CHOICE reveals the best home-delivered meal kits

Photo: Dinnerly
Photo: Dinnerly 

Planing a family's food for a week goes far beyond deciding what to have for dinner on a given night. There are two other meals in the day to provide, any number of snacks for active kids, and then there's making lists and navigating the supermarket.

Meal planning takes a lot of time, so it's little wonder people are increasingly turning to delivered meal box kits. They offer parents a far less stressful solution to family meals and many kids love the variety of dishes. And the ingredients are the freshest of the fresh too.

"Meal delivery services are predominantly marketed to time-poor families, and subscribing to them goes some way towards alleviating the perennial stress of having to decide what to cook for dinner. But if you have limited cooking skills and want to eat home cooked food they can also be a great way to learn how to cook," says CHOICE home economist and tester Fiona Mair.

The biggest question you'll face is which company to throw your hard-earned dollars at. How do they all compare with so many competing for your business?

How they work

Having decided on a company to go with, and having signed up for a plan (3 nights / 4 people etc) you first select the meals that appeal, then your ingredients magically arrive with a recipe card that you follow. No missing ingredients, no torturous supermarket queues with kids in tow. You can also suspend deliveries at any time.

The CHOICE tests

CHOICE has crunched the carrots, sauteed the spinach and fried the fish for you, comparing four meal kit delivery companies including Marley Spoon, Hello Fresh, Pepper Leaf and Dinnerly. And the news is overwhelmingly good, with all scoring over 80 per cent and three of the four scoring 85 per cent or above.

Of its testing procedures CHOICE wrote, "Our testers ordered and cooked two meals each from HelloFresh, Marley Spoon, Pepper Leaf and Dinnerly. We rated the services for ease of ordering, presentation and temperature on delivery, ingredient freshness, recipe accuracy and more."

Whomever you go with, it looks like you can't really go far wrong. Make sure you check out the full report with lots of extra information on the CHOICE website.

The results

1. Hello Fresh

Photo: Hello Fresh

Photo: Hello Fresh

Score: 87 per cent

Cost: 4-person box - three meals/week (including delivery) - $109.95 (family box)

Meal choices per week: 10 (classic), 6 (family), 5 (vegetarian) = 21 total

Delivery areas: NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Vic, WA  

2. Marley Spoon

Photo: Marley Spoon

Photo: Marley Spoon

Score: 86 per cent

Cost: 4-person box - three meals/week (including delivery) - $114

Meal choices per week: 20

Delivery areas: ACT, NSW, Qld, Vic, SA

3. Dinnerly​

Photo: Dinnerly

Photo: Dinnerly

Score: 85 per cent

Cost: 4-person box - three meals/week (including delivery) - $77.95

Meal choices per week: 8

Delivery areas: ACT, NSW, Qld, Vic, SA

4. Pepper Leaf

Photo: Pepper Leaf

Photo: Pepper Leaf

Score: 83 per cent

Cost: 4-person box - three meals/week (including delivery) - $118.80

Meal choices per week: 8 (classic), 8 (family), 3 (vegetarian) = 19 total

Delivery areas: ACT, NSW, SA, Vic