Updated for 2020: HelloFresh France Review and Competitor Meal Kit Companies
Ever since Middagsfrid.se, a Swedish company, started the first internet-based meal kit subscription delivery service in 2007, it’s become all the rage. It’s even gaining popularity in France, which is hard to believe since France is considered the world’s culinary and gourmet capital.
Out of all the delivery services (in France), this is my favourite company. Their recipes are consistently good. The portions are just right, and they always have vegetarian options.
If you’re not familiar with recipe delivery services, or you’re wondering how the French version differs from other countries, let’s go over the basics first.
A recipe meal kit delivery service such as
HelloFresh deliver to?
You can have your box of food delivered to your office in Paris, your friend’s house, or somewhere else of your choosing, anywhere in France.
Out of all the meal delivery services on this list, Hello Fresh is the only service I know of that operates in multiple countries. Fourteen so far across three continents.
1) France, 2) United States, 3) Canada, 4) United Kingdom, 5) Australia, 6) Austria, 7) Belgium, 8) Denmark, 9) Germany, 10) Luxembourg, 11) Netherlands, 12) New Zealand, 13) Sweden, 14) Switzerland
Why did I choose To Use A Meal Kit Delivery Service?
I originally signed up for
Not only is it a great way to discover new recipes, but it’s also convenient for my busy life and takes the stress of coming up with new ideas and shopping for the ingredients.
I don’t order every week; instead, I typically order meals once a month and sometimes skip a month. It just depends on my schedule or my mood. The site makes it easy to pause and restart my subscription.
I also signed up and tested a few other meal delivery services thinking that I might like those better. I’ve included a review of the ones I recommend below. The benefit of signing up with several companies is if you don’t like the recipes for that week on one site, you can order from the other sites you’ve signed up with.
I suggest you start with hello Fresh for a week, pause the deliveries and give a couple of the other delivery services on this list a try.
Be sure to watch the unboxing video I did below.
Pros And Cons Of Meal Kit Delivery Services
Controlled portion size
Less expensive than eating out and take out food.
More expensive than purchasing ingredients from grocery store on your own.
More nutritious than fast food and takeout.
Excess packaging might bother some people.
Saves you time because you don't have to shop for the ingredients
If you like grocery shopping, meal kits might not be for you.
Less experienced cooks will learn to cook better.
You need to make sure you are home to accept the box and put it in the fridge right away.
Meals usually take less than 30 minutes to cook
Kits all come with recipe cards with step by step instructions
Recipes are created by professional chefs who test their recipes to perfection.
Setting up your
If you’re in France, make sure you go to the French site HelloFresh.fr. If you’re located in another country, you have to use that countries version of
- Set up your account:
- Select the number of recipes you want to receive each week:
- Choose two to six recipes or let the website automatically choose recipes for you.
- Set up the number of servings you want to receive each week.
- i.e. number of people: The minimum is usually two people, maximum six.
- Choose the delivery day and time you would like to receive your boxes each week. Don’t worry; you can always change the delivery day if you need to.
You can leave these settings or change them each week.
Ordering your weekly recipes:
- Each week, or every couple of weeks, logon and choose your recipes for that week or several weeks in advance.
- You can change the number of recipes and or the number of portions before completing the order.
- Wait for the recipes to arrive at your front door.
HelloFresh delivered and packaged?
I’ve been using
What’s inside each delivery?
- A recipe card with detailed instructions and photos showing you step by step how to recreate and cook each meal.
- All the ingredients you’ll need for cooking the recipe with the exact portions and premeasured ingredients.
- **Some subscription services purposely don’t include basic ingredients that they assume you already have in your pantry. (butter, oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, flour, etc.)
- Meals are grouped in individual bags (in France). I place them in the refrigerator together and pull them out when I’m ready to cook them.
- Freezer cold packs are included for food and meat that needs to be kept cool.
What’s the difference between meal kit recipe services in France and other countries?
In France, a meal kit, meal box, recipe box, or whatever you want to call it has just as many French names. I’ve seen “box repas,” “kits-recettes,” and “Pannier repas.”
The recipes in France are usually localized, meaning they cater to French people’s palettes.
In addition to French recipes, you’ll find international dishes, mainly Italian pasta dishes, Thai, Chinese, Indian and sometimes Japanese or Korean recipes. Moroccan food is also trendy in France.
In general, there are certain things you won’t find in meal kit recipe services in France.
- Mexican food is not popular in France.
- Spicy recipes are scarce, and even when the recipes claim to be spicy, my young daughter finds them mild at best.
- You probably won’t see things like Maple-glazed pork chop, Southern Fried chicken or Monterey jack burgers either.
- Cheddar cheese is rarely included in recipes, even for hamburgers’ recipes. Monterey Jack is another cheese unfamiliar to most French people. Instead, you find cheeses familiar to French people such as
Brie, Comté, blue cheese, Reblochon, mozzarella and feta etc.
You might be interested in reading: Cheddar Cheese Substitutes And Why The French Don’t Like Cheddar.
Example of recipes in France vs in the US for the same week.
HelloFresh France does an excellent job of localizing their recipes for the French market. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the recipes on the US site vs the France site for the same week.
