Chefs Plate and HelloFresh are two of the biggest meal kit providers in Canada. Meal kits are a great way to experiment with different cuisines and save time that you’d otherwise spend in a grocery store.
Plus, they’re a lot more affordable than going out to eat at a traditional restaurant.
Each kit comes with clear instructions and pre-packaged ingredients, so anybody can cook them, regardless of their cooking experience.
Wondering which one is the best deal? If so, then you’re in the right place.
Below, I’ll give you a full breakdown of Chefs Plate vs HelloFresh in Canada and compare the two meal kit providers in the following categories:
- Food Quality
- Availability of Dietary Meals
- New Customer Deals
- Dessert Options
- Packaging & Sustainability
- Cooking Times
- Provinces & Territories Where They’re Available
Getting hungry yet? Let’s dig in.
HelloFresh was arguably the first meal kit company to see widespread popularity.
The company was founded in Berlin in 2011 and focused on delivering healthy, affordable, ready-to-cook meals to its target audience – young professionals and busy parents who want to eat home-cooked meals without the hassle of grocery shopping and recipe research.
In 2017, HelloFresh went public with its first IPO. This gave the company the capital it needed to expand globally. Now, it’s one of the biggest meal kit companies in the world and services the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Germany, the UK, and a handful of other European countries.
HelloFresh Canada offers 35 new meal ideas every week and allows subscribers to choose their own delivery frequency between two and five deliveries per week for two or four people. HelloFresh can also cater to low-carb, pescatarian, and vegetarian diets so you can keep up with your health and fitness goals.
- 35 new meal selections every week
- Options for vegetarian, pescatarian, and low-carb diets
- Choose your own delivery frequency
- Choose meal kits for two or four people
- Delivers to 95% of Canada
- Good deals for first-time customers
- Meal kit shipping costs are a bit high
- HelloFresh has been increasing its prices
About Chefs Plate
Chefs Plate is a Toronto-based company that was founded in 2014. Before HelloFresh expanded into Canada, Chefs Plate was the go-to meal kit delivery service for all Canadians, and the company has built a good reputation for offering high-quality foods and affordable prices.
One of the standout features that I really appreciate about Chefs Plate is that the company sources all of its meal kit ingredients from Canadian farms, fisheries, and meat providers.
This means that every purchase made from Chefs Plate directly supports the local economy, which is something to feel good about. Currently, the company offers 21 new meal options each week, which is a bit less than HelloFresh.
Similar to HelloFresh, Chefs Plate delivers to 95% of Canada and offers meal kit options for vegetarians, as well as those on dairy-free or gluten-free diets. Although some meals may be naturally low-calorie or low-carb, Chefs Plate doesn’t specifically cater to these diets.
- Delivers to most of Canada
- Native Canadian company
- Sources ingredients from local Canadian farms and businesses
- Offers dairy-free and gluten-free meal kits
- 21 new recipes each week
- More affordable, compared to other meal kits
- Fewer meal options compared to competitors
- Doesn’t cater to low-carb or low-calorie diets
Many people are unaware that Chefs Plate is actually owned by HelloFresh. Despite this, the two former competitors are separate companies that each offer their own distinct meal kits. While Chefs Plate is a native Canadian company, HelloFresh is a German multinational company that operates around the world.
So, which meal kit service is better for Canadians? Chefs Plate or HelloFresh?
While both offer great-tasting, healthy, affordable options, they each differ in terms of pricing, meal options, and other categories.
Below, I’ll compare them both, so you can see which one is best for you! First, though, here’s a quick overview for easy reference:
|Meals from $8.99||Meals from $9.25|
|$9.99 shipping per week||$9.99 shipping per week|
|21 meals to choose from each week||35 meals to choose from each week|
|Offers dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian meal kit options||Offers vegetarian, pescatarian, high-protein, low-carb, low-calorie, and vegan meal options|
|Only services Canada||Operates worldwide|
|Limited dessert options||Wider range of dessert options|
|Delivers to 95% of Canada||Delivers to 95% of Canada|
|Get your first box for $2.99||Save up to $120 on your first week and get free shipping|
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details and see which one provides the best value and quality for the price!
When I was in my early-20s, I developed a bad habit of going out to eat more often than I should. Admittedly, I was busy, and I was earning enough money to afford to eat out.
At a certain point, though, I had to be honest with myself, and I realized that I could save a good deal of money by buying my own groceries and cooking at home more often. After my first month of cooking at home, I saved nearly $300.
Meal kits like HelloFresh and Chefs Plate won’t save you as much as buying groceries. However, they do cut down on time spent in the grocery store. In my opinion, time saved is just as valuable as money saved.
Overall, HelloFresh and Chefs Plate have very similar pricing:
|Cost Category||Chefs Plate||HelloFresh|
|Meals for 2 people||$9.99 each||$11.50|
|Meals for 4 people||$8.99 each||$9.25|
|Shipping cost||$9.99 per week||$9.99 per week|
Both companies charge the same $9.99 base rate per week for shipping. So, the more meal kits you get delivered, the more you’re technically saving on shipping costs.
Between the two, Chefs Plate has a more consistent pricing model, and the cost of the meals doesn’t change much based on the number of meals and servings you opt for in your plan.
HelloFresh, on the other hand, incrementally increases or decreases the cost of your meal kit, depending on the number of meals you get per week and how many servings your plan feeds.
Here’s how HelloFresh pricing changes if your meal kit is for two people:
- 3 recipes per week: $12.17 per meal
- 4 recipes per week: $11.87 per meal
- 5 recipes per week: $11.50 per meal
You’ll save the most with HelloFresh if you order your meal kits for four people:
- 3 recipes per week: $10.83 per meal
- 4 recipes per week: $10.31 per meal
- 5 recipes per week: $9.25 per meal
As far as the overall cost goes, Chefs Plate is the cheaper option of the two.
