What’s Cooking Tonight? A Guide to Meal Kit Delivery Services

by Aliza Becker, BA, MPS

Whether you are too busy to make it to the grocery store or you simply want some guidance on meal planning, meal kits are a way to craft meals from a predefined set of ingredients shipped directly to your home. Below are 5 examples to consider.

1. HelloFresh

Claiming to be America’s most popular meal kit, HelloFresh offers a rotating menu of 25+ recipes each week that can be tailored to fit your preferences, such as vegetarian, pescatarian, or “family friendly.” Plans that cover 2 or 4 people are available, offering 2 to 6 recipes each week; as such, box prices range $47.96–$191.76. The company strives to prevent “unnecessary food waste” by portioning out the ingredients needed for each meal and claims its carbon footprint is 25% less than that of meals made from store-bought groceries. www.hellofresh.com

 2. SunBasket

SunBasket seems to offer a greater range of tailored meal plans than HelloFresh, including paleo, carb-conscious, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, Mediterranean, and chef’s choice (“hand-picked, seasonal recipes”) options. Meals in the kit rotate weekly, start at $11.49/serving, and are available in 2 or 4 serving options. The company also offers pre-prepared meals starting at $9.99/serving as well as a market that carries individual items ranging from breads and pasta to juice for sale. www.sunbasket.com

3. Green Chef

Green Chef claims to be the “#1 meal kit for eating well” and is certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an organic company that offers keto and paleo, Mediterranean, “fast & fit,” vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free plans that rotate weekly. Boxes are sized for 2, 4, or 6 people and can contain 3 or 4 meals/person per week, with prices per serving ranging from $11.99 to $13.49 accordingly. The recipes are easy to follow, and most should be ready in 30 minutes. “Hero discounts” are available for first responders, medical professionals, teachers, and active military and veterans. www.chef.greenchef.com

4. EveryPlate

For the more budget-conscious consumer or for those who just want uncomplicated fare, EveryPlate offers a weekly rotating menu of 17 recipes that incorporate simple ingredients and cost less than $6 per serving ($4.99–$5.89 depending on box size). Boxes are available for 2 or 4 people and contain 3 to 5 meals/person. Recipes are easy to follow (“only 6 simple steps”) and should be ready in 30 minutes. The company also offers a student discount ($1.99/portion). www.everyplate.com

5. Purple Carrot

On the flip side, at $11.00 to $13.25/serving, Purple Carrot may be the most expensive meal kit on this list. Moreover, it is the most restrictive, providing only plant-based (vegan) food to consumers. The menu rotates weekly, and both meal kits and pre-prepared meals are available. The company claims that each (2-person) Purple Carrot meal kit results in 72% less carbon being released into the atmosphere and requires 51% less water to make compared to the standard American meal (defined as a single-serve, 700-calorie dinner containing each food group). The company supports the Farmlink Project aiming to alleviate food insecurity. www.purplecarrot.com   

Picture of Aliza Becker, BA, MPS

Aliza Becker, BA, MPS

Ms. Becker is the managing editor of The Journal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management. She also works as a freelance editor and as a teaching assistant for the George Washington University’s Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program

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