Meal kit services are a wonderful time saver, as they can help you learn new kitchen recipes and skills. However, you still have to do the cooking part.
If cooking is not something you particularly fancy, or you just need a break from the kitchen once in a while, a healthy prepared meal service might be more suited for you.
Ready-to-eat meal subscriptions are becoming increasingly popular in the market. You can think of them as TV dinners, except for the fact that the food is generally a lot better, prepared fresh by chefs, and without all of the bad preservatives. The food is sent to you immediately to be tossed in the fridge or warmed and eaten right away.
Factor, or Factor75/, or Factor_ (yes, with an underscore), is one of the newer ready-to-eat meal subscriptions gaining popularity in the past few months. They promise to deliver tasty, healthy, and freshly cooked meals that show up on your doorstep weekly to save you time while helping you heed to your diet and nutrition goals.
Nearly all of the prepared meal services we’ve looked into have looked into carving out a niche in the growing category. Factor seems to focus on healthy, high-protein meals that can easily fit into low-calorie or low-carb diets.
This should make them perfect for fitness-minded individuals, athletes in training, and folks who are simply trying to eat healthier meals.
For our Factor review, we wanted to see how their prepared meals stack up in a taste test, to give you an accurate and unbiased analysis of how their meals compare
Read on to find out more if Factor meals are the right choice for your lifestyle.
What is Factor Meal Prep?
Factor is a meal delivery diet service that offers customers fresh meals. Their meal delivery services are meant to reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare a healthy meal.
The service has a strong emphasis on wellness and health and offers a rotating menu of single-serving meals prepared by culinary experts with the help of registered dieticians.
Factor meals are meant for people with active lifestyles, who follow specific diets and are looking for perfectly portioned pre-made meals.
Since they require zero-cooking skills, the meals are ideal for people who don’t like to cook or would rather save the time for other things like attending to other chores or achieving fitness goals. The meal plan gives you the option of filling your fridge with delicious and nutritious meals that only require you to heat for two minutes to prepare.
For those who haven’t heard of Factor yet, you have most likely come across or even tried products from their parent company: HelloFresh. In November of 2020, HelloFresh acquired Factor, a Chicago-based startup, to help it grow and reach more people.
How Factor Works
As already mentioned, Factor is a subscription service for prepared meals, which sends you boxes of freshly made meals (breakfast lunch, and supper) to your door every week. You can choose from 4, 6, 8, 12, or 18 meals a week, and the price drops significantly the more you order.
Just as with every other pre-made meal kit on the market, you can cancel or pause your subscription anytime you want, so that you don’t get trapped by a long-term commitment.
Once you pick a plan, you can even choose meals from a rotating menu of about 20 options a week. Alternatively, you could let Factor pick the meals for you and surprise you.
There are also smaller adult meals and snacks in the Factor Plus section, including soups, desserts, cold-pressed juices, and shakes that you can add to your order at an extra cost.
According to their website, the meals are prepared and cooked by actual humans in the kitchen. The packaging and delivery are done fresh, rather than frozen as is the case with some competing services. It’s however recommended that you pop any meals in the freezer if you know that it will be more than a few days before you eat them.
If you want to skip any weeks, you simply need to head to the app and select the skip option. Be sure to do this before the weekly cutoff on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. CT.
Getting Started: How to Sign Up for their Food Delivery
Signing up for Factor is a pretty straightforward process and there are several ways to do it. You can go to their website or download the Factor app for even easier navigation. Regardless of the route you choose, the procedure is the same.
Enter your email address and zip code, and this will give you access to accurate pricing and shipping information. You then need to choose the meals you want to include in your weekly order. Once you’ve selected your plan, you can then choose which meals and add-ons you want to be included in your delivery.
You can browse the entire Factor menu or use the filters to choose meals that meet your needs. The menu has pictures of every food item included, which lets you see what every option will look like once it’s cooked.
When you click on the picture, you can read the ingredient list, the description, and the nutritional information to ensure that you are well aware of everything included in the dish.
Menu: What Kind of Food Can You Expect?
Their weekly menu features a rotating lineup of more than 27 meals, including plant-based, keto, and calorie smart options which you can easily identify via the tags on every meal.
Each dish comes with its picture, labels for specific diets, and a brief description.
We wish that they also highlighted the foods that align with certain dietary restrictions, such as nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free as these were unfortunately not specified.
While it’s not possible to remove certain ingredients from their meals, you can use this information to ensure that your food aligns with your dietary requirements. You can also look ahead to see the menu for the following week and plan accordingly.
