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Hello Fresh vs Gousto

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I’m a big lover of cooking fresh meals for my family most nights, and while I do meal plan frequently, and have 100s of recipes here that I refer back to, sometimes I just want an easy week of meals without a lot of hassle. I’ve tried Hello Fresh, Gousto, Mindful Chef, Green Chef, Simply Cook and more in the last 5 years or so.

Recipe boxes are fantastic as you’ve got the convenience of choosing from 10s of different meals every week and then you receive just about everything you need to cook those meals delivered to your door. You can set the delivery of your fresh ingredients for a day that really suits you too.

Whatever your household make up you can order meals to suit the number of people in your home. Gousto has portion sizes suitable for just 1 person now and you can cook yourself fresh meals even if you’re the only one home with very minimal effort.

A hand holds a blue bowl of food. Thai crispy beef rice with lettuce leaves. In the background is a red box with Gousto on the side.

If you’re going to have lots of people to share dinner with then you can get boxes for 4+ people too and you can change up your order frequently with the option to purchase one off boxes from Gousto.

In this post I am going to cover a number of areas where I want to compare Hellofresh to Gousto including packaging, quality, recipe cards, choice and cost too. All of the content in this post relates to my experience as someone in the UK, who orders from the UK Gousto and Hello Fresh services accordingly.

I first started using Gousto boxes when I had my first baby, back in 2016, and have 100s of recipes from them now. I also started using Hello Fresh around a similar time and have also had 10s of boxes from them. Typically I move around and do not remain loyal to one company so you can expect this to be a genuine comparison post, up to date for my experiences with this food delivery service as of 2024.

Most of the comparisons in this post are based on me using the Gousto and Hello Fresh websites, rather than any apps that they offer. The main reason for this is that is typically how I shop with them. You may find different settings or options on the app and all information in this post is up to date as of Spring 2024.

Ninja Foodi OL750UK 15 in a 1 model on a beige worktop with white tiles and a toaster in the background

Hello Fresh vs Gousto

Recipe choices

Gousto claim they have over 250 meals per month to choose from and I typically see 80-100 recipes available per week when making my choices. They do have meals that they repeat but they always have new meals too. They have lots of themed meals too, such as Bluey meals, or ones that are designed for cooking with small children. I love this!

When looking at Hello Fresh I see around 40 meals. They have quite a bit of choice in those 40 recipes but quite a few of them are in a category where you are being upsold add ons, ‘premium’ recipes or ‘street food’ recipes etc which can cost up to £4.99 extra per person.

My winner: Gousto

Recipe cards

Gousto have small recipe cards, which are ideal for fitting into the folder you can order from them. Personally I have never kept a recipe card but if you’re wanting to do so then Gousto will likely suit you better.

Hello Fresh have HUGE recipe cards and these seem to usually be bigger than a piece of paper larger than A4. While these are great to read, and possibly more accessible, I just find them overly large and they take up too much worktop space. Sometimes the Hello Fresh cards are printed poorly, with faded ink.

My winner: Gousto

Ato 3 Seat Chaise Sofa in charcoal from Nabru sofas in my living room on a wooden vinyl floor

Allergy and other filters

On the Gousto website they have some great filters that I absolutely love including ‘prepped in 5′, ’10-minute meals’ and ‘for Katy’ which often shows me meals we’ve had and loved before. They also have ‘plant-based’, ‘gluten-free’ and ‘dairy-free’, among others. You can choose Vegetarian as a dietary preference when subscribing.

On the Hello Fresh website they have filters such as ‘best sellers’, ‘date night’, ‘healthy options’, ‘family friendly’ and ‘veggie’. You can select options such as ‘pork free’ and ‘fish free’ when subscribing to the service.

My winner: Gousto

Packaging

Lots of the Gousto packaging is recyclable and I really like that the little packets of herbs, seasonings and other items come together in one brown bag. It is really easy to just look through this to find the specific items I need. The box is well packed with sufficient ice packs and I’ve never had a box arrive with items unsafe to eat – even when delivered towards the end of the slot.

Hello Fresh provides individual numbered bags, which tie up to the recipe cards and meals you’ve chosen. In these bags you’ll find the store cupboard ingredients and flavourings you need for your meals. I personally find that these bags often have items for the fridge, such as peppers, tomatoes etc, and therefore I still have to rummage through the bags when they arrive to find items for the fridge.

Hello Fresh also use lots of wool type lining, and there seems to be more excess packaging to keep the boxes safe.

Both meal delivery services use a lot of easily recyclable items, and obviously you’ve got next to no food waste because you’re only receiving the ingredients for the specific meals that you’re going to cook at home.

