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Dinnerly

Dinnerly Unboxed: Gourmet Meal Kits On a Budget

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Dinnerly Unboxed: Gourmet Meal Kits On a Budget

Published on: June 13th, 2024

Founded in 2017 and based in the United States, Dinnerly quickly became a popular choice in the meal kit market by introducing an economically priced service tailored for customers on a budget. As the first low-cost meal kit provider, Dinnerly appeals to individuals and families eager to enjoy home-cooked meals without the premium price tag.

This review will delve deeper into what Dinnerly offers, from the variety of its menu to the quality of its ingredients and the ease of the cooking process. If you’re looking to simplify your dinner routine without breaking the bank, keep reading to uncover whether Dinnerly is the right meal kit service for you.

Pros

Promotions and discounts
30 minutes or less meal prep with no more than 5 steps
Family-friendly recipes
100+ recipes per week

Cons

Few organic options
Limited dietary/allergen options
Limited recipe complexity

Content

Quick Stats

Available Recipes Per Week
100+ per week
Prep Time Per Recipe:
30 minutes
Meal Planning
Available
Free Trial
Unavailable
Minimum Number of Servings Per Week
2 per week
Money-Back Guarantee
Unavailable
Shipping Fees
$11.99 per delivery
Starting Price Per Serving
$4.99
Contactless Delivery
Available

Dinnerly at a Glance

Dinnerly, founded in July 2017, was introduced by Marley Spoon as a budget-friendly option aimed at simplifying home cooking without sacrificing ingredient quality. Operating primarily in the United States and Australia, their meal kits were designed for cost-conscious consumers, offering an affordable alternative in a market typically associated with higher expenditures. By reducing overhead costs through simple packaging and digital recipe cards, they efficiently serve a large customer base with diverse dietary preferences, delivering thousands of meal kits weekly across the US.

Dinnerly sets itself apart by focusing on minimalistic ingredients that still allow for creative and delicious meals. The service caters to various lifestyles and dietary needs, emphasizing ease and convenience. This approach not only appeals to busy families and young professionals but also aligns with the needs of anyone looking to manage their time and budget effectively. They specifically cater to picky eaters and children by offering a variety of simple, familiar, and kid-friendly recipes in their meal kits. Their meals often include classic favorites and customizable options, ensuring that even the fussiest eaters will find something they enjoy.

While still relatively new, Dinnerly has quickly gained a positive reputation for its service. It has not yet accumulated broad industry awards or recognitions typically seen with longer-established companies. However, its parent company, Marley Spoon, brings credibility and experience to Dinnerly’s operations. That said, as of now, Dinnerly is not BBB accredited.

Dinnerly's Features & Services

Dinnerly offers a range of features and services to make your meal kit experience as seamless as possible. From menu options to delivery features, here are some of their key features

Menu options

  • Diverse weekly menus: They offer a rotating selection of over 100 new recipes each  week, ensuring fresh options and varied cuisines to keep meals exciting
  • Diet-specific meals: They cater to various dietary needs with options like low-calorie, vegetarian, and no-dairy meals. Each recipe card on the website tags these preferences for easy identification
  • Family-friendly choices: Designed with families in mind, many recipes are kid-friendly, focusing on simplicity and flavors that appeal to both adults and children
  • Pre-portioned ingredients: All ingredients arrive pre-measured, reducing food waste and simplifying the cooking process. This feature is ideal for busy individuals seeking efficiency in the kitchen
  • Easy-to-prep recipe instructions: Their meals are designed to be prepared in under 30 minutes and typically require fewer than 5 simple steps
  • Pre-made meals: This company also offers a ready-to-heat meal service, in addition to sides, desserts, and access to the Marley Kit market, where they can fulfill their grocery shopping needs all in one place
  • Add-ons and sides: Enhance your meal experience with optional add-ons like bread, desserts, breakfast, lunch, smoothies, and extra proteins, available for selection before checkout

Delivery features

  • Flexible meal delivery service: Customers can choose their preferred delivery day based on availability in their area, making it easy to integrate with busy schedules
  • Packaging and insulation: Meals arrive in eco-friendly packaging with sufficient insulation to keep ingredients fresh until you’re ready to cook

