MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

Daily Harvest vs. Freshly: Comparing Meal Delivery Services

Daily Harvest vs. Freshly

Comparing Two Prepared Meal Subscriptions

Wondering if meal delivery services and kits are worth it?

They all promise tasty food that’s convenient, but with so many to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. What sets each one apart? Well, if you like the sound of pre-portioned meals that are ready to heat and eat, listen up. We’ve reviewed two different companies that both specialize in just that: Daily Harvest and Freshly.

True, both of these companies will send ready-to-heat-and-eat foods directly to your front door, but these subscriptions are quite different. Freshly specializes in pre-portioned and pre-cooked meals that are ready to reheat and eat. On the other hand, Daily Harvest offers a wide variety of frozen snacks, meals and smoothies that are all 100% vegan.

Want to know more about the food, recipes, packaging, convenience factor, and more? Read on.

by Lindsey Morse, Taste-Tester Extraordinaire
March 4, 2021| 1 comment

Daily Harvest vs. Freshly

 

When you’re trying to pick a meal subscription that fits your lifestyle, there are quite a few things to consider. Is the food delicious? What does the menu look like? How about ingredients, accommodations for special diets, packaging, price, and convenience level? There’s a lot to consider and we’ll cover it all.

The Food

Daily Harvest is a vegan food subscription service that specializes in healthy snacks and meals that are built around fruits and vegetables. Their menu is stacked with a wide variety of items, so expect to see lighter fare, like superfood smoothies and soups, alongside more filling options, like flatbreads and harvest bowls. The flavors are exciting, adventurous, and regularly feature nutrient-rich ingredients. Everything comes pre-portioned and frozen, and meals are easy to prepare. It’s almost like your own private vegan chef snuck into your kitchen and packed your freezer with healthy meals and snacks.

Broccoli flatbread from Daily Harvest

Image via our review.

Freshly is a meal delivery service that sends fresh meals that are ready to heat and eat. The menu is full of classic comfort foods (like Sicilian-Style Chicken Parm with Broccoli), global dishes (like Chicken Tikka Masala with Seven-Spice Vegetable Biryani), and plenty of healthy options (like Very Verde Chicken with Sautéed Greens & Charred Cauliflower). The meals come pre-portioned in trays that you can heat up in the microwave, and while they look similar to what you might find in the frozen food section of the grocery store, Freshly’s meals are fresh and never frozen. Expect to see healthy versions of classic comfort dishes like mashed potatoes lightened up with some cauliflower, spaghetti squash subbed in for spaghetti, and veggies blended into sauces.

Meal from Freshly

Image from our review.

What about portion sizes? 

Portion sizes are important to me. In my experience, both Daily Harvest and Freshly provide meals that are perfectly portioned for lunchtime. If I were to eat Daily Harvest’s flatbreads, bowls, or soups for dinner, I’d probably make a small side salad to supplement my meal. Likewise for Freshly. But that’s just me; if you prefer a lighter meal at dinnertime, you might find the portion sizes suit you just fine.

The Menu & Meal Plans

When it comes to the menu, Daily Harvest and Freshly take a slightly different approach. Daily Harvest has a set menu that remains the same every week. There are 80 different menu items to choose from, and all of the items are available every single week. Meanwhile, Freshly’s menu changes weekly and features 30+ items. To view upcoming meal options and pick which weekly recipes you’d like to receive, simply sign in to your account. Freshly’s user portal makes meal selection easy and straightforward.

 

Daily Harvest's prepared meals

Daily Harvest's flatbreads

Images via Daily Harvest.

With Daily Harvest, there are a lot of different food categories to choose from. Everything is vegan and gluten-free, and 95% of the ingredients are organic. Here’s what they offer:

  • Smoothies: These frozen treats are packed with fruits and veggies. They arrive frozen, and to prepare you just fill the provided cup to the top with your liquid of choice (water, almond milk, tea, etc.), blend, and enjoy. The Dragon Fruit + Lychee is one of my favorites.
  • Harvest Bowls: These grain bowls are full of beans, greens, veggies, and seeds. They can be heated up on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Flatbreads: Daily Harvest’s flatbreads are made from whole grains, and just like everything else on the menu, they’re gluten & dairy-free. Just like a frozen pizza, you’ll prepare these by heating them up in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Soups: If you’re looking for a light lunch or a quick pick-me-up, the soups are a great option. They’re made with healthy foods (like sweet potato and chickpeas) and lots of unique ingredients to keep things interesting. They can be enjoyed chunky, puréed, or chilled.
  • Oat Bowls: Oat bowls are made with whole fruits, veggies, and superfoods. They can be served hot or cold, just add your milk of choice.
  • Chia Bowls: I love me a chia bowl and these are just pretty as pie! You can prep them by pouring over your favorite milk, and then letting them sit in the fridge for 6+ hours. (Best done the night before so breakfast is waiting the following morning.)
  • Scoops: Are you a fan of vegan ice cream? Scoops are made without fake fillers, gums, or refined sugars, and come in a wide variety of fun flavors. Like everything else on the menu, these are gluten- and dairy-free.
  • Bites: If you’re a snacker, check out Daily Harvest’s Bites- superfood balls with a touch of sweetness. They may look like cookie dough, but there’s no need to bake these.
  • Lattes: Daily Harvest’s lattes come in a variety of flavors and offer a pick-me-up that’s powered by plants. Their Matcha + Lemongrass Latte is a great change from my usual morning cold brew.

