What you need to know about meal kit delivery services
Signing up for a meal kit? Here's what you need to know
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Regular grocery shopping and preparing dinner can feel overwhelming whether you’re a parent or a busy professional (or both). If this sounds familiar, then a meal kit delivery service might be for you. Meal kits are a great way to expand your tastes and eat healthier, bringing you through the cooking process one step at a time and cutting down on the time it takes to prepare your food.
Meal kit delivery services are also a great way to avoid succumbing to the siren’s call of fast food and takeouts. Most takeout meals contain high sodium levels, fat, and the portion sizes are often grossly out of proportion. While they may not be as convenient as signing into DoorDash, Meal kits offer healthier ingredients than a takeaway, are more convenient than preparing dinner from scratch, and make it easier to manage your portion sizes.
How to pick a meal kit delivery service
If the idea of pre-prepared ingredients and recipes delivered to your door every week sounds appealing, then you’re in luck. Several meal kit delivery services in Canada offer a wide range of options to suit any palate or diet. But before you rush off to sign up for any of these kits, it’s worth making sure they are right for you and, more importantly, do they deliver to your area?
Picking a meal kit in the U.S. is a relatively simple process. Most services deliver nationwide with few limitations on availability. Here in the Great White North, things are a little more complex. Canada’s relatively low population density and spread-out communities mean that many meal kit companies cannot provide nationwide delivery coverage. Meal kits contain perishable ingredients, so it’s impossible to simply mail a box through Canada Post and hope for the best. Instead, company’s can only deliver within proximity of hubs to prevent food spoilage.
If this all sounds overly complicated, don’t worry! We’ve researched the most popular meal kit delivery services in Canada to figure out exactly where they deliver, what they offer, and how much they cost.
HelloFresh is the largest meal kit service in Canada is the only service that delivers to all ten Canadian provinces. The company began in German and has expanded into multiple territories in recent years, including most of Western Europe and the United States. In 2018 HelloFresh acquired the Canadian-based meal kit service Chef’s Plate.
Price range per week: $79 ‐ $165
Meal Options: Meat and Veggies, Family Friendly, Smart Meals (low calorie and low carb), and Vegetarian
Servings: 2 or 4
Meals per week: 3 or 4
Delivery area: HelloFresh delivers to Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan
Sign up for HelloFresh
Since being acquired by HelloFresh in 2018, Toronto-based Chefs plate has become the value-proposition for meal kit shoppers. Chefs Plate offers a more affordable alternative to HelloFresh with lower prices and simpler recipes.
Price range per week: $70 ‐ $154
Meal Options: Meat and Vegetables, Family Friendly, and Vegetarian
Servings: 2 or 4 (only 4 servings available for the Family-Friendly option)
Meals per week: 2, 3, or 4
Delivery area: Chefs Plate delivers to Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan
Sign up for Chefs Plate
If supporting home-grown Canadian business is important to you, GoodFood is worth a look. The Montreal-based service offers several meal options and a wide variety of recipes.
Price range per week: $86 ‐ $215
Meal Options: Classic, Easy-Prep, Family Friendly, Low-Carb, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 or 4
Meals per week: 2, 3, or 4
Delivery area: GoodFood delivers to Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan
Sign up for GoodFood
Montreal-based Cook it offers a simplified service compared to some of the heavy-hitters and only has a few options to choose from. On the other hand, it’s the only service that allows shoppers to purchase enough meals for the entire week. The company acquired the Miss Fresh meal kit service in 2019.
Price range per week: $68 - $240
Meal Options: Regular and Vegetarian
Servings: 2, 3, or 4
Meals per week: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7
Delivery area: Cook it delivers to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec
Sign up for Cook it
Based in Vancouver, Fresh Prep offers a zero-waste meal kit delivery. Unlike most meal kits delivered in cardboard boxes with items stored in disposable or recyclable containers, Fresh Prep delivers its meals in a segmented reusable container (in a cooler bag). Once the meals are prepared, customers return the container and bag at their next delivery.
Price range per week: $49 - $160
Meal Options: Regular, Low-Carb and Vegetarian
Servings: 2 or 4
Meals per week: 2, 3 or 4
Delivery area: Fresh Prep only delivers to British Columbia (specifically Greater Vancouver, Greater Victoria, Nanaimo and the Okanagan)
Sign up for Fresh Prep
The good news is that Rooted is entirely plant-based, making it the perfect choice for any vegan or vegetarian meal kit customers. The bad news is that the company only delivers within the Alberta province. Unlike other services on this list, Rooted offers a one-off kit so you can try it out before committing.
Price range per week: $85 - $149
Meal Options: Vegetarian and Vegan
Servings: 2-3 or 5-6
Meals per week: 3
Delivery area: Rooted only delivers to Alberta
Sign up for Rooted
Finally, we have Zesty Kits. This Saskatchewan-based company has partnered with local farms in the province to provide fresh and locally sourced meals.
Price range per week: $68 - $233
Meal Options: Carnivore (high protein), Clean Food (family-friendly meat and veg combos), Plant-based (vegetarian), and Vegan
Servings: 2, 4, or 6
Meals per week: 3
Delivery area: Zesty Kits only delivers to Saskatchewan (specifically, Saskatoon, Regina, Moosejaw, White City, Pilote Bute, and Emerald Park)
Sign up for Zesty Kits
What you need to know about meal kits
If you're tempted to try one of these services there are a few things you need to be aware of before subscribing. While there are always exceptions, we've found that most meal kit services have some baseline similarities:
1. The first box will often come with a heavy discount
A few services like HelloFresh, Chef’s Plate and GoodFoods offer a large discount on the first box. While this is a great way to try out the subscription, don’t let it fool you into thinking one service is much cheaper than the others.
2. You don't need to be home when the box is delivered
Because delivery windows for these services often cover a full day, they package ingredients to last outside your actual refrigerator until the end of the day (i.e. when you get home from work and errands). Most often, produce and dry ingredients will be grouped in bags above ice packs, and any meat will be fully insulated below ice packs.
3. There's probably going to be a lot of wasteful packaging
Certain meal kit services like Fresh Prep pride themselves on eco-friendly boxes, but generally, meal kits come with a massive amount of disposable and recyclable packaging.
4. Don't wait too long before cooking your meals
Meal kit ingredients are typically fresh and high-quality, but there’s nothing special preserving them. Use common sense when approaching certain dishes—seafood, fresh greens, and chicken should be prepared first, while red meat, pork, and harder produce can last a few more days. Freeze any meat you won’t be eating in the first few days after receiving your box.
5. Read up on the cancellation policies before committing
Most meal kit companies have solid customer service and flexible cancellation policies, but it’s essential to consider the long-term logistics that go into assembling your box. If you’re interested in cancelling your subscription service, make sure to do it at least one full week before you want your last box. If you want to skip a week or take a break from deliveries, most services allow you to make those selections, too.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.