Don’t kid yourself that you’re being super sustainable though as there are quite a few little packets and unless you do soft plastic recycling locally (which can be a big faff in some areas of the UK) you’re still going to have quite a lot of plastic waste.

I personally like Gousto packaging better. It’s rare for damages from either company but I find that tomatoes tend to get a bashing with Gousto though they do provide some pretty generous credits on the rare occasion it is bad enough for me to raise as a complaint online or via the app.

My winner: Gousto (only just!).

Air fryer wedges, air fryer sausage rolls, air fryer pizza and air fryer tips. Text reads air fryer tips for beginners.

Delivery

Both services are very similar. I’ve had a number of different couriers with Evri delivering my most recent Hello Fresh and DPD delivering my most recent Gousto.

Evri are perfectly fine where I live but often provide the 2 hour window mere minutes before the courier arrives. Also they take photographs at the front door without even letting me know and it is just very awkward.

DPD provide 1 hour delivery slots on the morning of my delivery, typically around 8-9am, which is much better for me when I am worried about making it home from school runs or appointments in time to get my box.

My winner: Gousto

Quality

I have had less quality issues with Gousto than with Hello Fresh, but this may be because I typically order 3-4 meals from Gousto and 5 meals from Hello Fresh, just to be transparent.

With Gousto I’ve had some bruised items like tomatoes and some fresh basil that is already basically past its best when the box arrives. These are minor inconveniences for me and don’t usually stop me making the meal.

With Hello Fresh I have had several times where they have sent me completely the wrong meal box and when dealing with customer service they have seemed to disbelieve me, and I’ve had to go through all of the ingredients received instead of just being able to send over some photos and have someone actually use their common sense.

Gousto wins for me on quality because I feel like the ingredients last longer with a 4 meal box often being able to be eaten on the 6th or 7th day after delivery (depending on what I’ve ordered). With Hello Fresh if I order 5 meals I can’t usually skip a single day if plans change or I want a takeaway, without food waste occurring (or having to cook up something for the freezer), as there will always be meals, particularly chicken ones, that are all due to be used up by the same day.

My winner: Gousto

Mashed potato, potato skins, fries, diced potatoes, loaded fries and mashed potato balls. Text overlay says The best ever potato recipes.

Portion sizes

This comes down to the calories of the meal that you choose of course but they are much of a muchness for me.

Pasta dishes are typically on the generous side, especially from Hello Fresh, with us regularly feeding 2 adults and 2 children from the 2 person serving of many of the pasta dishes.

Rice dishes are typically on the smaller side, but are lighter on the calories too.

If you choose one of the street food meals these are pretty sizeable but they typically have over 1000+ calories as a result – so just keep that in mind when choosing.

My winner: A tie!

Cost – how much do Hello Fresh and Gousto meals actually cost?

I’ll show you a couple of comparisons, of different box sizes, but won’t list all of the prices as I find them quite similar.

4 meals for 2 people delivered:

Gousto: £35.99 + £3.99 delivery
Hello Fresh: £35.49 + £4.99 delivery

4 meals for 4 people delivered:

Gousto: £47.85 + £3.99 delivery
Hello Fresh: £53.99 + £4.99 delivery

Price wise I always find them quite similar, and as Gousto wins a lot of the points for me I tend to purchase from them more. Also Gousto regularly send me £5 off or 20% off which entices me to place an order.

As you can see Gousto typically wins on price – just! Also, you can purchase one off boxes from Gousto which is what I often do to avoid the faff of having to come back to remember to cancel my subscription again when I want a break.

What I find very irritating is when you have to sign up just to see the prices. I don’t want to put my card information in just to see how much a service is. You CAN find the prices without doing this – you just have to know where to look. Gousto prices and Hello Fresh plans (you’re welcome!).

My winner: Gousto

Text that reads slow cooker tips and tricks - 20+ great tips!

How to cancel Gousto and Hello Fresh?

Both services can be contacted on the website, app or via phone. Personally I have always used the website and have had no issues at all.

What I will say is that both services seem to make it hard for you to cancel. What I mean by this is that they will initially try to persuade you to stay, then you’ll see a second screen and then you have to click through a THIRD time just to see the cancellation screen. This can be confusing for people and I myself have actually kept my subscription by mistake – even having to go through the process twice to cancel to check it still worked that way for this blog post.

Is Hello Fresh better than Gousto?

Personally I feel no. They have less choice, more packaging, more spoiled items and also they seem to be obsessed with dishes that contain rice and green beans. I guess it is going to feel that way with less choice.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that one is better than the other but for me personally Gousto is my winner. I just get more from the boxes, enjoy the recipes more and never waste any of the ingredients. On occasion with Hello Fresh towards the end of the 5 days meals I find that they just aren’t as fresh as I’d like.