Unfortunately, the menu is easy to navigate, and you can use it to filter different date categories. The following are some of the available options:
Sample Breakfast Menu:
- Breakfast enchilada bake
- Paleo granola
- Smoothies or juices
- Pancakes and sausage
Sample Main Course Menu:
- Honey-mustard chicken
- Harissa-braised chicken
- Chickpea curry
- Pesto salmon
- Jalapeno popper burger
Snacks and Drinks:
- Grass-fed beef bone broth
- Keto cocoa and peanut butter truffles
- Carrot, orange, and ginger juice
The menu is updated every week, and meals are always delivered on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday based on your zip code.
Their shipping is done in insulated boxes with cold-gel packs, and you can store these in the fridge for up to 7 days. Just remove the milk from the packaging and heat the tray up in the microwave or oven whenever you’re ready to eat.protein food
You may want to try all factors meals, but how many you get will depend on the meal plan. Below are your options:
- Four meals a week ($15 a serving)
- Six meals a week (around $13 a serving)
- Eight meals a week (around $13 a serving)
- 12 meals a week (around $12 a serving)
- 18 meals a week ($11 a serving)
- *See full pricing details on our Factor Cost page
Factor Meal Prep Pros and Cons
With just a glance at Factor’s website and menu, it’s clear that the company is targeting the fitness, health-conscious, and diet crowds. You won’t find any splurge meals on the menu.
Instead, there are lots of lean proteins like salmon and chicken, along with green such as cauliflower, grains, and other low-calorie high-pr.
- Meals are pre-cooked by real chefs, with no chopping, prepping, or cooking required
- Food arrives fresh – not frozen (no thawing required)
- The plan has customizable add-ons like soup, snacks, meat, and juice
- Includes breakfast, lunch, supper, and dessert options
- Complementary consultation with a dietician available
- Vegan, vegetarian, keto, and calorie-smart friendly options available
- Meals can be heated in ovens and microwaves
- A bit more expensive than cooking at home. It’s also one of the pricier meal delivery services
- Available only as single servings – no family meals
- The menu doesn’t highlight foods based on dietary restrictions, such as dairy-free, nut-free, etc.
- Relies heavily on the diet culture
More features that we like…
Factor is dedicated to packaging its product with sustainable and eco-friendly materials.
Fresh meals are packaged in BPA-free recyclable plastic, which is covered in non-recyclable plastic film and then tucked into a recyclable cardboard sleeve.
There’s a clear label on the sleeve with the name of the snack, meal, or dessert, along with cooking instructions (where applicable), ingredients list, and nutritional information.
Dispose of the big cardboard box, simply break it down into smaller pieces and toss it into your recycling bin. You can also take it to a recycling facility near you. Factor has three different kinds of insulation, including cotton, PET, and laminate.
The laminate insulation is recyclable, well the other two should be thrown in the trash. V gel packs are a welcome bonus as you can reuse them for picnics and road trips.
In case you need to store them in the freezer, drain the gel in the trash and recycle the plastic film.
Flexible subscription plans
You can easily swap out or cancel meals out of your order before it’s shipped. Just be sure to do so before the designated deadline elapses.
If you intend to skip a week, log into your account, choose the week that you want to skip and click “Skip”. You can do this on the mobile app and at the account tab.
Great customer service
There are plenty of ways to get help from the fact that team, to ask them any questions or raise any concerns that you may have.
Customer service is available from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM central time, and it can be availed through a live chat feature on the site, or by phone.
They also have a helpful FAQ page venue that you can always check out. Multiple customers have praised their customer service as very professional and appropriate.
Glowing customer reviews
Most of the buzz surrounding Factor meals is positive, with more than 14,000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot, with an average rating of 4.3 stars out of five. This is no surprise considering how great the meals taste (more on that later).
Does Factor Food Taste Good?
Factor undoubtedly makes some of the best pre-made meals in the market today, but how does it fare when it comes to taste?
Well, generally speaking, customer reviews give Factor high marks for taste, but since this is a subjective matter, you should manage your expectations. In many cases, users tend to enjoy the food’s taste and only had issues with other elements like price and delivery.
While not every meal will turn out exactly as you would prefer, most people enjoyed the flavor and doneness of their meals. Factor seems to place a huge emphasis on freshness and flavor, which goes a long way in giving it an edge over similar providers in terms of taste.
Note that Factor says that freezing the meals after receiving them is possible, but fresh deliveries taste best.
Is Factor Keto?
Factor meals are supposed to meet the needs of people on special diets, including ketogenic diets. When subscribing to Factor, you can choose their Keto preference and they will give you meal options with the appropriate ratio of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
Factor Meal Plan: What a Typical Day Looks Like
The service plans range from 4 to 18 meals a week, and you can pick the ones that best fit your schedule and preferences. If you’re just looking for a nutritious supplement to quickly enhance your regular meals, the 4, 6, and 8 meal plans will be ideal. The 12 or 18 meal plans are great if you don’t intend to cook most of the week.
