EASY AND FUN MEAL KIT DELIVERY SERVICES

Meal kit delivery services in the US have become a $3-billion industry

By Lauren Townsend

AAA World Article

With busy lifestyles and the monotony of nightly dinner-making, meal kit delivery services in the United States have grown to more than a $3 billion industry, according to Supermarket News. With dozens of players to choose from, how do you choose which are worth trying? 

We put three meal kit services to the test to find out which contenders were the best.

  Blue Apron     Sun Basket    Plated
Frequency

Weekly, 2–3 meals per week,
choose the day of delivery
(Wednesday – Saturday)

Weekly, 2–3 meals per week,
select top three delivery day choices
(Sunday –Saturday)  
Weekly, 2–7 meals per week,
choose the day of delivery
(Wednesday –Saturday)
 
Servings    2 or 4 servings    2 or 4 servings    2, 3 or 4 servings 
Menu Options   Recipes felt limited with only
8 offered per week
Offers wine program 
18 weekly recipes
Offers dip selections for additional cost 

20 weekly recipes
Offers desserts for additional cost  

Menu Themes   Promoting an 8-Week Test Kitchen, exploring the country’s culinary wonders such as Nashville BBQ  Themed recipes each week such as ‘Bring in the Sunshine’ and ‘Flavors of the Yucatan’  No themed packages 
Recipes Tested Jaleo-Inspired Meatballs with Pan Con Tomate and Saffron Mayo  Pork Chops with Apple Chutney and Root Vegetable Rumbledethumps  Steak Frites with Creamy Shallot Sauce and Sautéed Spinach

 

Recipe Layout Simple recipe card with large images, sequential steps,
easy to follow; indicates time to prepare and caloric
intake while also including a wine pairing recommendation 
Recipe booklet with all available recipes
for the week; indicates time to prepare,
caloric intake and dietary restrictions;
also includes chef’s tips, wine pairing
recommendation and kid-friendly steps
Simple recipe card with large images,
sequential steps, easy to follow;
indicates time to prepare and caloric intake
Verdict  While the meal tasted good,
the combination was unusual.
Also had to substitute ingredients
to be gluten-free. 
Tasty, healthy and filling; would recommend a
little more sauce if prepared again 
Full of flavor—even the spinach—
would absolutely make again 
Other Recipes
Available 
 
Small selection of meals, 

few appeared gluten-free

Variety of creative meals including fish,

meat, soups, veggies, etc.—12 out of 18
were gluten-free 

Variety of cuisine types,
including 6 gluten-free 
Considerations  Not ideal for anyone
with dietary restrictions 

Organic ingredients and clearly marked
recipes for gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo
Not ideal for anyone with dietary restrictions  

Filter meals by low carb, spicy,
quick cook, popular, stove-top only,
under 600 calories, and no-gluten
ingredients
Prep Time 
 25 – 35 minutes; Took 40 minutes    35 – 50 minutes; Took 50 minutes     35 – 45 minutes; Took 50 minutes
(for crispier frites) 
Price per Person   $9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping

$12.99 per serving + $6.99 shipping
Additional for organic meat  

$11.95 per serving + $7.95 shipping 
Environmental 
Friendliness 
While many elements are recyclable,

included a lot of plastic with each ingredient. 
Cold pack dispensed down the drain versus
in the trash.

Most environmentally conscious option.
Includes paper bags for packaging (versus plastic)
where possible. Cold pack was easy
to dispense in the trash, most items
otherwise recyclable. 
 

While many elements are recyclable,
included a lot of plastic with each ingredient.
Cold pack was messy to dispense in trash.  

 
                                                                                                        

WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
Is a meal kit right for you? If your evening schedule changes frequently, you may find it hard to prepare the meal before it spoils—typically two to five days. If you enjoy leftovers, don’t expect them, unless you order extra servings. Additionally, you must invest the time weekly to make your meal selections or pause delivery.