While the prepared-for-you meal industry gets most of the spotlight when it comes to industry hype, the do-it-yourself meal kit industry as been along for a longer time and is growing at an impressive clip.
This is because the meals on demand industry is not a monolithic demographic but instead a multi-faceted, diverse mix of different consumer types.
For example pre-made meal deliveries target busy working professionals and families who don’t have the time to cook.
This segment can be even further separated by diet types, for example meals for fitness enthusiasts or vegans.
Meal Kits vs. Pre-Made Meal Delivery
Meal kits by definition require a bit more effort in preparation because they simply ship a curated shopping list of ingredients which consumers than prepare fresh themselves.
Having pre-measured ingredients delivered to be cooked “in-home) has advantages over pre-made meals in both portion control (consumers can decide how much they want to cook) and freshness.
DIY services are also time savers as grocery shopping is the most time consuming aspect of cooking, taking up to 2-3 hours of an individuals time, as opposed to the actual preparation, which can usually be done in under an hour.
So, if you are looking for quick healthy meals but don’t want to sacrifice freshness then DIY kits are probably a better option over fully-cooked delivery services.
Below we review the top 5 meal kit companies that are making waves for all the right reasons.
So whether you are looking at comparing Blue Apron vs. Hello Fresh or Hello Fresh vs. Plated or Plated vs. Sun Basket or Sun Basket vs. Purple Carrot we have all the details you need to make an educated and informed decision when it comes to your next DIY meal subscription!
Let’s dig in shall we!
Blue Apron – The 500 Pound Gorilla
Blue Apron is THE biggest meal kit delivery company in the
America the world. Valued at over US $2 billion the publicly traded company has enjoyed a meteoric rise in both popularity and fame since it’s founding in 2012.
The creation of Matt Salzberg, Illia Paps and Matt Wadiak, Blue Apron originated in Long Island City before branching out to California, New Jersey, and Texas for more rapid order fulfillment, which results in fresher delivered meal kits.
The folks at the Blue Apron boast farm-fresh, seasonal produce, meat without aded hormones, sustainably sourced seafood and even gras-fed beef. They claim to have partnered with over 150 farms and to also support regenerative farming practices.
This means selling menus that feature foods sourced via crop rotation, which is better for soil nutrition levels long-term and reduced the need for added pesticides and fertilizers.
Everything can be ordered and managed via dedicated apps for Apple and Android devices, which adds a whole new level of convenience when it comes to preparing next weeks meals, especially if you are a constant on-the-go type of individual.
Claim To Fame
Economies of scale. Blue Apron, being the larges kit delivery company offers some of the most attractive pricing around as well as unrivaled diversity in products sold. This includes Blue Apron Wine, a wine delivery service, and direct selling via 17 Costco chains.
Blue Apron is what Ford was to the automotive industry, pioneering many meal packaging and recipe products that other competitors have been emulating every since. In this way, Blue Apron enjoys one of the most reliably positive reputations in the DIY kit delivering industry.
Blue Apron has one of the more simplified ordering processes in the industry. This makes figuring out how much you need to pay but also comes at the expense of some of the levels of customization offered by other services.
First, if you are a single person who eats single serving meals, you are out of luck. Blue Apron plans are broken down into Two-Person Plans and Family Plans (serving 4).
Within both the Two-Person Plan you can then further choose between 2 or 3 recipes per week. Within the Family Plan you can select from 2, 3 or 4 meals per week.
Overall the pricing gets cheaper the more you order. For example, if you do 3 recipes per week instead of just 2 for the Two-Person Plan the $7.99 shipping fee is waved, saving you that money.
Likewise, if you order only 2 recipes per week on the Family plan the cost per serving is $8.99 however if you up that to 4 recipes per week the per serving cost is reduced to just $7.49 per serving.
In the end Blue Apron pricing is very fair and very, very competitive. In fact, when ordering the biggest options Blue Apron is one of the cheapest DIY kit delivery companies!
Reviews & Opinions
Reviews are a tricky thing. It seems easier to garner higher average review scores when you are small and have a small but dedicated fan base. The larger you grow the more your ratings seem to decrease.
Blue Apron has very mixed reviews. When it comes to consumer-driven review databases they average a C grade. Voters on Consumer Affairs for example give them a 2.5/5 stars. They have it even worse on Yelp with just 2/5 stars with 152 reviews.
