The meal kit trend has become incredibly prevalent in the few short years since its inception, with people flocking to the convenience of being able to order food online that provides fresh ingredients and recipes right to your doorstep. The success of early companies like Blue Apron has spurred on several new contenders in the meal kit arena.
As with any other product or service, not every meal kit subscription is the same, and different companies have worked to make their mark by offering unique twists on this idea. It's easy to find an offering that can help meet your home's meal needs, food tastes, and dietary restrictions while helping you cook healthy foods with minimal shopping and prep time.
Daily Harvest is one of those companies, but its concept is a bit different than many other meal kit services out there. Instead of bringing ingredients ready to cook right to your dinner table, Daily Harvest focuses on smoothies and other foods that you can keep frozen, prep up with minimal effort, and enjoy straight out of the delivered cup. Our Daily Harvest reviews have the details.
What Does Daily Harvest Do?
While the meal kit delivery industry has a relatively short lifespan of about six years under its belt, Daily Harvest is even newer than that. The company started with delivery smoothie cup options and, since then, it has expanded its selection into other drinks, foods, and even desserts. Instead of offering multiple meals a week, you can choose from the extensive range of available cups to order.
Signing up for Daily Harvest is a straightforward process without too many complicated issues. As with similar subscription services, you'll need to submit your delivery and payment information. From there, you select one of the available plans, which will allow you to start your order.
Because all of Daily Harvest's foods and drinks are vegan-friendly, you won't have to select from a wide range of diets, as you'd find on other meal kit services. However, you can still fill out a profile with your food preferences to help the site understand what cups to recommend you.
Daily Harvest bases all their plans around the number of cups you want to order, with both weekly and monthly options. If you select monthly, you can receive twenty-four cups in an order. The weekly delivery options allow for nine, twelve, or twenty-four cups per week. It's effortless to see what's available, what the cost will be, and find a plan that fits your needs.
Most meal kit subscription services offer you several meals per week across varying dietary options, with recipes rotating out weekly. Daily Harvest is different in that you have a whole collection of offerings that are always available, and you can freely choose until you reach your cup count for the subscription period, completing your order.
With smoothies being their flagship item, you have no shortage of options. Daily Harvest's page shows appealing images that show off the ingredients in a cup, pre-blended, to give you an idea of a recipe. When you click on an option, you can further see your preparation information, ingredients list, and more to know what you'll receive.
In addition to smoothies, Daily Harvest also offers:
These categories don't have the same expanse of choices as the smoothie section, but you will find a variety of recipes that incorporate different flavors. Again, all cups are vegan-friendly, as well as developed by nutritionists to include organic, non-GMO, and superfood ingredients. Some options, like lattes, have multiple servings per cup.
Delivery and Packaging
You'll receive your shipments following the plan you chose: weekly or monthly. Currently, Daily Harvest delivers to ninety-five percent of the US continental states. So long as you live in the available areas, you can take advantage of this service. The company is working on expanding its delivery range.
When it comes to packaging, Daily Harvest ships out its orders with dry ice to keep the contents frozen all the way to your doorstep, which makes sense as all the ingredients go through a flash-freezing process to maintain nutrients and freshness. The boxes aren't anything fancy, but the real marvel of Daily Harvest packaging is the cup system.
Each item you order from Daily Harvest comes in an individual cup, which not only doubles as a container for storage but also as a travel cup for those rushed mornings where you should have been out the door five minutes ago. This setup helps to not only make for easy traveling but also to provide a minimal amount of cleanup time since you don't need to dirty any dishes.
To store your cups, you only need to keep them in the freezer until you're ready to defrost it and prepare. While we appreciate the convenience in Daily Harvest's setup, it does feel like the cups have the potential to create a lot of waste, plus they can be tricky to store in the freezer if you have a smaller one (especially if you select the twenty-four cups weekly plan).
Nobody is signing up for any meal kit delivery service because they want to waste time on food prep, and Daily Harvest delivers in this category. While there is a massive appeal to other company's offerings of being able to cook dishes on your own from start to finish, not everyone has the time for that work; thus, Daily Harvest.
No matter what cup you receive, all the ingredients are ready to go, so you only need to add a liquid and do a little prep: smoothies go in the blender, oatmeal cups soak with water or milk, soups go in a pot on the stove for a few minutes, etc. It's straightforward, it takes a few minutes, and then you have your food of choice that's ready to enjoy.
