Meal Delivery Service Reviews

Freshly Review 2018 – Full Overview & Breakdown

Home delivery meal services have made their mark, offering a convenient way to indulge in a variety of gourmet, healthy recipes without the hassle of shopping for ingredients. Services like Freshly take it another step further and deliver fresh, chef-prepared meals that only need to be heated and then enjoyed. Freshly, founded in 2012, offers a rotating weekly menu of more than 30 different meals — all fresh, gluten-free and with high-quality ingredients. Each meal take two minutes or less to heat and serve.

Freshly 101

Freshly states their mission is: “Help the world eat healthy, feel better, and live more.” They work to achieve this by offering the opportunity to order and receive fresh, gourmet, meals that have been prepared by a chef. These meals then are delivered to your home where all you need to do is, heat and then enjoy. The service provides four different meal plan options and a large menu selection designed to entice even the most reluctant of healthy eaters.

The Freshly company’s headquarters makes it home in New York City but the kitchens are located in Phoenix. Spanning 60,000 square feet, the Arizona cooking facility/kitchen features state-of-the-art equipment designed specifically for small-batch manufacturing. Currently, Freshly delivers to 27 states and has plans to expand with an additional kitchen on the East Coast to serve the Northeast.

Key facts you need to know about Freshly:

  • Meals contain no artificial flavors, colors, or refined sugars: 100-percent natural.
  • All menu items are gluten-free.
  • Freshly chefs adhere to the company’s healthy, nutritious recipe guideline and cooking standards.
  • Meals never come frozen; always fresh.
  • Meals come complete: no prep need.
  • Meals take approximately two minutes to heat.
  • All packaging from Freshly is eco-friendly.

Freshly’s packaging includes recycled denim insulation, which is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional packing material like common Styrofoam or other plastic materials. The denim is used not only because it’s biodegradable, but because it has excellent insulation properties. In addition, all Freshly shipping packages plus their paper, plastic, or cardboard components are recyclable.

What’s in a Freshly Box

A Freshly box contains several meals, each individually packaged in a microwave-safe container. Inside the recyclable box you’ll find a packing slip that details the order, including the name of each meal. Under the first layer of packing paper are the meals. Each is clearly labeled with the meal name, for example: Chicken Milanese or Chicken Rustica. Nothing in the box is frozen, everything is chilled and ready to go into the refrigerator.

Note: All Freshly meals are packed to be safe for two full days of shipping plus an additional 12 hours. If you receive a Freshly box that has not been packed properly, arrives with its contents not chilled, or otherwise unsafe, contact the company’s Customer Service Department immediately.

While you can eat the meals directly from their recyclable trays after heating, it’s recommended to plate each as a way to thoroughly enjoy the fresh, gourmet experience. Each individual meal tray package has specific heating instructions so you can make the perfect meal each time.

Types of Freshly Meal Plans

The meal plans from Freshly are designed to accommodate various needs. For some, you may only want or need pre-made meals a few times during the week when life becomes especially chaotic. However, for others with zero time to plan, shop for, and cook healthy meals, a service like Freshly may be needed for each weekday and weeknight. This is why the Freshly Flex is offered. You have your choice of four different meals plans and the freedom to change your plan as needed. The plans break down like this:

  • Freshly 4 = 4 healthy, gourmet meals for $49.99 per week
  • Freshly 6 = 6 healthy, gourmet meals for $59.99 per week
  • Freshly 9 = 9 healthy, gourmet meals for $89.99 per week
  • Freshly 12 = 12 healthy, gourmet meals for $107.99 per week

What’s on the Menu?

One of the great things about ordering meals from Freshly is the ability to choose from several different meals each week. Some other meal delivery services restrict or limit your choices, which often makes it less enticing to use that service. For example, another service that delivers ingredients and the recipes (you have to then make the meal) does not offer any choices when ordering their vegetarian meals — you receive the meals they choose each week and if there is one (or more) you don’t like, then it’s up to you to pause the service for that week.

Freshly offers more than 30 meal choices that rotate each week, with new ones added weekly. This allows you to enjoy favorites a second and third time as well as try something deliciously new and exciting. Meatless meals are available, although no “vegetarian” plan is specified. A few examples of some of the Freshly menu are:

  • Veggie baked penne with sautéed zucchini and spinach
  • Four bean and corn chili with pepperjack cheese
  • Southwest chicken bowl
  • Chicken Livorno with white beans and kale
  • New England-style cod with quinoa pilaf and sautéed yellow squash
  • Braised rosemary pork with sautéed kale and roasted red potatoes
  • Steak peppercorn with sautéed carrots and asparagus

On the weekly menu page the entrée meals are displayed with colorful pictures and easy-to-read labels. Click on the picture to see additional information about the meal, which makes it easy to decide if this is something you want. A descriptive blurb tells about the meal while an ingredients list and the nutritional data are available through clickable tabs.

