Cook It vs. HelloFresh: Meal Kit Face-Off

No matter how much you love cooking, having to constantly come up with new dishes to cook can get old, fast. Then, there are rising grocery prices to deal with, crowded grocery stores, and time carved out for meal prepping on a busy day. This can quickly turn the whole cooking process into a hassle.

This is where meal delivery kits come in. In some instances, meal kits can be cheaper than buying groceries, saving you time and money on meal prep and planning. 

In this article, I let Cook It and HelloFresh, two such meal kit services, hash it out to see which is better based on cost, recipes, ingredient quality, and packaging. 

Cook It

Cook It was launched in 2014 by three friends who shared a common vision—reducing food waste and getting rid of the mental fatigue of planning and prepping meals every day. The result was Canada’s first ready-to-cook company. Cook It is a subscription-based service that provides ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals. Cook It’s meals take no more than 6 steps (around 35 minutes on average) to prepare. The service delivers everywhere within Quebec, Ontario, and maritime provinces in Canada, and is a great option for those who crave home-cooked meals but are short on time.

👉Read my full Cook It review here.

HelloFresh

HelloFresh has been around since 2011 and was one of the first companies to enter the meal kit delivery market worldwide. With its pre-planned recipe kits, HelloFresh quickly changed the way people ate by giving everyone the experience of a restaurant-quality, home-cooked meal. Like Cook It, HelloFresh’s meals can be prepared in 6 steps or less, which makes for an average cooking time of 30 minutes. They operate in 19 countries, including the U.S. and Canada

Is HelloFresh better than takeout?

HelloFresh is better than takeout in terms of cost, food variety, and ingredient quality. It’s also much healthier than the processed food you get when you order takeout.

👉Read my full HelloFresh review here

Cook It vs. HelloFresh: The Face-Off

Although Cook It and HelloFresh offer the same service, their approach differs greatly. Here’s a comparison of each of their features to see which one is better suited to your needs. 

Cost

Both Cook It and HelloFresh charge per serving, but Cook It has the option to add ready-to-eat meals to your order. You must, however, select a minimum of 6 servings per week in total (any mixture of ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook meals), while HelloFresh’s plans start from 4 servings per week. The ready-to-eat and vegetarian meals have a slightly lower cost per serving than the ready-to-cook or meat-based ones. 

For the table below, I have only taken the ready-to-cook meals from the regular menu into consideration. 

Servings Per WeekCook It (Price Per Serving)HelloFresh (Price Per Serving)
4$11.49
6$15.13$9.99
8$14$9.99
10$13.32$9.99
12$12.97$9.99
14$12.88
16$9.99
20 $9.99
21$11.56
24$9.99
28$10.90

HelloFresh is clearly cheaper than Cook It when it comes to price per serving. The latter offers free delivery, however, while HelloFresh’s shipping fee varies between $6.99 and $9.99 per box, based on how many servings you order. Ultimately, Cook It ends up being slightly cheaper. 

Looking for a cheaper HelloFresh alternative? Check out EveryPlate by the same company.

Winner: Cook It

Meal Plan Options and Customization

Cook It

Cook It offers 17 new ready-to-cook recipes each week and ready-to-eat meals that just need to be microwaved. However, if you choose the vegetarian menu, your options are limited to 6-7 dishes ready-to-cook dishes and 2-3 ready-to-eat dishes per week. Despite the limited menu in comparison to HelloFresh (as you’ll see below), Cook It offers a good variety of dishes. Some examples include Buffalo Chicken Poutine, Chicken Pho Soup, and Shrimp Tikka Masala. You also get comfort food like tacos and burgers. 

Each dish has nutritional information, with ready-to-cook meals containing detailed cooking instructions with photos. Even the ingredients have photos attached, which I really liked. The menu allows you to view the prep time at a glance and you can also filter the menu using categories such as spicy, plant-based, family-friendly, and so on. However, there’s no allergen information or vegan and keto-friendly options, so Cook It isn’t suited for those with allergies or dietary preferences. 

On the lookout for a Cook It alternative? Check out my GoodFood vs. Cook It comparison and see how the two stack up against each other. 

The recipe was easy to follow and even my kids went for it! Would definitely recommend it if you’re trying to expose your family to new foods and get them excited about nutrition!”

-Bernard, MKC Cook It Review

HelloFresh

HelloFresh allows you to pick from 50+ recipes each week,  including breakfast, brunch, snack, and dessert options. You get a mixture of staple dishes like spaghetti, burgers, and tacos, international cuisine like Moo Shu Shrimp Bowls, and seasonal favorites. Want something a little extra? Pick a “premium” dish such as the Beef Tenderloin or Chicken Ramen for an extra fee. 

Like Cook It, each dish contains nutritional information, prep time, and detailed cooking instructions with photos. You can also view dishes filtered by categories such as pescatarian, veggie, or family-friendly. 

However, unlike Cook It, HelloFresh meals include allergen information and accommodate people with slight dietary preferences (vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians). Sadly, there are no dairy-free, gluten-free, or nut-free options. Under “HelloCustom,” you can customize your meals to fit your preferences. 

Hello Fresh meals are always bursting with flavor!”

-Springer, TrustPilot

Winner: HelloFresh

Recipes and Ingredient Quality

Cook It

Cook It sources ingredients from local Quebec farmers and works with small producers whenever possible. The company prefers short-run purchasing to minimize the number of middlemen. Cook It’s fish originates from sustainable Ocean Wise fisheries. However, there’s no information about where they source their meat from, and whether it’s antibiotic-free. 