Then things look a little better when you factor in Trustpilot, which has them at 4/5 stars with over 1,416 reviews aggregated. Likewise, Site Jabber also puts them at 4/5 stars with over 192 reviews. User reviews reach their lowest with the Better Business Bureau score of a D-.
In terms of expert opinions, this is where Blue Apron fairs much better. They got a overall score of “very good” from the ever-trustworthy Consumer Reports, A 4.5/5 “Excellent” rating from PC Mag, and a similarly positive rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 from Ask Men editors.
So there is obviously a lot of conflicting information out there. One common trend we found though is that for reviewers who actually tried the service and had pictures to prove it, which was largely the expert opinions, the ratings were generally quite positive.
The user submitted reviews were all over the place, so we really have a tough time taking them seriously.
Overall, aggregating all of the reviews from around the web Mr. Meal Delivery gives them a solid B rating.
Amazon Meal Kits – Tomorrow’s 500 Pound Gorilla
So, in case you have been living under a rock Amazon is an unstoppable bohemith, devouring as many industries as it can. This recently included the acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion dollars. Yes, that is billion with a “b”.
Needless to say, Amazon is quite determined to make a big splash in the grocery market and this of course impacts all of the DIY meal kit delivery services. Amazon already has delivering goods down to a science, and now with the acquisition of Whole Foods they absorb grocer knowledge and well, food!
You can order food directly from AmazonFresh which is Amazon’s virtual “grocery isle”. Customers of AmazonFresh have also been privy to Amazon Meal Kits, which are pre-packaged “cook it yourself” meal kits.
Currently only available in select regions, Amazon Meal Kits are already making waves in Seattle where they’ve generated a flurry of media coverage. This pilot program could be just the beginning before Amazon roles out their Meal Kit delivery service across the country.
Claim To Fame
Well, it’s Amazon…their claim to fame is being one of the, if not the most rapidly expanding companies in America. They revolutionized shopping and they stand to revolutionize grocery shopping in coming years.
Again, AmazonFresh’s Meal Kit delivery service is currently only available in select regions, with Seattle being the most publicized.
Initial costs, excluding delivery fees and subscription fees put Amazon at about $8.99 per serving, which is on par with Blue Apron but slightly ahead of competitor HelloFresh.
As Amazon hones their meal delivery service we imagine prices will drop. Additional discounts will inevitably be given to loyal Amazon users and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon Prime membership be a huge saver here.
Reviews & Opinions
Well, the only reviews we’ve been able to dig up have been press reviews, so it’s hard to get a level headed judgement here.
We’d like to see more user aggregate reviews to make a final decision. Due to lack of data at time of publishing we will withhold final grading here until we can collect more data.
Sun Basket – The Sustainability Friendly Delivery Service
Sun Basket was founded in 2014 in San Francisco by acclaimed chef Justine Kelly and Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Adam Zbar.
The company has raised over $41 million in various investment rounds, including investment from Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of consumer goods giant Unilver.
The company has quickly expanded outside of San Francisco and is taking America by storm with a unique combination of fresh, natural ingredients and a corporate focus on sustainability and reducing waste which has resonated with consumers in recent years.
While many companies focus on growing as fas as possible by appealing to as large of a customer base as possible, Sun Basket has zero’d in on a more discerning demographic that values sustainably harvested and shipped ingredients and customized diets over sheer competitive pricing.
Claim To Fame
Sun Basket places a greater emphasis on customized diet options, natural ingredients and corporate sustainability than many of their competitors.
For example, they offer specific gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian meal kit options and are one of very few companies to receive official USDA Organic certification, which is commendable.
Another claim to fame for the brand is well, having a bunch of famous people on its management team. Justine Kelly’s culinary chops have landed her on Iron Chef America, while 2016 Amazing Race winner Tyler MacNiven is the companies head of user experience.
The company even retains acclaimed celebrity chef Tyler Florence as one of their advisory board members.
In addition to a star-studded management team Sun Basket stands out from the competition with their emphasis on sustainability.
Sun Basket tries to use as much sustainably produced packaging materials as possible, including recycled materials and biodegradable materials.
The boxes meals are delivered in are made of 98% post-consumer recycled cardboard. Insulation is made of recycled water bottles (PET material). Ice packs are 98% water and 2% non-GMO cotton.
