Editor’s note: June 22, 2022
We’ve removed our recommendation for our previous top smoothie delivery service pick, Daily Harvest, after the company issued a recall for one of its products (French Lentil + Leek Crumbles). This product was not recommended or featured in tests, but we think it’s best to avoid the brand until we learn more. We’ve reached out to Daily Harvest for comment and will update this post as we receive more information.
For a lot of us, “smoothie” is shorthand for “health.” The name implies ingesting lots of fruits, veggies, and a variety of powder-based nutrients in one (presumably) tasty package.
If you’re looking to add more wellness to your menu, you could buy ingredients like frozen fruit, protein powder, açaí pouches, and spinach yourself. Or, you could subscribe to a smoothie kit service. These send bagged, boxed, frozen or bottled deliveries of fruit, vegetables, proteins, right to your door, pre-made or ready to blend.
Just like meal kits and subscription boxes of other kinds, smoothie subscription services are seeing an increase in sales due to a pandemic-induced work-from-home resurgence. Smoothie kits, in particular, tripled their market size over the past two years. We put the most popular smoothies—and our blenders—to the test to find the best smoothie subscriptions. After a lot of sips (and a little brain freeze), we landed on Daily Harvest as the best option for most people.
Here’s the TL;DR on how the best smoothie delivery services stack up:
Are Smoothies Actually Healthy?
Yes, but it depends on what goes into them. (It helps to make them at home.)
Overall, smoothies that contain fruits and vegetables have a positive association with health benefits. One study found that consuming smoothies with carotenoid-rich ingredients—that is, Current Trends in Biomedical Engineering and Biosciences “The Anti-aging Efficacy of Antioxidants” View Source that can be found in foods that have yellow, orange, and red pigments from plants—helped Evolution and Human Behavior “Impact of fresh fruit smoothie consumption on apparent health of Asian faces” View Source . In another, green smoothies that contained fruit, leafy greens, and water were found likely to PDXScholar “The Effects of Green Smoothie Consumption on Blood Pressure and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial ” View Source because they helped participants lose weight. Research also shows that smoothies with Advances in Nutrition “Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables” View Source .
But although “smoothie” and “healthy” seem aligned, it’s not always true that smoothies are healthy. They can be a sneaky source of sugar, especially if you use fruit juice as a base (or buy smoothies from a place that doesn’t disclose its ingredients). Some sources claim that blending can Diabetes UK “Fruit Juices and Smoothies” View Source , making it less healthy—and less satiating, considering that fiber helps you feel full. However, if the Mayo Clinic “Get Your Fill of Fruits” View Source , it should maintain its health benefits. All the smoothie subscription kits we tested contain whole fruits and veggies, though they’re all dried, pre-made, or frozen.
Typically, nutrition labels for food and beverages (which you’ll find online with most of the brands we tested) will list the number of grams of sugar and percentage of daily value of added sugar present in the food. Added cane sugar is the big one to look out for, although some brands may also contain syrup or honey. Most people should aim to keep their American Heart Association “How Much Sugar is Too Much?” View Source , according to the American Heart Association. For this test, we only tried brands that avoid added sugar.
“Smoothies could provide a powerhouse of nutrients. But you could also get more calories than you might realize,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN.
If you plan to use a smoothie as a meal replacement (rather than a quick snack), make sure it’ll actually fill you up. To do this, Taub-Dix says it’s important to focus on a trifecta of elements: protein (like flax seeds, unsweetened nut butter, or protein powder), a healthier liquid (like unsweetened almond, soy, or oat milk), and fruits and vegetables. “This ensures that you’re getting protein, carbs, and healthy fats to keep you feeling fuller for longer,” she says.
Our Rating: Healthy
If you have a clear idea of what’s in your smoothie, and it doesn’t contain much added sugar, smoothies can be part of a healthy diet.
The Best Smoothie Delivery Services
- Delivery options: Breakfast; Breakfast + Lunch; Breakfast, Lunch + Reset; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner + Reset
- Cost: $70 a week minimum, $195 a week maximum
The Evidence Test Score: Healthy-ish
Ness believes this service and/or product can provide a health benefit for certain individuals based on their individual circumstances.
Read more about we use The Evidence Test.
- Offers savory food in addition to smoothies
- Nutrient transparency
- Sometimes come frozen and chunkier than expected
Smoothies not enough for you? If so, you should consider Splendid Spoon, which also offers lunch bowl options like soups and grain bowls. You can’t order smoothies alone (the smallest package includes five smoothies and five lunch bowls), but we thought the options included were delicious and nutrient-rich; as a bonus, they’re also vegan and gluten-free. Unlike the other smoothie kits we tested, Splendid Spoon smoothies come pre-mixed. This means that all you have to do to get them ready to drink is pull them out of the fridge and give them a good shake.
