I got sucked in by the advertising.

They said I’d reduce my weekly food bill while eating healthy, with little food preparation involved.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind meal prep, and I love to cook, but sometimes I have so much going on after work, that I don’t always have time to make something – even with the best of meal planning.

I’ve been known to have my meals planned 3 months in advance – with recipes and shopping lists.

I took the plunge with Hungryroot, and I was excited to discover whether it could streamline my meal planning and meet my dietary requirements. With a promotional offer, I initially signed up for a week but added another week. I wanted a comprehensive evaluation of their service.

A refreshing dish sits atop a rustic wooden table, a symphony of vibrant colors and wholesome ingredients. In a blue ceramic bowl, we see a mix of spiralized green zucchini noodles, a hearty portion of kale salad sprinkled with feta cheese, and a golden shred of carrots. Bright tomato wedges, creamy avocado slices, and watermelon radish discs add a pop of color alongside a perfectly halved boiled egg, completing a balanced and nourishing meal.

Hungryroot offers a tempting promise: save hours on planning, shopping, and cooking with food that not only you’ll love but also fits in with specific dietary preferences, such as anti-inflammatory, paleo, or vegetarian diets – to name a few. I follow the Anti-Inflammatory Protocol (AIP), and Hungryroot boasts whole foods rich in inflammation-fighting benefits, including fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. But … I don’t eat grains.  I don’t eat a lot of stuff. Sugar, nightshades, beans, dairy, grains, seeds, nuts, soy … the list will bore you. Luckily, Hungryroot allowed me to pick and choose menu items – and even offered a free protein with every order. Unfortunately, you can’t choose the free protein, and what they sent contained ingredients I can’t eat.

With plans starting at $69/week, they position themselves as a cost-effective alternative to takeout, claiming to reduce food waste and save up to 40% each week.

During my trial, I had challenges customizing my order. Despite their claim to cater to various diets, my experience was different. Following an anti-inflammatory diet, I was surprised to find ingredients like tomatoes and peppers in my deliveries—foods not included in AIP. This discrepancy showed me gaps in Hungryroot’s ability to accurately fill my dietary needs.

The meals tasted great and the portions were decently sized, but I felt I could do better, for less – or even recreate the same meals if I shopped for myself. I know that’s not the point, but the food Hungryroot provided seemed to cater to people who shopped the higher end of the market, aligning more with the offerings of upscale grocery stores. The pricing made me reconsider how much I was really saving. My plan, which was $101, included two dinner meals and two lunch meals (each meal serving two people), the “free” protein with each order – no breakfasts or snacks. This covered 4 days for me. The price point felt steep, especially considering the additional grocery store visits I needed to supplement the meals and meet my dietary requirements.

The advertised convenience of Hungryroot, while attractive, proved a no-go for me. I enjoy the process of grocery shopping and meal planning, and I get full control over my diet and food choices.

A wooden bowl filled with fresh spinach salad, grilled chicken, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Reflecting on the cost-effectiveness of Hungryroot, I realized that their service might be less appealing to those who don’t really rely on takeout. The economic advantage of reducing food waste and saving money compared to takeout was not my experience, as I rarely order takeout or eat out in restaurants.

​Hungryroot may appeal more to people who are trying to cut back on eating out or ordering takeout.

While Hungryroot claims to accommodate a range of diets, my experience suggests that the customization and accuracy of meal recommendations could be improved, especially for those with strict dietary regimes. Probably not a solid business model!

For me, the trial with Hungryroot made me value the importance of personalized meal planning and the joy of shopping for my ingredients more, confirming the traditional route of meal preparation remains my preferred choice.