Because these recipes are so simple, you'll only need to keep a few basic dishes around, such as a blender and a pot. Like we mentioned above, their cups also double as a way to serve the item as well, helping cut back on the number of dishes you need to clean. What else can you ask for in a hectically crammed schedule?
The Daily Harvest Experience
Just like with any other food delivery service, not every flavor/type of meal will appeal to you, though Daily Harvest does have the variety to help with that. Objectively speaking, the choices are great tasting while still being healthy, which is always a benefit. The nutritionists have brought together the best of both worlds, making for an excellent overall experience.
Pausing and Canceling Service
If you try Daily Harvest and you don't like it, or you need to skip a few weeks, it's straightforward to pause or completely cancel your account within your settings. This type of accessibility is essential for a food delivery service, as you may not always be home to receive packages. Daily Harvest doesn't make you jump through hoops, which also makes it easy to give the service a try.
Pros and Cons at Glance
How It Compares
It can be a bit difficult to compare Daily Harvest to other meal delivery services just because it operates on a slightly different concept. Most other companies, like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, aim to create an experience of cooking at home with inventive recipes and fresh, healthy ingredients possible and accessible in a time-crunched world.
Daily Harvest does provide a similar setup, but it's not quite the same. The emphasis on smoothies offers more of a breakfast or snack option than a complete dinner dish. This setup means that Daily Harvest ultimately appeals to a different type of audience: namely, people who want to have these sorts of foods around but don't have the know-how to make delicious and nutritious servings.
Even with Daily Harvest's expansion into other types of foods, like their soup and dessert cups, you won't find a comprehensive way to upgrade your meal plan. Aside from the lack of sheer variety in meal options (as you'd see with other meal kit services), the portions on those more solid foods don't quite have the same filling effect as a full meal.
If you want a service that will give you dinner options then, you'll have no trouble finding another opportunity elsewhere. However, for people that aren't seeking a way to prepare dinner at home and instead still want a convenient way to eat healthy without a lot of time (and while on the go if necessary), then Daily Harvest is an option that will give you just that.
In terms of the other aspects of their service, Daily Harvest checks off the boxes that customers often look for in a food delivery service: the company provides a selection that is entirely vegan-friendly, they have plenty of variety in their smoothie section, ingredients are all natural and GMO-friendly, and a team of nutritionists is responsible for their recipes.
Daily Harvest also has an edge amongst the competition in that, though you won't need to get hands-on in the kitchen to make their products, everything this service offers has a prep time you can complete in a few minutes. The use of the cup as a way to transport your food is also a nice touch. While in a completely different way, Daily Harvest does enable healthy eating with convenience.
Even so, eaters who want a bit of meat in their lives may lose a bit of convenience if they're going to prepare extra items to fill out a meal. The individual cups, while saving dishwashing time, also create a substantial amount of waste that isn't as immediately recyclable as the packaging from other companies, which may not be worth it to some, no matter how easy it can make storage.
In terms of pausing or canceling your count, Daily Harvest is just as straightforward as most other services; it outstrips some other meal kit services that require you to jump through several hoops to cancel your subscription.
The pricing you pay for Daily Harvest ultimately depends on the plan you choose. Naturally, more cups over time will cost you more, but the unit price can fluctuate depending on your order size. For example, the monthly plan of twenty-four cups per month will cost you $6.99 per cup, which is one of the better values available.
If you select one of the weekly plans, you'll have a slightly different cost per cup value. With Daily Harvest's available options, the price comes out to:
Naturally, the more you order, the better value you'll get. Since all of Daily Harvest's cups can stay frozen until you're ready to make them, it's not a waste to receive a large number of cups if you don't eat them right away. After you add up the total price of your order, additional tax costs will apply on top, affecting your final payment amount.
When looking at other meal and food prep delivery services, the price per cup from Daily Harvest is less than the serving cost of many other companies. Some cups, like the lattes, come with packets for multiple servings, too, increasing the value. Still, this difference comes into play because Daily Harvest is ultimately offering a different type of food, and it's difficult to say which is the better value.
Daily Harvest's soup cups may cost less than an order from Blue Apron, but you may not feel as full from that soup as you would from a complete dinner. What's a better overall value does depend on what you value in your meals and what you're looking to get out of your food delivery in the long run.
