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If you’re not much of a chef, or you're working from home in your New York City apartment and need healthier options, a meal kit might be the solution.
There are lots of different types of meal kits available, whether you’re a foodie, strict vegetarian, or on a specific diet like Weight Watchers. Some, like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh deliver recipes and pre-measured ingredients for an easy-to-cook meal (no more last-minute trips to the store because you don’t have paprika) and others like Freshly and Mosaic offer pre-cooked meals that just need to be heated up.
Been there, done that? If you tried a meal kit subscription in the past but were turned off by the copious packaging, you should know that some companies have addressed this. For example, EveryPlate limits packaging and Mosaic ships all of their meals in 100 percent recyclable packaging. HelloFresh announced last year that they were planning to offset all carbon emissions.
Editor's note: A previous version of this post was published in April 2020. We are presenting it again with updated information for March 2021.
Need help deciding which one works for you? Brick has rounded up 13 of the most popular meal kit delivery services available in New York City to see how much they cost and what sets them apart.
And, if you're a first-time user, don’t forget to apply the promo codes that most offer.
Price: Meals are $10 each but you get discounts depending on how many servings and meals you order. So, for the signature two-serving option, with three meals a week, you pay under $7 a meal for a total of $40 plus free shipping. Right now, you can get $80 off of your first four boxes.
The lowdown: Blue Apron was founded in 2012 and partners with farmers to offer responsibly-sourced ingredients like non-GMO ingredients, fresh produce, and sustainable seafood. Meals range from complex Mediterranean dishes to simple one-pan quickies.
What sets it apart: Blue Apron offers options for specific dietary needs including Beyond Meat, Weight Watchers-approved, diabetes-friendly, and vegetarian meals. They also have a wine delivery service and a market where you can buy things like knives, spices, and Blue Apron cookbooks.
The bottom line: If you like a variety of cuisines or eating responsibly-sourced ingredients is important to you.
Price: Plans are available for two to four people with two to five recipes a week, starting at $50 a week. The more you order, the cheaper each meal costs. They also offer special discounts for healthcare workers right now.
The lowdown: HelloFresh was founded in 2011 and is the largest meal-kit provider in the U.S. All of the recipes are chef-created and are tested 45 times for “deliciousness and simplicity.” Ingredients are also sourced from farms.
What sets it apart: The site uses different labels for meals including “calorie smart,” “quick,” “kid-approved,” and “easy” to match both your diet and cooking skills. There’s even a “Gourmet Plus” label for premium recipes to elevate your dinner game like beef tenderloin with mushroom sauce.
The bottom line: If you’re counting calories to lose your quarantine-15 or you want to treat yourself by cooking a gourmet meal.
Price: Meals start at $7 per serving, with plans for two to six people and two to six meals per week. Making a four-meal plan for two cost $80, including the $7 shipping. You can add extra protein, upgrade to higher-quality protein, or swap ingredients for an extra cost.
The lowdown: HomeChef was founded in 2013 and their chefs develop new recipes weekly by sourcing fresh ingredients for each menu. In addition to the dinners, HomeChef offers premium meal options, and weekly breakfast, lunch, smoothie and fruit basket options.
What sets it apart: HomeChef steps up the personalization game. When you set-up your profile, you set preferences like omnivore/carnivore/pescatarian/vegetarian, low-carb or low-calorie diets. You can also personalize recipes with different meats or ingredients.
The bottom line: If you’re a picky eater and need to swap out ingredients for meals quite often.
Price: Plans include a two-person or four-person option with two, three, or four meals a week, ranging from $11 to $13 a meal, so the more you order, the more you save. Shipping is not included but you can get free shipping on your first order.
The lowdown: Sun Basket was founded in 2014 to offer fresh, organic, and sustainable ingredients to members. You can also add snacks, juices, breakfast items, and other things to your basket. The site notes that some of their recipes have been simplified during the Covid-19 pandemic.
What sets it apart: Not only can you order organic breakfast, lunch, and dinner options but you can add snacks like Mexican hot chocolate walnuts and organic cheeses.
The bottom line: If you eat strictly organic or want to stock up on weekly snacks too.
Price: Meals cost $5 per serving with plans for two or four people and three to five meals a week, so a four-meal plan for two runs $40 a week. Shipping is $9 a week.
The lowdown: EveryPlate was founded in 2018 with easy-to-cook meals that have no more than six steps per recipe. The company releases 14 recipes per week for members to choose from—plus they use less packaging and simple ingredients to keep costs low.
What sets it apart: EveryPlate is one of the more affordable meal kit services available and with simple recipes.
The bottom line: If you’re on a tighter budget but still want meal kit delivery.
Price: The two-serving plan has a three- or four-meal option starting at $12 a serving and the four serving plan has a two- or three-meal option starting at $10 a serving. Shipping is free and you can get $25 off your first box.
