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Find the Best Meal Delivery Services

Meal delivery services provide fresh or frozen prepared foods for a fee. Use our guide to research the best meal delivery service for you. We explain what to look for in services that offer meals in packages or individual plans. Many companies are oriented toward weight loss, but some are designed for individuals and families with busy schedules. Ordering online and getting delivery to your door is fast and easy.

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Compare Top Meal Delivery Service Reviews

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HelloFresh
Read 5,392 Reviews
Up to $80 off + free shipping on 1st order.
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Offers meal plan kits for at-home delivery. Choose from four categories: Classic, Vegetarian, Family-Friendly and Low Calorie. Customize plan preference and plan size. Meals starting at $7.49 per serving.

Diet-to-Go
Read 9 Reviews

Delivers prepackaged meals for weight loss starting at $121.99 a week. Expect to lose 1 to 3 pounds each week. Provides vegetarian, diabetic and keto options. Meal programs for weight loss include diet analysis and coaching.

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Freshly
Read 234 Reviews

Enjoy ready-to-eat meals starting at $8.99/meal when you order 12 meals per week. You can also order 4, 6 or 9 meals per week. Meals are pre-portioned and ready to heat and eat. Gluten- and peanut-free facility and meals.

bistroMD
Read 47 Reviews

Delivers weight loss meals starting at around $20 a day. Lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Gluten-free, diabetic, menopause and heart health meal programs available. Includes support through online weight management programs.

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Home Chef
Read 203 Reviews

Headquartered in Chicago, Home Chef provides all customers need to cook restaurant-quality meals for two, four or six people in 30 minutes or less. The company caters for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free diets.

Blue Apron
Read 355 Reviews

Blue Apron provides fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and seasonal recipes through its two-person and family meal plans. The company also offers a monthly wine subscription service that delivers wines to complement its meals.

Schwan's
Read 109 Reviews

Schwans is a direct-to-home food delivery service that got its start in 1952. It has over 4,000 sales and distribution centers across the United States and over 4,500 delivery trucks that deliver its frozen food brands.

Personal Trainer Food
Read 125 Reviews

Delivers prepackaged meals for weight loss starting at around $19 a day. Weight reduction program includes guidance from diet coaches and community support groups. Typical weight loss is 2 to 4 pounds a week.

Send a Meal
Read 11 Reviews

Send a Meal has been delivering individual foods and fully prepared, gourmet meals to customers nationwide since 2004. Located in Austin, Texas, the company offers a best price and 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Top Chef Meals
Read 9 Reviews

Based in New York, Top Chef Meals offer nutritious, chef-prepared meals with no chemicals, preservatives or trans fats. Meals are hand-plated by professional chefs and delivered to customers throughout the eastern U.S.

What to consider before choosing a meal delivery service

Cost

The price of a meal or plan is a major factor for most consumers when choosing a meal delivery service. Prices vary from vendor to vendor but usually fall between $8 to $10 per person per meal.

  • Discounts for order size: Most services offer discounts on larger orders. This means if you purchase a monthly or weekly plan, you are more likely to receive discounted prices than if you purchase meals individually.
  • Shipping: Many services provide free or discounted shipping if certain requirements are met, such as if the order is over a certain dollar amount or if the customer purchases a monthly meal plan.

Plan

Many meal-delivery services offer their meals based on a plan. This means that you receive multiple meals at once for a flat fee.

  • Frequency: The frequency with which you need to order depends on what type of plan you have. Some services offer weekly plans, while others offer meals as a package for an entire month.
  • Meals per day: Many plans give you the option of how many meals you want per day. You can choose from dinner-only options to three-meal options with snacks included.

Diet

Some meal services are catered to specific weight-loss plans or even dietary restrictions, which can be especially helpful for people who live far from larger grocery stores.

  • Weight loss: Weight-loss plans include meals of specific portions and food types that are designed to help the customer lose weight.
  • Restrictive diets: You can find meal plans that are friendly toward diabetics or those with other dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or organic.

Customization

Meal-delivery services often offer customization options to give more flexibility and control to the customer.

  • Meal swapping: For customers who are purchasing a monthly or weekly plan, the customer chooses a pre-made plan, but can swap out meals or portions of a meal and replace them with their preferred dishes so that they only receive foods they enjoy. Food services that sell meals individually will often let customers swap out the included side dishes or desserts as well.
  • Create your own plan: This option allows customers to pay the flat fee of a plan but choose all their own meals, rather than have them chosen by the service.

Frozen or fresh

Meal-delivery services typically ship their food frozen, but some offer fresh food, either for you to heat up or cook yourself.

  • Frozen: Since many meal plans are month-long plans, the food is generally frozen for convenience, longevity and freshness.
  • Fresh: Fresh (non-frozen) meals are available from some services. The prices for these meals are generally a little higher, and they can only be purchased individually or on a weekly plan.

