Martha & Marley Spoon Meal Delivery Review11 minute read

11 minute read

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Updated for July, 2019

Combining Martha Stewart’s aesthetic and techniques with farm-to-table fresh ingredients, Martha & Marley Spoon is a surprisingly senior-friendly meal kit service.

Starting at $8.20 per Serving

Pros
  • Martha Stewart’s Recipe Library
  • Free Shipping
  • Seasonal, Farm-to-Table Ingredients
  • Flexible Subscription
  • Tops Many Online Reviews in Taste
  • Large, easy-to-read recipe cards that are easier to read than those of top competitors
  • Carefully organized packaging
  • Recipes are broken down into six simple steps
Cons
  • More formal than most seniors wish to eat frequently
  • Comparatively expensive in some ways, depending on the plan purchased
  • Box is not all-inclusive; consumers are expected to have certain ingredients and utensils at home, which many find unreasonable
  • Recipes often take twice as long to make as indicated
Vegetarian Options
Dinner Only
Farm-to-Table Ingredients

The Bottom Line

While seniors are not Martha & Marley Spoon’s target market, the farm-fresh ingredients and easy-to-read recipe materials can help moderately independent seniors maintain their health and continue to enjoy their own gourmet meals.

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OVERALL RATING
Quality
Ease of Prep
Value
Delivery
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Martha & Marley Spoon Review

Meal kit delivery service’s have exploded in recent years and maintained popularity with urban professionals, who spent $1.5 billion on meal kits last year. While less than half of that statistic comes from the United States, the U.S. market is expected to grow to as much as $6 billion by 2022. With the rise of this popular business model, it was only a matter of time before the domestic maven Martha Stewart threw her hat into the meal kit ring, especially since her brand extensions already include wall paint, dinnerware, three glossy magazines and a TV show.

History and Popularity

Martha Stewart

Headquartered in Berlin, Marley Spoon has been bringing flavorful cuisine to homes in three continents since 2015. After partnering with Martha Stewart Living, Omnimedia owner Sequential Brands Group Inc., the company became Martha & Marley Spoon in the U.S. market, and Martha Stewart’s recipe archives were made available to the service. Since then, the company has filed for an IPO in Australia, joining the ranks of top meal kit delivery plans worldwide.

Customers can choose between two, three, and four meals a week, and orders can easily be altered.

How to Order

Some website viewers may be annoyed by the scroll-down of lavish photographs and illustrations with no apparent hyperlinks on the homepage, but can cut to the chase by looking for the “Order Now” hyperlink at the bottom of the page. This will take you to two multiple choice windows: cooking for two vs. cooking for three to four. Each of these two options offer the choice of two, three, or four meal orders. From there, you are asked to check whether you want your box to be vegetarian (an option only available to the “two person” plan.)

The company also steers users into selecting a plan and entering their ZIP code, email, preferred delivery times, and an address before confirming whether Martha & Marley Spoon even serves the area —a lot of time and privacy lost if you are not a prospect customer. Again, you can take a shortcut and communicate with customer service via their messaging form or chat option.

Selecting Your Plan

Customers can choose between two, three, and four meals a week, and orders can easily be altered. Simply access your account and change meals or options for the two-person and three- to four-person plans whenever you wish. You can even skip a delivery week if none of the current week’s meals appeal to you. Despite the disadvantages, Martha & Marley Spoon helps you bypass the risk of being stuck or unhappy with a purchase.

Martha & Marley Spoon’s recipe offerings are focused solely on dinner. At this time it does not provide breakfast, lunch, or dessert options.

Types of Meals

Some of the Martha-inspired dishes include Seared Steaks and Kale Salad with Parmesan Sweet Potatoes, One-Pan Harissa Chicken with Potatoes and Lemon-Garlic Sauce, Tortellini and Walnut Gremolata, Martha’s Perfect BLT with homemade Russian dressing, and Yukon Gold Potato Pizza. Each recipe card illustrates the beautiful presentation for which fans know and love Martha Stewart.

Martha & Marley Spoon Food

Martha & Marley Spoon’s recipe offerings are focused solely on dinner. At this time, like many meal kit delivery services, it does not provide breakfast, lunch, or dessert options.

