Hungryroot Review

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4.7

Hungryroot

chicken, rice, and vegetables in a red bowl

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Hungryroot is an ideal choice for busy students, professionals, singles, and couples who want to spend less time in the kitchen without compromising their intake of fresh produce and fiber-rich grains.

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Accommodates a wide variety of preferences and allergies

  • Lots of precooked protein options available

Cons
  • Confusing credit-based system

  • Customer support not available by phone

  • Basic meal options may get boring over time

4.7

Hungryroot

chicken, rice, and vegetables in a red bowl

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Ben Mckean launched Hungryroot in 2015 as a “better-for-you foods brand,” creating ready-made vegan and gluten-free meals and snacks. After shutting down in 2017, the company relaunched in 2018 as a full-service, AI-powered personal grocer. Today, Hungryroot offers its own line of food products along with carefully procured products that meet “The Root Standard,” which the service says prioritizes “whole, trusted ingredients,” quick and easy prep, and taste. Part online grocery store and part meal kit company, Hungryroot offers thousands of nutrient-dense, simple-to-prepare meals and ingredients.

We were curious to see if this plethora of options would equate to a good customer experience and tasty meals, so we subscribed to Hungryroot for a week. Read on to see what we thought of the service and whether it might be a good fit for your situation.

Pricing: Affordable

Pricing varies based on the plan chosen, with a minimum spend of $65. The cost for shipping is $6.99 for orders under $70 and free for orders $70 and above. The prices below do not include breakfast, fruit, snacks, and sweets, all of which fall under the “other groceries” category and can be added as a package or a la carte items at an additional cost.

  • 2 servings with 8 recipes: $9.69 per serving
  • 2 servings with 7 recipes: $9.69 per serving
  • 2 servings with 6 recipes: $10.29 per serving
  • 2 servings with 5 recipes: $10.89 per serving
  • 2 servings with 4 recipes: $11.39 per serving
  • 2 servings with 3 recipes: $11.39 per serving
  • 4 servings with 4 recipes: $9.69 per serving
  • 4 servings with 3 recipes: $9.69 per serving
  • 4 servings with 2 recipes: $10.29 per serving

How It Works: Slightly Complicated

The process starts by taking a detailed quiz beginning with basic questions about your goals, the number of people you’re feeding, and your weekly budget. From there, you’ll answer questions about your preferences; this is where you’ll select from vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free, egg-free, and shellfish-free. Other preference options include meat, seafood, and plant-based proteins using a scale of “absolutely,” “so-so,” and “no thanks.”

Once you’ve chosen which meals you want, you’ll select your food from a set of photos. We opted for stir-fries, grain bowls, and wraps because they looked tasty. The visual aspect was a nice touch. When you’re finished with this step, you’ll be ready to pay and view your selections. Here is where you see suggested recipes with serving size, instructions, and time to cook as well as the associated grocery list. We found over 2,300 recipes for lunch and dinner. That number jumped to over 3,000 when we added breakfast—the possibilities seem endless. The vast majority of the meals we viewed and ordered were very basic, with no more than four grocery items per recipe.

Lunch and dinner are the main meals that boxes are built around. All grocery items and recipes are assigned a credit value; your number of available credits depends on the size of your plan. Recipes can be ordered from two to ten servings, with a maximum of eight recipes for two-serving plans and four recipes for four-serving plans (16 serving maximum). Delivery is available to most zip codes in the contiguous 48 states and Washington, D.C.

Choosing Meals: An Abundance of Options

Hungryroot puts together suggested meals based on your quiz responses. Editing meals is easy once you understand how the interface works. Groceries are grouped by recipe on the edit delivery page, so this makes it easy to swap items or ingredients in a recipe. You also have the option to select a completely different recipe by choosing from additional recommendations by Hungryroot or by browsing over 5,000 recipes.

We noticed that all meals offered by Hungryroot, even those with meat, incorporate a large portion of vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, breakfast, fruits, snacks, and sweets are considered “other groceries” and can be added to your plan so that your number of credits can increase, or you can add them a la carte and just pay the difference once you’ve used all of your available credits.

hungryroot ingredients arranged on a counter

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

What We Made

We chose a diverse selection of four meals for our order, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.

  • Spinach artichoke and mushroom tortelloni
  • Roasted salmon and sweet potato on Brussels
  • Southwest chicken and rainbow veggie tacos
  • Thai peanut beef and broccoli stir fry

Packaging: As Expected for Groceries

Our delivery was efficiently packed with two gel ice packs (the contents can be used to feed plants), two paper Climacell insulators, and a cardboard divider. Grocery items were placed on the top of meat and produce was packed together in an eco-friendly paper bag. The groceries, meat, and produce were packaged the way you would find them packaged in the grocery store. Loose produce was bagged in large clear plastic bags.

