If you ever have the issue of buying a tonne of food when grocery shopping and getting home only to think “what actual meals can I put together with this?” then meal kits may be the answer. Many people who have just been introduced to the term “meal kits” may falsely believe that this is a temporary COVID-19 phenomenon — a contact-free way of having food delivered to the home as we have seen with Canada’s best meal kit companies.
Whilst it’s true that meal kits do help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they are so much more than this. When using a meal kit, you essentially shop recipes online as opposed to many arbitrary ingredients. This helps the customer plan their meals and thus giving them some solid foresight on their diet, and the best meal kit companies will have a wide variety of recipes.
When the ingredients arrive, they are measured out specifically for the recipe. So, if you picked a lasagna, you will only receive enough cheese for this one lasagna. So, not only is every ingredient meaningful to a meal, but even the quantity is. This is as close to no-waste shopping as it gets. Meal kits know this angle is useful among the environmentalists, and thus go the extra mile to avoid plastic and such.
Meal kits gained popularity particularly among affluent students as well as busy working people. The one thing we all struggle with is having enough time, making meal kits a common solution for people from all walks of life. Whilst they’re not the cheapest way to shop, they can actually save money in preventing you from buying snacks — they simply do not sell them.
If you’re looking to have your grocery shopping delivered via meal kits to avoid the physical trips to the store, then take a look at the currency best meal kit delivery services around the world.
Canada: Best meal kits
Rated #1 is HelloFresh. Hello Fresh is a veteran in this infant industry, with it being founded in 2011 and currently operates with over 4,000 employees. The company is actually German and didn’t expand to Canada until 2016, where it bought out Chefs Plate a couple of years later.
Hello Fresh is one of the highest-rated meal kit companies due to their versatility of having plans for singles, novice cooks, picky eaters, and vegetarians. The menu is one of the largest of any meal kit company, and there’s a very large delivery service area — it’s the best company for those with strict diets or allergies.
Hello Fresh is conscious of health, so it provides nutritional information very clearly so that calorie-watchers can be mindful of what to pick. This is one of the largest meal kit companies in the world, and it serves every country on this list.
As previously mentioned, Hello Fresh acquired Chefs Plate in 2016. Whilst it is the parent company, Chefs plate still acts as an autonomous business — but we know it’s in good hands. Pricing is among the lowest in Canada, and many of the services are similar to Hello Fresh.
There are plenty of COVID-19 safety measures in place, meaning that customers receive contact-free delivery. The price per serving is as low as $8.99 with free delivery. It’s very easy to skip a week or two’s meals if they suddenly become unwanted, and resuming them is equally as fast.
Deciding between Chefs Plate and Hello Fresh isn’t easy, as they cover the same delivery areas and have similar pricing. So, it’s likely down to the recipes that you like the look of the most.
Goodfood is a Canadian online grocery store that was founded in 2014 and has rapidly grown in popularity due to its competitive meal kit delivery service. Goodfood had an estimated 40% of the Canadian market in 2019, with around 200,000 customers. The market as a whole has exploded since then, so this figure may not stand currently correct.
Reaching 95% of Canadians, this is the option if you currently live in a rural area. The plans are slightly limiting, as they do not serve single meals (has to be for couples or families of 4), and the prices are slightly more than Chefs Plate. However, the vegetarian option at Good Food is actually slightly cheaper than its competitors and is priced at $8.85 per serving for 3 recipes a week.
As we can see, the top 3 companies in Canada all share similar pricing, food quality and features.
USA: Best meal kits
Before starting, Hello Fresh deserves an honorable mention, but given that it made the Canada list (and serves every country on this list), we will not duplicate its mention.
Home Chef has a large selection of over 38 meal kits to pick from. This is a great meal kit for big eaters, as the portion sizes are generous and there are options such as grill bundles and high-protein meals.
The customization makes Home Chef really stand out. This would be a great option for gym freaks and athletes, as well as those that like to indulge. Home Chef does however cater to those a bit lazy, too. There are offerings of oven-ready kits, meaning no preparation is involved. The lowest price is $7.99, making Home Chef a fantastic all-rounder.
Most meal kit companies are healthy, but Sun Basket really encapsulates the organic, environmentally-friendly modern-day company. All ingredients are non-GMO, organic, and sustainably produced. Everything it is packed in is recyclable. It’s then no surprise that this is one of the healthiest meal kits on the market.
You get what you pay for, of course, and Sun Basket is pricier than most of its competitors, starting at around $10.99 per serving and $5.99 shipping.
Freshly is a great option for those that are looking to save even more time by not having to cook the meal themselves. Freshly provides the meals already cooked and ready to eat. All the recipient needs to do is put it in the microwave or oven to reheat. This is a popular one among students and busy workers that have little time. Shipping is free and prices start at $8.99.
UK: Best meal kits
Gousto is a reliable meal kit provider with over 40 recipes, high-quality food, and some inviting signup offers. This is some of the best tasting recipes on the market, with clear and concise ingredients. Food arrives pre-sliced and packaged, meaning that cooking times are kept to a minimum. This isn’t the best packaging situation for the environment, but it’s one of the most convenient companies to use.
Whilst there are only 10 recipes to choose from each week, delivery is the next-day and can fit through the letterbox. Only one or two servings can come once per week, making this a one-off treat as opposed to a grocery shopping substitute. This is a 10-minute meal, as you can imagine, with no real preparation. Whilst it has its limitations, this is a great add-on to supplement another meal kit subscription.
Mindful Chef, as you may have guessed, operates with a conscience. This meal kit offers transparency, sustainability, and high-quality meals. Mindful Chef also operates alongside a charity, One Feeds Two, along with a packaging returns program.
The recipes are varied and healthy, and with high-quality ingredients, it’s one of the tastiest meal kits on the market.
Europe: Best meal kits
With $56.1m in funding, Frichti is a Parisian everyday caterer, who provides meal boxes all around France with recipe ingredients. This is a merging of an online supermarket and a recipe kit service, meaning there’s more versatility here. On top of this, there’s also a B2B option.
Recipes range from pasta, pizza to burgers and tacos. There’s a lot of options here, and the company is rapidly growing meaning that it’s going to be evolving and improving its service over 2021.
Marley Spoon was founded in 2014 and is led by celebrity chef Maggie Beer. The startup has since expanded to all around central Europe — Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, and even the US). The startup prepares the food already for the customer, meaning that there’s very little time spent in the kitchen. Food waste is essentially zero, and because of its large global presence, its economies of scale means customers can benefit from its state of the art infrastructure.
Food in the Box
Food in the Box is a Madridian company created by Fabián León, a finalist from Master Chef. The company is a young startup with a large online presence and has grown into a meal box company focusing on different diets such as paleo, veganism, and vegetarianism. Ordering online is a very slick experience, and the company looks to be going from strength to strength.