Groceries from Hungryroot

I Turned to Hungryroot to Simplify Cooking with Fresh Ingredients—and They Delivered (Literally)

The delivery service takes the stress out of grocery shopping.
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Mindful eating is often a challenge, and if you have limited access to whole, organic foods, it can feel like more trouble than it's worth. Even someone like me, who grows an organic garden and can easily purchase fresh produce throughout the year, struggles to put together nutritious meals. That's why Hungryroot, a personalized grocery service, proved to be a welcome change for me and my family in the past year. 

Hungryroot is all about simplicity. The company's philosophy is based on three things: nutritious ingredients, easy-to-prepare meals, and great-tasting food. Hungryroot is also not a traditional meal subscription service—it's more like getting a really exciting grocery delivery. Along with fresh ingredients, the brand provides recipes for customizable meals that require little to no prep work and take only a few minutes to heat up. 

I gave the service a shot and found that its offerings were as straightforward, nourishing, and tasty as it claims. Here's a breakdown of my experience—from ordering to eating.

My overall rating for Hungryroot: 8.2 out of 10

Pros

  • No prep work
  • Healthy and delicious meals
  • Most meals cook in less than 15 minutes
  • Has options for various dietary needs
  • Can pause or cancel the subscription anytime

Cons

  • Meals are very basic
  • Same ingredients used frequently
  • Plastic-heavy packaging

Signing Up for Hungryroot

Credit: Courtesy of Hungryroot

Getting started with a customized grocery plan is easy. After entering your basic information, you're guided through a series of questions to help narrow down your food preferences. The quiz starts with "Who are you feeding?" and "What are some of your Hungryroot goals?" These questions help the brand decipher how much food you want to receive weekly, if you have any dietary restrictions, and whether you have any specific health goals with the service. 

Once you complete the quiz, which includes clicking on photos of prepared meals that appeal to you, Hungryroot will analyze your choices and develop a plan. You are then presented with an order summary that details the ingredients included to make your meals, plus a list of ready-to-eat snacks and sweets Hungryroot thinks you'll enjoy. If you do not like the combination Hungryroot puts together, you can change it.

The company ships groceries to the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C., meaning it does not currently deliver to Alaska and Hawaii. Shipping is free for orders over $70 and the groceries will arrive in one to two days, depending on your zip code. Though Hungryroot does not have an app, I found the website very easy to navigate. You can search by popular meal categories such as wraps, bowls, salads, etc., and filter by serving size, nutrition, and dietary needs.

Hungryroot Menu

Hungryroot doesn't offer meal plans. Instead, it sends you the components needed to create a nourishing meal. The brand also has a comprehensive recipe database that shows you various ways to mix and match the ingredients you receive. The grocery list can be filtered to suit various dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegan, keto, and vegetarian.

The Hungryroot groceries I received:

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The recipes fall into the following categories: veggie noodles, flatbreads, stir-fries, pasta, grain bowls, salads, wraps, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, warm bowls, and bakes. All meals are built with a grain, vegetable, or carb base.

For this review, my food preferences centered around grain bowls. I love poke bowls and wanted easy-to-prepare lunches that were healthy yet flavorful. I didn't list any dietary restrictions but requested meals that were less than 500 calories per serving (yes, that is an option).

The Hungryroot sides I tried:

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Hungryroot Delivery and Packaging

Hungryroot delivers groceries weekly and customers get to select their preferred delivery day. The food arrives in an insulated box that's recyclable and the insulation is biodegradable. It's important to note that upon arrival, any perishable food needs to be refrigerated immediately.

Hungryroot review
Credit: Courtesy of Debbie Wolfe

The ingredients in my box arrived in great condition, and the fish and meats were still cold. The produce was not bruised and looked fresh. I did have one container of cookie dough that was cracked on the edge, but nothing spilled into the box during shipping. The ingredients are packaged in quite a bit of plastic, typical of what you'd find in a grocery store, but most of it is recyclable.

Cooking Hungryroot Meals

Hungryroot's ingredients are designed to work for several meals, so there are no recipes included in the actual box. Instead, my food came with a small pamphlet that detailed recycling instructions, gave a breakdown of the products I received, explained how to use them to put together recipes, and provided tips on adding extra items to your meals. There was also a link to Hungryroot's Spotify cooking playlist.

I give Hungryroot a 10 out of 10 for ease of preparation because each package comes with quick-cooking directions. There are no veggies to chop or meats to marinate. Apart from the cookie dough, which took 20 minutes to scoop out and bake, all the meals were ready to go in less than 10 minutes. Though basic spices and pantry items like salt, pepper, oil, etc. are not included, I found that most of the ingredients were well seasoned and I did not feel the need to add any extra spices, especially to the meals that included pre-made sauces.

Hungryroot review
Credit: Courtesy of Debbie Wolfe

Hungryroot Flavor and Quality

Overall, the meals were quite good. I particularly liked the partially cooked grains that only needed 90 seconds in the microwave to heat up. All the sauces were tasty, especially the ginger sesame and Thai peanut, and they flavored up the meals enough that I didn't need to add extra seasonings to those dishes. My kids were fans of the dark chocolate-covered almonds and dehydrated mango slices, plus the vegan cookie dough—which came in peanut butter cup and almond chickpea—was a surprising hit. I didn't think it could replace traditional cookies, but the vegan treats still satisfied my sweet tooth even though they contain far less sugar.

The Hungryroot desserts I devoured:

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One of my favorite things was the portion sizes, which were a satisfying amount. For the most part, I did not have to supplement other ingredients from my fridge and pantry—just a few seasonings and hot sauce. The cooking process is straightforward and ideal for busy households or newbie cooks that want nourishing meals without all the work.

Hungryroot Price

Hungryroot's pricing varies based on what plan you choose. Each plan comes with a number of "credits," and the price of your box will remain the same each week if you always use the same amount of credits. Some ingredients, like meats, use up more credits than others, so you'll either have to pay more for meat-heavy boxes or settle for fewer servings.

The smallest plan you can order is six servings per week for $60. Hungryroot gives you the option to add more servings in increments of two to four with a flat increase of $10. The cost per serving decreases the more you order. Here's how the price per serving breaks down:

  • 6-serving plan: about $9.99 per serving
  • 8-serving plan: about $8.99 per serving
  • 10-serving plan: about $8.75 per serving
  • 12-serving plan and up: about $8.49 per serving

Hungryroot is giving Food & Wine readers 30% off their first two orders (plus a free gift with every box) when they use the code MEREDITH30 at checkout. The brand also has a referral program that gives you $50 to put toward groceries if someone signs up using your referral code.

Hungryroot Sustainability and Sourcing

Hungryroot is committed to limiting its carbon footprint, so the brand's boxes, paper coolers, and packing materials are all curbside recyclable. The insulation in the paper cooler is made with Enviro Ice, a non-toxic drain-safe gel that can be discarded into your sink with running water or used as fertilizer for indoor and outdoor plants. The food itself is packaged with mostly recyclable plastics and paper.

Hungryroot review
Credit: Courtesy of Debbie Wolfe

The company does not mention local or sustainable sourcing of produce, seafood, or meat on its website, but it does state that it only sources what it can sell and donates any excess food stock to local food banks. The ingredients are free of partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and artificial preservatives.

Hungryroot Customer Service

Hungryroot's customer service team is available seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET via email (hello@hungryroot.com) or text (855-222-5704). The company's delivery model allows you to skip boxes whenever you like and make adjustments to your order before the weekly deadline.

If you need to update your address, plan size, or delivery date, all of that information can be changed in your profile settings. You're also free to cancel your membership at any time. I had no complaints in this department, but since I only ordered two weeks worth of meals, I didn't spend much time interacting with customer service.

Hungryroot Customer Reviews

Here's a sampling of recent reviews from actual consumers:

Hungryroot: My Take

Hungryroot caters to people who want to enjoy meals with fresh ingredients without having to put in a whole lot of effort. It's also a great solution if you don't have easy access to a grocery store that carries a wide selection of vegan, gluten-free, and other specific diet-based products. The service is not any more expensive than what you would pay at a specialty grocery store. I liked how easy the recipes were to assemble and found that most of the combinations worked really well. 

Overall, Hungryroot is excellent for anyone seeking nutritious meals that don't require a lot of cooking. However, it's not a good option for heavy meat eaters or those not keen on plant-based alternatives.

My Testing Methodology

My overall ranking for Hungryroot is 8.2 out of 10 after evaluating pricing, quality of ingredients, ease of preparation, sustainability, and more. I took each of the below factors into account to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

Factors What it means Numerical Ranking (1-10)

Taste

Meals have a balanced and delicious flavor and consistency.

8

Ease of Preparation

The service provides easy-to-follow instructions for preparing and cooking the meal.

10

Quality of Ingredients

Ingredients are high quality and fresh. They are in good shape when they arrive.

8

Dietary Customization

There are options for users to note dietary restrictions and preferences. Choosing these options is easy to do, and there are plenty of meal/food options for these preferences.

8

Meal Variety

This service provides a variety of meals, cuisines, and flavors to avoid meal repeats and provide users with new dishes to explore.

8

Health

Meals are healthy and provide balanced nutrients.

10

Availability

The service is available to consumers in a variety of locations.

8

Portion Size

Portion sizes are reasonable and filling. You don't need to supplement the meal with additional food because you're left hungry.

8

Price

The price is reasonable for the quality of food you receive.

6

Subscription

The subscription/plan offers reasonable customization. You're able to adjust or cancel your order within a reasonable time frame.

8

Shipping

The meals arrived on time. The packaging kept things fresh and in good condition. You're able to provide delivery instructions if needed.

8

Customer Service

How quickly customer service responds to queries, the level of detail they provide, and how helpful the team is overall.

8

Social Impact

Takes into consideration a company's social missions, charitable causes, and sustainability efforts. Products are sourced ethically. Packaging is recyclable or sustainable.

8