However, it also means that if a box is delayed—which happened to us when it was stuck in transit for a week due to postal service issues—it could arrive in a chunkier and thus less optimal state, due to being kept cold with ice packs versus the fridge. But the flavors, like coconut lime, mint chip, and mango guava, were great.
Like Daily Harvest, Splendid Spoon makes its nutritional details known online alongside each product. Most options do not contain added sugar—some do, though, so it’s wise to check the ingredient list before adding it to your basket. However, you also don’t get to choose your own milk or protein additives—each one comes pre-mixed from a plant-based milk base—which makes the options a bit less customizable. It’s also the most expensive offering in the bunch.
- Delivery options: 20, 30 or 60 smoothie pack (monthly subscription)
- Cost: $60 for 20 smoothies
- Lowest-cost option
- Clear nutrition info
- Fewer veggies than other smoothies
A surprise hit on our list, Kencko smoothies come in a small box. Each smoothie arrives as a powdered mixture made by freeze-dried and powdered organic fruits and vegetables. At $60 for 20 smoothies, it’s the lowest-cost smoothie option we tried. It’s also, arguably, one of the most delicious. To mix a smoothie, you simply add one packet of powder to the milk of your choice (many people also opt to add protein for a pre- or post-workout drink) and shake it up. This leaves you with a smoothie that tastes more like a protein shake than a classic smoothie.
The brand provides nutritional information for all of their flavors online. These options are the lowest-calorie option we tried and contain no added sugars. The options are not quite as robust as the ones from Daily Harvest, nor do they contain as wide a range of vegetables like we saw in other brands. But we found that our kids were especially big fans of these easy-to-blend options—and parents loved them too, because they pack a sneaky fruit-and-vegetable punch.
How We Got Here
Who Did This Work
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with 10 years of experience covering science, health and psychology. I’ve written product reviews for publications like Reviewed, Wirecutter and Slate, and you can find my writing in the New York Times and the Guardian. I was previously an editor at Wirecutter, where I covered parenting gear, outdoor gear and travel apparel as a writer and editor.
Nutrition consultant Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, also weighed into this guide by providing guidance on the purported nutritional benefits of smoothies.
Our Testing Process
First, we spent 10 hours researching smoothie kits. We read online reviews, peer-reviewed studies, and articles to understand what makes a “good” smoothie kit. Then we made a list of the top 20 options and narrowed that list down to five smoothie kits to order and test. Each kit was tested by four busy nurses at our local hospital and my family. We blended them with different kinds of milk, took them to dance classes, distributed them to family and friends on weekend trips away, and offered them to our kids as a bedtime snack. Then we used key metrics to score each kit and eventually ended up with one clear winner.
To learn more, read the smoothie kit test notes.
How to Pick a Smoothie Kit
Who should buy smoothie delivery kits? Anyone considering buying a subscription to a smoothie service is probably looking for a convenient way to get added nutrition. This kind of service appeals to athletes, parents, and anyone who is looking to get healthier. Smoothies are a splurge purchase for most of us, so you may also be considering this kind of purchase if you’re feeling down in the dumps and looking for a dietary pick-me-up.
Which features matter most when buying smoothie delivery services?
- Nutrition: These smoothies should add nutritional value to your diet through fruits, vegetables, proteins and supplements. But watch out for added sugar! This should show up as a line in the nutrition facts labeled as “added sugar” and may list “cane sugar” or “syrup” in the ingredient list.
- Transparency: Authentic information about ingredients is key when you’re buying into a smoothie kit service. If you’re buying one of these subscriptions, you should know what’s in it. That information should be readily available online.
- Price: Subscriptions range from $2-$10 per serving, with some services offering smoothie bowls or lunch offerings in addition to smoothies.
- Ease of blending: You shouldn’t need to buy anything beyond a basic blender and a milk of your choice to use this subscription.
- Taste: Although it’s subjective, a good smoothie subscription should taste great!
- Subscription ease: We tested with these questions in mind: Is this service easy to manage online? Can you skip a week when you need to, without too much trouble? Are you reminded to pick your menu at certain times so you have a choice? Are there surprise price hikes?
Smoothie Delivery Services You Can Skip
- Delivery options: Monthly subscription
- Cost: $127 for 20 smoothies per month, featuring 4 flavors (variety box or berry/chocolate)
- Easy to put together
- Lack of variety
When you purchase a Smoothie Box subscription, you choose from three different box types versus picking from a menu. Each box comes with four flavors (five smoothies each) and you can choose to add in protein powders if you’d like for an extra $32.50. The smoothies come bagged with the ingredients frozen; you add them to a blender with the milk of your choice, and can doctor them up with your own nut butters, yogurts, and other protein options.
