since we’re big on Indian cuisine, our meal choice from the Takeout Twists menu was the Chicken Tikka Masala with seven-spice vegetable biryani. To be honest, we were surprised by how good it tasted. The sauce wasn’t too thin, and the basmati rice was perfectly seasoned. This was our favorite dish at the time of writing our Freshly review.
Farmstead Baked Lentil Pasta
The only thing we didn’t like so much was the farmstead baked lentil pasta with seasonal veggies & creamy marinara (from the Purely Plant menu). While not bad, the pasta was a bit gummy for our taste.
The size of the portions is not Freshly’s strong side. Some people might even find the servings too small compared to other meal delivery services. Still, most reviewers agreed that one portion is enough to provide a light lunch.
How Long Do Freshly Meals Last?
The dishes are designed to last for up to 60 hours after being shipped. Once you receive your box, you need to keep it in the refrigerator (if you’re not planning to eat it immediately). When refrigerated, the dish can last between 3 and 5 days. Keep in mind that some food products, like seafood and meat, spoil faster. Our advice is to eat your meal, if possible, as soon as you receive it.
Can You Freeze Freshly Meals?
If you end up with leftovers, you can always put your dish in the freezer. You should store the meals at 0ºF or lower if you want the ingredients to stay colorful and tasty. Never put hot food in the freezer. Exposing the food to extreme temperatures can make the ingredients go bad.
Each Freshly meal comes with a label that shows the exact use-by date. Just remember to microwave the dish straight from the freezer until it reaches 165°F.
Based on our experience and Freshly reviews on Reddit, Yelp, and other platforms, the dishes are pre-cooked and easy to prepare. Since they are practically fresh and not frozen (only a bit cold), you just need to peel off the plastic cover and put the dish in the microwave for a minimum of three minutes (or more for proteins, which take longer to cook).
Can Freshly meals go in the oven? Yes, you can put the meal in the preheated oven (350°F) and heat it for about 25–35 minutes. Luckily, you’ll find heating instructions written on the cardboard sleeve for each meal you order, including the prep time.
Another important thing we need to cover in our Freshly food delivery review is the weekly meal plan.
You get to choose between five different weekly plans:
- 4 meals per week
- 6 meals per week
- 8 meals per week
- 10 meals per week
- 12 meals per week
There are no family portions, but you can place a corporate order by contacting Freshly’s customer service via email or phone.
How Much Do Freshly Meals Cost?
Each of the five offered weekly plans comes with a different price.
- The 4 meals plan costs $11.79 per meal, or $47.16 per week (+$6.99 shipping)
- The 6 meals plan costs $9.99 per meal, or $59.94 per week (+$6.99 shipping)
- The 8 meals plan costs $9.49 per meal, or $75.92 per week (+$8.99 shipping)
- The 10 meals plan costs $9.29 per meal, or $92.90 per week (+$10.99 shipping)
- The 12 meals plan costs $8.99 per meal, or $107.88 per week (+$11.99 shipping)
Sale taxes are also incorporated in the Freshly price and will depend on your location. There is also no bulk pricing for individual dishes. So, if we do the math, the 4 meals per week plan will cost you $216.6 per month (shipping included), while for the most expensive plan (12 meals per week), you’ll have to pay $479.48 per month.
So, the big question remains, is Freshly delivery service worth the price? We believe it is.
Although Freshly may cost more than other delivery services, like, for example, EveryPlate or Dinnerly, which charge $5 per serving, we appreciate the quality of food. Not only do you get fresh and healthy pre-cooked dishes, but they also taste pretty good. You can also add Freshly’s side dishes and proteins to your meal, such as baked turkey and beef meatballs or masterful mash, which typically cost between $0.99 and $10.99.
Is Freshly Organic?
Although Freshly is not an organic meal delivery service like Sunbasket or Green Chef, the company uses natural and, for the most part, gluten-free ingredients. The dishes contain zero processed sugars, zero artificial ingredients, and zero preservatives.
In addition to that, the meals are low on carbs and high on protein. As mentioned before, Freshly’s menu is primarily based on meat, and there are not many options for vegans or vegetarians.
Freshly Customer Service
If you’ve been reading online Freshly reviews, you’ve probably noticed that many people speak highly of the company’s customer service. There are many reasons we agree with these claims.
First of all, the customer service is very responsive. For example, if you send an email, you’ll get a response within 30 minutes. You can also reach them by phone or chat via Facebook.
Secondly, the company’s FAQs section will provide you with all the answers you need, from meal prices to tips on heating up your meals. And lastly, besides being available 24/7, Freshly’s customer service agents are very thoughtful.
Freshly Reviews on Yelp and Reddit
Since the beginning of the pandemic and the lockdown era, many people have turned to meal delivery services—especially those who don’t like to cook. Therefore, we wanted to hear what they think and say about Freshly on Reddit and Yelp.
When it comes to Reddit, the opinions are divided. Some suggest that Freshly’s food is bland in general, while others claim that some meals are great, but that others fail to impress (this was our experience too).
Other reviews of Freshly suggest that the food quality went down since Nestle acquired it. Still, they all agree that Freshly will give you your money back if you dislike a meal and complain about it.
Regarding Yelp, most users recommend Freshly, although some complain about the deliveries being two days late and portions being too small. On top of that, many agree that the food doesn’t look the same it does in the photos, although the taste is good.
Besides Freshly, many other meal delivery services offer great food for reasonable prices. Some even include recipes and special menus (vegetarian, vegan, keto).
On that note, Freshly’s main competitors (alternatives) are the following brands:
- Hello Fresh
- Blue Apron
- Home Chef
In the next section of our review, we’ll compare Freshly with the mentioned brands, focusing on the menu and price differences.
Freshly vs Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh is one of the most popular food subscription boxes that offer chef-designed recipes and ingredients to make your own meal.
Menu differences: Freshly’s meals are single servings, while Hello Fresh offers 2–4 servings. With Hello Fresh, you can receive 2, 3, 4, or 5 meals per week using a 2 or 4 person plan. At the same time, Freshly offers 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 meals per week.
Regarding the meal plans, the point in this Hello Fresh vs Freshly battle goes to the former. Why? Because with Hello Fresh, you get to choose between 6 meal plans: Meat and Veggies, Veggie (a vegetarian plan), Family Friendly, Calorie Smart plan, Quick and Easy, and the Pescatarian plan.
Freshly’s menu is primarily based on meat, which is a big minus for vegetarians and vegans. In addition to that, Hello Fresh offers bigger portions.
Preparation time differences: As already mentioned in this and other Freshly reviews, the food you receive is already pre-cooked. You only need to heat it in the microwave for three minutes.
With Hello Fresh, you’ll need 30–40 minutes to prepare your delicious dinner. So, this time, our point goes to Freshly.
Price differences: In this case, there’s not much room for discussion because both companies offer similar prices. Hello Fresh charges a minimum of $7.49 per serving, and Freshly charges $8.99 per meal.
Freshly vs Blue Apron
Most Blue Apron reviews praise this meal delivery service that will send you all the needed ingredients and step-by-step recipes to make a chef-designed meal at home.
Menu differences: Blue Apron offers four different meal plans: 2 serving signature, 2 serving vegetarian, 2 serving wellness, and 4 serving signature for four.
Freshly is the winner when it comes to the menu since you get to choose between 30 different dishes, while Blue Apron offers a bit less (12–19).
As per Blue Apron and Freshly meal reviews, both companies use fresh and healthy ingredients.
Yet, when it comes to special diets, Freshly’s menu doesn’t have specific diet-based categories, while Blue Apron offers you to choose a vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, Mediterranean, or carb-conscious diet menu.
Preparation time differences: Since Blue Apron doesn’t offer you pre-cooked meals, it will take about 30 minutes to prepare the dishes.
Price differences: When comparing Blue Apron vs Freshly, the former is less expensive. To be more precise, the starting price for a signature menu plan (4 servings per week) is $9.99 per serving, compared to Freshly’s $11.79 per meal (4 recipes per week).
Again, if we do the math, ordering your meal from Blue Apron will cost you a minimum of $39.96 per week, i.e., $159.84 per month. If we add the shipping fee of $9.99, we’ll end up with a total sum of $199.8. For comparison, the cheapest Freshly option will cost you $216.6 per month.
Home Chef vs Freshly
Home Chef is a meal delivery kit service that offers ingredients for chef-designed recipes that you can recreate at home.
Menu differences: Home Chef’s menu focuses on homestyle classics, like steak, chicken sandwiches, and pork. You get to choose between 21 meals each week, a bit less than Freshly that offers 30+ dishes.
Furthermore, Home Chef offers two meal plans: Fresh and Easy (simple dishes that can be done fast) and Home Chef (variety of meals and cooking instructions). You can also choose different food preferences and dietary restrictions (vegetarian, pescatarian, carnivore, omnivore).
We believe that Home Chef is one of the best alternatives to Freshly in terms of the menu.
Preparation time differences: Depending on the dish, it will take you 15–30 minutes to prepare your meal when using Home Chef, compared to Freshly’s 3 minutes.
Price differences: Home Chef’s meals start at $6.99 per serving. So, Freshly is a bit more expensive given that its most affordable option costs $8.99 per meal (if you use the 12 meals plan, that is).
Trifecta vs Freshly
Trifecta is an organic food delivery service that offers pre-cooked fitness-focused dishes.
Menu differences: Unlike Freshly, Trifecta’s dishes are less flavorful and somewhat repetitive (they use the same sauces). However, they deliver their meals to all of the US states, including Hawaii and Alaska.
With Trifecta, you can choose between 5 different menus: Clean, Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian meal plan. Each plan contains breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a third entree option.
Preparation time differences: Both brands offer pre-cooked dishes that can be prepared within 3 minutes.
