Meal kit delivery services are having a moment. Competition in the market has driven the diversity of kits to an all-time high.
With the growing number of meal kit options and services available in Ontario, one question remains: are meal kits really worth it?
Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Types of meal kits available
Meal kits now come in all shapes and sizes with varying plans targeted at different consumer needs. Some of the different types of kits include:
- Kitted fresh ingredients that need to be assembled and cooked at home
- Fully prepared frozen meals
- Fully prepared fresh meals that are cooked and prepared into healthy, ready to eat meals
Each option comes with its pros and cons. Kitted fresh ingredients are a good option for aspiring home cooks but don’t offer the convenience of a prepared meal. Fully prepared frozen meals are more convenient but offer a limited selection of options since all food does not freeze equally. And, fully prepared fresh provides the nutritional benefit of fresh ingredients with the ease of a ready to eat meal.
What are your health goals? Do you have dietary restrictions?
Kitted food delivery has come a long way since the onset of the meal kit phenomenon. There are now meal kits that offer options to suit specific diets or that work with common dietary restrictions. These include:
- Gourmet options
- Keto meals
- Paleo meals
- Weight-loss optimized
- Vegan and vegetarian
- Gluten Free
Meal kits, like those offered by Protein Chefs, include nutritional details up front to make meal planning around nutritional requirements simple.
Knowing if ordering meals to be delivered to you is “worth” the price depends. The financial benefits you reap from meal kits is highly dependent on your previous lifestyle choices and begs you ask yourself some questions like:
- Do I eat out at a restaurant every night?
- Do I indulge in expensive take out because I feel I have no other options?
- Do I buy a lot of food at the grocery store that I don't really use?
- Am I an impulse purchaser?
Meal kits are generally less expensive than eating out based on high restaurant markups and an accurate price comparison to shopping for ingredients from a grocery store can get tricky - you’re buying certain items like spices at volume, high-cost items like meat cost more at the grocery store depending on how they are sold and packaged, and more.
And the cost of the service?
Most meal delivery services are priced out in weekly subscriptions broken down into cost per serving. These vary widely, with some subscription services costing as little as $7 per serving and others climbing towards $20 a serving. The lower priced options appear to require more work on your end, while the higher-priced tend to be fully cooked, fresh prep meals.
Factor in time considerations on in-person food shopping, meal prep and doing dishes (along with the cost to commute) and you could be saving hours each day to focus more on work, family, health and fitness, and more.
What to look for in a meal kit delivery service?
It pays to really investigate what you’re getting into when you sign up for subscription food delivery. Look for factors that are important to you, for example:
- Quality of ingredients
- Variety of meal options available
- If the meals are locally sourced
- If the meals are delivered fresh or frozen
- Projected shelf life of meals
- Who prepares the meals
If you’re looking for the healthiest, best meal kits in Canada, you don’t have to look far. Protein Chefs is the go-to meal kit service for athletes, people looking to lose, and live healthily.