Cook It’s portion sizes are big, which is a plus! Though unchopped, the ingredients are pre-proportioned and of good quality. You’ll also receive some pre-packed products like packet sauce instead of freshly made sauce, tofu, and halloumi. Their recipes are inspired by local seasonal ingredients and are recognized by Aliments du Québec au menu, an organization that verifies the Quebec origin of agriculture and food products. The dishes are easy to cook and take around 30-40 minutes to prepare. Recipe cards are also included.

HelloFresh

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HelloFresh Review: One of the world"s largest meal kit providers 👀 Is it one of the freshest too? Check out the full review on mealkitcomparison.com #mealkit #mealkitreview #hellofresh @HelloFresh

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HelloFresh sources high-quality and seasonal ingredients (sometimes organic) straight from the farm. Their meat is hormone-free and sourced from local vendors who adhere to all USDA inspection guidelines. The company also conducts frequent on-site visits and has an animal welfare policy in place. But there’s no mention of the meat being antibiotic-free. They only source ocean-friendly seafood that has either an MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) or BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certification. The company is also transparent about its suppliers

Like Cook It, the ingredients come pre-proportioned, but unchopped. You’ll also get some canned products. Recipe cards are also included. HelloFresh’s meals take anywhere between 10-40 minutes to cook.

Check out 5 of HelloFresh’s competitors! 

Winner: HelloFresh

What is the downside of HelloFresh?

The downside of HelloFresh is that it doesn’t accommodate people with dietary preferences, nor does it provide microwaveable meals for those who don’t want to cook at all. 

Delivery Times and Locations

Cook It

Cook It delivers only to Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritime provinces within Canada. Delivery is available 7 days a week between 8 a.m to 10 p.m. You can enter your zip code to see which delivery slots are available for your area and choose the day and time that’s most convenient for you. Even if you aren’t home, the box will be left at your door.

HelloFresh

HelloFresh delivery is available 7 days a week, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., all over the contiguous USA and Canada as well as to certain locations in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Anchorage, Alaska. However, some specific areas have slots only on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. Like Cook It, HelloFresh also drops off your box wherever you specify even if you’re not home.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Packaging and Sustainability Efforts

Cook It

Cook It groups ingredients by recipe, with each recipe packed in a separate plastic bag. However, they further pack each ingredient in separate plastic bags, which I’m not too happy about. The cardboard box is specially designed with insulators and gel packs to keep the ingredients fresh during transit. 

Everything, right from the ziploc bags to the ice packs, is recyclable. Cook It also gives you the option of getting your recipe kits delivered in a reusable cooler which can be returned to the delivery person during the next delivery. They also distribute any remaining food to Quebec’s food banks. 

HelloFresh

Like Cook It, HelloFresh also uses specially designed boxes with insulated liners and gel packs to keep ingredients fresh in transit. They also separate ingredients by recipe. Although, unlike Cook It, they package them into separate paper bags. Sometimes, individual veggies are wrapped in plastic to prevent them from going bad.

HelloFresh uses 100% renewable energy and offsets all of its carbon emissions. They also have a Box Fit system that chooses the ideal box side for your order, which ends up reducing unnecessary carbon emissions by saving space in the transport vehicles. HelloFresh’s entire packaging is recyclable. The insulating liners are made with honeycomb paperboard as well as recycled cotton, jute, and kraft paper, and they use protein pouches instead of traditional liners. The main box is made using a mix of recycled and virgin fibers, while the separators are made with low-density chipboard. You can find more info about how to recycle their packaging here.

Winner: HelloFresh

Customer Service

Cook It

Several consumers have complained about the less-than-desirable quality of Cook It’s food.

I have received moldy produce and rotten meat on several occasions.”

-Nicola Vance, TrustPilot

There have also been complaints about the food being delivered to the wrong building, and credit cards being charged automatically without the customers confirming the orders. Others never received their boxes.

Consumers have complained that they tried contacting customer service and often received a very delayed response or no response at all. Cook It has also refused to offer refunds for the spoiled food. 

“Customer service has much to be desired and they will not give refunds even when they are supplying food that is frozen, not fresh, and over dated. They made mistakes that they are not willing to take ownership on.”

-Sandra Cribar, TrustPilot

All in all, it seems that their customer service needs to be improved tremendously. 

HelloFresh

HelloFresh’s customer service is available round the clock. You can get in touch with them either through a live chat, phone call, or email. Customers report that they are usually very prompt in resolving the issues (with a few misses here and there). 

“I love the customer service – I’ve had two issues with deliveries (not the fault of HF – severe weather issues). The response was IMMEDIATE and I was given a credit in both circumstances.”

-Kerrie Bond, TrustPilot

Winner: HelloFresh

Final Verdict: Cook It or HelloFresh?

Both Cook It and HelloFresh are great meal kit services for those who want to whip up something delicious but are short on time. However, based on my comparison, HelloFresh comes out to be the clear winner. 

Despite being slightly more expensive than Cook It, HelloFresh more than makes up for it with its food variety, flavor, easy packaging, and great customer service. There are also options for vegans and pescatarians, which is lacking in Cook It. 

But, if you would like some ready-to-eat microwaveable meals every week, then Cook It might be the better option for you!
Ready to give HelloFresh a try? Sign up and get up to 20 free meals.

Natalia S.

Natalia S.

I’m Natalia S., mother, writer, dance teacher, and Airbnb host living with my school-aged daughter in Vancouver. I’m the type of person that loves to eat, is fairly health-conscious…but never cooks. When I’m not busy pinning all the recipes that I won’t cook later, I’m wearing every hat that comes with running three businesses and raising a child.

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Meal Kit Comparison - Simplify Your Dinner Decision
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