Through their sustainability initiatives Sun Basket saved 4,298,000 gallons of water, 10,438 trees, 614 tons of CO2 emissions, 2,456,000 kilowatts of electricity and 2,027 cubic yards of landfill waste in 2017.
They also made headlines in 2018 with their St. Louis distribution center which is actually inside a cave, which reduces the amount of energy traditionally required to cool late distribution centers.
Sun Basket deserves praise for leading the way and setting an example as a large, nation-wide meal kit delivery company that cares about the earth and is actively taking measures to help protect it. Good going!
Pricing is streamlined similar to Blue Apron but integrates a few more customization options, which will be much appreciated by those with unique diet requirements.
Shoppers can choose between a Classic Menu which includes 3 recipes per weak with either 2 or 4 servings per recipe and the Family Menu, which includes 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week with 4 servings per recipe.
The Classic Menu starts at $11.99 per serving while the Family Menu, because it is higher volume, starts as low as $10.99 per serving.
Once you decide on the total volume of meals you need, depending on how big your family is and how often you want to cook vs. eating out etc, you then move onto the 2nd step of the ordering process where you choose the type of meal plans you want.
Sun Basket diet types for the “Classic Menu” category include:
- Chef’s Choice (seasonal dishes)
- Lean & Clean (gluten, soy, dairy free and low calories)
- Quick & Easy (just the way Mr Meal Delivery likes it!)
Diet types for the Family Plan are limited to just Chef’s Choice (large portion seasonal dishes, kid friendly flavors) and Vegetarian (with a focus on fresh, organic and sustainability).
Total costs then will vary depending on the type of diet you select as some generally contain higher priced ingredients, such as animal protein-dense meals, compared to vegetable based meals for example.
After selecting both volume and diet type you are then prompted to sign up and subscribe. Sun Basket delivers all across America excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and parts of North Dakota and New Mexico. Everyone else though should be covered with door-step delivery options.
Reviews & Opinions
Sun Basket has some of the most positive overall scores for a meal kit delivery company of this size. Again, it seems the larger you grow the more haters you attract so maintaining a solid rating while growing nationally is quite impressive.
Sun Basket has a fair 3/5 star rating on aggregator Yelp with over 560 reviews, which puts it firmly ahead of Blue Apron. They enjoy a similar rating on review site Sitejabber again with a 3/5 star rating with 67 user reviews recorded.
The best overall score from real customers however is found at Trustpilot where Sun Basket enjoys a solid 4/5 star rating with over 2,735 reporting user ratings.
When it comes to experts they also enjoy pretty solid standings. The Better Business Bureau give them a solid A+ rating, blowing Blue Apron out of the water. Likewise, authority sites like PC Mag and MBSF.org give the company “excellent” and “4.8/5” star ratings respectively.
Combining the overall above-average customer reviews with the consistently raving expert reviews we are happy to give Sun Basket a solid A- rating.
Normally it would be a B+ but with a recent serious push towards sustainability we feel they deserve the bump up from B+ to A-. We wish more companies placed as much of an emphasis on sustainability like Sun Basket does.
Purple Carrot – The Go-To Option for Vegetarians
Did you know that carrots used to all be purple until the mid 17th century when Dutch carrots growers purposefully cross-cultivated white and yellow carrots to produce today’s ubiquitous orange carrot?
Similar in rarity to the elusive purple carrot, the Purple Carrot meal kit delivery company is one of the only 100% plant-based meal companies to deliver nationwide in America.
The company was started by Andy Livett, a sufferer of Crohn’s disease who found that a plant-based diet was both much healthier and also alleviated many of the pain he struggled with in regards to the Chrohns.
Purple Carrot is also very environmentally aware, and since meat production is one of the single most damaging human activities on earth, plant-based meals makes much more sense in terms of responsible stewardship of our planet.
In the promotion of more plant-based diets, Purple Carrot is advocating more people switch to “balanceatarian” lifestyles, which doesn’t forbid the eating of meat, but instead encourages people to eat plant-based meals as much as possible, if not just a few times a week.
There is an entire page on Purple Carrot dedicated to the explanation of why plant based diets are better for our bodies and better for the earth as a whole.
We commend this out-of-the-box approach in trying to educate consumers and introduce new healthy and sustainable diet types to an industry that seems to be filling up with low-cost clones.
Silicon Valley seems to be behind the concept as Purple Carrot recently received $4M in investment from produce giant Fresh Del Monte.