Commitment

Some vendors require a weekly or monthly commitment, while others do not.

  • Commitment: This option requires customers to commit to a weekly or monthly plan that is automatically renewed.
  • Non-commitment: This option means that customers only order when they want to order, and they are not charged until they place an order at the time of their choosing.

What are different types of meal delivery services?

Weight-loss

This is the most common type of meal-delivery service. It offers meals that are specially portioned and designed so that customers are able to meet their weight-loss goals.

Paleo

This option provides meals that are compatible with a paleo diet. This means that meals are generally high in protein and gluten-free.

Gluten-free

Gluten-free plans cater to those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. Meals may be prepared in a nondedicated facility, however.

Diabetic

Some meal services provide diabetic-friendly meals. These foods are low in sugar to help diabetics maintain consistent blood-sugar levels.

Occasional

Some services offer meals for special occasions such as holidays or family events. Rather than a plan, these are a one-time purchase designed to feed a number of people rather than an individual.

Fresh

Some services ship fresh ingredients, along with a recipe. Customers then cook their own meals.

Who can benefit from a meal delivery service?

Dieters

This group of consumers is actively trying to lose weight, and meal-delivery services can help make the process easier. The preplanned meals are designed to be balanced and healthy so that consumers don't have to worry about counting calories or determining a food's nutritional value.

Busy individuals

Some people's schedules do not leave them with much time to cook or prepare meals, and hiring a personal chef may not be financially viable. For these customers, meal-delivery services are helpful as they provide meals in advance that can be reheated or cooked whenever they prefer.

People with restrictive diets

For people with diabetes, gluten sensitivities or other restrictive dietary needs, some meal-delivery services offer foods that cater to these individual needs. This makes meal planning simpler because consumers do not have to come up with new meal ideas or wonder about a meal's compatibility with their health restrictions.

Meal delivery service FAQ

Can you lose weight with meal delivery?
Yes, a meal delivery service makes it easier to lose weight. The service provides you with healthy food options that taste good, which makes it simple to stick with a diet. When you enjoy the food that’s part of your diet, losing weight becomes less challenging and more rewarding.
Are there any meal delivery services for one person?
Yes, there are several meal delivery services for one person. For instance, some services offer food for only one person each night. Opting for a single-meal service guarantees you get only the amount of food you need.
Is there a meal delivery service for diabetics?
Yes, diabetics can order special meal delivery services designed for their dietary considerations. If you visit the website of a reputable meal prep company, it should offer options for several different types of diets. Be sure to order a plan that’s diabetic-friendly.
What temperature would you reject a delivery of frozen food?
If you order meal delivery, your food must be kept at a safe temperature. This means that all high-risk foods need to arrive chilled or frozen.
  • Chilled food should be no warmer than 41 degrees.
  • Frozen food should be completely frozen when it arrives.

If you have reason to believe that the food is warmer than it should be, call the meal delivery company.

When was food delivery invented?
Food delivery is not a new concept. In 1889, chef Raffaele Esposito delivered his pizza in person to King Umberto I of Italy and Queen Margherita of Savoy, starting the now popular trend. The trend evolved, and people eventually had the opportunity to order a long list of foods for delivery. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that meal kits started to gain popularity.
Are frozen meals bad for you?
No, frozen meals are only bad for you if they aren’t healthy. When you order frozen meals from a meal service, you get high-quality food that is healthy and delicious. Many people use frozen meals as an effective way to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle.

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    Meal delivery service author reviews

    HelloFresh

    A Berlin-based company with U.S. headquarters in New York City, HelloFresh delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to the customers each week for them to prepare at home. The company even partners with famed chef Jamie Oliver for exclusive recipes.

    • Various options: HelloFresh offers options for vegetarians, as well as larger boxes for families.
    • Subscription service: HelloFresh sells a "subscription" that automatically renews each week unless you opt out.
    • Wide delivery range: The company delivers anywhere in the continental U.S.
    • Small suppliers: Food is purchased from smaller suppliers for the freshest ingredients.
    • Choose your meals: You can choose which meals you receive each week to suit your own individual tastes and needs.
    Read 5392 Reviews
    Top Chef Meals

    Founded in Westchester County, N.Y., by caterer Paul Ghiron, Top Chef Meals prides itself on providing gourmet, restaurant-quality meals that are both healthy and affordable. It ships its food frozen and delivers to most of the United States.

    Read More
    bistroMD

    Frozen, doctor-designed meals delivered with the distinct dietary needs of men and women in mind. Customizable menus run five or seven days, starting at $89.96, with gluten-free and diabetic options.

    Read More
    Healthy Chef Creations

    Founded in 2001, Healthy Chef Creations delivers meals fresh, not frozen, to the customer's door each week. The Winter Park, Fla., based company's gourmet, chef-prepared food is entirely organic.

