The Best Meal Delivery Services of 2020
It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to test the waters of global cuisine, impress someone with your new and improved cooking skills, or are just lazy and don’t want to deal with meal prep ever again (no judgement here). If either of these scenarios sounds like you then chances are you are looking for the best meal kit delivery service? While there is a seemingly never ending list of meal kits, finding the best is becoming increasingly difficult.
What is a Meal Kit Delivery Service?
The world is changing, and meal deliveries are no longer reserved for the pizza delivery person rocking up at your door on a Saturday night.
In fact, the industry is booming – especially in the United States where meal kit business, is big business. In March 2017, there were more than 150 meal kit delivery companies in the United States alone, and according to Time Magazine, the business was estimated to be worth USD$2.2 billion globally!
But you might be asking what is a meal kit delivery service?
A meal kit delivery service is Netflix for home-cooked meals. A customer pays a subscription fee on a weekly basis to have a company deliver to the customer pre-portioned, and at times partially prepared fresh ingredients.
To go with these fresh ingredients the customer will also receive simple step-by-step recipes to help them prepare home cooked meals without the stress of planning or the time involved with organizing meals and sourcing ingredients.
How to Choose the Best Meal Kit Delivery Service
When it comes to finding the best meal kits, this is where most of us hit a brick wall. When you look at all these meal delivery companies it just all looks like the same fancy meals in a box – so, how do you choose the best meal kit delivery service?
To figure this out, you first need to back it up and ask yourself these six simple questions, because after all – you want the meal kit delivery service which works best for you.
Think about what these questions mean to you and how they might affect the meal delivery kit that works best in your situation:
- Do you follow any specific lifestyle (like keto, paleo, gluten-free, low-carb, low-calorie etc) or have dietary restrictions in the food you can eat?
- Will this meal kit be a part of you trying to lose weight?
- How many people are you cooking for; is it just you or are you cooking for a family?
- Are you looking to save money?
- How do environmental factors influence your decision, and do you only rely on organic ingredients?
- Are you looking for reheatable frozen meal services or do you want to still be a part of the meal preparation?
You might not have considered these six questions but they will help you to paint a picture in your mind of what it is that you are really looking for in a meal kit delivery service.
What are the Advantages of Meal Kit Delivery Services
It is understandable that you might be still caught sitting on the fence when it comes to meal kit delivery services.
I know that for me, before I ordered my first meal kit box I spent about three weeks scrolling through just about every website for any piece of information I could find, just to make a decision for me because I wasn’t able to pick.
Looking back, a simple comparison of the advantages and disadvantages would have helped big time! So, with my lack of conviction in mind – check out the advantages of meal kit delivery services:
- Perfectly portioned meals and pre-measured ingredients will keep you from overeating
- Less food wastage because you are provided with the exact amount of ingredients needed for recipes
- Healthier meal choices thanks to being kept accountable and having less responsibility in meal preparation
- Simple stress-free option
- Saving on costs and getting back time as a result of no longer needing to go to the supermarket multiple times per week or purchase ingredients that spoil before you get around to cooking with them
- Having access to the best quality, fresh ingredients. Not everyone lives nearby to a source of high-quality seafood, so the seafood in your meal box which was sourced responsibly will like be better quality than the repeatedly frozen ingredients from your local supermarket
What are the Disadvantages of Meal Kit Delivery Services
Now, we know that nothing is perfect in the world, and while there are plenty of positives as to why you might be considering a meal kit delivery service – there are also disadvantages too.
Before you eliminate the competition and pick your best meal kit delivery service, check out the disadvantages:
- Costs are not always cheaper for every individual
- Portion sizes are never a one-size-fits-all solutions to meeting the daily nutritional needs
- Meal kits are not always maintainable for consistent periods
- While the packaging of most meal kit boxes are highly recyclable, not all materials are completely environmentally-friendly
how we decided
Best Meal Kit Delivery Services
The Home Chef meal kit delivery service boasts a considerable variety of meals with the mantra of being able to provide everything but the kitchen sink in some shape or size.
For anyone that is new to meal kits, the personalization through the Home Chef taste profile that is set up for you on registration is a great way to jump in and experience a meal kit service without much prior knowledge.
While Home Chef offers simple meals that taste great and are easy-to-cook, the simple nature of their recipes can become a tad boring down the track.
The Home Chef system does provide that little extra in the form of premium culinary dishes, and no oven-ready meals – provided you are happy to pay that little extra too.
If you are struggling with your weight loss than take a look at the BistroMD meal kit delivery service. The unique system is based on the science around proper nutritional eating and metabolism correction.
Meals arrive frozen and just need heating up on your end.
With seven highly specialised meal plans, there is a weight loss option for everyone.
BistroMD is a completely unique meal kit service. Because your meal plan is made to match your unique circumstances, you will be unlikely to find someone with the same meal plan as you.
The service is like seeing a dietitian and getting your grocery shopping handled altogether. BistroMD also has a men’s and women’s offering for their standard program. For women that are losing a lot of weight, you may need to consider opting for the men’s program thanks to the higher calorie count.
The Diet-to-Go meal plan service is ideal for anyone that has struggled with their weight loss journey.
It is hard to maintain weight loss and staying on top of the planning and preparation of meals is hard. Diet-to-Go is great for this though because meals only need reheating so most of the hard work is done.