Claim To Fame
Purple Carrots biggest claim to fame is that they are entirely plant based, meaning you will find zero meat options on their menu. This makes it a great option for vegetarians and vegans, but is also a great option for meat eaters who want to improve their overall diet by incorporating more plant-based meals in their weekly routines.
Another, more literal claim to fame is a partnership with New England Patriot’s celebrity quarterback Tom Brady. Called the TB12 method, Brady’s concept of clean healthy eating has taken off in recent years with athletes and non-athletes alike.
With an entirely dairy, caffeine, white sugar, white flour, iodized salt, gluten-free diet these meals take clean eating to the next level.
Reviews on the TB12 diet have been mixed, with many praising it’s “clean” nature, while others are seemingly less impressed with the actual flavor and price.
Outside of just being plant-based and working with Tom Brady we feel Purple Carrot’s biggest claim to fame is their raising awareness of the harmful impacts of meat-heavy diets, both on individuals and the environment.
Similar to Sun Basket, this emphasis on sustainability is something that is definitely worth applauding.
Being that Purple Carrot is all plant-based it makes the meal pricing and ordering process much more streamlined as there aren’t separate selections for different types of meals containing meats and dairy.
Instead EVERYTHING is plant based, all you have to do is choose between the Original Purple Carrot plan, which feeds between 1-2 people and contains 3 unique meals per week. The starting cost for the Original Plan is $12 per plate, which equates to $72 per week.
The second option is the TB12 Tom Brady plan, which places a greater emphasis on total protein per serving and always being gluten-free. The TB12 plan also can be selected for 1 or 2 people and also comes with 3 meals per week per person.
Because of the higher protein and “additional TB12 content” the TB12 plans are slightly more expensive than the original plans starting at $13 per plate, which equates to $78 per week.
All of the above quoted prices are total checkout prices, meaning there are no additional shipping costs, taxes or hidden fees attached.
Overall the prices fall squarely in what you would expect with a healthy, all-natural plant based menu. Mass farmed chicken breast and white rice can be mass purchased quite cheaply, making some other meal delivery companies overall cheaper, however if you want well-designed plant-based meals you naturally have to pay a little more.
Reviews & Opinions
As mentioned, not everyone is a fan of Tom Brady’s meals, and needless to say, there are people out there who just prefer meat-based meals over plant-based meals.
While Purple Carrot hopes to convince even meat lovers to “go green” if not for a day or two per week, that really isn’t their target demographic. The reviews that matter most then are from other vegans, vegetarians and plant-loving green eaters.
Average user reviews are a mix bag. Purple Carrot has a total score of 2.5/5 stars on aggregator review site Yelp, which isn’t thrilling, however it is only based off 143 reviews, which is a pretty small sample size.
Things look better over at review aggregator Sitejabber which gives a 4.5/5 star review with 19 verified reviews reporting.
Experts and journalists have a generally higher rating for the brand. People’s magazine writer Julie Mazziotta was actually impressed with the Tom Brady special, saying that “all in all, I enjoyed all three meals”.
Purple Carrot has also received positive reviews from Kitchn’s Ariel Knutson, Slate’s L.V. Anderson and Miriam Krule, who found the cooking experience to be an educational one and worthy paying for almost as much as the ingredients themselves.
Finally, the ever critical Consumer Reports gave Purple Carrot an overall score of “Very Good”, stating that the “recipes were easy to make” and the reviewers thought that “two fo the three meals earned a “very good” score while one dish was simply “good”.
Overall, after reading dozens of in-depth reviews and taking into account user reviews, we here at Mr. Meal Delivery give Purple Carrot an overall letter grade a “health B”.
Not the best in the world, but not bad at all and definitely worth considering if you are an environmentally aware consumer who is also strapped on time and needs something healthy and convenient to cook in your busy lifestyle.
HelloFresh – The International Healthy Option
HelloFresh is the first truly international meal kit delivery company on our list. Based in Berlin, Germany it is the largest international delivery company and only second to Blue Apron in the United States.
HelloFresh delivers in America, Canada, U.K, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, and Australia. It is a publicly traded company listed on the German stock exchange as well.
The company was founded in 2011 by Dominik Richter, Thomas Griesel, and Jessica Nilsson, as a German startup funded by the German accelerator Rocket Internet. Rocket Internet is famous (or notorious, depending on who you ask) for cloning successful startups in different countries.