Note: The newest menu items feature a blue “sticker” that says new, and some of the favorite subscriber meals may feature one that reads top-rated.

Freshly also offers a few breakfast selections that include protein-rich recipes like omelettes and frittatas.

How Freshly Delivery Works

To receive a Freshly delivery a subscription to the service is required. It’s not hard to set up, taking just a few minutes and significantly less time than it takes to plan a week’s worth of meals, make a grocery list, and go out to the store and buy all those ingredients.

Get Started. Begin on the Freshly homepage. There you’ll see a box where you need to input an email address and the zip code to which you’d like your food delivered. Click “Get Started”.

Because the meal boxes only stay fresh for two-day shipping, the service is not available to all states currently. If Freshly does not deliver to your zip code, the site will tell you at this stage so you know not to move any further into the subscription and ordering process. Please remember too, even if your state is one that currently is in the delivery area, there still are certain zip codes that may not be included.

Choose Meal Plan. The next step is to choose the meal plan, which means deciding how many meals are delivered for the week. If it’s a crazy busy week, consider opting for the 9 or 12 meal plan for easy lunches, dinners, and even breakfasts to eat in between commitments. If it’s your first time ordering, maybe opt for the 4 meal plan just to get a feel for the meal delivery process and how it fits into your lifestyle.

Select Delivery Date. After choosing the meal plan, select a delivery date. You need to choose the day on which to receive your first Freshly box of meals. This day then becomes the day that subsequent meal boxes will be delivered as well. If your personal availability to receive the box changes with your schedule, no worries. You can change the delivery date as needed. There will be a prompt in this section that gives the first/earliest delivery date for your order. If this works for you, click it. If not, click the green words that say “Choose Another Day”.

Select Meals. Now choose the meals you want for the week. Freshly does make it a bit easier if you have certain preferences. There is a filter (upper right corner, pull down arrow ) that allows you to select only meals without certain ingredients. You can set it to filter out meals with shellfish or with eggs, just as an example. Don’t or can’t have dairy — that can be filtered out as well.

After your first week of Freshly meals, easily can change the meals received each week or simply reorder the same ones if desired. The system is set up so subscribers can change their meal orders up to three weeks in advance of their delivery date.

Checkout. The final step is to check out and have the order processed. This is the screen where you’ll need to provide personal information such as contact information including delivery address and payment data.

Important: At the checkout point, it’s not possible to change the zip code associated with this subscription because it’s now been linked to your personal geographic location. If you change the zip code, it has the potential to change the delivery day.

You also will see an order summary so it’s very easy to check that everything ordered will make its way to you. The order summary should tell you the delivery day as well.

Helpful to Know

Freshly does offer a lot of flexibility, which is nice. If you decide after the first order that this particular service is not for you, cancel. There are no penalties. Because it’s a subscription service, Freshly charges when the first order initially is placed and then follows up with weekly charges. These weekly charges are processed five to six days prior to delivery. However, you can opt to skip or pause a week without canceling your subscription. Simply resume for the next week when meals are needed.

Making changes to an order need to happen before the order is processed and your subscription charged. Look for the “Changes” button on your current order(s), if those buttons appear, you’re good to add more meals or pick a different one. If the button is not there, the order has already been processed.

It’s possible to open more than one account if desired. Some subscribers opt to do this, have one account for meals sent to the home and another one sent to a business office — great idea if you’re tired of trying to find healthy meals every day for lunch.

Is Freshly Right for You?

Freshly may be right for anyone wishing to focus on healthy eating without having to sacrifice taste. All Freshly meals contain whole and natural ingredients without any refined sugar. The meals feature delicious proteins paired with a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables plus healthy fats like olive oil. It’s the type of meal service that often works for any individual working to avoid processed food, manage the amount of sugar ingested in each meal, and even anyone looking to follow a gluten-free, paleo, or lower carb diet. However, for anyone with special dietary restrictions and conditions that are related to medical needs, it’s strongly recommended to consult your doctor before ordering any type of meal service.

It’s a convenient way to eat healthy without having to rely on frozen meals from the “Health Market” section of the grocery store. Freshly may work especially good for anyone wishing to eliminate fast food meals and boxed convenience foods from their diet. It’s also a time-saver because it’s simply heat and eat.

You can find Freshly online at or contact them at 1-844-373-7459 (1-844-FRESHLY). The customer service hours via the phone number run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. (PST).

About the author

Katherine Jennings

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