Freshly's prepared meals

Image via Freshly.

Freshly offers over 30 different healthy meals to choose from on every menu. With so many meal options, there’s a fair amount of choice to accommodate different styles of eating (like low-calorie and low-carb). Every week, you’ll find eight to 10 meals that are dairy-free, eight to 10 meals with fewer than 35 grams of carbs, and 20+ meals under 500 calories. Every single meal is gluten and peanut-free. Currently, no meals are vegan or vegetarian. All meals are designed with the following principles in mind: less sugar, less processed food, and more nutrients.

Plans & Pricing

Since these two subscriptions are quite a bit different, it probably won’t come as a surprise that their pricing structures are unique. Let’s take a look at each subscription individually and break down the costs.

Daily Harvest Plans & Pricing

When you sign up for Daily Harvest, you pick how many items you’d like to receive per week (or per month). Items are priced individually, but you’ll receive a discount if you order a medium or large box.

Small Box: 9 items with free shipping. Sent weekly.

Medium Box: 14 items with a $10.00 discount and free shipping. Sent weekly.

Large Box: 24 items with a $20.00 discount and free shipping. Sent monthly or weekly.

You can fill your box with whatever items you like. Want all Daily Harvest smoothies? No problem. Items are priced individually, as follows:

  • Oat Bowls and Chia Bowls are $5.99 each.
  • Smoothies, Soups, Bites, and Lattes are $7.99 each.
  • Harvest Bowls, Scoops, and Flatbreads are $8.99 each.

COUPON: Use code ADDICTION25 to save $25 off your first box!

The price of your box will depend on which items you choose, but hopefully, the above sample orders give you a rough idea of how much each size box will cost. For a variety of items, you’re looking at around $68.91 for a small box, $102.86 for a medium box, and $171.76 for a large box.

Daily Harvest ships to 95% of the U.S. Check to see if they deliver to you here.

Freshly Plans & Pricing

When you sign up for Freshly, you’ll pick out how many meals you’d like to receive per week. The more meals you order, the less you’ll pay per meal.

Freshly pricing plans

Image via Freshly.

  • Four meals per week: $45.96 + $5.99 shipping
  • Six meals per week: $56.94 + $5.99 shipping
  • 10 meals per week: $89.90 + $9.99 shipping
  • 12 meals per week: $101.88 + $11.99 shipping

Freshly COUPON: Save $60 off your first four orders ($15 per order) of Freshly. No coupon needed - just use this link.

Freshly ships to most zip codes in the contiguous United States (you can find out if Freshly ships to you by entering your zip code at signup). They do not currently ship to Hawaii or Alaska.

Dietary Restrictions

Finding a meal delivery service that works for your special diet or food allergy can be tricky, but depending on your specific requirements and dietary preferences, these subscriptions might be able to accommodate your dietary needs.

Special Diets

Every single item on Daily Harvest‘s menu is vegan and gluten-free and 95% of the ingredients are organic. If you avoid certain foods, you can filter the available items to see what works for you. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, Daily Harvest is likely to be a better fit than Freshly.

With Freshly, all of the food is gluten-free and peanut-free, and most meals are low-calorie. You won’t find specially-designed diabetic, paleo, keto, or vegetarian menus; however, with so many different menu options available, you might still find meals that work for these diets. (You can set your dietary preferences to automatically filter meals.)

Food Allergies

Here’s what Daily Harvest has to say about possible allergens:

Daily Harvest crafts food and provides plans to seamlessly fit diverse lifestyles, preferences, and needs. We offer a variety of food that fits all types of flavor preferences and dietary needs. To find exactly what fits your dietary preference, visit daily-harvest.com/app/browse and filter based on “Dietary Needs” or “Likes and Dislikes.” For example, we offer over 30 items that are nut-free. Please note that all Daily Harvest is made in a facility that processes dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten.

With Freshly, all of the meals are gluten-free and peanut-free. If you have celiac disease or a peanut allergy, it should come as good news that the Freshly kitchen neither stores nor handles wheat or peanut products. The kitchen does, however, handle the remaining big 6 allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and soy. Chefs are required to sanitize pots and change clothing after cooking with these ingredients, but they are not cooked in separate pans. To me, it sounds like Freshly takes reasonable precautions to prevent cross-contamination; however, if you have severe allergies I would recommend doing some more research and using your best judgment.

The Ingredients

Sourcing

Image via our review.

Daily Harvest is committed to using organic ingredients where possible, and currently, 95% of their ingredients are organic. Here’s some additional information directly from Daily Harvest’s website:

We will always use organic for all ingredients that appear on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list (the most pesticide-intensive fruits and vegetables): strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomato, celery, potatoes, and bell pepper. In order to support a more sustainable food ecosystem, we also work with transitional organic farms, which are in the process of gaining a USDA Organic certification. We invest in our farmers and help them transition to organic by making the 3-year, cost and labor-intensive process a bit easier, so we can take care of food, farming practices and increase accessibility to organic for all.