In only 3 years HelloFresh claimed to have already be delivering over 1 million meals. This lead to further investment to the tune of over $67 million dollars from 2012-2014.
In 2015 the company was valued at over 2.6 billion euros, making it a bonafide “unicorn” in the eyes of investors and tech entrepreneurs. The company has continued to grow at an accelerated clip with a focus on keeping meals simple and rapid international expansion.
Claim To Fame
HelloFresh’s claim to fame is simplicity and affordability. You will not find the world’s most gourmet meals, nor are they quite as environmentally aware as say, Sun Basket, but they are very reasonably priced and many of their meals can be prepared in just one pan.
Their other big claim to fame as mentioned previously is being truly international. Most of the popular delivery companies reviewed here are targeted to just one country, primarily the United States. HelloFresh however is truly global and the “go-to” option for the greater E.U region.
Pricing with HelloFresh is a little more varied than the above mentioned brands. This is because unlike Purple Carrot, who focus on one diet type, HelloFresh covers multiple diet types including a vegetarian plan, a “classic” plan, and a family plan.
Veggie Plans start at $9.99 per serving and users can select either 2 or 4 people. We were a little disappointed the per serving cost did not change whether we selected 2 people or 4 people.
The Classic Plan also starts at $9.99 per serving and users can select between 2 or 4 people as well. The Classic Plan also allows users to select between 2, 3 or 4 meals per week. Again, pricing does not change whether you order for 2 or 4 people, or if you order 2, 3 or 4 meals per week for those 2/4 people.
We finally see some volume-discounted pricing when it comes to the Family Plan, which starts at $8.74 per serving, only comes in a 4-person serving size and allows for recipes to be delivered either 2 or 3 times per week.
Overall the pricing is very reasonable and falls in line with other big competitors like Blue Apron and Plated. They are cheaper than the likes of Sun Basket and Purple Carrot but this is because they don’t emphasis organic ingredients to the same extent.
Reviews & Opinions
Overall, the experts and online publishing editors have given HelloFresh pretty positive reviews. In fact, we were hard pressed to find anything negative at all from journalists.
From the Better Business Bureau, which grades HelloFresh a solid “A”, to PCMag, which gives them an Editor’s Rating of “Good”, to a “Best Value” rating from AskMen and an “Excellent” rating from the every trusty Consumer Reports.
Consumer reviews are generally also pretty glowing. They have a 4/5 star rating from Consumer Affairs, with over 1,792 respondents reporting. HelloFresh receives similarly glowing accolades from Trustpilot, with over 11,740 users combining to give them a score again, of 4/5 stars.
The story is the same with aggregator Site Jabber, which also awards them 4/5 stars with 369 individual user reviews.
In terms of Australia, HelloFresh enjoys a 3.8/5 star aggregate score from over 2,918 reviewers, via from Australia’s top review site Product Review.
The only negativity comes from Yelp where 51 reviewers have given HelloFresh a score of only 1.5 stars out of 5. We’re not sure why this is such an outlier. Given all the other positive reviews though we are a bit skeptical about Yelps validity here.
Thus, taking in the sheer volume of positive consume reviews, mixed with the glowing journalist’s reviews, we give HelloFresh a solid B+ score. If you are looking for something that is affordable and quick to make without getting too many pans dirty, HelloFresh is the brand.
Plated – The Biggest Most Diverse Menu
While companies like Sun Basket, HelloFresh and Purple carrot make choosing a plan a breeze with their limited diet types offered, Plated does the opposite. This “king of selection” meal kit delivery company was founded in 2012 in the U.S by Nick Taranto and Josh Hix.
Plated was born in the intensively competitive crucible of the startup world, having graduated multiple startup competitions, including Techstars 2013, and even securing a deal via NBC’s Shark Tank television show. The company has since been featured in Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, and the Today Show.
The brand was eventually acquired by grocery giant Albertsons but continues to serve cross-country.
Plated brings variety and choice to America via an easy to navigate ordering process via their website as long as dedicated mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.
With a cooking team headed up by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Plated is putting an emphasis on quality. The company sources meats that are hormone and antibiotic-free, fish that are sustainably harvested, seasonal produce, and organic “when possible”.
It’s important to note that the only all organic, USDA-certified organic company reviewed thus far is Sun Basket. Still, Plated’s emphasis on trying to organic as possible is commendable.