However, Smoothie Box’s smoothie flavors are lacking. They all tasted fairly bland and chalky, and the flavor became boring after the first few sips. Most of our testers ranked these as their least favorite options. The brand was also unable to provide the variety of smoothie flavors we picked at the outset, so nearly half of our box was the same flavor option (“berry,” which tasted like a mix of chalky citrus and sweetness).
You can find nutritional information online for each smoothie type, but some just list the ingredients, not the full nutrition label. The online experience was less easy to navigate than some of the other options we tried because the subscription was less customizable. Overall, we think there are better options on the market for smoothie subscriptions that provide a tasty experience while also offering nutritional benefits.
- Delivery options: 9, 12, or 24 smoothies per week
- Cost: $62 a week minimum
- Easy to order and blend
- Funky taste
- Nutrition info lacks detail
Revive Superfoods offers a similar experience to Daily Harvest: Smoothies arrive in cups that you empty into a blender with the liquid of your choice, then pop back into the cup for easy drinking. You can choose your menu online, and each weekly order comes with nine evocatively-named smoothies. We tried smoothies like Morning Mocha, Pineapple + Greens, and Strawberry Zen. The online experience is easy to navigate, and nutritional information for each smoothie is available online. Most options clocked in between 15 and 17 grams of sugar (none added) and about 200 calories. However, testers ranked these flavors dead last. This is likely due to the ambitious—if ultimately unsuccessful—presence of vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, and squash in smoothies meant to taste like coffee or fruit.
- Delivery options: Weekly (choose from 6, 9, 12 or 24 smoothies) or monthly (24) deliveries
- Cost: $67 a week for 6 smoothies
- Good user ordering experience
- Readily available nutritional facts
- Some smoothies melted and re-froze en route
It’s easy to side-eye a product that gets hawked by influencers at a super-high frequency. Like, say, Daily Harvest. But Daily Harvest proved to be our favorite smoothie subscription service of the bunch. The smoothies we received were delicious and easy to blend, with simple ingredients and no added sugars.
Daily Harvest smoothies come in cups with frozen ingredients, which can be blended with the milk of your choice. And yes, you’ll need a blender to get the smoothies as smooth as possible! You also have the freedom to add protein powders or nut butters (again, you’ll need to buy these) before adding the smoothie back into the cup it came in and snapping the lid back on. Compared to the other smoothies we tested, Daily Harvest’s options were the most tasty.
We tried the 6-smoothie subscription, which allows you to choose from a menu of about a dozen flavor options. Both the Mint + Cacao (made with real mint!) and Strawberry + Peach smoothies tasted like milkshakes, plus the nutritional details for each were readily available online. Most, but not all, of Daily Harvest’s smoothie options are fortified with oats, chia seeds, açaí, or other nutrient-heavy smoothie backbones.
The smoothie with the highest amount of sugar contained 18 grams and the smoothie with the least amount of sugar contained 15 grams, but Daily Harvest says it doesn’t add any extra sugars or syrups. Daily Harvest also uses whole fruits and veggies in its smoothies, which is reflected in the smoothies’ fiber content—Mint + Cacao contains 8 grams and Strawberry + Peach contains 6 grams. Not every smoothie contains a high amount of protein, but you can seek some out on the menu. (The Cherry + Almond smoothie, for example, contains 11 grams.)
Daily Harvest’s user experience was also the best of the bunch. Each week’s subscription comes with six smoothies, and we were able to choose from a variety of smoothie choices online. Deliveries came on time, were easy to skip, and we could even cancel without too much drama.
One small qualm: Some smoothies tended to melt, then refreeze en route, making it tough to get the ingredients out of the cup and into the blender. We ended up needing to thaw the frozen fruit for 10 minutes before we could make our smoothies. It’s also not the cheapest option in the mix, but it’s not the most expensive. Overall, we think Daily Harvest hits all the marks for a convenient, tasty smoothie subscription service.
- Bonnie Taub-Dix, interview, February 25, 2022
- Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables, Advances in Nutrition, July 2012
- The Effects of Green Smoothie Consumption on Blood Pressure and Health-Related Quality of Life. Alternative and Complementary Medicine Commons. June 2013.
- Impact of fresh fruit smoothie consumption on apparent health of Asian faces. Evolution and Human Behavior. July 2017.
Our research and review process is intended for informational purposes only—never as a substitute for medical treatment, diagnosis, or advice. Recommendations or information found on this site do not infer a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have questions about how a product, service, or intervention may impact your individual physical or mental health. Our evaluations of products, services, and interventions have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. Information and research about health changes frequently. Therefore, some details or advice on this site may not be up-to-date with current recommendations. The Nessie is an independent publication and is not in any way affiliated with the production or creation of products, providers, services, or interventions featured in reviews or articles on the site.