Other features

  • Cost-effective solution: They aim to be the premier meal kit company when it comes to being budget-friendly. Their meals start at $5 per serving while also maintaining quality and taste
  • Taste Profile tool: Subscribers can use the “Taste Profile” to set food preferences, which Dinnerly uses to suggest meals each week automatically
  • Meal skipping options: Flexibility to skip weeks or pause subscriptions directly through the user dashboard, providing control over meal planning and budget
  • Mobile app: Manage your subscription on the go, choose meals, schedule deliveries, and skip weeks, all from their mobile app
  • Referrals: They offer their customers the opportunity to earn one referral with each order. This means you can then gift a Dinnerly meal kit box for free to a friend or family member, plus discounts on three orders after that

Dinnerly Pricing

Dinnerly offers straightforward and low-cost meal plans designed to cater to different household sizes and preferences. Here’s an overview of the plans and their customization options:

  • Two-person box: Ideal for couples or small families, this plan provides two to six meals per week. Each meal serves two people. The starting price for this meal plan is $45.95, or $4.99 per meal
  • Family box: Suited for families, offering two to six meals per week that serve four people, making it ideal for households with children. This subscription plan starts at $67.91, or $4.99 per meal

Each plan includes an $11.99 per box shipping fee and is available for delivery within the contiguous United States.

Dinnerly Advantages & Disadvantages

Dinnerly, like any meal kit service, has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the key points to consider:

Advantages

Cost-effective meal planning: Dinnerly is known for its affordability, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. By offering meals at a lower cost per serving compared to many other meal kit services, Dinnerly allows their customers to enjoy home-cooked meals without the high expense typically associated with such conveniences. This price point is particularly beneficial for families and individuals looking to reduce their food spending while still enjoying a variety of meal options.

Simplified cooking process: Dinnerly uses fewer ingredients per dish, which not only helps keep the cost down but also simplifies the cooking process. This approach is ideal for busy individuals or those new to cooking who may feel overwhelmed by complex recipes. Customers can appreciate the ease of preparation that Dinnerly provides, making the kitchen experience less daunting and more enjoyable.

Eco-friendly packaging: Dinnerly makes an effort to use sustainable packaging, which resonates well with environmentally conscious consumers. By minimizing packaging waste and focusing on recyclability, Dinnerly helps customers reduce their environmental footprint. This commitment to sustainability is an important aspect for users who prioritize eco-friendly practices in their purchasing decisions.

Family-friendly: Dinnerly is family and child-friendly, offering a range of simple, wholesome recipes that appeal to all ages. With easy-to-follow instructions and kid-approved meals, Dinnerly makes it easy for families to enjoy delicious, home-cooked dinners together.

100+ recipes with a wide variety: Dinnerly offers over 100 recipes each week, featuring a diverse range of flavors, options, and dietary choices. This extensive selection ensures that every palate is satisfied and various dietary needs are met.

User-friendly online interface: Dinnerly’s website and mobile app are designed for ease of use, allowing customers to quickly select their meals, manage their subscriptions, and modify their delivery schedules with minimal effort. This streamlined digital experience can save time and reduce the hassle often associated with meal planning.

Flexible subscription options: Dinnerly allows users to skip weeks or cancel subscriptions without penalty. This feature is particularly advantageous for those who travel frequently or have unpredictable schedules, offering a level of adaptability that matches their lifestyle needs.

Rapid meal preparation: Most of Dinnerly’s recipes are designed to be prepared in 30 minutes or less. This quick turnaround is ideal for busy weeknights, enabling customers to prepare wholesome, home-cooked meals without spending too much time in the kitchen. They also offer ready-to-heat meal options for those busy days when cooking is not an option.

Large serving sizes: Dinnerly portions are often more generous compared to other meal kits, which can be particularly beneficial for families. This aspect ensures that meals are filling and can comfortably serve the number of people advertised, providing good value for money.

Regular menu rotations: Dinnerly frequently updates its menu, offering new recipes each week. This rotation helps keep the meal routine from becoming monotonous and allows customers to continually discover new flavors and dishes, keeping the dining experience fresh and exciting.

Taste Profile tool: This allows subscribers to set their meal preferences, enabling Dinnerly to automatically suggest meals each week that align with their tastes.

Discounts and referrals: Dinnerly offers attractive discounts and referral incentives for its subscribers. New customers can often benefit from promotional discounts on their initial orders, while existing subscribers can earn additional savings by referring friends and family to the service.`

Disadvantages

Limited recipe complexity: While the simplicity of Dinnerly’s recipes is a boon for some, it can be a drawback for those who enjoy culinary creativity and complex dishes. The limited number of ingredients might not satisfy those who seek to explore more elaborate cooking techniques or exotic flavors. This could make the service less appealing to food enthusiasts who view cooking as a hobby rather than a necessity.