Instead, with price comparison, it's ultimately more productive to look at Daily Harvest for what it does, rather than group it into the same categories as a meal kit company. With Daily Harvest's starting product in smoothies, what you pay for a cup is easily comparable to going to a smoothie store and ordering from there. The difference is that you can keep Daily Harvest in the freezer.
The other cup dishes are a bit trickier to compare, but overall we think the most significant value in Daily Harvest is the nutritional one, with healthy recipes that (even with their sometimes strange seeming ingredients) do taste delicious overall. Yes, they're closer to snack cups, but some parfaits and desserts can become two separate servings depending on your appetite.
Yes, if you went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients yourself, you could probably come out cheaper in the end. However, it can be challenging to find a recipe that's healthy and tastes good; even if you do, the portions of ingredients can be strange and trying to keep fresh long enough to drink them several times in a row.
Daily Harvest's flash freezing technique does help eliminate this waste issue while still allowing you to have a variety of smoothie flavors, plus it gives you a rapid prep time along with on-the-go convenience. If those benefits seem worth it to you, then the cost easily fits into that factor and makes for a great value.
Though Daily Harvest doesn't appeal to the same crowd as meal kit delivery services, that doesn't mean that the company doesn't have its own set of fans. Online Daily Harvest reviews from customers are overall positive, with many people agreeing that the service's smoothies and other cups have made a significant change in their diets, providing healthy, delicious, and convenient food options for on-the-go.
The organic and whole foods ingredients approach to the available recipes is also a big hit, and many people feel impressed by how delicious the recipes are. The Chaga + Chocolate latter option, which includes mushrooms, is a standard pick for customers expressing how the unusual ingredients taste like a high-quality latte with a healthy twist to it.
There are some negative Daily Harvest reviews, which for the most part focus on botched delivery times or shoddy customer service. Customers that have experienced these issues seem to be in the minority, but they do exist—while other reviewers have indicated nothing but helpful customer service representatives that quickly resolved their issues and gave store credit as reimbursement.
Some other customers do wish that the more food-based cups were a bit more filling, but they still appreciated the taste and convenience of the overall product. With all these factors in mind, Daily Harvest has attracted a positive public perception amongst its community.
What We Think
While Daily Harvest isn't a complete meal kit delivery service, that's not what this company was aiming to be in the first place. Daily Harvest's smoothie and other on-the-go cup options provide a different approach to healthy eating that recognizes that not only people who can make the time to cook for themselves at dinnertime want to eat healthily without navigating meal planning and shopping.
With that in mind, we fully recognize that Daily Harvest isn't going to be for everyone. Smoothies do make an excellent breakfast substitution, but they aren't entirely appealing to all. The oatmeal, soup, latte, and other cups allow for some nice variety in your choices, and just the overall setup of food that takes only a few minutes of prep-time while still being healthy all give Daily Harvest points in our books.
So, yes, we do recommend Daily Harvest—if this service sounds like something you'd want to try. People who have time-crunched lives will likely benefit the most, especially if they've been searching for a service that uses wholly organic and non-GMO foods. The fact that all options are vegan-friendly does open up possibilities for people on many diets to make use of this service.
Organic food is the best for you, and I'm eating the best, a lot of fresh vegetables. I also keep myself hydrated. It's all made a big difference to my performance in the gym.
Considering that Daily Harvest started as a smoothie service, we're primarily recommending it for people who want to have ready to go smoothies without needing to struggle with the challenges that come from keeping fresh ingredients and preparation issues. The other types of cups, though not having as wide as a selection, do increase your options to try new things.
And though it's not a requirement, we think that ability to give you new food options and flavors is a sign of a strong meal delivery service, and Daily Harvest does deliver on that front (would you ever think to prepare your coffee with mushrooms involved on your own?). You won't be disappointed with the options you'll find.
There are a few flaws in the equation thanks to the cup system, such as creating a large amount of waste and storage concerns, and we'd like to see what innovations Daily Harvest will implement in the future to be more conscious of these issues. We're also looking forward to seeing how they expand their other offerings to be on par with the smoothie selection.
But for now, as Daily Harvest is, we would recommend this service for anyone looking for quickly prepared meals that are healthy, organic, and easy to eat while on the go.
Daily Harvest routinely offers deals for new customers to try out their services at a discounted price, which is the perfect opportunity to see if this service is right for you. Get started with your new account, and then select the "Get Free Cups" option at the bottom of the webpage for more information.