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Hungryroot Review: Grocery Delivery for Busy Families Who Want to Eat Healthier

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP

Published on April 20, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

4.4

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Easy to Follow:4.0
  • Customization:5.0
  • Ingredient Quality:4.0
  • Subscription Terms:5.0
  • Value for the Price:4.0

Hungryroot is a flexible grocery delivery service that offers easy-to-prepare meal kits and high-quality groceries. They have strict food quality standards, so all meals and groceries available on Hungryroot are minimally processed and free of artificial and potentially harmful ingredients. The service may be a great fit for households who want to eat healthier meals but are crunched for time.

Written by
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD spent several years working in various dietetic roles and settings, including research, public health, dialysis, and acute care. She became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in 2013, while completing her Master of Science degree at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Medically Reviewed by
Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP
Registered Dietitian, Certified Exercise Physiologist
Natalie is a registered dietitian, functional medicine practitioner and certified exercise physiologist with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry and holds a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through a collaborative program provided by the University of Western States and the Institute of Functional Medicine.

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Hungryroot Review: Grocery Delivery for Busy Families Who Want to Eat Healthier
Photo credit: iStock.com/miniseries

Pros

  • Offers meal kit and grocery delivery.
  • Meals are quick and simple to prepare.
  • Groceries and ingredients are minimally processed and free of artificial ingredients.
  • Weekly credits can be used on any combination of meal kits and groceries in each order.

Cons

  • More expensive than the grocery store.
  • Credit-based system can be confusing.

What Is Hungryroot?

Hungryroot is a healthy food delivery service that offers both easy-to-prepare meals and groceries.

While most delivery services provide either one or the other, Hungryroot has merged the two into one convenient service that can provide whatever mix of meal kits and regular groceries works best for your lifestyle.

All of the recipes they provide are made from ingredients in their grocery section — like bagged salads or premade sauces — which results in meals that come together quickly with minimal prep.

The ability to choose groceries in addition to recipes also allows you to round out your groceries with snacks or desserts, or to pick your own combinations of proteins, vegetables, grains, and sauces or seasonings to create your simple meals.

They cater to a variety of specialty diets — including plant-based, paleo, gluten-free, low-carb, and keto — by offering organic, gluten-free, vegan, keto, and paleo options.

When you sign up, you’ll answer a few questions about your household size, how many meals or snacks you’d like to purchase each week through Hungryroot, and your dietary preferences.

Based on your answers, you’ll be issued a certain number of credits each week to spend as you please on Hungryroot’s weekly selection of meal kits and food items.

Your cart will be pre-filled each week with recipes and groceries that fit your dietary preferences, but you are also able to edit the selections as much as you’d like.

Try Shopping With Hungryroot

Ingredient Quality

Hungryroot has strict food quality standards for every item they carry. The “Root Standard” ensures that each product or meal is:

  • Made from whole, minimally processed ingredients.
  • Fast and easy to prepare.
  • Tastes good.

No matter what type of diet you eat, research shows that choosing whole, minimally-processed foods over highly processed foods may lead to better health.

Highly processed foods — like chips, cookies, frozen meals, and fast food — have been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. (1, 2)

In addition, all Hungryroot items are free of the following:

  • Partially hydrogenated oils: Also known as trans fats, these liquid oils are partially saturated with hydrogen to become solid at room temperature. They have been linked to an increase in heart attacks and heart-related deaths. Trans fats have been banned by the Food & Drug Administration since 2018, but some food products made with trans fats were permitted to be sold until January 2020. However, Hungryroot has had a total ban on partially hydrogenated oils since they were founded. (3)

  • Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners may harm your gut microbiota — or the populations of healthy bacteria in your large intestine. Research shows that this may lead to poorer blood sugar control and weight gain. Artificial sweeteners are also highly processed, so they are not found in Hungryroot products. (4)

  • High-fructose corn syrup: Fructose is a type of sugar naturally found in fruit, but high fructose corn syrup is a processed sweetener that contains mostly fructose. In this form, fructose may contribute to liver damage and weight gain. (5, 6)

  • Artificial colors: Artificial colors may contribute to hyperactivity and behavior changes in children, and many artificial food dyes contain ingredients that may harm the brain. (7)

  • Artificial preservatives: Foods containing artificial preservatives are typically highly processed, so they are excluded from Hungryroot’s offerings. The artificial preservatives butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) may affect hormonal and cellular health, and have been linked to cancer development. (8)

Hungryroot’s Selection Options

Your cart will be filled with items of Hungryroot’s choosing each week. You can keep these items as-is, or edit your cart.

If you choose to edit your cart, you’ll be taken to a shopping page with two main menus — Recipes and Groceries.

Recipes

The Recipes menu features several hundred recipes each week in various categories, all requiring minimal prep and typically made with only 3–5 ingredients.

Although there are many meal options available, they can be fairly repetitive.

For example, you may see the same meal listed multiple times, but each time with a different protein source — like tacos with beef, tacos with chickpeas, or tacos with pulled pork.

Meal choices will also change weekly, and protein availability may vary too. For instance, lamb may be available some weeks and unavailable during other weeks.