- Duck confit with raisin, glazed carrots and mashed potatoes.
- Veal chop with red cabbage and apples
- Stewed veal in a puff pastry and fresh green salad
Hello Fresh France Unboxing and Review Video
I did an unboxing of our first Hello Fresh box, which you can watch in the video below.
You might be interested in Up Your Dinner Party Game With French After Dinner Drinks. Oh, La La!
Other Recipe Subscription Services Located In France
2- Les Commis
Type of Cuisine: Mix of French and international cuisine
Coming in a close second is Les Commis, pronounced (lay Ko-me), which translates to “the junior chefs.” Launched in 2012 by Cyril Francine, Les Commis initially offered gourmet meals for special occasions like New Year, Christmas and St. Valentines.
In 2016 they expanded their offerings and joined the recipe subscription marketplace and now offer six new recipes each week, which you can cook at home in 30 minutes or less. Recipes are created by chef Owen Marlaud who finds his inspiration in French gastronomic tradition, his many experiences in the four corners of the world and fresh seasonal products.
Examples of French recipes from Les Commis:
- Sole Meunière served with lemon parsley butter and potatoes.
- Moroccan stewed chicken: Moroccan dishes are quite popular in France.
- Hake fish poached in an aromatic white wine stock (court-bouillon)
Type of Cuisine: Mix of French and international cuisine
My third favourite on this list is Foodette. Founded in 2015 by Olivier Tangopoulos, you could classify Foodette as somewhat of an ethical meal-kit subscription service.
They claim 80% of their fruits and vegetables are organic. They also use organic eggs from free-range chickens. Their meat is of French origin, and all have the Red Label: an official sign that guarantees you’re buying superior quality or made with more rigorous standards than food that does not have the label.
They also have kid-friendly recipes for kids.
Examples of some French recipes from Foodette:
Crepesmade with organic black wheat flour (blé noir), topped with artisanal ham (nitrate-free), organic egg, mushrooms and raclette cheese.
Roquefort cheesetart with Greek yogurt, pears and organic nuts.
- Tartiflette- a very popular winter dish in France, consists of
Reblochoncheese and lardons (similar to fresh bacon bits), all topped with an organic mash potato served with a mâche salad.
4 -Quitoque: Pronounced (Key-Tokh)
Type of Cuisine: Mix of French and international cuisine
A lot has changed since this French company began in 2012. Originally called “Cookin the world,” their focus was on food from around the world.
In 2014, they changed their name to “Qui Toque” and focus on French recipes with a healthy mix of International recipes for home delivery “les panniers recettes à domicile.”
More recently, in 2018, Carrefour ( a huge grocery store chain where I shop for my groceries) bought a significant stake in this company, probably to capitalize on their internet presence, among other things.
Examples of French recipes from QuiToque:
- White (pork) sausage in a puff pastry with an apple endive salad.
- Turkey paupiette in a cream sauce
- Creamy winter hazelnut and comté cheese soup
Type of Cuisine: Mainly French with an occasional international dish.
Rutabago was founded in 2015 by Pierre Pathy and serves up ethical recipes that focus on the quality of the ingredients, which are 100 percent organic, eco-responsible and sourced locally as much as possible. Each week four chefs consult with dietician-nutritionists to come up with five new recipes.
You can also add breakfast, fresh fruits or bread to your order for an additional fee.
Examples of French recipes from Rutabago:
- Leek fondue goat cheese gratin
- Empanada filled with dried tomatoes and
- Endive au gratin with a mâche salad
6- Simple Et Bon:
Type of Cuisine: Mainly French with recipes.
Simple et Bon was the only subscription service on this list that had no international dishes. That could change in the future, but for the moment, it’s French recipes only.
Where other subscription delivery services only allow you to pick from that week’s menu of recipes, Simple et Bon enables you to select any of the recipes from their archive of 250 recipes. Like a recipe? You can have it sent to you week after week.
Another interesting feature is you can remove or add items from the list of ingredients. Already have too many onions? Just remove them from the list. Want carrots just because? Add them to your
Overall, I liked their recipes. It’s a great way to discover and cook classic French recipes you might not otherwise think to cook. Their meals are a little fancier than the other ones listed above.
Examples of French recipes from Simple et Bon:
- Mushroom French onion soup
- Gratin Dauphinoise and pork chops
- Roasted beef en croûte (wrapped in a pastry). Very similar to beef wellington.
- Apple blood sausages
Type of Cuisine: Strictly desserts
OOKIES is definitely one of a kind. Every month you receive a themed kit to make something sweet and delicious. When I say themed, I mean if it’s Easter time of the year, you’re desert kit will be Easter themed.
These boxes are meant to do together as a family with your children and it costs around 25 € per month
8- Moi Chef
Type of Cuisine: Michelin star recipes
I debated whether or not to put Moi Chef on this list because they don’t offer daily or weekly delivery service.
Instead, they offer one recipe box per trimester created by Michelin star chefs and other world-renowned chefs.
The idea behind this gourmet recipe subscription service is to teach you the grand chefs’ techniques so you can recreate them at home, preferably with someone.
It’s a little pricey at 79,90 € / box per trimester; however, it’s a unique idea and makes a thoughtful gift.