Air fryer Ninja roast potatoes, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and air fryer pizza with salad and garlic and herb dip - text overlay that says what can you cook in an air fryer?

Do you save money with Gousto?

If you were to buy the ingredients yourself you definitely could make the meals cheaper. You can even use the Gousto website to look up some meal ideas and then shop in your preferred discounter supermarket such as Lidl or Aldi to maximise your savings.

For us we would sometimes get a takeaway because we had forgot to get groceries in for dinner or we would just be bored of having the same meals and Gousto have really removed a lot of that for us.

I know that we have food in, and that it will go to waste if I order in, so it has definitely saved money in that respect.

I’m not going to pretend that the value for money is better than buying your own meals and coming up with your own meal plan but for those weeks when I’m busy or want a nice change without spending an hour looking up recipes and writing shopping lists it is perfect. I typically do the one off boxes and I’m ok with paying for the convenience.

What are the disadvantages of Hello Fresh and Gousto?

They are both the same really. Expensive versus buying your own ingredients and quite a bit of packaging as everything is individually packaged.

This is weighed up semi fairly against the convenience for me, as a busy working parent, and sometimes wasting items I buy from the supermarket because I either forget to cook them or I just don’t fancy thinking up meals to make.

A pile of £10 and £20 notes. There is text at the top which states 10+ great money saving challenges

Gousto or Hello Fresh for weight loss?

People often ask me if Gousto is actually healthy and I’d say it depends on what you define as health. There are a LOT of great meals that are packed full of vegetables with lots of health benefits.

You can see all of the macros for the meals and they have filters that make it simple to choose meals that are on the lower scale calorie wise. For me I tend to buy meals around 600-700 calories and this has been very helpful when eating in a calorie deficit.

We have also had meals that are over 1000 calories. While alone they are fine, as an occasional meal to perhaps replace a takeaway etc, we wouldn’t get these every night as they don’t fit with our goals.

I love that you’re cooking mostly fresh food with Hello Fresh and Gousto and this helps me feel like I am nourishing my body and I can keep a close eye on the salt, protein or saturated fat depending on my own health goals. As can you.

Alternatives to Hello Fresh and Gousto?

There are a fair few ways that you can plan meals and get them delivered to your door. Here are some I have tried:

*Green Chef – a health based version of Hello Fresh (same company)

Riverford – organic meal delivery boxes

Prep kitchen – ready meals

Cherry Pick – a meal planning service that allows you to add the items to your Sainsburys basket

*Simply Cook – spice and seasoning blends and recipe cards where you need to buy your own ingredients

Cooked, creamed, spinach, fries, ribeye, steak, and French onion soup, with cheese, croutons from the Côte At Home steak date night box.

Hello Fresh discount code / Gousto discount code:

If you’re a new member then I have discount links that will allow you to get a heavily discounted, or sometimes even a free box.

*Hello Fresh

*Gousto

You’ll also find that you can sometimes receive discounts when cancelling subscriptions, via phone or by letter and I’ve had a lot of offers from Gousto in the last year including 20% off a box if ordered by a set date and £5 off.

Hello Fresh have a rewards system they run sometimes that allows you to earn a free premium meal upgrade or even free extras from the online shop such as desserts or side dishes. This is quite a fun way to have something else with your box without any extra spend and I do use this option from time to time.

Summary – is Hello Fresh or Gousto better?

For me personally Gousto is the winner. Great quality (mostly) and lots of choice too. I especially love the prepped in 5 meals for busy weeknights when my husband is working 12 hour shifts and I’m juggling work and the children.

Gousto seem to be more generous with credits when things go wrong and don’t make you jump through many hoops whereas Hello Fresh often want a ton of images and sometimes to go through it on the phone too which feels like a bit of a faff – especially if I haven’t been sent the box I wanted and the one I have received is full of mostly unsuitable meals.

I do have referral codes for both companies, and around 5-6 years ago now I worked with them both on adverts but my review isn’t swayed by who pays the most credit (it’s usually the same) and is just based on my own personal experiences. As always you can reach out to me online via social media or via a comment on this website if you want to ask anything else. Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

Thai crispy chilli with crispy onions, beef and rice in a blue bowl. In the background is a Gousto box.

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Kim Carberry

Friday 22nd of March 2024

We are massive fans of Gousto. It's been years since we tried Hello Fresh, last time we did it all seemed a bit fancy. This was interesting to read. I have found that when we get Gousto boxes our weekly online food shop is less. I don't know how it happens but if we don't get a Gousto box I can easily spend almost £150 but with a Gousto box I only end up spending about £80. So plus the cost of the box we end up spending less on food. lol

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