Meals are calorie-controlled and pre-portioned which is great for the majority of individuals looking to lose weight. If you are looking to lose considerable weight, you may struggle to maintain energy levels as a result of eating under the recommended intake.
For anyone on a weight loss journey, access to a health coach is worth more to you than the meal plan itself, the knowledge of their specialists is exceptional and will make your journey easier – although there is still hard work which rests on your shoulders.
Freshology is powered by the Diet-to-Go system so you will get low-calorie meals which are pre-cooked and arrive frozen.
The perfect meal plan service for anyone looking to include structure and consistency to their weight loss plan.
Ensure that you consider the number of calories in meal portions as lower calorie meals may cause some people to still feel hungry when starting the Freshology meal plan service.
The Blue Apron meal kit service is ideal for intermediate skilled home chefs or foodies who enjoy a global cuisine.
While Blue Apron’s offering of meals each week is not as expansive as it could be, the recipes available are great tasting and vary in their flavor profile or cultural background.
If preparing food is enjoyable for you the recipes are easily highlighted and tagged whether they are quick and easy, great for grilling, or customer favorites.
From a promotional sense, keep an eye on the Blue Apron menu as they often support recipes from featured ‘guest chefs’ which brings an element of surprise and excitement to the table.
Above all, for those that enjoy their food and would like to learn to cook, Blue Apron is a great place to practice and learn – just like the name suggests.
While the recipes themselves are great for the whole family, Plated is also arguably the best available meal kit service for anyone that enjoys having fun in the kitchen, cooking and eating, while also wanting to improve their cooking skills.
Their culinary process can be used to help you to learn while preparing great meals.
The Plated service is a foodies dream, so if you are someone that just wants a quick meal without the hassle – keep reading as there are much better options.
Take your pick from 20 recipes each week including meals for just about every occasion like brunch, quick and easy, or more difficult culinary delights.
If you are just cooking for a couple, the meals are a little more expensive than most kits, however, certainly worth the price if you both enjoy being in the kitchen.
The Sun Basket meal kit delivery service is a premium product, which is reflected in their pricing and the quality of the organic ingredients, including the completely recyclable delivery box.
Although the cost of meals through Sun Basket is slightly higher than other meal kits, the value in the recipe quality and selection choice is clearly high-end.
It doesn’t matter what your lifestyle preferences are, for anyone with special dietary restrictions or preferences, whether you follow a keto, paleo, Mediterranean, or vegan lifestyle – you will always find something that suits your preferences with over 10 highly specialized meal plan options.
HelloFresh is quite well known in the meal kit delivery world, which they can thank their marketing team for the plugs they get from celebrities and their celebrity guest chef features.
The meals at HelloFresh are simple without skipping out on the flavour. While they aren’t eccentric high-end restaurant meals – they are a great meal option for typical people or families that don’t want to stick to the obvious choices.
If you are specifically looking for vegetarian meal kits, you would be better off finding vegetarian focused meals elsewhere.
The biggest gripe with HelloFresh is their 2-serving per meal minimum which makes it somewhat difficult for anyone that is only cooking for themselves – unless of course, you take the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Martha & Marley Spoon
When you compare the Martha & Marley Spoon meal plan with others, there is one noticeable aspect that they have over others – the food looks really good, in the pictures and when you make it yourself!
Maybe it is because Martha Stewart herself audited through the recipes but the dishes include great meals that are tasty while keeping to the theme of simplicity.
The meal kit is a tad more expensive than competitors when you include the shipping cost, but in the scheme of things, we are only talking about a few dollars over the total weekly cost.
If you enjoy the occasional vegetarian based dish, you will like the consistent variety of vegetarian meals that are available.
The real downside to the Martha & Marley Spoon meal kit is the lack of movement in the number of people being cooked for which will mostly just affect families with more than two adults and two children.
Cooking great meals at home with Green Chef is easy, plus with the focus on lifestyle diets like paleo, plant-powered, and keto you won’t have another day struggling to find something to eat.
I love that Green Chef has an alternative family-friendly plan which is built on the foundation of great food that everyone will eat.
Green Chef is all about organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, this translates really well to their delivery packaging too with almost the entire box recyclable as well as reusable with great tips on their website worth checking.
The Green Chef menu features a large portion of international cuisine. So, as cliche as it is you can head off on an adventure and enjoy the flavors of a different city each night of the week.
Our Choice of Meal Kit Delivery Service
When it comes to the best meal kit delivery services, there is such a wide variety of meal kits with each really targeting their only specialized niche that it was hard to determine a runaway winner. However, there was a clear standout which in my view would provide the best service to the majority of customers.
Of the meal kit delivery services that I reviewed, while many had their own features which could have easily taken the top spot on a good day – the general consensus for me was that the best meal kit delivery service was the Home Chef meal kit delivery service because they nailed a number of the components that would be consistent with the needs of most customers.
These were the ability to provide meals for different lifestyles, the value of meal costs and recipe quality, and whether the meal kit could provide for customers looking to lose weight as well as customers needing more efficient and healthier choices.
The HomeChef meal kit delivery service is more than a meal kit – it really is a tool to claw back some valuable time and in doing so, HomeChef can cater to customers with a weight loss mindset – as well as families or couples that just want to enjoy great tasting meals.
Yes, there are other meal kits that do things better than HomeChef. However, while HomeChef may not be topping the leaderboards – their service is consistently high up which is a great indicator of true value.