Claim To Fame
Besides literally getting famous via being on television, Plated’s biggest claim to fames their sheer variety of selection. Where many meal kit delivery companies offer limited diet types, Plated offers a dazzling variety of unique options.
Plated offers 20 new recipes every week for subscribers to select meal recipes from. Many other service providers lock you into rotating menus that are still fixed on a weekly basis, or at most, rotate on a monthly basis. Vary few companies offer 20 new selections every week of every month.
Plated is also one of the easiest meal kit providers to customize. You can skip weeks, switch out recipes, manage diet restrictions, all via their app on your phone. You can even adjust the days of the week you’d prefer to receive your delivery!
Because of the abundance of meal customization option the pricing and ordering process for Plated is a little more complicated than other competitors.
First you choose between 2, 3, or 4 servings per night. Essentially you are choosing whether you are cooking for 2 people, 3 people, or 4 people.
Second, for each serving option (2, 3, or 4 servings) you then choose how many nights per week you’d like to use Plated’s meal kits to cook. You can select from 2, 3, or 4 nights per week.
So for example, 2 servings per night, delivered 2 nights a week would come to $11.95 per serving. If you bump up to 3 servings per night (your roommate would undoubtably accept a meal or two) then the per serving price goes down to $9.95.
All plans totaling over $60, which is most of them, come with free shipping, so you don’t have to worry about additional costs when ordering.
One thing we really like that Plated does is adjust the pricing depending on the volume of food you order. The more servings and the more nights per week you order the cheaper your overall bill becomes.
Once you select your plan type based of volume (servings) and frequency (number of nights you plan to cook with Planted) then you are prompted to sign up and gain access to their most current menu, from which you select your meals.
Overall the process, despite all the variety, is very streamlined and not confusing. Sure, you have to click on a few different servings + frequency combinations to dial in the best pricing, but as long as you know the more you order the cheaper it gets you should be good.
Reviews & Opinions
Since Plated is a truly global operation they have different distribution centers and kitchens around the world who will inevitably be sourcing slightly different raw ingredients so it is always worth doing a country specific search for reviews for a given service.
Since Mr. Meal Delivery’s primary audience we’ve read all of the American-focused reviews and compiled the overall impressions.
Overall Plated has received overwhelming ratings from the media and ratings bodies like the Better Business Bureau, of which they maintain a solid A+ rating. The brand has earned a “very good” score from Consumer Reports and a pretty excitingly positive review from The Verge as well.
Looking at aggregate user reviews however things aren’t quite so peachy. Plated has a 3/4 average on Trustpilot, although only 6 people have left reviews, so the sample size there is a bit unreliable. Yelp has Plated at 2.5/5 stars with 47 reviews, which gives us a slightly higher trust factor.
Reading through all of the customer reviews it seems people’s biggest issue is not with the meals themselves but the state of their arrival, meaning things get damaged and beat up, which of course is not the fault of Plated but the delivery service.
So if you get solid delivery you should be happy with your purchase. If your order is damaged in the meal it does seem Plated is very good at following up with customers to resolve the issues.
Overall, we would give Plated a B- rating. If we see user review averages improve we will be happy to modify this score, but as it stands there is nothing bad about a B- at all!
PeachDish – Southern Hospitality in a Box
While most of the kit deliverers on this page have a business model in which they try to target as big of an audience as possible, PeachDish goes the for a different approach by targeting a very specific culinary type.
Based out of Atlanta Georgia, and originally founded by Hadi Irvani, an economist by training, out of a room above his garage, PeachDish is a meal kit delivery company that seamlessly blends southern-inspired dishes with the lean business philosophy of a tech startup to deliver southern hospitality to health conscious consumers across America.
Food can be exciting. It’s more than just a meal.
Indeed, PeachDish takes meals to another level with their home-cooking inspired menus, quality ingredients and generous serving sizes, everything one would expect from a southern-inspired meal company.
The love flows both ways with PeachDish. The company is as proud of helping small local farmers get their products to more consumers, in effect joining the “digital economy”, which is a win-win as farm-fresh is the best way to cook.
The company backs up their community involvement claims with statistics like “80% of farmers” from which they source fresh produce from are within 40 miles of their main distribution center in Atlanta. Sourcing as close as possible to the point of shipping not only supports the local economy but also maximizes freshness for consumers.
