July 22, 2019
The trend towards taking delivery of ‘prepare at home’ meal delivery kits has now been well established. There is an enormous choice. