I Analyzed 18 Meal Kit Delivery Websites. Here’s What I Found

  • Headlines, Subheadings, And Sub-Subheadings — These are where the primary messages are. I knew I’d be able to get the main USP from these… if there was one at all.
  • Calls To Action — How do meal kit companies push the sale? What language do they use, and how do they lead up to the CTA button?
  • Pricing — Is pricing shared on the home page, and how do they give away that information without scaring customers away?
  • Trust-Building Elements — Newsletters, testimonials, social media… how do meal kit websites use these things to build trust with potential customers?
  • Discounts / Offers — What kinds of offers are available from the home page, and how are they communicated? (this one really surprised me)
  • Reading Level — I used the Hemingway App to see which websites were easier to read.

Research Highlights

Before we go into detail, let’s look at some of the key findings.

  • 69% of meal kit brands didn’t have a clear USP
  • Wow — so many bad headlines
  • 50% of websites didn’t list prices on the home page
  • 0% of websites are even trying at the newsletter game
  • 27% of sites were written at a 3rd-grade level
  • 66% of websites didn’t have an offer or discount
  • The most common CTA was “Get Started”
  • 38% of sites didn’t have a single testimonial

The Big Issue: 39% Of Meal Kit Brands Had No Clear Unique Value Proposition

I tested this using the 5-Second Test. If I couldn’t find the company’s main value proposition in just five seconds from looking at their website, they failed the test.

  • Blue Apron (this one shocked me)
  • Home Chef
  • Plated
  • Terra’s Kitchen
  • Sun Basket — diet-specific meal kits
  • Daily Harvest — just add liquid soups, salads, and smoothies
  • MealPro — pre-cooked meals (this really needs to be more obvious)

There Were So Many Bad Headlines

I didn’t expect to see so many vague, obvious, and ineffective headlines.

  • Chef-cooked, healthy meals delivered to your door (Freshly)
  • The perfect cooking experience (Plated)
  • Fresh + Healthy Food Delivery (Terra’s Kitchen)
  • Dinner Made Easy (Firstchop)
  • Need a hand with dinner? (Dinnerly)
  • Discover the farm-fresh taste of the South. PeachDish draws you into that feeling of eating good ole Southern food on a peaceful farm in Georgia. The USP is crystal clear.
  • Cook Martha Stewart’s Best Recipes. Marley Spoon kills it with this headline. If you love Martha Stewart, now you can get her own recipes delivered for easy dinner.
  • Family Meals Made Easy. One Potato infuses their USP into an otherwise stale headline: it’s specifically for families.
  • America’s Best Value Meal Kit. EveryPlate really draws attention to their $4.99 serving price — a clear distinction from every other brand.
  • America’s Most Popular Meal Kit. Nice one, HelloFresh. This headline generates FOMO and acts as its own social proof.

50% Of Websites Didn’t List Prices On The Home Page

Pricing isn’t always a good thing to include on the home page. Many consumers will click through to a ‘Pricing’ page to have their question answered — and that means more opportunities to communicate the value of your service.

The Most Common CTA Was “Get Started”

Leading the CTA battle with appearances on ten websites was “Get Started”.

  • Choose Your Plan (or Pick Your Meals): 5
  • Get Cooking: 4
  • Order Now: 3
  • Sign Up: 2

66% Of Websites Didn’t Have A Discount Offer

I visited basic website URLs — not ads, not affiliate links, not landing pages — to avoid triggering auto-discounts. I was surprised how few of them bombarded me with offers.

50% Of Meal Kit Companies Didn’t Have A Newsletter Signup

This one surprised me. Half of the homepages didn’t have a place to signup at all. And the websites that did have a signup… they weren’t even trying to get my email at all.

27% Of Websites Read At A 3rd-Grade Reading Level

In the words of Donald Miller, “If you confuse, you’ll lose”.

  • Firstchop
  • Daily Harvest
  • Freshly
  • Purple Carrot
  • Gobble
  • Hello Fresh (Grade 8)
  • Sun Basket (Grade 8)
  • GreenChef (Grade 6)
  • PeachDish (Grade 6)

38% Of Websites Had Zero Testimonials

Testimonials are a user experience no-brainer.

  • Customer quotes (native, from twitter)
  • Influencer reviews in big publications
  • Instagram image feed (not exactly a real testimonial)

The 5 Biggest Problems I Saw With Meal Kit Websites

After several hours of research, a few big problems became obvious. And, unfortunately, they were pretty common among these 18 meal kit websites.

  • Meal kit companies need to better differentiate themselves. It’s not enough to be easy, convenient, and fast. That’s true for every single one of these brands. Find something unique and valuable to focus on in your messaging!
  • Most headlines were borriinng. No engagement, no charm, no USP. Sadly, most headlines just repeated the same old, same old.
  • Subheadings were weak. A few sites didn’t even have a subheading (I’m looking at you, Blue Apron). And quite a few of them were simply too long or too complex.
  • Not all the good USPs were obvious. Purple Carrot has veggie-only meals. Freshly’s meals are already cooked. Firstchop’s proteins are sous-vide cooked. And yet, I had to look hard to figure these out. If you have a great USP, say it proudly!
  • We have some work to do with UX design. Missing CTAs above the fold (and at the bottom of the page), text sections all bunched together and hard to read, buttons you can’t find because they’re not a contrasting color. If you haven’t hired a UX person — or a copywriter with UX experience — please do it.

The 5 Best Meal Kit Websites (From A Copywriting Perspective)

Here are the websites I thought performed the best in their copywriting, layout, and user experience design.

1. Marley Spoon

As gimmicky as it sounds, Marley Spoon has a killer website. The USP is crystal clear, the buttons are bright and noticeable, and the benefits are communicated very well in the sections below the header.

2. Hello Fresh

Despite not having a really defined USP, HelloFresh still does a great job pulling you in. The impressive headline really makes it seem different as a meal kit delivery service — even though the differences really are quite small.

3. Gobble

I keep going back to Gobble. The headline and subheading are super clear, the woman smiling is engaging (most companies just have food pics), and the floating signup form is accessible no matter where you are on the page.

4. One Potato

It’s such a simple, yet effective USP: “We specifically focus on families”. They’re not the only one… they just communicate it the best. One Potato’s colorful site is very captivating, easy to read, and brings you right to a great CTA button.

5. Green Chef

Several brands try to highlight their focus on specific diets (paleo, gluten-free), but Green Chef does the best job at it. Their headline and subheadings are clear, the flow of the website feels natural, and it all leads to a great CTA that invites you to “feel great about your food”.

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Originally published at www.garrettoden.com on February 21, 2019.

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Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden

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I help coffee, food, and food tech businesses create better content, engage with customers, and convert like crazy.