YoloFoods is one of Singapore's growing number of meal-plan providers targeting health-conscious individuals that want to maximise their time and adopt healthier habits. They say they are a team that "...believes healthy eating should be accessible to everyone and made convenient", which is a philosophy that resonates with me. So, I went ahead and ordered a week's worth of meals to help meet my own fitness goals and see how they stack up against the competition.
YOLO meal plans are one of two options YoloFoods offer for meal delivery, the other being YoloMeals (ready meals), which are purchased individually. I was pleased to see a variety of different meal plans, including weight loss (calorie deficit/restrictive), eating clean (calorie conscious), low carb, and vegetarian, since not all meal-plan providers offer this many options (no vegetarian, I'm looking at you Nutrition Kitchen).
Once I selected the vegetarian meal plan, I was asked to choose between a small plan (350–450kcal) or a medium plan (500–700kcal per meal). Once done, I was given the option of a half-day plan (lunch or dinner) or a full-day plan (lunch and dinner), plus an optional snack, drink, or snack and drink.
I aim for 2,500–2,600 calories each day, so the medium, full-day plan with snacks best suited my needs.
Assuming you go for the same package as me, you will then be presented with three packages with ascending savings for "bulk" buying your meals. Each package includes free delivery:
5 days for S$202 (valid for 2 weeks at S$37.90 per day plus S$2.50 per day for a drink and a snack)
10 days for S$384 (valid for 4 weeks at S$35.90 per day plus $S2.50 per day for a drink and a snack)
30 days for S$1,062 (valid for 10 weeks at S$32.90 per day plus S$2.50 per day for a drink and a snack)
The process from there was straightforward: pay for the order, receive an email confirmation, and then pick the days you want meals delivered via a link in a separate email.
Before I get into the meals I received over 5 days (yes, I ordered 10 days, but I'll only review 5 received between 24–28 January), I want to share some of my observations and opinions on some specifics that contribute to the overall experience: user experience and customer service, packaging and delivery, and cost and rewards.
User experience and customer service
I feel the website and emails are easy to understand and use. The website makes clear the different options available, checkout is smooth, and the menu for the coming fortnight is promptly updated to clearly display calories and macros for every meal you will receive. I do think the separate email to book delivery days could be confusing for some and it would be useful if this was part of the website or booking process itself.
There is a live chat on the website that I briefly used and it seemed like it was manned by a real person, not a chatbot. It's nice to know that you can get live support if you need it. I didn't have any issues with my order during the week, so I had no need to troubleshoot anything.
Packaging and delivery
My meals arrived each morning in a paper bag containing 2 cardboard bowl-type containers, a snack, and a tea sachet. I like that the majority of items you receive are recyclable, even if they are a pain to clean to ensure they aren't contaminated or stained too badly before being put in a recycling bin.
One thing I think they've missed is not adding the calories and macros for each meal on container labels. The label already includes the meal's name, ingredients, cooking instructions, and (admittedly) a QR code that links to nutritional information, but why not just write that on the label?
Meals arrived promptly each morning, accompanied by SMS or WhatsApp messages from a delivery driver. Note that YoloFoods asks for 2 business days notice before you expect to receive your first order.
Cost and rewards
I opted for the 10-day package, which cost S$369. That means that each delivery cost S$36.90 and each meal costs around S$18.45 (it'll be a little less than that since I also received the snack and tea sachet).
If you want to get a referral discount, use https://bit.ly/yolo15off to get 15% off your first order with YoloFoods.
YoloFoods reward scheme is YOLO Rewards. It includes promotional codes – refer a friend etc. – as well as a tally of your YOLO Coins, a currency earned as you order meals or complete actions (like following them on social media). Coins can later be redeemed to make future orders cheaper. You earn 1 YOLO Coin for every $1 spent, which I think is decent and is similar to the reward schemes of other companies, such as Starbucks.
Full-day calories and macros: 1,390kcal, P95, C127, F56
Let's kick things off with me clearly stating that I'm no food critic. I know what I like and I'm not a picky eater by any means, but I do know that I enjoy punchy flavours and some creativity in the vegetarian dishes I eat. Bearing that in mind, Monday was not a strong start for YoloFoods.
Lunch (Gong Bao Earthmeat with Brown Rice, Spicy Eggplant, Cucumber Salad) was bland and not overly filling and dinner (Harrisa Roasted Tofu Steaks with Roasted Potato, French Beans) had barely any flavour with textures that generally all meshed together into forgettable mouthfuls.
I wasn't happy that I couldn't find out much about Earthmeat, the plant-based meat YoloFoods use. I'm not averse to plant-based meats, I've tried Impossible, Beyond, and Tindle, but I couldn't find much about Earthmeat on YoloFoods' website or (what I think) is Earthmeat's website. This is a concern for someone like myself who likes to know what I'm putting into my body.
