Which Meal Delivery Service is Right for You? We Investigated

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Meal kit delivery services began as an option for the hurried, with insufficient time to make interesting, healthy meals. The pandemic has supercharged demand for this service, as people avoid trips to the supermarket and eating out. Projections are now that the meal kit delivery business will be valued at nearly $20 billion by 2027

We looked at six of the most popular meal kit services today, weighing affordability, time savings, and menu variety.




Blue Apron


Blue Apron might be the best-known company providing meal kit deliveries. Blue Apron has a wide variety of interesting recipes, ethnic foods, vegetarian and many other options.

Setting Blue Apron apart from its competitors is its online marketplace, offering a myriad of sleek cooking implements for your kitchen, such as aprons (blue, of course), fancy Japanese knives, and cutting boards.

It even offers wine shipments delivered monthly, with the feature of creating food and wine pairings according to your meal choices.

Gift cards range from $60 up to $240, or you can customize the amount, making this a great gift for friends or family.

Pros
  • Responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Meal plans for two are reasonably priced at about $10 a serving
  • Online marketplace
  • Shipping included standard on orders over $50
  • Ice packs and packaging are recyclable
  • Wine pairings and shipments

Cons
  • There are lots and lots of tiny little packages included
  • Instructions can be extremely detailed




Freshly


Freshly’s focus is the singleton, with meals designed to be eaten by one person in one sitting. Since 2012, Freshly has made minimal food waste and sustainability a priority. Its 30+ dishes are cooked by chefs and sent fresh to avoid the crowds during these uncertain times. 

Pros
  • Meals are focused on the single person
  • No prep time, meals ready in three minutes
  • The more meals you purchase, the lower the price per meal is 
  • Gift options are available, starting at $51.95

Cons
  • Recipes seem more basic, less exotic food
  • The basic per-meal price is higher than some other options


HelloFresh


HelloFresh has a nice variety of plans, ranging from Meat & Veggies to Family Friendly to Pescatarian. With 23 recipes to choose from every week, getting bored is not on the menu.

Every delivery includes easy-to-follow recipes, clear nutritional information, high-quality, farm-sourced ingredients, and convenient refrigerator-stackable meal kits, limiting your trips to the grocery store for weekly meals. 

Pros
  • Plans are flexible
  • Deliveries are three times per week, instead of just once
  • A very diverse menu using farm-sourced ingredients

Cons
  • Shipping at $8.99 per week for three meals for two people is a tad pricier than the other services.




Gobble


Launched in 2010, Gobble provides gourmet meals requiring zero prep time. All ingredients are already fully marinated, sliced and seasoned, and designed to be cooked in just one pan.

Gobble gift cards begin at $75, ranging up to $350, although the amount can be customized, making the perfect birthday gift.

Gobble offers new recipes every week, with low carb, vegetarian and other options. “The reason it works is because it has the freshness of cooking from scratch with the speed of takeout,” founder and CEO Ooshma Garg said.

Pros
  • No preparation, and your meal is ready in 15 minutes
  • Only one pan to clean up
  • A large menu to choose from 

Cons
  • Meals can be pricier than other services


Related: Life Hack: How To Can or Pickle Fruits and Veggies All Year



Home Chef


Home Chef offers meal kit preparation for all levels of cooking ability, customized to your taste, and extremely affordable per serving. Meal prep time for more than 30 meal choices ranges from five minutes to 15-minute options. 

Gift cards to Home Chef are available in amounts of $65, $125, $250, or a customizable amount, making this a great gift and food service alternative for the elderly and immuno-compromised during COVID times.

Pros
  • Different levels of meal prep, from the very simple to the more complicated, for the chefs among us
  • Great menu with more than 30 meal choices per week
  • The lowest per-meal price from among our six options

Cons
  • Not many gluten-free options




Sunbasket


Sunbasket stands apart from other meal kit delivery companies due to its commitment to provide 100% organic foods and its sustainability mission to achieve zero food waste. Most of the company’s packaging is already recyclable or compostable. Sunbasket delivers approximately 1,000 pounds of food to several food banks across the country every week.

There is a cornucopia of lifestyle meal options, including paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, Mediterranean, pescatarian, and several more, many of which can be ready in a speedy six minutes!

Pros
  • Organic ingredients
  • Mentality of sustainability
  • The widest variety of lifestyle/menu options
  • Dinners start at a reasonable price per serving, which is fantastic given the organic ingredients.
  • A low once-a-week delivery fee
  • Also offers breakfast, lunch, and snacks

Cons
  • The website does not quickly show you how to purchase a gift card


Conclusion


Focusing on different niche segments, the six meal kit delivery companies we reviewed here should provide you with plenty of options from which to choose. They provide a great alternative to eating out or trips to the grocery store to keep you and your loved ones not only safe but healthy, too! Bon appétit!


Related: Create Your Own Crunchwrap Supreme With This Easy Tortilla Hack!

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