You have seen their ads on TV and online, you read about them in social media, you hear about them from your friends or family, but you are still hesitant to try a prepared meal or meal kit delivery service. Or perhaps you have tried one and for one reason or another, it wasn’t the right fit, so you have written them all off.
BUT…did you know that there are hundreds of these types of meal delivery companies out there??? Yes, really! If you had the ability to search for one based on your specific criteria, I’m sure you could find the right vendor for your needs. Or better yet, try a few and switch it up for even more convenience, culinary adventure, and/or health benefits, depending on what suits your fancy.
I was surprised at how difficult it was to find information about the different types and different vendors that are available. So, I have created my own guide. This guide is a work-in-progress, as the category is growing, evolving, and expanding. I will continue to do the same over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to get something out to you now.
1) Fully Prepared Meals that you simply need to heat and enjoy – Vendors that deliver fully prepared meals (FPM Vendors) tend to be more diet or healthy-eating based. There are some FPM vendors that offer several different dietary or specialized options, such as Magic Kitchen which offers portion controlled, low sodium, low carb, gluten-free, as well as other diet options, and other FPM vendors that specialize in one type of diet, such as Paleo Box Meals. FPM vendors also tend to offer more meal types than Kit Vendors, often including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes even snack options in their plans or menus.People who benefit most from Fully Prepared Meals:
– want the convenience of healthy, balance meals, but do not want to cook
– are looking for complete meal plans to achieve a weight loss objective through low calorie or fat diets
– have health-related needs for a restricted diet, such as low-sodium, gluten free, diabetic friendly, dairy-free
– need convenience and time-saving meals ready to go
– need more discipline in eating healthful meals2) Meal Kits that you prepare the food and cook – Meal Kit (MK) Vendors that deliver all of the ingredients with recipes so that you can prepare and cook your meal yourself tend to be more general fare vs. special diets. However, several MK vendors do offer special diet options, such as Chef’d. There are a few that are more specialized, such as Purple Carrot, which is all vegan.With MK vendors, there are also other distinguishing features to be aware of as you review and decide which to try. Some chop ingredients for you, all you have to do it cook it. Some send you a reusable refrigerated box to minimize wasteful packaging. Some have more or less wasteful packaging. Some offer other adjacent categories of products, such as wine. You can also look for organic or sustainable sourcing, endorsement from celebrity chefs.People who benefit most from meal kits:
– like to cook and want more excitement in the kitchen
– do not currently cook much, but want to start cooking and need the recipe guidance
– want the convenience having someone else do all the ingredient shopping and selecting the recipes
– want to save on cost and waste by getting just the right amount of ingredients
– want to try new cuisines and meal options than they are currently getting
Check out my review of Blue Apron & Tips for making cooking with meal kits even easier