You probably already know that over the course of 2020 and 2021’s Corona pandemic, the food delivery business witnessed record growth and profits. Whilst the big winners were tech/service behemoths like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, the aspiring Meal Kit sector also boomed during lockdowns.
But What Even Are Meal Kits?
Meal Kits are kind of like DIY take outs. Once you sign up, you receive a box full of carefully selected, and measured ingredients along with easy to follow recipes to turn them into delicious hot meals. Meal Kits can be tailored to suit your lifestyle and appetite and subscriptions are available to feed single working professionals and entire families.
More and more diners are now turning to meal kits. One of the largest providers, Hello Fresh, now has over 7.5 million subscribers worldwide with 4 million of these in the US alone. There are multiple reasons for the rise of meal kits and food subscriptions services but we will take a close look at the top 3 reasons customers love meal kits.
Pros of Using a Meal Kit Service
Perhaps the single biggest of the meal kit benefits, is that they can save a customer a whole lotta time. Planning out and shopping for meals can be time very consuming and even energetically draining. All too often I would return home and find that the only ingredients I had in my kitchen were pasta and tomato sauce because I hadn’t planned for the week. If I did take the time to hit the grocery store after work, this often meant wandering around the aisles, trying desperately to generate a meal idea, and then getting home at 7pm.
Therefore having somebody else plan your meals and deliver the ingredients can save hours per week. This is why Meal Kits are very popular with single professionals and working families. Hell, they are even popular with people who have both the time and energy to plan and shop for meals but would simply prefer to use that time elsewhere.
Meal Kits can be tailored to cater for a wide array of different diets and lifestyles and there are meal kits out there for vegan diets, keto diets and even for bodybuilders. However, meal kits are an especially awesome way to lose weight. Firstly, the emphasis is always on healthy food and then portion sizes are carefully measured to prevent any overeating.
However, pretty much all meal kits provided also offer weight watcher or low calorie variations on their menus thus making them a very effective way to lose weight.
Improve Your Cooking Abilities
Another draw of meal kits is that they are great for bad chefs! The instructions are easy to follow and the ingredients are already measured out meaning that not even the most terrible of chefs can go too wrong. After a few months of following meal kit recipes, even novice cooks will notice their skills naturally improving massively.
Personally I consider myself to be a pretty decent cook but even I learned a few little tricks and tips after using a meal kit service for a month.
Cons of Using a Meal Kit Service
As with everything, food subscriptions are not a perfect concept and there are some drawbacks about meal kits though which I will now go into.
Meal Kits are not exactly cheap and it’s quite clear that they are priced to suit middle income earners. If you breakdown the per meal ingredient costs, you could definitely do it yourself for cheaper.
However, meal kits are a service and you are paying for the convenience, for the work they put into planning, and for the time it saves you. They also offer some good introductory offers and loyalty bonuses which can really bring down the price. Ultimately it all comes down to whether you can spare time or money the most.
Meal Kits come with rather a lot of packaging which cannot be too good for the environment. For example, a cardboard meal kit delivery contains a lot of padding and then contains multiple brown paper packets within it in order to segregate the individual meals. What is really environmentally concerning though, is that tiny amounts of sauces and spices are all individually packed in little plastic packets.
A lot of the packaging materials are recyclable and some meal kits even offer reusable ones. As with the take out industry though, there is definitely some work to be done to improve things here.
Lack of Variety
Meal Kit recipes are delicious and healthy and they work very hard to keep the menu fresh and exciting. However, after a few months of a subscription you may well have gone full circle on the menu. Another criticism is that a lot of the recipes from week to week feel like minor variations on a previous meal – put it like this, I ate a LOT of lentils during my time using a meal kit sub!
All in all, I find meal kits are a great way to save time and eat healthy. They are easy to join and unjoin so there is nothing to lose from giving them a try.