Image from our review.

Whenever possible, Freshly sources ingredients from the U.S. (Depending on seasonality, sometimes ingredients may come from abroad.) All of the meats are free from fillers, chemical additives, and preservatives, and Freshly’s meals are free from processed sugars and artificial ingredients.

Use-By Dates

Freshly meals are preservative-free, so you’ll need to consume them fairly quickly after arrival. You’ll find a use-by date on the back of every meal, but the rule of thumb is four to five days. If you ever find that you aren’t able to finish the meals in time, you can always pop them in the freezer to preserve freshness. (Just make sure to reheat from frozen and add some extra time to ensure internal temperatures reach 165 degrees.)

Daily Harvest meals and snacks are all shipped frozen and should be stored in the freezer. If items are stored below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, they will keep for at least 30 days.

The Packaging

It takes a fair amount of packaging to ship perishable food cross-country, but Freshly and Daily Harvest take steps to limit the environmental impact of their deliveries.

Freshly's Sausage Baked Penne

Image from our review.

The boxes, plastic meal containers, and cardboard sleeves you receive in your Freshly shipment are all recyclable, and the insulation is largely biodegradable (it’s made from recycled denim). The gel ice packs can be recycled, too, just make sure you drain the contents into the trash can first. For additional information about recycling packaging from Freshly, you’ll find a page on the website that provides more detail.

 

Everything sent by Daily Harvest is frozen. Boxes are shipped cold with lots of dry ice to keep the frozen ingredients from thawing. Here’s how to recycle the packaging you receive with your Daily Harvest delivery:

As of April 2020 our company is moving toward 100% compostable, recyclable packaging. The cardboard box, cups, and insulation surrounding the dry ice are all recyclable. Our lids can be recycled in most locations. The liner that holds the dry ice is made from paper and plant-based parts (literally just air and starch), which makes it completely curbside recyclable. Our Harvest Bowls are made out of molded pulp and can be curbside recycled or composted. For information on the specifics of recycling any piece of packaging, please visit our recycling page.

Modifications & Cancellations

Both Daily Harvest and Freshly make it easy to make changes to your subscription online. You can update your order, skip upcoming deliveries, or cancel your subscription online.

Deadlines for Order Changes:

Want to make changes to your menu or change your delivery day? Both subscriptions allow for order changes up until the week before delivery. Here are the specific cutoff deadlines for making changes to your upcoming deliveries:

With Freshly, your order cutoff depends on where you live, but you’ll have 5 or 6 days before your delivery to make changes.

Daily Harvest‘s deadline to skip or modify upcoming orders is Sunday at 6 pm EST for the following week’s delivery.

The Final Verdict

 

Price? When it comes to price, these boxes are in the same ballpark. Freshly meals start at $8.49 each and most of Daily Harvest‘s meal options (Harvest Bowls and Flatbreads) are $8.99 each. Daily Harvest also offers additional treats and snacks in the $5.99-$7.99 range.

Taste? Both subscriptions offer something slightly different. Freshly‘s pre-prepared meals are well-rounded and great for lunches or dinners on the go. The food is familiar and comforting, and the fresh ingredients are definitely an upgrade from similar meals you’ll find in your grocer’s freezer. With Daily Harvest, I think the meals are tasty and the flavor combinations are exciting, but it’s important to keep in mind that some items (like the soups) are a little on the light side. If you tend to reach for comfort foods, Freshly might be the way to go, but if you enjoy edgier flavor combinations, you’ll likely get excited by what Daily Harvest has to offer.

Special Diet? Depending on exactly what your dietary needs are, either box might work for you. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, Daily Harvest is definitely the way to go. If need to avoid peanuts, go with Freshly. If you’re gluten-free, both should work for you.

Convenience? Both subscriptions are super convenient and will help you skip the meal prep. It really comes down to the issue of frozen meals vs. fresh. If you like your food to be as fresh as possible, you can’t go wrong with Freshly. If you prefer foods with a longer shelf life, I recommend Daily Harvest.

Final Thoughts: Both Freshly and Daily Harvest offer prepared meals that are convenient as can be. I like Daily Harvest’s clever flavor combinations, nutritious meals,  and large menu. When I’m looking to stock my freezer with healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, I’ll often order a box from Daily Harvest. (Plus, I love that I can order vegan ice cream along with my flatbreads and smoothies.) But I like Freshly, too, and I think their refrigerated meals are great for weeks when I need a selection of meals I can heat up quickly for lunches on the go.


Ready to skip takeout and the grocery store this week and give one of these boxes a try? Check out our Daily Harvest and Freshly offers to score some free meals!

Daily Harvest COUPON: Use code ADDICTION25 to save $25 off your first box!

Freshly COUPON: Save $60 off your first four orders ($15 per order) of Freshly. No coupon needed - just use this link.


Have you tried one (or both) of these meal kits? Share your experience in the comments!

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Comment (1)

  1. I love Daily Harvest! I haven’t tried Freshly but I do think it would make more sense to compare it to Factor, which I also love.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.