Limited dietary and allergen options: While Dinnerly does provide their customers with dairy-free, nut-free, and no-added gluten options, their ingredients are also produced in facilities where cross-contamination occurs, making these options a no-go for anyone with severe allergies. Furthermore, their meal customizations are limited in that you can easily add ingredients but cannot remove them. They do offer vegetarian and vegan options, but dietary preferences are limited.

Mostly non-organic ingredients: Dinnerly uses fewer organic ingredients in the meal kits to keep costs down and provide customers with budget-friendly meal options.

Dinnerly Customer Feedback

Dinnerly has carved out a niche in the meal kit delivery market with its emphasis on affordability and simplicity. This service attracts customers who appreciate straightforward recipes and the convenience of quick meal preparation. According to customer reviews from various platforms, including Google Play, Apple Store, Trustpilot, and Google Reviews, the company holds a generally favorable rating, with scores ranging from 3.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot to 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple App Store. On the other hand, they are not currently accredited on the BBB, with a D- and a 1.16 out of 5 rating.

Ease of preparation and taste

Many users have praised Dinnerly for the ease of meal preparation, noting that the recipes are simple to follow and quick to execute, fitting well into busy lifestyles. However, some customers have noted that while the meals are straightforward, they sometimes lack flavor and can be somewhat bland, which suggests that there might be room for improvement in recipe seasoning and variety.

Packaging and environmental friendliness

In terms of packaging and environmental sustainability, Dinnerly is commended for using less packaging than many competitors, which many customers view positively given the environmental impact. Most of the packaging is recyclable, aligning with a more eco-conscious consumer base. Despite this, some feedback indicates a need for further reduction in plastic use and more thoughtful packaging, especially around smaller ingredients, which users feel are sometimes overly packaged.

Delivery services

Delivery reliability is another strong suit of Dinnerly, with many customers satisfied with the timeliness and accuracy of the service. However, like any delivery service, there are occasional lapses. Some reviewers have reported delays and even instances of missed deliveries, which seem primarily related to courier services rather than the company itself.

Customer service and overall satisfaction

Customer service experiences appear mixed. While some customers report positive interactions with responsive and helpful support staff, others have faced challenges such as slow response times and difficulties resolving billing issues. These mixed experiences suggest that while Dinnerly strives to maintain effective customer service, outcomes can vary.

Overall, the general consensus among users is that Dinnerly offers good value for the money, especially for those looking to simplify their cooking routines without overspending. The service’s commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in their responsiveness to customer complaints and issues, often addressing concerns directly on review platforms and working towards resolutions. This proactive approach to handling feedback underlines their dedication to improving user experience.

Customer Support & Services

Dinnerly offers customer support through multiple channels. You can reach them by phone at 888-267-2850, available on weekdays from 9 AM to 10 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM to 9 PM. For email support, contact hi@dinnerly.com. They also provide an online Help Center at support.dinnerly.com, where you can find extensive resources on account management, recipes, delivery information, payments, and billing support. They also offer a blog where you can read more about food, recipes, and all things cooking. Additionally, you can submit specific inquiries through their contact form. They also offer a mobile app available on Apple iTunes and Google Play for managing orders and accessing recipes.

The Verdict: Is Dinnerly the Right Choice for You?

Dinnerly presents a viable option for those seeking an affordable and straightforward meal kit service. Dinnerly is an excellent choice if you're looking for a budget-friendly meal kit delivery service that doesn't compromise on taste or quality. With its affordable prices, gourmet meal options, and commitment to customer satisfaction, they offer a convenient and delicious solution for individuals and families. In addition to its budget-friendly prices and dietary options, They also help reduce food waste. The meal kits provide all the necessary ingredients in the right portions, minimizing the risk of unused ingredients going to waste. This not only saves money but also helps promote sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Dinnerly offers a wide variety of gourmet meal options, but may not be suitable for those looking specifically for low-carb-focused meals. While they do allow for some meal customization to fit certain dietary goals, it does not specifically cater to severe allergies or specialized diets beyond offering vegan and vegetarian options. There is some room for improvement, however, particularly in flavor diversity and customer service consistency, yet the company’s efforts to address and resolve customer complaints are evident. This responsiveness, coupled with their cost-effective approach, makes Dinnerly a compelling choice for budget-conscious consumers looking to minimize kitchen time without compromising on meal quality.

If you're still shopping around for the right meal company, be sure to visit our review page. We curate a comprehensive list of meal kit providers to help you decide. You can also use our comparison tool to compare providers and visit our blog for market updates.

FAQs
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