Price differences: Freshly meals cost much less. Unlike Freshly’s 4 meals plan, Trifecta offers a minimum order of seven dishes.
In comparison, Freshly’s 8 meals plan costs $75.92 per week (+$8.99 shipping). Trifecta’s 7 meals plan ranges between $90.93 (for Vegan and Vegetarian plans) and $108.43 (for Clean, Paleo, and Keto meal plans).
On a positive note, Trifecta doesn’t charge shipping.
Freshly Pros and Cons
Among numerous meal delivery services, Freshly is one of our favorites. It’s an excellent option for people who don’t have enough time to cook their own meal but want to introduce healthy food into their diet.
All Freshly’s meals are pre-cooked and ready in three minutes. The dishes are primarily based on meat. They are free of refined sugars and artificial ingredients.
The brand is also eco-conscious. They use only recyclable cardboard boxes and Go-Green plastic containers.
Be that as it may, as you could read in our and many other Freshly reviews, while the dishes overall taste great, the portions are too small. Likewise, there are no snacks or desserts you can add to your menu, and there are not enough options for vegans, pescatarians, and vegetarians.
- Pre-cooked meals ready in 3 minutes
- You can skip weeks or cancel your subscription whenever you want
- Wide selection of weekly dishes (30+)
- Great customer service
- Small portion sizes
- Not many options for vegetarians and vegans
Our own experience with the service seemed to confirm what we’ve read in the more positive Freshly reviews. If you’re still wondering if you should choose Freshly over other meal delivery services, ask yourself a few questions.
Do you prefer pre-cooked meals that are ready in a New York minute, or are you one of the people who love to get dirty in the kitchen and prepare their own dishes? Do you have particular dietary preferences? Are you a vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian?
Freshly is a good option for individuals who prefer dishes with meat that need no cooking, while it might not be the best choice for those who would rather cook their own meal using healthy ingredients and recipes.
Which one of them are you?
Is Freshly cost effective?
It depends on the plan you choose. The most cost-effective plan is the 12 meals plan that comes at $8.99 per meal, i.e., $107.88 per week (+$11.99 shipping).
On the other hand, choosing the 4 meals plan is the least cost-effective. Freshly will charge you $11.79 per meal or $47.16 per week (+$6.99 shipping).
Compared to other meal delivery services, Freshly is not the cheapest one out there. For example, Hello Fresh charges $7.49 per serving.
What is the difference between Freshly and FreshlyFit?
FreshlyFit is a specially designed menu that’s inspired by popular diets. It focuses on specific macronutrients such as meals high in protein and low in carbs. Both Freshly’s other plans and FreshlyFit contain nutrient-dense ingredients that are low in sugar.
FreshlyFit’s dishes include a keto-friendly chicken bowl, beef & shiitake bolognese, and lemony Mediterranean chicken. Like with Freshly’s other plans, FreshlyFit meals are preportioned and fully prepared, rich in protein, and for the most part, gluten-free.
Is Freshly Fit healthy?
Yes, FreshlyFit is a healthy option for people who follow a low-carb diet but lack time to cook. All dishes from the menu contain a balance of healthy fats, carbs, and lean protein.
The meals come with a detailed description, from the number of calories, carbs, fat, and protein, to the list of used ingredients. As mentioned before, the dishes are rich in protein and often gluten-free.
How long will Freshly meals last?
Freshly meals are designed to last up to 60 hours after being shipped. Refrigerated dishes can last between 3 and 5 days. You can also freeze the food if you don’t plan to eat it right away. Just remember not to freeze hot food since it might go bad.
Does Freshly do low-carb meals?
Yes, Freshly is known for its dishes that are low on carbs and high on protein. Why is this important?
Low-carb diets can lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. They are also good for losing weight, improving cholesterol and blood sugar levels. With low-carb diets, you basically limit the number of carbs you eat while focusing on consuming healthy fats and proteins.
Can you skip a week with Freshly?
Yes, you can, and the process of doing it is pretty straightforward. If you’re using the Freshly app, you need to go to your Deliveries, where you can choose the delivery day you want to skip. Just click on the “Skip Delivery” button.
There is also the “Unskip Delivery” button if you make a mistake or change your mind.
If you’re using a computer, sign in to Freshly, go to your Deliveries and find the order you want to skip. Again, click on the “Skip Week” button (or “Unskip” button).
Remember to make all the changes to your deliveries before the deadline.
Can you cancel Freshly meals anytime?
Yes, you can. To cancel or change your subscription plan, you can either go to your Freshly account and do it yourself, or you can email Freshly’s customer service ([email protected]).
If you don’t want to be charged for your next order, you need to cancel your subscription before the deadline, i.e., before the date when you’re supposed to be charged for the order.
With each order, you’ll get an email with the details about the dates and charges (usually 5–6 days before the delivery), so make sure not to forget about it.
According to numerous Freshly reviews and based on our experience, the cancellation process is straightforward and reliable.