Here are the categories available in the Recipes menu, along with some sample meals:

  • Main + Sides: Spinach Artichoke Salmon + Shaved Brussels
  • Grain Bowls: Chicken ‘n Guac Bowl
  • Pastas: Creamy Primavera Linguine + Turkey Meatballs
  • Tacos: XL Spicy Vegan Chorizo + Potato Tacos
  • Stir-Fries: Spiced Curry Tofu + Broccoli Stir Fry
  • Salads: Taverna-Style Seared Lamb Salad
  • Wraps: Whole Grain Chicken Curry Wrap
  • Sandwiches: Deli-Style Ham, Egg ‘n Cheese Bagel
  • Burgers: Simple Grass-Fed Burger + Sweet Potato Fries
  • Bakes: Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
  • Flatbreads: Korean BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Soups + Stews: Creole Pulled Chicken Chili
  • Roast + Ready: All-in-One Lemony Alfredo Salmon
  • Veggie Bowls: Fiesta Cauliflower + Black Bean Bowl

These meals are simple to prepare, with each meal containing no more than 4–5 ingredients — all of which are available from their Groceries category.

Groceries

Within the Groceries category, you can shop from several sections. Here are the available sections and some sample grocery items from each:

  • Produce: Trimmed asparagus, seedless red grapes
  • Sauces, Dressings, + Dips: Tomato marinara, cashew cheddar
  • Meat + Seafood: Honey BBQ marinated salmon, wild-caught Gulf shrimp
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Cuban spiced black beans, plant-based “chorizo”
  • Grains + Pasta: Lentil quinoa rice mix, cauliflower gnocchi
  • Bread + Bakery: Wood-grilled pizza crusts, sprouted seven-grain bread
  • Snacks: Original beef jerky, apple chips
  • Dairy + Eggs: Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sous vide egg bites
  • Sweets: Organic Medjool dates, salted peanut butter cookies
  • Pantry: Organic creamy peanut butter, ancient grain pancake mix
  • Beverages: Oat milk chai latte, vanilla bean protein shake
  • Ready to Eat: Three-bean artichoke salad, Thai-style coconut chicken

Hungryroot offers a variety of branded products. They have their own Hungryroot brand that’s available as well, which includes a variety of products like Cauliflower Linguine, Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough, and Ancient Grain Pancake Mix.

Taste and Freshness

Hungryroot has received mostly positive reviews in terms of taste and freshness.

Although taste will depend on your personal preferences, they take steps to ensure that boxes are well-packed and that they will arrive safely with no damaged or spoiled ingredients.

Hungryroot has reached out to me to try their service before — and in my experience — they prioritize quality and freshness.

When my shipment was delayed by the carrier and arrived at my home heavily damaged, Hungryroot immediately issued me a full refund along with a small additional credit.

My next shipment — which wasn’t delayed — arrived neatly packed to prevent fragile items like produce from bruising, as well as to keep meats separate from the other items.

I also thought the meals were easy and delicious.

I made Rainbow Ground Bison Tacos, Chimichurri Steak Dinner, and Creamy Caesar Seared Tuna Steak + Zucchini.

These recipes each contained only four ingredients — meat, vegetables, sauces or seasonings, and grains. They all came together in about 20 minutes, and I normally spend about an hour cooking dinner.

However — unlike other meal kit services — there were no recipe cards. The recipes were text-only and printed in black and white on the back of the packing slip.

But personally, I felt the meals were simple enough that they didn’t need step-by-step photos.

I was also able to order a number of snack foods that my kids really enjoyed — like Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn and Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars.

Overall, I was pleased with the taste and freshness of the meals and groceries I received from Hungryroot.

Get Started With Hungryroot

How Does Hungryroot’s Pricing System Work?

Hungryroot’s pricing system can be a little bit confusing.

When you sign up, Hungryroot will ask how many people you’re shopping for, and how many meals and snacks you want through Hungryroot each week.

Based on your answers, you will purchase a set number of credits every week for a set fee.

For example, when I tried Hungryroot, I received 82 credits per week for $173.85 — making each credit about $2.12.

Hungryroot will auto-fill your cart each week with their selections — which will add up to the number of credits you have — but you can change these.

Recipes for four people cost between 8.5 and 30 credits each, and grocery prices range from 0.25 to 7 credits each.

If you spend more credits than you have, this extra amount will simply be charged to the card you have on file with your regular payment.

Although I understand that it’s much easier to spend an even number of credits than it is an exact amount of dollars and cents, I was a bit confused by the credit system.

However, using credits does allow for more flexibility in your orders — you can spend your credits on anything you want on the site, and you’re not locked into a certain number of meals or groceries each week.

Shipping is free on orders over $70, and $6.99 for orders under $70. However, there is a $65 per order minimum.

You can cancel your Hungryroot subscription at any time, or change your plan size to increase or decrease how many credits you receive each week. These changes can be made directly on the Hungryroot website or app.

However, Hungryroot does not allow for returns or exchanges.

If you’re unhappy with your order or have any damaged or missing items, you can use their online “Delivery Help Hub” to request an account credit or reach out to the customer service team.

