Over the past few years, the idea of having a recipe box regularly delivered to your home has gone from being something considered to be quite posh to something which is considered totally normal, and actually quite sensible. The lockdown period certainly led to an increase in people signing up for recipe box delivery services, but what has surprised many people is that they've stuck with the service long after the lockdown period has ended. Although there are lots of recipe box delivery companies to choose from, HelloFresh and Gousto are the 2 brands which have risen above the rest, and are by far the 2 biggest recipe box delivery brands in the UK. But which is best? We wanted to compare every detail of each brand, from the price to the quality of the deliveries, to see which came out on top. Let's get into it:
Which company has the best recipes?
The essence of what HelloFresh and Gousto both do is exactly the same - both companies will deliver a recipe box to your home, which contains recipes to follow and all of the ingredients. So what will really set these companies apart is which company offers the best recipes and the best ingredients to use in those recipes. Starting with HelloFresh, we were really impressed by the number of recipes you could choose from - more than 44 per week gives you a great choice of dishes, with everything from veggie options to meat-heavy dishes. But we were really surprised to see that Gousto offered almost double the amount of recipes to choose from, at over 75 per week. These numbers are as of January 2023, and we suspect that both companies will add lots more recipes this year, but it is certainly surprising to see so many more recipes available via Gousto compared to HelloFresh.
Of course, having more recipes would be completely pointless if the recipes weren't actually good, and we do have to say that although we loved the increased choice from Gousto, the only recipe that we tried from the 2 companies that we've actually kept and made time and time again is the Honey Harissa Squash and Pepper Couscous from HelloFresh (pictured), which for us was the perfect combination of great-tasting and very easy to make. That isn't to say that there were no other recipes from HelloFresh or Gousto that we enjoyed, but we think this was the one recipe from either company that totally nailed the brief which for us was to have an easy-to-make and delicious meal that we'd happily make any day of the week.
What about the price difference?
It's actually quite hard to compare the price of HelloFresh and Gousto because both companies use discounts so often that we imagine most people rarely pay full price for their boxes. But we'll compare the full prices of each company just to make it fair - for 1 box with 3 recipes per week for 2 people, HelloFresh will cost £28.49 per box plus £4.99 for delivery, so £33.48 total. For the same size box for the same number of people from Gousto, it'll cost you £29.99 per box plus £1.99 for delivery, which is £31.98 total. So in short, for 3 recipes for 2 people, HelloFresh costs £1.50 more per week than Gousto. If you're using this service for an entire year, it'll cost you £78 more per year to use HelloFresh versus Gousto.
It's worth mentioning that it was really easy for us to figure out how much a Gousto box costs because there is a useful page on their website which outlines all the different prices, whereas we couldn't find an equivalent on the HelloFresh website.
What are the third-party reviews like for each company?
So far, we've mostly given you our own opinion about these 2 recipe box companies, but it can be really useful to check third-party reviews from other users to see what they thought of them too. Luckily, both companies have a Trustpilot account, which is our preferred third-party review platform. As you can see from the image above, Gousto has a 'Great' rating, whereas HelloFresh is sitting with an 'Average' rating. A 'Great' rating on Trustpilot means an average score of 3.8 - 4.2 out of 5, whereas an 'Average' rating on Trustpilot means a score of between 3.3 - 3.7, so it is quite a significant difference in ratings between these 2 companies. However, it is worth mentioning that there are about 25,000 more Trustpilot reviews for HelloFresh compared to Gousto, so we're not surprised to see that the HelloFresh rating is slightly lower.
Which recipe box is better for the environment?
Nowadays, we're all much more conscious about the impact that our daily habits have on the planet, and the idea of having a big cardboard box delivered to your house every week doesn't seem like it would be great for the planet. Luckily, Gousto and HelloFresh have taken steps to ensure that their services are as planet-friendly as possible, although we'd have to say that HelloFresh is doing a slightly better job in this regard. As you can see from the image, there is a note on the Gousto box which tells you that using Gousto will produce 23% fewer carbon emissions compared to buying the same products from the supermarket. This is impressive, but what we really like about HelloFresh is that the brand actually offsets 100% of the carbon emissions produced by the company. So if you're conscious about your impact on the planet, HelloFresh is the recipe box company to choose.
So, should you choose HelloFresh or Gousto?
As you can see from our comparison, there isn't a huge amount to separate these 2 recipe box brands, but there are a few points which we think are quite significant. For starters, the increased choice and slightly cheaper price of Gousto certainly makes it favourable for people who want to try lots of different recipes without spending lots. However, we'd definitely say that we liked the HelloFresh recipes more than the Gousto recipes, plus the brand's commitment to offsetting its carbon emissions is seriously impressive. Which recipe box company do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!