Thistle vs Daily Harvest: Which to Go With, When?

If you are trying to decide between Thistle vs Daily Harvest, this article is for you.

I’m a big fan of smoothies and quick ready-to-eat meals. Years ago I used to have time for meal prep, but with 3 young children this just isn’t practical.

I’ve tried both of these services AND our editorial team completed a full hands on review of Thistle and Daily Harvest (update from our original a a few years back).

Given our collective experience, I created this comparison to help readers figure out WHICH one to go with if you have to pick just one service.

But first, I’ll highlight some of the key differences at a glance here…

Main Differences Between Thistle vs Daily Harvest

Here’s how I see the key differences between these healthy food delivery services:

  • Thistle offers a wider range of meal options, including ready-to-eat meals, juices, and snacks, whereas Daily Harvest focuses primarily on smoothies, bowls, and on-the-go plant-based meals.
  • Thistle focuses on providing balanced and nutritionally dense meals, whereas Daily Harvest emphasizes convenience and quick preparation.
  • Thistle offers local delivery in select areas, whereas Daily Harvest delivers nationwide.
  • Thistle provides a rotating menu that changes weekly, whereas Daily Harvest offers a variety of core options that are available year-round.
  • Thistle offers a subscription-based model with flexible delivery options, whereas Daily Harvest also offers a subscription service but with the ability to customize meal selections and adjust delivery frequency.

The Thistle Value Proposition

Thistle is renowned for its fresh, healthy meals delivered to your doorstep with virtually no prep time involved. Its offerings range from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, wellness shots, and juices.

Thistle’s globally inspired menu is developed macrobiotically with an emphasis on plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, and organic ingredients.

If you’ve struggled with eating an ENJOYABLE plant-based diet, Thistle is a veritable magic trick.

The Daily Harvest Value Proposition

Initially known for delivering frozen fruit cups for smoothie preparation, Daily Harvest has expanded its portfolio to include harvest bowls, soups, flatbreads, and snacks.

Its meals are plant-based, vegan, and require minimal preparation. In short, Daily Harvest is all about eating healthy, on-the-go.

If you’ve tried meal delivery services with lots of meal prep in the past, Daily Harvest is the opposite of that!

Our Experience with Both: Unboxings

Our editorial team actually tried BOTH services, with an extensive meal test from ordering, receiving shipments, to preparing and consuming the meals.

Here’s how they looked:

Thistle Unboxing & Experience

Daily Harvest Unboxing & Experience

For the full details on the actual experience, reactions, and thoughts on both of these, check out the complete Daily Harvest Review & Hungryroot Review

Overall Take: Lacey on our team wasn’t very impressed with the meal quality of Dailu Harvest and I tend to agree. They can get soggy and depressing looking. The drinks are probably the best part of Daily Harvest, though so if you need some meals I think Thistle is the clear winner.

Thistle vs Daily Harvest Cost

Daily Harvest generally has lower cost per item, but keep in mind that you aren’t getting a full “dinner” plan (although I happily eat grain bowls for dinner!).

  • Lattes: $5.99
  • Forager Bowls: $6.79
  • Mylk & Bites: $7.99
  • Smoothies & Soups: $8.49
  • Harvest Bowls, Flatbread & Grains: $9.79
  • Pasta: 9.79

Daily Harvest also offers volume discounts:

  • 9-11 items: $5 discount
  • 12-23 items: $10 discount
  • 24-26 items: $25 discount

This is where it get’s interesting. I personally think Thistle provides more value per calorie but a higher “per meal” ticket price: their plans start at…

  • Vegan Lunch & Dinner: $16.32 per meal
  • Meat Lunch & Dinner: $18.77 per meal
  • Breakfast: $14.14 per meal.

You do also get additional volume discounts for more meals in your subscription plan, incrementally bringing down the cost.

At a Glance Summary

Here’s a quick overview of how Daily Harvest and Thistle are positioned:

Advantages of Daily HarvestAdvantages of Thistle
Offers a wide variety of smoothies, bowls, and plant-based mealsProvides a rotating menu with a diverse range of ready-to-eat meals, juices, and snacks
Emphasizes convenience with pre-portioned meals that are quick and easy to prepareFocuses on providing ready-to-eat meals that require no preparation
Offers a flexible subscription service that allows customization of meal selections and delivery frequencyProvides a subscription-based model with flexible delivery options
Uses organic and whole food ingredients to create nutritious and flavorful optionsPrioritizes using organic and sustainably sourced ingredients
Provides a nationwide delivery serviceOffers local delivery in select areas
Offers a variety of add-ons such as snacks, lattes, and desserts to complement the main meal offeringsFocuses on providing healthy meals without additional add-ons
Convenient for individuals with busy lifestyles or limited time for meal preparationSuitable for individuals looking for a diverse menu with a focus on ready-to-eat options
Suitable for individuals seeking plant-based and vegan meal optionsSuitable for individuals with specific dietary preferences or restrictions
Provides options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacksOffers a range of meals, juices, and snacks for various meal times

Final Take: Thistle or Daily Harvest?

Both of these meal delivery services are similarly focused on whole foods, plant-based nutrition, and sustainable sourcing.

They are great services and I can’t fault anything specific about their menus or process.

The real distinction for me comes down to convenience vs value.

My Bottom Line:

  • Go with Thistleif you are looking for a sit down meal or feeding more than one person, Thistle is the way to go for a plant-forward diet. It’s also more value per calorie (plans start at $15-17 per meal).
  • Go with Daily Harvest if you prefer smoothies, snacks, and on-the-go meals like bowls and are looking to fill the gaps for when you CANNOT sit down or prep a meal. Daily Harvest is also a better option if you want to pick out exactly what you want, whereas Thistle has rotating menus.

Which Did I Prefer Personally? I personally prefer the fresher and more substantial meals offered by Thistle here.

Neither of These Fit Your Needs? Check Out Our Meal Delivery Guides

If Thistle and Daily Harvest actually aren’t quite what you are looking for, consider these guides based on specific use cases to see if you can find a fit:

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