So it seems lately that all I talk about is food during my blog posts. This week is no different, just going to keep the food train a-rollin'! Plus it fits in with my current course of study aaand I kinda used to be considered the "food guy" around here anyway, fell off that wagon but I guess it's time to get back on.
Anyway, what I wanted to speak to this time was all of the different meal delivery services that are out there. Believe me when I say that my wife and I have tried a bunch of them, current count is at 6, but I think there may be 1-2 that I'm forgetting. Somebody said to me the other day "I ask you because I value your opinion Mr. Smith", I thought that was nice and I appreciate that some of you value what I have to say. If you don't, well tough, here's my opinion anyway.
So like I said I have…..sorry we (wife included), have tried a lot of these meal services, and to put it simply they are all pretty good. I don't think that there was a single one that WE were like "Holy shit this stuff sucks", yes some of them are better than others but the thing is that there are a few different variables that can factor into your thoughts or opinions of one versus the other. Here are some of the things that we found were important factors when choosing our favorites.
- Quality of the Food - of course this is a big one nobody wants to pay good money for crappy food. I think for the most part we found that we didn't really have a problem with any of the food we received. Although mostly good we did notice that seafood across the board wasn't the best, it always seemed frozen and packed in a lot of extra liquid, didn't care for it so stayed away from it all together. Then every once in a while you get a "bad apple" so to speak but if you contact the company and let them know you had an issue with some of the ingredients they all gave some sort of credit toward the next order.
- Quality of the Recipe - Again for the most part there were a few here and there that were just ok, nothing spectacular but on the other hand I would say that there were a lot that we liked and actually quite a few that we really liked and either ordered again or used the recipe to make ourselves from store bought ingredients.
- TIME - this was a big one for us. Since we both can work pretty long days the last thing you want to do is come home and cook for an hour or more. Kind of defeats the purpose, a lot of these companies exist to create more convenience for people and save time. This will be the first one I call out by name but Blue Apron we found to be too time consuming. The food and recipes were great but most of their recipes we found took too long, and by too long I mean 40min or more. If I get home at 6:30 I don't want to have to cook for another hour and eat at 7:30, I'm in bed by 9:00 people lets cut some time please.
- Packaging - seems kind of silly but we actually found this to be pretty important. Some of the companies were not that eco-friendly, seemed like there was a lot of waste, packaging to throw away, boxes to break down, etc. Terra's Kitchen win's out in this category, everything comes in a refrigerated, reusable box with some plastic containers but for the most part everything gets shipped back to them (free of charge) to be reused. You just leave the box out for fedex and they pick it up.
- Customer Service - all of these companies seem to have a pretty good customer service department. We did have some minor issues with some of them here and there, a forgotten ingredient, an open container, a vegetable that had kind of spoiled, etc. Whenever we contacted them they were polite, apologetic, and very quick to offer discounts/ credit toward the next order or even free meals.
- Customization - what I mean by this is how you are able to tailor your menu to what you want or like. Most of the ones we tried had easy to use apps that you could use. Most of them had multiple recipes to choose from each week so that you we're stuck eating what they send you if you may not have been a fan of something. All of them had some level of accommodations for special diets or dietary restrictions ie gluten free, paleo friendly, diary free, vegetarian, etc.
So in the end my wife and I have been really liking the most recent one that we have tried, being, TB12/Purple Carrot. I know, Tom Brady, Pat's fans, vegan eating, pliability, blah, blah, blah - but the food is really pretty damn good. It's on the higher end of the price scale, most of them being around $60 for 6 total meals, 3 recipes serving 2 people per recipe and this one being $72. BUT I think the quality of the food, organic, non-gmo, gluten free, etc and the quality of the recipes is awesome. There are some things that we were send that I've never had before but was delicious, Jack Fruit, what the hell is a Jack Fruit? Delicious is what it is, especially in a taco!
Some positives and some negatives to this whole industry that has seemed to explode over the last couple of years. My advice, do a little research on each one, talk to people that have tried them, just order a bunch of them like I did and find the one you like best and works for you. These places are literally giving away free food, usually your first meals are either highly discounted or in some cases even free, who doesn't like free food.
If you have any questions about any of these types of companies other than the ones I mentioned here, there are about 4-5 others that I didn't talk about, totally let me know. Reach out with any questions and I can give you some feed back. I love it, less time in the grocery store, less waste, healthier meals, convenient, easy, affordable, and delicious. Go try one out.