In addition to partnering locally PeachDish is also proud to give preference to USDA-certified organic and fair trade farmers as well as Non-GMO Project verified brands. This means they stay away from things like artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, trans fats or preservatives.
The same care and corporate responsibility is on full display with meat sourcing as well, with most meat coming from small farms that are USDA certified organic, Animal Wealthfare approved, Global Animal Partnership members, and American Human Association supporters.
The levels of transparency in how the business is run and where the ingredients come from is very refreshing from a reviewers perspective. The PeachDish page on transparency and company philosophy reads like a never-ending list of do-good mottos and policies that should be enough to sell even the most skeptical tree hugger amongst us.
Claim To Fame
PeachDish’s primary fame to claim is encapsulating southern style recipes and cooking without sacrificing in terms of food quality or nutrition. As mentioned above the company takes great care in being kind to the earth and all of her plants and animals.
The meals are pretty good to boot. With both vegetarian options and omnivore options there is a plan to suit all diet types. Recipes are fresh and diverse but also easy to cook on a busy schedule. Menus are updated weekly with new offerings to choose from via either a monthly subscription or a one-off type of order.
If you are a more experienced chef or would just like to work with your own family recipes PeachDish also does direct market sales, meaning you can order just raw ingredients instead of pre-packaged meal prep kits.
From farm-raised meats to sustainably caught seafood to linens and seasonings PeachDish has everything your local supermarket has and more. This even includes healthy dog treats for Fido!
Very few company manage to combine both the level of quality and variety like PeachDish has done and for this we commend them.
Standard PeachDish deliveries come in two-person servings and cover 2 meals per week for those two people. If you subscribe for monthly meals instead of purchasing individually you can save $12 on shipping. Subscribers can quit at any time, there are no cancellation fees to worry about.
Pricing is dependent largely on how you order. With such a vast menu the total cost can fluctuate depending on what you order. For example shrimp and grits is more expensive than a red beans and rice bowl.
So think of the ordering process as more of an a-la-carte style, where total prices will depend on the meals you select form the menu for each week. It is definitely cheaper on the shipping front if you sign up to be a monthly subscriber.
We recommend you try ordering a couple meals to test the service and see if it meets your needs. If you like it then you can switch to the subscription payment plan and save more money in the long term.
Reviews & Opinions
In reading all of the reviews of PeachDish available online we have concluded this is one of the mostly highly reviewed meal kit delivery companies in America.
PeachDish enjoys a solid A+ rating from the BBB, a solid 4.5/5 stars from AskMen editors and a glowing review from Techcrunch to boot.
Average customer reviews are equally glowing. PeachDish enjoys a 4/5 rating from customers on TrustPilot, with over 160 respondents. Things look even better at Sitejabber where PeachDish enjoys a rating of 4.5/5 stars from 21 individual reviewers.
Reading through all of the reviews on all of the various sites it seems the only complain was again shipping issues, which seem to impact all meal delivery companies equally. It was nice to see PeachDish following up with customers who had shipping problems and refund them for damaged goods.
Overall we were thoroughly blown away by this company. They are definitely not one of the largest players, nor have they received as much press hype as some other venture capital-backed companies but they seem to be earning a very good reputation for themselves by delivery quality meals that people are enjoying, all for a fair average price of around $12.50 per meal.
One Potato – The Family-Friendly Option
Last but certainly not least on our review of the very best cook-it-yourself meal delivery companies we have One Potato. This company is one of the only delivery services to focus specifically on family-friendly meals that everyone can enjoy.
While other companies focus on appealing to adult gourmets with more sophisticated palates, One Potato focuses on crowd-pleasing meals that are simple and quick to make.
The only downsides is that they only deliver to Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah. So if you’re on the east coast your out of luck.
If you do live in one of the above cities however and have a big family then One Potato is the perfect solution for streamlining your busy life. That was the motivation for the creation of One Potato.
One Potato’s founder and CEO Catherine McCord is a bonafide “supermom”, being a mother of three, graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, mommy blogger and owner of Weelicious, oh, and former runway supermodel. Yup, this does read like the plot for The Incredibles III!
Having been featured on Forbes, Women Fitness, Huffington Post, Lost Angeles Times, and Today to name a few McCord is making waves by bringing organic meals that children will love to busy households all across the west coast.
Claim To Fame
Supermodel turned supermommy founded meal delivery company specializing in healthy, organic recipes that people of all ages can enjoy.
