What is a Meal kit Delivery Service?

A meal kit is a box that contains a recipe and all the ingredients you need to make that recipe. Ingredients are included pre-portioned and, in some cases, already prepared. Generally, though, a meal kit requires basic preparation such as chopping, slicing, etc.

A meal kit delivery service is one that delivers complete, ready-to-cook meal kits to your door. Before the emergence of meal kit delivery services, the alternative to a home-cooked meal was a pizza delivery, takeout meal or a drive-thru. These were not the most nutritious or cost-effective options.  However, things have changed. Now there are many choices for those of us who are time poor but still wish to eat well. The meal kit delivery service industry has created a new world of meals that are convenient, affordable and most importantly, delicious!

This is an industry that is rapidly expanding and one that now caters to almost every taste preference and dietary requirement. Most meal kit delivery services are aware that convenience is a big reason why people will choose a meal kit over traditional home-cooked meals. You will find that most meal kits take no longer than 30 minutes to cook.

Prices are as varied as the services offered with an average guideline being from about $8 to $14 per serving. Most meal kit delivery services are available on a subscription basis. This involves the customer selecting a certain number of meals per week for a specified number of people. Subscriptions are very flexible allowing for weeks to be skipped, plans to be changed and canceled without penalty.

There are some companies that do not require a subscription but rather provide a service where customers can order meals on a need’s basis. All meal kit delivery services need advance ordering, sometimes up to a week prior to delivery.

The range of choice within the industry is now quite extensive with almost every known dietary requirement being catered to. You will find choices for diets that include paleo, keto, gluten-free, diabetes, vegan, vegetarian and so many more!

home chef veggie menu

The meal kit industry history:

Probably the whole concept of having meals delivered started with pizza! The first deliveries of anything resembling a meal kit began in Sweden in 2007. So as you can see the meal kit industry is still relatively young. The whole concept grew in popularity and spread across Northern Europe.

It did not take long for the concept of a meal kit delivery to become popular in America, and the industry grew quickly as many companies entered the arena. In 2015 there was over one billion dollars’ worth of sales made in the meal kit delivery industry in America.

By the end of 2017, the industry had doubled with the industry being worth over 2 billion dollars.

Who is the meal kit delivery service customer?

There is no one person who is the ideal meal kit delivery service customer. The industry is now so varied that it is structured in a way to suit almost anyone who wishes to eat well.  Following are a few reasons that customers like to use a meal kit delivery service:

  • Convenience: the number one reason to use a meal kit delivery service is because of convenience. If you have limited time or don’t enjoy meal planning or grocery shopping, then the convenience of having someone else do this for you is a big reason to order meal kits.
  • Variety of meals: By using a meal kit delivery service you can have any meal of the week catered for. What originally began as an industry that focused on the evening meal, is now offering options for breakfast, lunch, snacks and things like smoothies!
  • Menu variety: The meal kit industry is one that now offers much variety in terms of flavors, tastes, styles and international influences. One of the big reasons to use a meal kit delivery service is that you will enjoy a diverse range of meals and your weekly menus will never be dull or boring.

Surveys show that the generations that are the biggest users of meal kit delivery services are the Millennial and GenX customers. At present only a small percentage of people over 45 use meal kit delivery services. This will change though as the industry grows and becomes more well-known and accessible and people from all demographics increasingly try these services. A meal kit delivery service is far more widely used in urban areas than regional, possibly because they are more available in these areas.

On average, they tend to be used by people with higher incomes, though interestingly using meal kits, can end up saving you money. Meal kits are quite cost-effective compared to traditional grocery shopping and at-home meal preparation.

The main meal kit companies in the USA:

As the industry is rapidly growing, there are currently over 150 meal kit companies operating in the USA.  Some of the biggest operators in America include Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Home Chef, Martha & Marley and Gobble.

hello fresh ice bottom
Home Chef Vegetarian Menu

The Meal Kit Review:

At the Meal Kit Comparison, we aim to take away the overwhelm and provide all the information you need to get started with a meal kit delivery service. We provide honest reviews of meal kit recipes and meal kit companies. All our reviews are a result of the first-hand experience where we test all elements of each individual meal kit company.

We also provide detailed meal kit comparisons so that you can look at various companies and the pros and cons of each. When we are reviewing a company, we look at how easy it is to subscribe and manage your account. Among other things, we also look at the ordering process, the delivery, quality of ingredients, difficulty of recipes and most importantly the taste!

The Meal Kit Comparison offers you everything you need to navigate the world of meal kits in one accessible place.

About the author

Amanda (Mandi)
Amanda is a meal kits addict and a blogger who reviews meal delivery services on a daily basis since 2015. Mandi leads the content review team at themealkitcomparison.com since 2018.
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