Who Is Hungryroot For?

Hungryroot is ideal for busy households who want to incorporate more healthy, unprocessed foods into their diet.

The meals are easy to assemble, usually containing just 3–5 ingredients with very minimal prep work required.

Additionally, the service provides a large degree of flexibility for households or individuals who need it. You can spend your credits however you choose.

For instance, you could pick mostly meals for one week, so you don’t need to do much meal planning, shopping, or meal prep. Then the next week, you could pick mostly snacks, breakfast items, or desserts if you wanted to.

On the other hand, Hungryroot may not be a good fit for people on a limited budget. Hungryroot items tend to be more expensive than their grocery store counterparts — even for the same brands and products.

Hungryroot may also be a poor fit for people who prefer more elaborate meals, more complex flavors, or meals with more side dishes.

Most Hungryroot meals consist simply of a protein, a grain, and a vegetable. They are minimally seasoned with salt and pepper, and some may also contain premade dressings or sauces.

Additionally, Hungryroot may not be a good fit for you if you want an online delivery service that can completely replace grocery shopping for you.

Hungryroot doesn’t consistently carry staple items like cooking oil, baking needs, spices and seasonings, eggs, milk, or plant-based milk.

Get Started With Hungryroot

How Hungryroot Compares to Alternatives

Hungryroot appears to be the only service of its kind — that merges simple meal kit delivery with grocery delivery — but there are some similar services that offer meals and pantry items of similar quality.

Here’s how Hungryroot compares to Sunbasket and Misfits Market.

Sunbasket

Sunbasket is a healthy meal kit delivery service specializing in meals made from high-quality ingredients — like organic produce and sustainably-sourced meats.

They offer paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegan meal kits, along with pre-made meals that only need to be heated up.

Their meal kit offerings include more elaborate dishes than Hungryroot offers — like Chicken Chop Suey with Shishito Peppers, Mushrooms, and Scallions, or Mediterranean Turkey and Spinach Skillet with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade.

Some of their meals may also take longer to prepare, with many taking approximately 30–45 minutes — although they do have some “Speedy” meals that take only 15 minutes.

In addition to meal kits and premade meals, Sunbasket also provides a small selection of pantry items and snacks each week that you can add to your order.

However, this selection is extremely limited compared to what Hungryroot offers on a weekly basis.

Sunbasket’s meal kits start at $11.49 per serving, and their premade meals start at $9.99 per serving.

On the other hand, Hungryroot meals begin at 8.5 credits for four people — or about $4.50 per serving.

Sunbasket may be a good choice if you’re looking for a more traditional meal kit with a more involved cooking process, or for premade meals that require zero prep.

Misfits Market

Misfits Market, on the other hand, is an online grocery delivery service.

They specialize in groceries that may otherwise be thrown away — like blemished produce or snack foods in outdated packaging.

Most of their products are natural, organic, or geared towards specialty diets, and they offer a rotating variety of fresh produce, meats, dairy products, plant-based products, and pantry items.

In terms of selection, Misfits Market and Hungryroot offer about the same number of grocery items to choose from each week. They each also provide fresh produce, meats, snack foods, pantry items, and dairy products.

However, Hungryroot foods are chosen for their convenience — like single-serving packages, pre-made sauces, or grains that can be cooked in the microwave.

However, Misfits Market’s selection varies based on what items they were able to procure from brands and food distributors, and they don’t have the same focus on meal simplicity and convenience.

Although you can mix and match ingredients from Hungryroot to make your own easy meals, you may not be able to do the same with Misfits Market items without a few added ingredients from other sources.

Misfits Market requires a $30 minimum in order to ship your order, but they don’t require a membership or a subscription.

Prices range from around $1.00 for a single piece of fruit to around $20 or more for certain cuts of meat or large containers of cooking oil.

On the other hand, Hungryroot is a weekly subscription that requires a $65 minimum order each week.

Their prices begin at 0.25 credits (about $0.53), but some individual grocery items may cost up to 7 credits (about $14.84).

Misfits Market may be a good choice if you’re looking for a flexible natural and organic grocery delivery option that doesn’t require a membership or subscription.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hungryroot have meat?

Yes, Hungryroot offers a variety of meat, seafood, and plant-based meat alternatives.

How much does Hungryroot cost?

Hungryroot’s pricing is based on credits — which are approximately $2.12 each. Grocery items start at 0.25 credits, and meal kits start at 8.5 credits.

The amount you’re charged each week depends on the number of meals and household size you entered in your account when you signed up.

Does Hungryroot have vegan options?

Yes, Hungryroot offers several vegan meal kits and grocery items.

The Bottom Line

Hungryroot’s meal kit and grocery delivery service provides a level of flexibility that most similar services can’t — because you can choose any combination of meal kits and groceries with each order.

They also have strict quality standards, so you can be confident that any meals from Hungryroot are free of artificial ingredients and made from whole foods.

Although the service is more expensive than a grocery store, the convenience of their easy-to-prepare meals and healthy grocery delivery may be worth it for busy households.

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At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

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