This means portions can be adjusted easily to suit “kid-sized” appetites, in addition to the more full-sized adult portions, so that the whole family can leave the dinner table full. The menu is regularly updated with seasonal items so you’ll never get bored.
All the ingredients used in One Potato recipes are organic, with as many ingredients as possible being sourced locally from area farms.
Unlike many other delivery companies the ingredients come pre-chopped and ready to be cooked, all you need is the kitchen and 30 minutes (all One Potato meals are designed to be cooked in 30 minutes or less to suit busy family lifestyles).
We applaud the balance between nutrition and kid-friendly recipes as balancing things that are good for you with what picky eaters will accept is a true feat to be accomplished
Pricing is straightforward and designed to appeal specifically to families, both small and large.
Users first choose a plan based off how many members will be eating. Sizes range from the “Two Potato Plan” (serving 2 people per meal) all the way up to a huge “Six Potato Plan” (serving a family of 6).
For each plan customers can then choose whether they want recipes delivered 2 nights or 3 nights a week. All 3-recipes per week plans come with free shipping, while some of the smaller 2-recipes per week plans have additional shipping fees.
The bigger the “Potato Plan” the cheaper the total cost, which is something we’re happy to see One Potato do as it’s no a given amongst DIY delivery companies.
All things said, with meals starting as cheap as $7.32 per serving (the Six Potato Plan, 3 recipes per week) and going up to a maximum of $12.95 (Two Potato Plan) this is one of THE most cost competitive delivery options on the market.
With quality and pricing like this One Potato has great things ahead of them and we’re really hoping they decide to expand to the midwest and east coast so more busy families can try their delicious meals.
Reviews & Opinions
There isn’t actually that much public data out there to aggregate into a master review like some of the other bigger national companies. There are however plenty of glowing reviews from mommy-bloggers, who know a thing or two about meal prep for busy families.
Yvonne Condes from Moms LA praised both the quality of the ingredients as well as the actual quantity, which seemed to be more than expected:
We really enjoyed One Potato. We had three meals in our box, but we made many meals out of it. I used the leftover chicken from the arepas recipes to make tacos for my boys. My husband and I had the leftover stuffed shells for lunch for a week. The shells were so good and not like anything my husband has had.
One Potato received similarly positive praise for the quality of food from a local Fox News report:
The peas were on point, the chicken was seasoned just right and the healthy slaw cooled things down. The biscuit was an unexpected treat.
Overall, the commonality with reviewers seems to be the surprise over the actual quality of the food. Whether this is because the recipes are truly outstanding or because reviewers are going in with a pessimistic attitude or both we’re not sure.
One thing is for certain though, as one of the only family-focused DIY delivery company One Potato seems to be on its way to big things given what bloggers are saying.
Mr. Meal Delivery’s Sumptuous Summary
There you have it, 8 of the top meal kit delivery companies compared. Given the fast growing pace of this industry it seems like the meal kit industry is set for rapid growth in coming years, and justifiably so.
One of the biggest complaints with other pre-made meal delivery companies is the lack of freshness with the final product.
This is because even with the fastest shipping options pre-made meals still need to be cooled and shipped and then reheated before they can be enjoyed. This inevitably detracts a bit from the quality of the prepared meal.
With do-it-yourself options though you don’t sacrifice any of the freshness or quality but still get the time-saving (and sometimes money saving) benefits of a delivered meal service.
So for those who value truly fresh meals and who want the ability to control the whole cooking process then the above DIY companies are definitely worth checking out.
If you don’t mind relinquishing some control then it may be worth looking into finding a local pre-made meal delivery company as local companies are often much fresher than national ones simply because the time between cooking and delivery is much shorter with less shipping distance to be covered.
The bottom line is this: meal kit delivery is a growing industry and something that everyone should try at least once. We’re not saying it is the perfect solution for everyone, but we do think it’s worth giving a shot as you might be surprised at how easy and fun (not to mention nutritious!) cooking your own meals can be.
We Want To Hear From You
Are you an amateur gourmet? Do you like testing your culinary chops by preparing different meal kit recipes? Do you have a favorite company that didn’t make our top 8 list?
While we tried our best to create as comprehensive of a guide as possible there are always new and exciting companies popping up that still need to be reviewed, and we’re glad to do it!
Let us know in the comments below, we’re always looking to feature new and upcoming delivery companies with something special to offer!