Tips for picking a meal kit service
From staples like meat and produce, to meal kits with supplied recipes, to fresh and frozen pre-prepared options, there are no shortage of choices when it comes to home food delivery. It’s a fast-growing industry – a 2016 US report predicted it would be a multi billion dollar market in the next five years.
You might want to think about home meal delivery subscriptions if you enjoy cooking and want to experience new tastes – or perhaps get some more nutritious choices into your day – but want to make mealtimes more convenient. We’re compiled a number of things to think about if you’re wondering about choosing a services like this:
What are the choices?
Food subscription businesses might offer several subscription plans with recipes and ingredients, or ready prepared fresh or frozen meals that cater for different numbers of people. Before you sign up, make sure you’ll be getting the right serving number for your family, and consider how much variety you want. Often is the menu changed, can you customise your choices or pick ‘one offs’, for example? Will you only be able to choose from main meals, or does the business provide drinks and lighter options? And do check out the delivery options so you can be sure the service is offered in your area.
Is it really healthy and sustainable?
It’s a good idea to do your research on the company. Are the suppliers/producers following ethical and sustainable practices like cutting out potentially harmful sprays and ensuring animals are well raised? Are workers treated fairly and is the packaging recyclable? It’s also important to find out if the business works with local meat and produce suppliers, and if the growers use any potentially harmful sprays. Ask if the company adds any preservatives or additives to the food as well.
Cost and convenience:
This is a really important consideration because you may be adding to your food bill but gaining convenience in the process. That can mean a healthier lifestyle because you have more time for yourself and your family. Meal kit companies often have a variety of plans to cater for different size households, from singles and couples to larger families, or one off options. If you’ve signed up to a recipe and set of ingredients for the week, it will come with a guide to preparation and cooking time.
As well as catering for different numbers of people, many businesses have options for people with particular dietary needs and preferences. These may include gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, sugar free, vegetarian or low sodium. We’d suggest checking supplied the recipes for nutrition information, where you should also be able to find if any allergens are listed.
Who’s behind it?
A big part of choosing a service is knowing who set it up and who they work with. This gives an insight into the type of food they might specialise in and the credentials of the people putting the recipes or meals together. Some companies partner with well known chefs, while other businesses may be owned by former chefs, nutritionists or home cooks.
Here are some of the home food kit services available around the country – if you know of others or want to share your experience of trying these kinds of services, do leave us a comment!