In total, our delivery included 32 pieces of packaging materials. Of those 32 pieces, nine were eligible for curbside recycling, four were able to be recycled at a specialty facility, and two were compostable. The remaining 17 pieces, however, needed to be sent to the landfill.

Customer Support: Reliable Online Options

The only support materials included in our delivery was a single black and white packing slip that listed each of the items enclosed in our delivery on one side and the recipes with instructions on the other side. The recipes included an estimated time, number of calories, and number of servings. This information can be found on the website and mobile app as well.

We contacted customer service via email when we couldn’t find an ingredient that should have been included with our order. We initially reached out via bot chat but were routed to email because agent intervention was needed. Customer service is also available via text but are not currently reachable via phone. We received a response to our email a few hours later from an agent who resolved our inquiry by issuing 5 credits. We contacted the same agent again once the item was found underneath the insulation in the box when we were breaking it down to recycle. The person appreciated our update and let us keep the 5 extra credits.

a burger and sweet potato fries on a gray plate

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Nutrition: Simple and Micronutrient-Rich

Hungryroot provides a nutrient breakdown for its prepared meals and individual grocery items. All carbohydrate grocery items have a “healthy” twist. So, instead of just white or brown rice for burrito bowls, you might receive a lentil quinoa rice mix. A spinach artichoke turkey wrap might call for a sweet potato wrap instead of the usual plain wrap. All recipes except one included a large portion of a non-starchy vegetable. Meats were either pre-seasoned or fully cooked and did not contain outrageously high amounts of sodium per serving. The company does provide a wide selection of allergen-free items, but it discloses that some items may be processed in the same facility as common allergens.

While the company promotes itself as health-forward, it does not provide specific guidance on any of its diets. We didn’t find evidence of diet culture influenced language. In fact, Hungryroot’s philosophy around health is surprisingly more progressive and person-centered than most other meal delivery services. The company doesn’t outline what certain diets consist of. Instead, ingredients are provided and the customer decides what works best for their eating style.

Hungryoot’s mission statement includes a focus on healthy foods and helping the planet. Several key takeaways include their commitment to sourcing sustainable foods, lessening food waste, and donating excess food to food banks.

The Cooking Process: Incredibly Simple

The cooking process was easy and fast for all meals, and estimated cook times were accurate, with the longest around 30 minutes. Hungryroot doesn’t specify the cooking skill required, but these recipes were easy enough for beginner cooks. Proteins arrived pre-seasoned and most were precooked. Basic cookware like a pot, pan, and baking sheet are required. The meat didn’t require additional seasoning, but we did use oil, salt, and pepper for the vegetables.

onions and peppers cooking in a pan

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Surprisingly Good

Because everything was so easy and fast, we assumed that freshness, flavor, and quality might be compromised. Luckily, that wasn’t the case—everything turned out flavorful, robust, and filling. None of the produce was wilted or damaged, and all of our protein was fresh and it reheated or cooked well.

Hungryroot does not disclose specifics about sourcing, but it does claim that its poultry, beef, and pork are all raised without antibiotics. Hungryroot is a member of the Better Chicken Commitment, a nationwide set of standards that prioritizes animal welfare, sustainability, and food quality. What’s more, any Hungryroot-branded salmon is farm-raised and is certified by the Best Aquaculture Practices, guidelines that regulate every step of the salmon farming process to make it more sustainable. Regarding the Atlantic salmon filets, wild sockeye teriyaki salmon, and Atlantic salmon burgers that Hungryroot sells, it links to the websites of the companies that provide these products, both of which claim to prioritize sustainable fishing practices and high-quality seafood.

Hungrroot also offers some organic grocery items, produce, and meat.

Hungryroot’s philosophy around health is surprisingly more progressive and person-centered than most other meal delivery services.

Hungryroot Is Good For

Hungryroot is a great option for folks who want fast, simple, and micronutrient-rich meals without thinking too much about it. The company does an excellent job of helping customers meet their nutrition targets without fixating on the details. Because so many options are “healthified,” Hungryroot may not be the best option for people who are recovering from a history of disordered eating or orthorexia. Those who enjoy cooking also won’t get much out of the service.

Final Verdict

Quick, easy, and nutrient-dense meals at an accessible price point are not easy to come by, but Hungryroot has found a way to make it possible. If cooking is not your forte, you’d rather not go the take-out route, or you don’t have time for meal prepping and planning, Hungryroot is a great option.

Methodology

We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 40 different meal delivery services to rate each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, sustainability, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, collected data, and rigorously reviewed each one.

Our Verywell Fit writers are all registered dietitians who relied on their research and its resulting data to inform their reviews.

Specs

  • Product Name Hungryroot
  • Starting Price $9.69 per Serving
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Products Arrive Fresh
  • Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? Yes
  • Free Shipping? Yes, for orders over $70

By Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, LDN
Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and macro social worker. She is the owner of Truly Real Nutrition and is particularly committed to increasing awareness of weight inclusive philosophies in Black communities.