Food quality is the main concern for most people who are thinking of ordering meal kits. The whole point of getting a ready-to-cook meal kit delivered to your front door is that it should be better quality than ordering from a fast-food restaurant or buying a frozen microwaveable meal.
I’ve tried meals from both companies, and based on my experience, the food quality is very similar. Both companies use decent quality ingredients that are comparable to what you’d get shopping at your local grocery store.
Neither company offers the option for exclusively organic meal kits. Unfortunately, organic food is quite expensive, and using all-organic ingredients would drive the price up significantly. However, certain kits may feature organic ingredients.
That being said, Chefs Plate does have a key selling point that I appreciate. Namely, the company sources all of its food ingredients from Canadian businesses.
Unlike HelloFresh, which sources many of its ingredients internationally, Chefs Plate directly supports Canadian farmers, fisheries, and meat plants.
Overall, though, I’d have to say that Chefs Plate and HeloFresh are tied when it comes to food quality.
Today, specialty diets are very popular, and there are arguably as many diets as there are cuisines in the world.
Some individuals are looking for low-carb or low-calorie meals to lose weight, while others are looking for high-protein meals to help them pack on more muscle.
Vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian diets have also become popular as consumers have become more aware of the long-term health benefits of reducing meat intake.
Both Chefs Plate and HelloFresh cater to various diets, depending on your lifestyle:
|Vegan||No||Yes (but very limited)|
|Keto & Low-Carb||No||Yes|
Between the two companies, HelloFresh caters to a wider range of special diets. They’re a larger company that offers a greater number of weekly meals, which allows them to provide more specialty meals.
Chefs Plate, on the other hand, only specifically offers balanced meals (meat and vegetables) and vegetarian meals.
That being said, some of their meals may fall into other categories, such as high-protein, low-carb, or pescatarian (fish-based). Customers just won’t have the option to specifically select meals based on these diets as they would with HelloFresh.
Because of this, HelloFresh is the clear winner when it comes to meeting special dietary needs.
I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate getting things for free (or at least cheap).
Chefs Plate runs a promotion for first-time customers by offering $2.99 boxes for the first week. This effectively allows you to save over 70% as a new customer. Additionally, you’ll also receive free shipping during this first week. If you opt for the maximum number of meals in the first week, you’ll save over $100.
HelloFresh also offers two great promotions for new customers. You’ll be able to save up to $120 during your first month or receive 21 free meals, both of which are great options.
Comparing new customer deals, I have to say that HelloFresh is the winner here.
Have room left over for dessert? Both companies offer a few dessert options for those who want to try their hand at baking and making some personal desserts. Cakes, brownies, cookies, and even cheesecake are some of the recipes I’ve seen offered by both Chefs Plate and HelloFresh.
That being said, neither company offers that many dessert options. Customers will probably only have the option to purchase a couple of meal kits per week.
Comparing the two, though, I’d say that HelloFresh is the winner, as they provide two or three dessert kits per week, compared to Chefs Plate, which usually provides only one dessert kit per week (or sometimes not at all).
Plastic is polluting our oceans and filling up landfills, where it can take thousands of years to fully degrade, as it slowly taints the quality of the soil. In recent years, consumers have become more aware of their environmental impact, and many are trying to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their life.
In regards to packaging and sustainability, Chefs Plate and HelloFresh are tied. Both companies package their meal kits in insulated boxes, which are made of mostly-recycled paper and cardboard. The only single-use plastics you’ll find are the small packets of spices and ingredients inside of the meal kits.
Reduced cooking time is one of the key value propositions of meal kits. Although customers will still have to prepare their meals, both companies provide meals that require between 15 and 45 minutes to cook.
However, HelloFresh offers a wider selection of “quick & easy” meals for those who are in a rush and want something they can make in 15 to 20 minutes. Because of this, HelloFresh is the winner in this category.
Both HelloFresh and Chefs Plate claim to deliver to 95% of Canada. From major cities to rural towns, you’ll be able to get your meal kits delivered directly to the door of your home or apartment.
If you order to your apartment, you’ll need to provide special delivery instructions to ensure that the delivery driver knows where to leave your food, though.
The only places that HelloFresh and Chefs Plate don’t deliver to are the more remote territories in Canada, such as Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon. The infrastructure for shipping and delivery combined with the relatively low population, are the main reasons why meal kits aren’t delivered here.
Here, HelloFresh and Chefs Plate is tied, as both deliver to the same areas in Canada.
To review, here’s a look at the scoreboard comparing the two in all categories:
|New Customer Deals||HelloFresh|
|Packaging & Sustainability||Tied|
|Meal Kit Cooking Time||HelloFresh|
|Regional Delivery Availability||Tied|
Based on the scoreboard alone, HelloFresh wins in more categories. That being said, Chefs Plate offers cheaper meal options and is more affordable. Other than the price the main difference is that HelloFresh offers 35 weekly meal choices, whereas Chefs Plate only offers 21 weekly meal choices.
Overall, both companies offer excellent food quality, creative recipes, and deliver throughout Canada, so you can’t go wrong with either.
It’s more of a matter of perspective:
- If you’re looking for the cheapest meal kit that doesn’t sacrifice food quality, go for Chefs Plate.
- If you’re looking for a greater variety of meals, meals for special diets, and dessert options, and don’t mind paying a bit extra, go for HelloFresh.
Buying in bulk and shopping at Costco is a great way to save money on groceries and other everyday essentials.
Did you know that there’s a hack to help you save even more, though? Keep on reading to see my guide to understanding Costco’s secret price codes!