The lowdown: Purple Carrot was founded in 2014 to offer a plant-based meal kit subscription. Plans include high-protein, gluten-free, quick & easy, and chef’s choice. They also have breakfast, lunch, and snack options that you can add to your weekly boxes.
What sets it apart: Purple Carrot is plant-based and offers nutritional information for their meals. They also have a quiz that will help decide which plan is best for you.
The bottom line: If you’re a strict vegan, or want to try out a plant-based diet.
Price: There’s a two-person plan and a four-person plan, with two to six meals a week. Prices start at around $5 a portion (they’re currently on sale) and the more meals you order, the lower the cost-per-serving. Shipping costs $9 a week.
The lowdown: Marley Spoon partnered with Martha Stewart in 2016 featuring Stewart’s recipes and cooking techniques. All of the recipes have only six steps and are intended to be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Twenty-two new recipes are launched each week.
What sets it apart: The recipe’s details will make any foodie happy (Think: crispy spinach curry roles with apricot chutney or steak with sriracha butter.)
The bottom line: If you’re a foodie who enjoys a creative side dish, or you’re a die-hard Martha Stewart fan.
Price: There’s a two-person box and a family box, both start at around $5 per serving with two to six meals a week. The more meals you order, the cheaper each serving is. Shipping is $9 a week.
The lowdown: Dinnerly was founded in 2017 by Marley Spoon as an affordable meal kit option. Dinnerly’s recipes use fewer ingredients, and they opt for digital recipe cards rather than paper, and use minimal packaging to keep costs low.
What sets it apart: Dinnerly is one of the more affordable options, with meals as low as $4.50 per serving, and they use very eco-friendly packaging like SFI-certified paper boxes, and all of their bags, pouches, and liners are made with recyclable plastics.
The bottom line: If you’re not into tons of chopping and slicing and prefer simple meals.
Price: Smoothies, soups, lattes, and bites costs $8 each, Harvest Bowls and flatbreads costs $9 each, and oat bowls and chia bowls and costs $6 each, plus shipping. You can get plans with six to 24 items and there are discounts for the larger plans.
The lowdown: Daily Harvest was founded in 2014 to deliver organic fruit- and vegetable- based meals. They source from farms and freeze all of their produce to lock in nourishment and taste. Some of their more unique ingredients include black garlic, dragon fruit, and figs.
What sets it apart: The food is fresh and since it’s frozen, you don’t have to rush to eat it within a week, and they work directly with farmers.
The bottom line: If you miss grabbing that smoothie or chia bowl on the way to the office.
Price: They have classic, vegetarian, and “lean and clean” plans that cost $12 per serving. You can get three to four meals a week for two or four people. Right now, you can get your first order for $36 plus free shipping.
The lowdown: Gobble was founded in 2010 and offers meals that are prepared by sous chefs and can be cooked in 15 minutes. Soups, salads, cookies, and breakfast items can be added to your order.
What sets it apart: All of the ingredients are prepped by sous chefs so you don’t have to do any chopping, dicing, slicing, or marinating. You can also customize meals with alternative ingredients.
The bottom line: If you want to feel like you’re cooking a gourmet meal, but prefer not to do any of the prep work.
Price: Plans range from four to 18 meals a week, ranging in price $15 per meal to $11 per meal.
The lowdown: Factor_ was founded in 2011 and delivers meals for paleo, keto, gluten-free, and other specific diets. New meals are created each week and are cooked from scratch by chefs, so all you have to do is heat and serve.
What sets it apart: All of the meals are grass-fed, pasture-raised, antibiotic/hormone-free, soy-free, have no refined sugars, and are non-GMO.
The bottom line: If you’re a health nut, or you want to try the keto diet.
Price: There are four to 12 meal plans a week, starting at $11.50 per serving and going down to $8.50 per serving for the largest plan.
The lowdown: Freshly was founded in 2015 to provide healthy meals that can be ready in minutes. Every meal is crafted by chefs and approved by nutritionists and come pre-cooked—you just heat them up.
What sets it apart: Freshly has categories like “feel better food,” “one bowl nourishers,” “take-out twists,” and labels like “spicy” and “<500 calories”—plus every recipe is approved by a nutritionist.
The bottom line: If you want to eat clean and healthy meals, but you aren’t much of a chef.
Price: Veggie bowls start at $9, soups start at $8, and oat bowls start at $5—no plan required. They have a $70 minimum and orders over $100 ship free. You can currently get $15 off of your first order.
The lowdown: Mosaic is based in New York City and offers nutritious, plant-based meals. The company uses natural, mindfully-sourced ingredients and delivers them in recyclable packaging. They also work with City Harvest and donate two pounds of food to New Yorkers in need for every meal sold.
What sets it apart: There are options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of the ingredients are sourced from farms in the Hudson Valley. No artificial ingredients or preservatives are used.
The bottom line: If you eat a plant-based diet and want healthy meals that are ready fast.
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