A meal delivery service can be a weeknight dinner game-changer. It can offer culinary inspiration, introduce you to new ingredients and recipes, and even save you a trip to the grocery store.
When selecting a meal service, consider your budget, household size and dietary needs. GH Institute experts tested many of these services to find the best heat-and-eat options.
How does a meal service work?
A food delivery service handles three basic operations – accepting orders, cooking and delivering. These services have taken over the market by offering a convenient way of ordering and receiving food from restaurants without having to go to them. Companies such as JustEat, GrubHub and FoodPanda accept orders through call, web-portals or restaurant aggregator apps and deliver them to customers at their doorstep.
Most meal kits and prep delivery services cook their meals in bulk for multiple customers, allowing them to provide healthier options at a lower cost. They use quality ingredients and offer nutritious recipes that are a great alternative to eating out or cooking at home. Moreover, they can save you time and money by eliminating grocery shopping, meal planning and recipe-seeking.
Meal delivery service also provide options for people with special dietary needs and restrictions. Some offer diet-specific meal plans designed by physicians and registered dietitians while others cater to dietary preferences like vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, or vegan. Additionally, many services share their nutritional facts and have filters or tags that allow users to easily find meals that are right for them.
Some full-stack meal services take care of all operations – from developing the app to hiring and training delivery staff and cooking their own meals in-house. This type of model requires substantial investments but is a lucrative option for businesses that can afford to operate on a large scale.
How do I sign up?
Most meal delivery services make it simple to cancel, update or skip your subscription through an online profile and mobile app. You can also call or email a customer service agent to speak with someone directly. Some meal kit companies will require a confirmation of your intention to cancel before allowing you to do so.
Meal services are great for busy people who want to eat well but can’t afford the time or hassle of cooking and grocery shopping. They can also be a good choice for those with specific dietary needs. Many prepared meal services offer gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and organic choices. Some meals are even designed to help people who follow the Whole30 diet.
Some meal delivery services may have additional restrictions based on the season, local availability or other factors. It is important to read all of the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for a service.
A food delivery business can be a profitable venture for entrepreneurs. However, it is important to come up with a solid distribution plan that makes it easy for customers to order and receive your products. To start, you should design a website and develop a robust demand delivery app that allows your users to quickly browse your weekly menu and place an order. Moreover, you should create an affiliate program that rewards loyal customers for spreading the word about your business.
What are the options?
Sustaining a healthy diet can be hard, especially when you’re juggling work, family and other commitments. Using a meal delivery service can help you stick with your nutrition plan without having to spend time planning, shopping and cooking meals each week. It can also help you avoid food waste – we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when you open the fridge and find moldy produce or rotting bananas! With many meal delivery services, you can choose from a large list of meals that are perfectly portioned for you and your household.
While some meal delivery services provide a kit of ingredients for you to cook at home, most companies deliver fully prepared and nutritionally balanced meals that only require heating. This is ideal for people who want to try out a new diet or lifestyle without having to learn to cook in a new way. It’s also a good choice for people with dietary restrictions – some services offer vegetarian, WW Approved or diabetic-friendly options.
GH Institute research has evaluated more than 40 different meal prep and grocery delivery services. We looked at a range of factors including variety, cooking times, price, sustainability initiatives and delivery areas. We found that Sunbasket stood out among the competition. This meal delivery service offers a wide selection of weekly choices, add-ons, protein customizations and more. Their organic foods, sustainable packaging and focus on healthy eating made them a clear winner in our review.
Can I cancel my subscription?
Most meal delivery services allow subscribers to change, pause, or skip deliveries with no penalties. Some companies even let you modify your plan from the mobile app, which saves time and energy. Other services require a phone call or an online form to cancel your subscription.
Some meal delivery services are more expensive than others, but the price tag shouldn’t be your deciding factor if you decide the service isn’t for you. Many services offer a free trial period to ensure they’re the right fit for you. If you do decide to cancel, be sure to cancel by the end of your free trial or you’ll be charged for the following week’s meals.
A meal kit delivery service allows you to order home-cooked dinners without having to plan and shop for groceries. These services also typically cost less than taking out at a restaurant. They often have a variety of different recipes and can be tailored to your dietary needs or preferences.
If you’re looking for an affordable meal delivery service, try EveryPlate or Dinnerly. Both have a wide range of meals to choose from and are family-friendly. However, if you want more options for vegan or vegetarian food, HelloFresh may be better for you.