Have you ever been overwhelmed by all of the grocery shopping you have to do to get just one meal on the table? There are many companies that can help make your mealtimes more convenient and more sustainable.
While meal kit delivery services were present in Europe as early as 2008, they weren’t prevalent in North America until around 2012. In addition to the original three companies (Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Plated), there are a multitude of services that cater to specific needs and deliver to many locations in the U.S.
Meal kits can be more convenient for families than going to the store (or multiple stores) and buying and measuring ingredients. Most meal kits pre‑measure all the ingredients so you don’t have to worry about buying the correct amounts.
Meal kits have many other advantages, like cutting down on food waste. Even with individually packed ingredients, food kits are more sustainable for the environment when you look at the entire system of food production, delivery, and waste. Food kit subscription services also allow you to choose healthier options and plan out your meals according to specific health needs, such as low-sodium or gluten-free diets.
Our favorite reason to try meal kit subscription services is that they are just plain fun. Meal kits are more hands on and inclusive. Cooking with your kids and friends can be a fun activity, or you can simply improve your chef skills in a low-pressure environment at home. No matter what your priorities are, there’s a meal kit service that’s right for you.
Sun Basket prides itself on sustainability and provides a variety of meal plans to meet everyone’s needs. In addition to their regular meal plans, you can choose from paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian options. They are committed to ethically-sourced and quality food, selecting organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and wild-caught ingredients. All of Sun Basket’s materials are sustainable, including all of the packaging, which is either compostable or recyclable. Have picky kids? Sun Basket also offers kid-friendly meal options that your kids can eat and even help you prepare.
Green Chef meals also put an emphasis on sustainability. In each box, 90% of the ingredients are USDA-certified organic. They have regular meal plans, but they also include menu options for paleo, keto and gluten-free meals. The Gluten Intolerance Group’s GFFS Program has certified that Green Chef’s gluten-free menu meets their standards. Green Chef is also committed to sustainable materials and provides instructions on how to reuse, recycle, or compost their packaging materials.
Work Done for You
Blue Apron was one of the first meal delivery services in the United States. With Blue Apron, everything is pre-measured and pre-cut, which reduces the amount of prep work that you have to complete. Blue Apron is also the only service that also has an option for wine delivery, so you don’t have to think about the proper wine pairings for the meals you make.
When preparing meals with Gobble, there’s even less work than other meal services that you have to do to prepare and cook your meal. All the preparation work is already completed, so there’s no need to chop, peel or mince any aspect of your meal. Each meal usually only takes about 15 minutes to prepare from unpackaging the ingredients to serving the finished meal. The service also has gluten free, vegetarian, and kid-friendly options for every meal.
Freshly takes it one step further and does all of the cooking for you! Each meal arrives ready to eat in eco-friendly packaging. All you have to do is heat it up and put it on a plate. Freshly also includes meal options for the whole week, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of Freshly’s meals are both peanut- and gluten-free and are prepared in facilities that are completely free of both.
Niche Dietary Needs
For those whose dietary restrictions go beyond cutting out peanuts and gluten, Purple Carrot has multiple options. Every dish that you prepare through Purple Carrot is vegan. The service is based on the idea that plant-based meals are healthier and more sustainable for the environment because they use less water and involve lower emissions. You can also customize your meals each week with options that are classified as High-Protein, Chef’s Choice, Gluten-Free, or Quick and Easy.
If you’re looking for a wellness focus, one of Sakara Life’s meal plans may be for you. Sakara Life focuses on clean eating and detoxing to improve health. There’s no work required—everything is pre-cut, cooked, and ready to eat. All Sakara Life’s meals are plant-based and planned by a holistic health coach to be fresh, organic, and sustainable. Their plans also include wellness extras such as herbal detox teas and beauty water concentrates.
Meal kit delivery services give you convenient options outside of your regular routine and recipes. They cut down on the time you spend preparing meals so you can focus on sharing them with your family and friends instead!