Meal kit delivery companies exploded in the US in the 2010s with brands like Hello Fresh. Since then, the industry has experienced more commitments and break-ups with customers than Drew Barrymore’s dating life. Yet, more than 150 companies exist with continued overall growth on the horizon, disrupting the food industry and the way we think about making dinner.
- Benefits: Meal kits provide several benefits, including convenience, reduced decision fatigue, and healthy meal inspiration. They get home chefs out of a cooking rut, giving way to recipes they wouldn’t usually try. And if ingredients are hard to come by, the grocery shopping is done for you, boxed, and delivered to your doorstep. They’re also helpful when learning new ways of cooking due to a change in dietary needs arising from medical conditions or health concerns.
- Barriers: With all the seemingly excellent advantages, meal kits never caught on with the masses, even post-pandemic, when they got a considerable boost. The deterrents most often cited are cost, portion size, packaging waste, and confusing subscription plans, and for those who enjoy cooking, it just isn’t worth the effort.
So how should one think about approaching a meal-kit delivery service? Do the benefits outweigh the cost? Just like all relationships, it depends on what you’re seeking. Each service has strengths and weaknesses, and with the growing number of options, it’s worth the time to consider what it is you really want from the service.
- Meal Planning: For starters, it helps to know if you want a meal kit or a meal delivery service. Meal kits help you avoid the planning, shopping, and food-prepping stages that go into making a meal while still enjoying the act of cooking. If you’d prefer to do nothing more than heat and eat your dinner, meal delivery services are for you.
- Dietary Guidance: Following a specific diet can be challenging, and looking for services that cater to your needs can help. For example, many services provide plans that take the guesswork out of staying true to a particular way of eating. One thing to ensure is that the service you choose offers enough variety week after week.
- Financial Commitment: Cost is a fundamental factor to consider, and several services will be kind to your wallet in 2022 if you don’t mind having the same meal twice—generally, the more servings per person in the plan, the lower the meal cost. So for singles, this is something to consider and could be a win if you’re willing to enjoy the same meal on separate occasions.
Overall, meal delivery can be advantageous to anyone living as a party of one looking for convenience, inspiration, reduced food waste, and flexibility. Be sure to check out the promotions many meal services offer to first-time users. Here are a few we recommend: