Yeah I completely understand our son and his wife getting it, he's away nearly every week until November this year. And it's so easy for cooking for 4 or 5.
Tonight's is crumbly cheese and pesto hassel back chicken.
I'm like you I wouldn't ever get it, but hey, it's free.
I did an experimental run of Hello Fresh. I guess they really are International. Not sure where they started.
The meals are a mixed bag - but I leaned into the vegetarian Mexican ones. It is really not remotely cost effective for someone who lives alone. They come with packages containing two duplicate meals, and you can either cook up the two servings at once (saving leftovers for another meal) or cook it up twice. This will depend on your mood, and what the food is. I usually got two servings out of the dish although i do remember one dish that was so sparse I ate both servings at once.
I guess one positive is that if you are making a certain dish, you don't suddenly discover you are out of a prime ingredient for it - running out to a real supermarket is an hour and a half round trip deal, and that's counting getting to an empty checkout lane. Everything you need is included.
If you order from Hello Fresh, you still NEED to cook, so if the idea is to avoid cooking, ain't happenin'. Instead, you have to pay more attention to the printed recipe and timings. The sauces tend to be pre-made, which saves a little time. The fact that certain things are not already combined with various foods is actually helpful - one dish I ordered included a green bean almondine. While almonds are one of the few tree nuts I can eat, I cannot STAND them in beans. I was able to set those almond slivers aside and not use them. (I may someday use them in something where the almonds can cook for ages and mush into a specific dish, thus releasing flavor).
I did discover some interesting recipes and ideas, and hope to cook more in certain styles than I did before. But I can't see this service as a long-term use for me. There is a lot of packaging waste although some is recyclable. As for food waste, between chickens and compost, most of that is taken care of at home here with anything going bad in the fridge. I'll note that EVERYTHING they shipped was fresh, and most of it tasted fresh (there's nothing that can be done in a promising way about hot house tomatoes!). If I were to be ordering them now, in the height of tomato season, their tomatoes would end up with the chickens and I would use those from the farmer's market (as my tomatoes didn't do well this summer).
In my case, its just the wife and I, so the portions are perfect. Many of the meals wouldn't fare well as leftovers (such as the warm salads with roasted root veggies and arugula). My wife is not much of a cook, she prefers baking because its all about precise measurements (she's an accountant LOL), but she doesn't mind cooking these meals as all ingredients are included and the instructions are thorough. She is probably the target demographic.
Has it saved us money in the long run? Nope.
Has it introduced some new recipes? yep.
Has it forced me to eat more veggies? yep.
Left entirely up to me, would I continue the service? Nope, but happy wife, happy life...