    • All organic: Healthy Chef Creations' foods are all organic and free of chemicals and pesticides.
    • Plan variety: The company's wide variety of plans appeals to dieters, individuals, families, expectant moms, new moms and more.
    • Kid friendly: Healthy Chef Creations offers school lunch options for children, adding another dimension for busy families.
    • Fresh food: Meals are prepared and delivered fresh each week.
    • Chef-prepared foods: Foods are "spa-inspired" and created by chefs for unique, delicious meals.
    MagicKitchen.com

    MagicKitchen.com's founder started the company in Oakland, Calif., to bring busy families together at dinner time, and to provide nutritious dining options for seniors. From its Kansas City, Kan., distribution center, MagicKitchen.com delivers to all of the U.S. It also offers a variety of options for people with dietary restrictions.

    • Individual meals: MagicKitchen.com sells frozen meals individually for flexibility.
    • Friendly for people with dietary restrictions: The site offers a wide variety of options for people with special dietary needs, including diabetic-friendly meals, low sodium, dairy-free, gluten-free, renal diet and more.
    • Auto-ship meal programs: It offers an auto-ship meal program at a discounted price for people who want to buy meals on a weekly or monthly basis without having to reorder.
    • Gift options: You can also send meals as gifts.
    • Food variety: Customers can choose entrees as well as accompanying sides, desserts, soups and breads.
    Diet-to-Go

    Based in Lorton, Va., Diet-to-Go features meal plans to help customers meet weight-loss goals. It offers both fresh and frozen food options, with three different meal plans to accommodate various dietary needs.

    • Frozen or fresh: Diet-to-Go ships frozen meals to anywhere in the continental U.S., but it also offers three locations on the East Coast and two in California where customers can pick up fresh meals.
    • Three different plans: In addition to its main "Balance" plan, Diet-to-Go also offers a plan for diabetics and pre-diabetics and one low-carb plan.
    • Chef-prepared: The meals are planned and prepared by a chef for top-quality taste.
    • Customizable: The plans offer customization options so customers can swap in meals to suit their tastes.
    • High tech: You can sync up your plan with a FitBit or smartphone to more easily track calories.
    Read 9 Reviews
    Blue Apron

    Founded in 2012 in New York City, Blue Apron delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to customers who then prepare and cook the food themselves. The company also offers a monthly wine subscription of six wines with pairing notes.

    Read More
    Send a Meal

    Launched in 2004 in Austin, Texas, Send a Meal offers family-sized meals that customers can buy for themselves or send as gifts. For convenience, the meals can be ordered on an individual basis or as part of a meal plan.

    Read More
    Home Chef

    Based in Chicago, Home Chef sends fresh ingredients and recipes to customers each week for them to cook their own meals. The company's algorithm suggests meals for you based on your "taste profile," which details what you do and don’t like to eat.

    Read More
    Plated

    New York City-based Plated sends a box of fresh ingredients and recipes to customers each week for them to prepare their own meals. Each week the service offers nine different recipes to choose from, with dessert options as well. Two of the meals are designated as Chef's Table recipes, with specialty cuts of meat and market-priced seafood.

    • Antibiotic-free: All meats come from animals that were not given antibiotics.
    • Easy delivery: Food is delivered in refrigerated boxes so ingredients stay cold in case the food is delivered when you're not home.
    • Subscription service: Plated's subscription service automatically renews weekly unless you choose to opt out.
    • Plan variety: The company offers plans with two, three or four meals weekly so customers can tailor the service to their budget and schedule.
    • Unique meals: Plated's menu offers unique, chef-designed, out-of-the-ordinary meals to expand your food horizons.

    Compare Top Meal Delivery Service Reviews

    Postmates

    Offers local delivery from restaurants, grocery stores and other shops. Order through the Postmates app. Delivery fees start at $0.99. Available in all 50 states.

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    Thrive Market

    Online grocery store specializing in high-quality, organic food and home products. Buy online, delivered to your door. Search food by specialty diet. Membership cost starts at $5/month.

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    Healthy Chef Creations Read Author Review

    Healthy Chef Creations has been delivering fresh, gourmet prepared meals without chemicals, pesticides or additives nationwide since 2001. The company offers all-inclusive Meal Programs and an À La Carte Menu.

    MagicKitchen.com Read Author Review

    MagicKitchen offers healthy, chef-prepared meals created using fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced within the U.S. Meals are flash-frozen and shipped nationally from the company's distribution center in Kansas.

    Plated Read Author Review

    Founded in 2012, Plated is a subscription service that provides fresh, seasonal ingredients and chef-designed recipes. The company ships from California, New York, Florida and Illinois, and delivers to 95 percent of the U.S.

    by ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.