The highlight of the day was the snack, Pistachio and Dates Energy Bites, which I thought were tasty, however, I was confused by the calorie count. I've had this snack from YoloFoods before and the calories were listed as 185kcal for three energy bites. This time I received only 2 energy bites that, at a glance, were the same size, but were still listed as 185kcal. I think this touches on a wider issue around how meal delivery companies calculate their calories and macros, but let's leave this for now and pick it up in a separate post.
Full-day calories and macros: 1,405kcal, P101, C110, F63
Tuesday was an improvement from Monday without a doubt. Lunch (Baked Fresh Herb Haloumi with White Beans, Quinoa and Broccoli) included a nice, fresh-tasting vegetable, filling white beans and halloumi, which, while very salty, was a nice punch of flavour. Dinner (Cauliflower Rice with Baked Tempeh and Spinach Egg) was less exciting, but it was nice to get some egg in there and the tempeh was plentiful with a nice sauce – more of that, please!
The Roasted Mixed Nuts snack was made a little less boring by mixing them with berries and grapes, which provided a nice little pre-workout boost. I started enjoying the tea sachet as an alternative drink option around mid-afternoon, especially since the type of tea changes each day – I'd never tried Jasmine tea before.
Full-day calories and macros: 1,400cal, P86, C138, F57
There isn't much to say about Wednesday's lunch (Tomato Mixed Beans Stew with Pasta, Mixed Mushrooms and Green Peas) apart from the fact that it reminded me of something I would have made back when I was a student. This meal wasn't good but it was filling due to the sheer volume of pasta.
Dinner (Lemongrass Tofu Skin and King Oyster Mushroom with Rice Vermicelli and Mixed Veggies Salad) on the other hand was great, with big chunks of mushroom, crunchy textures, and a couple of different carbohydrates. The snack (Oatmeal Cookie) was great too and would satisfy anyone's sweet tooth (you'll learn that I'm a sucker for cookies and doughnuts).
Full-day calories and macros: 1,390kcal, P91, C130, F56
I enjoyed Thursday's lunch (Vegan Red Curry with Coconut Basmati Rice, Long Beans) and dinner (Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodles, Beansprouts). Everything tasted fresh and there were lots of different textures to keep each bite interesting. I was apprehensive about the Ma Po Tofu as I had this once at Botany and thought it was terrible, but I was pleasantly surprised with YoloFood's version of the dish. The snack (Almond Oats Energy Bar) was also tasty and had a moreish texture.
I got into a routine around Thursday based on my energy peaks and troughs: snack before my AM workout, lunch and a protein shake straight after my AM workout, protein shake mid-afternoon plus a cup of tea, and dinner after my PM workout. This evenly spreads out my meals and rewarded me after each workout.
Full-day calories and macros: 1,410kcal, P88, C143, F52
Again, YoloFoods used the mysterious Earthmeat, and no, it wasn't any better in its Rendang form (Rendang Earthmeat with Brown Rice, Roasted Cauliflower). I thought lunch was hugely underwhelming apart from some nicely cooked cauliflower. Each meal is bulked-out with so many carbohydrates, I'd love to see more fresh vegetables or vegetarian proteins instead.
Dinner, Kimchi Stew Tofu with Sweet Potato Noodles, Spinach and Shredded Carrot, was fantastic and perhaps one of the best meals I received all week. The noodles were flavourful, the carrot was fresh-tasting, and the tofu was plentiful – if only all YoloFoods' meals were this good! The snack (Fruits cup) was a medley of chopped pineapple, melons and grapes.
Full-week calories and macros: 6,995kcal, P461, C648, F284
Average daily calories and macros: 1,399kcal, P93, C130, F57
I think YoloFoods could make improvements to its meals and bring down its price per meal. Their website says they "get creative" with a bi-weekly update to their menus, but from what I've seen there's little variation in the meals they list each fortnight. I do think there are great things about their offering – the user experience, rewards and the addition of the snack and tea sachet – however, it isn't enough for me to rush back anytime soon.
Some things I'd like to see addressed are:
Further creativity in the menus with more punchy flavours and diverse textures.
Lower the number of carbohydrates in each meal. I don't demonise them in my diet, I feel they are essential for me to get through my workouts, but an average of 130g of carbohydrates per day for 2 meals is high in my opinion. It would be great if they included more protein and/or healthy fats.
A price that is more in line with competitors. I will admit that I need to research this more (and I shall), however, I feel the price is quite high.
More transparency around how calories and macros are calculated for each meal. If you scanned passed it earlier, I mentioned that I was concerned that the calories and macros listed against Monday's snack may not have been accurate. That feeling stuck with me for the remainder of the week and made me lose some faith in YoloFoods.
PUT THE CALORIES AND MACROS ON THE LABELS!
Meal variety ⭐️⭐️☆☆☆
Plan options ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆☆
Packaging & delivery ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆️☆
Ease of use ⭐️⭐️☆☆☆
Next week, I'll order and review FitThree's s new low-carb vegetarian menu – let's see how they compare to YoloFoods. Meanwhile, if you'd like to keep up to date on the workouts I do and the meals I receive, you can follow me on Instagram.