The Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David is the best gift basket we tasted, and we recommend it for most people. The fruit was ripe and had good flavor and the cheese and crackers were also rated highly for their flavor. Though other boxes and baskets came with more variety or more food, nothing compared to the taste and quality of the Harry & David basket.
In our testing, we rated taste as the most important factor when ranking the best baskets. We had a panel of 20 testers sample and rate five products from each of the 11 gift baskets we tested to determine which baskets had the overall best-tasting food.
After averaging all of the food ratings from each of the testers, Harry & David’s box had an average rating of 3.22 out of 4, the highest rating of all the baskets. The next closest rating was 3.0 from igourmet.com. Because it led the pack, we gave Harry & David an A+ in the taste test.
Of the many food items that our testers tried, the pears and the sweet onion relish from this basket were the best. Our testers thought the pears were perfectly ripe and just the right level of firmness. Many testers were skeptical of the sweet onion relish, but almost all of them loved the taste and texture once they tried it.
Like the best gift basket companies, Harry & David offer vegan and kosher baskets, and you can easily search for these baskets on its website. You can also search for fruit-only or gluten-free options. The best gift basket companies offer these types of baskets and Harry & David had the most variety and they were easy to find.
The Harry & David box was different from most of the other gift baskets we tested because it came in a box. While most of the baskets we ordered require you to take the items out of plastic wrap and remove tape or glue, this box had all the food items separated by packing hay inside the box and including gel packs to keep the fruit and cheese cold. There was also a card inside the box with information about the fruit, something that no other basket we tested included.
If you’re trying to wow the recipient of your gift basket, this box is a little less fancy-looking than other baskets on first glance. The plain cardboard box isn’t as impressive as some of the wicker baskets other services like Wine Country Gift Baskets uses. However, the difference in taste more than makes up for the lack of a reusable wicker basket.
Harry & David is part of 1-800-Flowers.com but offers its own selection of gifts through its website. In our research, we found over 200 different gift baskets or boxes that you can choose from. This is a much wider selection to pick from than many of the websites we reviewed like FTD.
This company accepts credit cards, PayPal, American Express, Masterpass and Chase Pay. As with all gift baskets, the price you see on the website isn’t the price you’ll end up paying because of taxes and delivery fees.
For an extra fee Harry & David will ship overnight, and you can pay extra to have priority overnight shipping. You can also choose express shipping or regular ground shipping. If you are trying to send a gift to someone in the military, this company will deliver to APO/FPO addresses, something that not many other companies will do. You can also ship to some international destinations, including Canada, U.S. territories, Germany and the U.K.
One downside to using Harry & David is there aren’t a lot of extras that you can include in your order. With many of the gift baskets and boxes, you can choose to include a bottle of wine, but other companies allow you to include greeting cards, stuffed animals, extra chocolates and other fun extras.
The 1-800-Flowers brand offers excellent customer service and an intuitive, easy-to-use website. There is a chat feature on the website that you can use to get help with your questions, and you can search in the FAQs for answers to your questions. In our cold-calling and testing of the chat feature, representatives responded quickly and answered all our questions.
If you’re looking to send a gift basket, the best basket you can send is the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David. In our experience, the apples and pears in this box were perfectly ripe and all of the food items combined to make this the best-tasting gift basket we tested. With the ability to ship overnight and a choice of over 200 baskets, this service lets you send a thoughtful gift to anyone in your life, no matter how urgent the occasion.