Freshly delivers prepared meals that people can quickly heat up at home. The company emphasizes that its meals are healthy and nutrient-dense. Each meal is gluten-free, but there are no vegan or vegetarian options.Share on Pinterest
This article looks at how Freshly’s service works and who might use it. It also describes the menu options and potential health benefits, plus some alternatives to consider.
Please note that the writer has not tried this service. All information is purely research-based.
How does Freshly work?
Freshly delivers ready-to-eat meals that people can heat up in 3 minutes or less. The company highlights that its meals are healthy and contain:
- nutrient-dense ingredients
- quality proteins
- complex carbohydrates
- healthy fats
A person subscribes to the service and can decide to skip a week or cancel at any time. The price depends on how many weekly meals are in an order.
A person chooses the week’s meals from a menu of more than 30 dishes. All the options contain meat, poultry, or fish.
People can filter the selection by dietary preference to see options that are dairy-free, soy-free, or carb-conscious or those that contain extra protein or fewer than 500 calories.
Who might use Freshly?
People who already buy ready-made meals, including takeout, might find that Freshly provides a healthy alternative.
The meals may also suit people who do not cook. Each can be heated in the microwave or oven.
Freshly’s service may also suit people who are busy or whose housemates or family members have vastly different tastes and preferences.
Also, people concerned about food waste might consider using a meal service to address the issue. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture estimates that food waste represents 30–40% of the national food supply.
A person who opts for fully cooked single-serve meals will likely need to buy fewer groceries. This might lead to less waste because people often buy ingredients that they don’t use or cook big meals with extra servings that go uneaten.
Also, Freshly says each of its meals is certified gluten-free. Therefore, the meals are suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. According to Freshly’s website, every meal is also peanut-free.
However, some meals do contain nuts. Anyone with a nut allergy should take precautions — particularly if they could have a severe allergic reaction. Review the ingredients list of each meal on the website before making a selection and verify the ingredients on the package before heating.
Overall, due to the possibility of cross-contamination during cooking, the service may not be suitable for people with severe food allergies. Anyone with concerns may want to contact one of Freshly’s representatives before placing an order.
Freshly’s meals are not suitable for people with vegetarian or vegan diets, as each meal contains an animal protein source.
Freshly provides a range of meals in several categories. Each meal comes with an ingredients list and nutritional information.
Freshly sample meal: Bunless Bison Burger
- Calories: 540 per serving
- Carbohydrates: 36 grams (g) per serving
- Total fat: 33 g per serving
- Protein: 27 g per serving
This meal contains a bison, beef, and mushroom burger patty with beet and tomato sauce, cauliflower, succotash, and grape tomatoes with balsamic vinegar dressing.
People can choose their meals from just one or a combination of meal plans. The meal plans include:
- Homestyle Chicken
- Cauliflower-Shell Beef Bolognese
- White Bean Turkey Chili Bowl
- Bunless Bison Burger
- Hearty Chipotle-Chicken Stew
- Tangy Turmeric Turkey Bowl
These meals have more protein and fewer carbs and have been inspired by popular diets, according to Freshly’s website.
- Paleo-Friendly Pulled Pork
- “Everything” Baked Chicken
- Oven-Baked Chicken Florentine
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Pork Carnitas
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchilada
How much does Freshly cost?
The cost varies depending on how many meals a person orders each week.
|4 meals per week||6 meals per week||8 meals per week||10 meals per week||12 meals per week|
|Cost||$11.49 per meal||$9.49 per meal||$9.29 per meal||$8.99 per meal||$8.49 per meal|
Freshly may charge a sales tax depending on which state a person is in. The brand states that a person will receive an order confirmation that details all costs, including sales tax.
Shipping and delivery
Freshly states that shipping charges will vary depending on which state a person is in and how many meals they order each week.
The brand delivers to the lower 48 states. People can choose their delivery day depending on which state they are in. Freshly uses several delivery companies, including FedEx and UPS.
Freshly states that the order will be in transit for up to 2 days before delivery and will arrive at a person’s doorstep between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
How to order
To order, people will need to sign up for a subscription through Freshly’s website. A person will need to enter their email and zip code and choose their meals and delivery dates.
A person’s delivery dates will differ depending on the state they are in. Freshly will deliver all the meals for the week in chilled boxes on the day a person chooses. A person can refrigerate the meals for up to 5 days or freeze them for longer-term storage.
People can recycle most of Freshly’s packaging:
- Meal containers: A person can rinse out and recycle the meal containers with their other rigid plastic recycling.
- Denim insulation: People will need to remove the plastic cover and recycle it at a local drop-off center. People can reuse the denim in home projects, use it as packaging instead of polyester filling or bubble wrap, or place it in the garbage. The denim is 85% biodegradable.
- Gel packs: People can recycle the plastic bags at a local drop-off center and either reuse the nontoxic gel packs or dispose of them in the garbage.
Skipping a week and canceling
Freshly states that people can skip multiple weeks and cancel their subscription at any time. A person will have to skip a week or cancel their subscription before the deadline shown on their account page.
Potential health benefits
Freshly’s health claims seem to align with some recommendations from health authorities.
For example, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommend that people get less than 10% of their total calories from saturated fats.
Freshly aims to help with this by substituting vegetables such as mushrooms for some ground meat and rotating red meat with leaner sources of protein, such as chicken and fish.
The 2020–2025 guidelines also recommend eating nutrient-dense foods and reducing added sugar intake. Freshly’s meals are low in added sugars.
The company adds vegetables or nut butter to sauces and replaces some simple carbohydrates with mashed cauliflower or squash noodles. These steps help make the meals more nutrient-dense.
Freshly’s website makes clear that its meals are not designed to address health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
However, having meals that are portion-controlled and thus calorie-controlled might help a person manage their blood sugar levels or lose weight, if this is their goal.
Choosing the meal options that contain 500 or fewer calories might also help people manage their weight. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)Trusted Source suggest that a person might safely lose 1–2 pounds per week by creating a deficit of 500–1,000 calories per day. However, as the NIH note, it is crucial to have a doctor’s approval before trying this.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of obesity-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Learn more about the best ways to lose weight.
Freshly’s gluten-free options are likely a healthy choice for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Switching to a gluten-free diet may help relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Many of Freshly’s offerings are also high in protein, which may be especially important for people such as older adults or those trying to build muscle, who may need more protein than the general population.
The animal protein sources in Freshly’s meals are “complete” proteins. They contain all nine essential amino acids and are thus optimalTrusted Source for supporting muscle protein synthesis and preventing age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia.
Anyone looking for the healthiest premade meal service should note that Freshly does not offer vegan or vegetarian options.
People seeking the potential health benefitsTrusted Source of a plant-based diet and the muscle-building advantages of consuming animal protein may want to consider a flexitarian diet.
For more science-backed resources on nutrition, visit our dedicated hub.
Many other delivery services provide meal kits or premade meals designed for a range of diets and preferences. Some examples include:
- Daily Harvest
- Splendid Spoon
- Blue Apron
- Purple Carrot
Also, many free resources can help people design healthy, convenient meals. The MyPlate planner is one option.
Anyone looking to make cooking more efficient and cost-effective might also consider cooking larger meals and freezing batches.
Learn more about freezing meat.
Freshly’s meals may suit busy people and others who hope to avoid cooking. The meals are fairly healthy, peanut-free, and certified gluten-free.
The service might suit people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, as well as people looking for calorie-controlled options.
While Freshly’s meals contain plenty of vegetables, grains, beans, and other plant-based ingredients, there are no vegan or vegetarian options. Other meal delivery services may offer a more comprehensive range of choices.