Should you buy food gifts from Harry & David?
Here's what you need to know about the gourmet food company
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Chocolate-dipped strawberries? Golden-wrapped pears? Candy-coated popcorn you’ll form a love-hate relationship with? Harry & David sells it all—plus a lot more—on its massive online marketplace. It’s known for its gourmet gifts and snack-filled baskets, and while there’s no denying the beauty of its offerings, you’re likely wondering: Is Harry & David actually any good?
We put it to the test. Over the holidays, we tested a number of Harry & David gift towers filled with the company’s best sellers, like Moose Munch and, of course, pears. For Valentine’s Day, we put the donut bouquet and festive cookies to the test. And to round it out, we tried chocolate-covered congratulatory cookies (my job is so hard).
To make our full assessment of Harry & David, we’re looking at the quality of its products, the quantity of offerings on its site, pricing, ease of ordering, and any hidden fees you may accrue while shopping their goodies.
What is Harry & David?
Harry & David describes itself as, “America’s premier choice for gourmet gifts”—we can’t vouch for that claim, but we can say that Harry & David sells a lot of gift baskets and assortments for just about any holiday or event you can think of, some of which are cult-favorites among loyal reviewers.
Harry & David is one of many gourmet food gift brands owned by 1-800-Flowers, so some of its inventory (like Moose Munch) is sold across its sister brands, like Simply Chocolate, Cheryl’s, Shari’s Berries, and Wolferman’s. Essentially, Harry & David has its staple products, but you’ll find similar ones at other brands under the 1-800-Flowers umbrella.
How much does Harry & David cost?
Much like its product selection, prices on Harry & David are all over the board. You can snag some high-quality, tasty treats for under $35, or you can splurge for larger baskets and robust offerings for over $100. You can filter products by price range, as well, meaning you can customize your purchase to your own budget.
What does Harry & David sell?
There are six main categories Harry & David operates within: pears and fruit, chocolates and sweets, baked goods, gourmet food and wine, pantry goods, and flowers and plants. You can order individual assortments within each of the categories, or you can spring for a pre-made holiday package or gift basket that may feature a few items from each of the company’s pillars.
When it comes to gift giving, the holiday collections and gift baskets are where Harry & David truly shines. In our experience, Harry & David does a phenomenal job with its presentation, offering sleek, colorful, and fun packaging for any occasion. The gift baskets themselves include a great selection from each of the core categories, meaning your giftee gets a sampling of the best Harry & David has to offer.
In particular, we had great experiences with the Valentine’s Day Cookie Gift Box, which served a unique variety of cookies that actually tasted good (not just sugar cookies with buttercream), and the Pear Express Train Gift, which not only doubled as home decor, but also introduced us to some of our favorite Harry & David products (yes, we’re still talking about Moose Munch).
What we love about Harry & David
Harry & David is known for its pears, and while those are great, there are many other things we enjoyed about this service:
There are lots of products to choose from. Not many sites sell fruit, chocolates, pretzels, teddy bears, wine, and even flowers, but Harry & David does—and it manages to pull it all off without dropping the ball along the way. It also highly benefits from the fact that it can share products with its sister companies, including Simply Chocolate, Cheryl’s Cookies, and 1-800-Flowers.
The treats are incredible. I’m a girl who likes her desserts, which means I’m a tough critic when it comes to anything sweet or chocolate-covered. When I received the white chocolate-covered pretzels, they were gone within a day. Mint truffles didn’t last much longer than that, while I still—to this day—dream of Moose Munch. The treats are also tightly packaged, so you don’t have to worry about broken snacks or stale cookies going to your giftee.
Shipping is a breeze. I received shipments from Harry & David during two of the most popular gifting holidays—Christmas and Valentine’s Day—and no matter the shipment, I got it on time and in perfect condition. That’s pretty impressive, considering Harry & David is shipping perishables of all kinds, from meats and cheeses to chocolates and popcorn.
It’s great for gifting. Not sure what to get your mom’s best friend, or your husband’s aunt? You can’t really go wrong with a gift basket, especially one that contains so much variety. Plus, Harry & David steps up its game during holidays, providing gorgeous holiday-specific packaging to supplement the goods and provide an extra layer of fun to your giftee.
What we don’t love about Harry & David
You can’t win everyone over, especially when you sell such a variety of goods ranging from foods to drinks to plants. Here’s where we think Harry & David could improve.
There are lots of products to choose from. That’s right, the sheer number of gifts on Harry & David is both a blessing and a curse. I recommend shopping from its Top Rated products if you’re looking for a great gift—otherwise you’ll end up deep in the Harry & David inventory, wondering why they sell full hams (and how you got there). It can become overwhelming, but if you know where to look, you can find something perfect within just a few minutes.
The quality wasn’t always consistent. We’ve tested several packages and products from Harry & David, and while they were great 9 times out of 10, we did receive some products that didn’t impress us. Namely, we were disappointed with the Valentine’s Day Donut Bouquet. Unlike its website picture, the donuts did not come pre-arranged—they came in a large box with tissue paper, meaning I had to arrange it myself. If I sent this as a gift, I’d be upset if my giftee had to arrange their own bouquet of donuts, because frankly, if I didn’t have to take a picture for work, I wouldn’t have even done it myself. The donuts themselves were more like cake pops than donuts, and while they were pretty, they didn’t do much for me in the taste department.
Things don’t always look like they do on the website. As with the donut bouquet, you’re not always getting exactly what you see on the Harry & David website. Pictures on the site have been arranged to showcase exactly what’s inside, you’ll just have to do a little extra work to replicate that special look and feel. Cookies, for example, come in individually-wrapped plastic bags, and while they’re incredibly tasty, they’re not as visually appealing as they look on the site.
Should you try Harry & David?
Ultimately, Harry & David is a great place to shop for gifts, whether you’re hunting for something to buy for a coworker, recognition for business partners, gifts for teachers, or treats to bring your neighbors. Personally, I wouldn’t purchase a gift basket for myself from Harry & David, but I’d gladly welcome one from anyone in my life.
If you’re shopping for yourself, I’d recommend finding a highly-rated product and buying that instead of a variety pack. Opt for their famous pears if you love fruit; pick up some truffles if you need some chocolate; and if you want to take your tastebuds on an adventure they’ll never forget, buy Moose Munch, which I loved so much I ended up hiding it from my husband to make sure he wouldn't touch it.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.