Dietary Options

Martha & Marley Spoon’s farm-to-table ingredients are a plus when considering health benefits. That said, Martha & Marley Spoon does not cater to dietary restrictions, and some recipes are high in sugar and sodium or don’t consider food allergies. While some recipes offer modifications, the service does not currently offer full menu options for specific dietary preferences or restrictions—aside from vegetarian options. Martha & Marley does not guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information it provides and the company cannot guarantee against cross-contamination.

Quality Rating

Quality

Reviewers of Marley Spoon have praised the flavor profiles and neat recipes, and fans of multiple meal kit services often rate Martha & Marley Spoon the best on taste even if it trails competitors in other areas. One repeated complaint is that recipes take longer to cook than cited, likely because most of the equipment people have at home isn’t the same quality as what may be used by the creators of Marley Spoon, or an ingredient is unfamiliar.

Cost Rating

Cost

Martha & Marley Spoon states that obtaining premium-quality ingredients from them costs less than buying the same ingredients at your local supermarket. On the plus side, all shipping is free regardless of the order.

The prices of meals at Martha & Marley Spoon differ depending on the number of meals you want to order and the plan you choose.

For the Two-Person Plan:

For the Three- to Four-Person Plan:

As you can see, the more you order, the less you pay for each serving. Nevertheless, this places the service on the higher end of the meal kit delivery spectrum.

Recipes cards come with beautiful pictures, and the instructions are easy for a senior to read and understand.

Delivery and Packaging

Not only does Martha & Marley Spoon use recyclable packaging, it offers tips on how to recycle every part of the packaging, from paper bags and boxes to plastic bags and ice packs. Seniors will appreciate the easy-to-follow recipe cards with simple and straightforward steps that also feature an image of the final dish.

marley spoon review

Martha & Marley Spoon boxes arrive in easily storable paper bags. Perishables remain cold even after sitting out for hours. Dry ingredients come together in a sack per meal, and frozen ingredients are separated by the icepack that preserves them. The entire setup is quite streamlined.

While a few competitors offer pre-shredded ingredients, cooking with Martha & Marley Spoon means you may have to negotiate a full head of garlic, ginger, or a sweet potato or two. However, the recipes do have clear photos and instructions, and it’s fairly easy to see what ingredients and utensils you’ll need on your end and whether you can handle the logistics of a recipe. For some consumers, the shopping and planning may take more time than it is worth to them.

Garlic & Ginger

Martha & Marley Spoon sends the garnishes and small ingredients like tiny packets of broth concentrate, yet expects the consumer to have freshly ground pepper, olive oil, and flour on hand…as well as an immersion blender or box grater in some cases. The service also doesn’t do much to save time on food prep. Zesting, grating, and mashing are all par for the course. Novice cooks could be intimidated by all this. While many older women of the Baby Boom and Silent Generation are experienced cooks, this isn’t the ideal scenario most seniors would sign up for.

Recipes cards come with beautiful pictures, and the instructions are easy for a senior to read and understand. One side also features an image of the final dish. They make a point of limiting menus to recipes with a maximum of six steps, albeit the “ingredients not included” could stretch them to seven if the customer produces his or her own “freshly ground pepper” in-house.

Martha & Marley Spoon meals typically require a longer prep time than indicated on the recipe card; some reviewers claimed that recipes intended to take 20 to 25 minutes actually took twice as long. For seniors interested in meal kits to simplify their lives, this service may not be worth the investment.

You can alter your delivery frequency, your meals and recipes, and the portion amount.

Subscriptions and Plans

Each recipe is designed for two portions, and the minimum order per box is four portions. Beyond that, customers are free to mix and match recipes to their taste.

As a flexible subscription, you are free to skip a week or pause your account at any time. You can also alter your delivery frequency, your meals and recipes, and the portion amount. As with other meal kit services, pausing your account is different from discontinuing it altogether, and you will want to complete the cancellation process if you decide the service is not for you.

Cancelling Your Plan

You can cancel your subscription at any time, although the website does not offer easy-to-find specifics on how to best expedite that process.

Summary

Even though seniors aren’t Martha & Marley Spoon’s target audience, this meal plan is surprisingly practical for some older adults. Its recipe instructions are among the easiest to read in the meal kit industry. As long as you carefully read the ingredients before ordering a menu and don’t try to hold yourself to high expectations from the photographs on the recipe card, the service offers many adults the ease of preparation and excitement to be worth the cost. Martha & Marley Spoon is also expanding to an additional affordable meal kit service in the U.S. called Dinnerly, so this brand enterprise is a contender to watch throughout the industry.