The cost per meal will naturally go up as the number of meals goes up – $15 per meal for the 4-meal plan and $11 per meal for the 18-meal plan.
The menu is updated every week, and there are breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. There are also add-ons under the Factor Plus category, including healthy soups, desserts, and cold-pressed juices, which you can order at your discretion.
How to Cook Your Factor Meals: Simply Heat & Eat
Factor makes cooking much easier. You just need to pick a dish from the fridge, check the packaging label for cooking instructions, and cook the food.
From our testing, the meals all had the same simple instructions.
You either had to pierce the plastic film before hitting the dish in a microwave for about 2 minutes or remove the film altogether before cooking the meal in the oven for about 5 minutes.
For those who’d rather use a conventional oven to heat their meals, there are instructions for that too. You just need to pre-heat the oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the plastic film and sleeve, and then place the meal in the oven tray on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Regardless of the method you choose, your meal should be ready in no time.
Ingredients: Are They Healthy?
Factor is also dedicated to sourcing its ingredients from sustainable farms and ranches, whether it’s in the US or abroad. The salmon is sourced from Canada and is certified by Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) which oversees the responsible and safe farming of seafood.
Other ingredients include grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, and cage-free poultry.
The company also has a zero-tolerance policy for animal abuse and has close relationships with animal welfare experts and food purveyors to ensure its suppliers follow humane and ethical practices. No matter the kind of protein on your plate, you can be sure that it’s free of hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and artificial preservatives.
Factor also integrates a complimentary 20 minutes of nutrition consultation with every subscription coma which can help you get started on your way to achieving your nutrition goals.
It’s also worth mentioning that they have made it easy to manage your subscription. You can mix and match meals, skip a week, and even change your meal plan right from your account.
Who Should Consider Joining Factor and Who Should Avoid It?
Factor has various filters for different kinds of diets, though it seems like they have more offerings for high protein and keto diets. If these are your priorities, you will have a lot to choose from in the menu. However, if you are plant-based or vegan, you’ll probably have better luck elsewhere.
From our research, we thought Factor was great for people who don’t have specific nutritional goals or those who don’t have to adhere to a certain diet but generally want to eat healthier. All the meals were flavorful and interesting and were veggie-packed and high in protein, not to mention low carb.
Factor is also ideal for couples or individuals who want to eat clean and healthy, but don’t have the time or cooking skills to do so. It’s an excellent meal prep service for healthy eaters. Whether you’re looking to start your Wellness journey, or are already a fitness enthusiast, Factor can be a great option for you.
On the other hand, we wouldn’t recommend Factor to people who enjoy making their meals, plant eaters or vegans, and budget-conscious families and individuals.
How Does Factor Compare to Other Meal Delivery Diets?
Testing meals is one of the better parts of our job, and we take it seriously. While the flavor is an essential criterion when choosing a meal service, we also pay careful attention to how filling a meal is, and how we feel after eating it. This is why quality ingredients are critical – you should feel well and whole after a meal, especially one from meal-prep services like Factor.
Here is how Factor compares to other providers.
Factor vs. Freshly
Both Factor and Freshly stand out for offering fresh and never-frozen meals that are easy and quick to make in the microwave. Both services prioritize using high-quality ingredients and a good variety of flavors, though Factor is slightly ahead in terms of offering sustainable seafood, organic produce, and grass-fed beef.
While both can comfortably cater to specialty diets, Factor is generally a better choice for people following a low-carb eating pattern, such as paleo and keto. But both services are great at offering tasty, low-carb meals that appeal to people looking to manage their weight and health.
Factor vs. SunBasket
It’s quite difficult to say which is better than the other here. Sunbasket has a slightly higher score in terms of meal variety and dietary personalization. However, both services exceeded our expectations with their taste, ease of preparations, nutrition, quality of ingredients, and portion size.
All in all, Sunbasket offers a bit more meal plans and customizations to meet the needs of home cooks, diabetics, and families, while factor is ideal for fitness-minded people looking to consume low-carb, high protein meals within their busy schedules.
With all things considered, we had a great time testing out Factor meals. Our team was initially skeptical that a meal service could be convenient, healthy, and delicious.
Factor surprised us with their offerings (though we thought some of the meals could be more filling).
It’s quite easy to see why someone like me would want to retreat to the kitchen after a long day of work and feel a sigh of relief knowing that a delicious meal is just a five-minute microwaving session away.
The only major downside we found with Factor is the fact that it comes at a much steeper price compared to other meal prep services.
Doing the calculations, the meal plans come out to a higher amount than you would typically spend on groceries. However, the price difference is not that big considering the level of convenience Factor offers.
Don’t forget that each of their meals is approved by a dietician, prepared by a real chef, and made with sustainable and nutritious ingredients, which makes Factor an excellent meal delivery service for those looking to have healthy meals conveniently, with minimal effort.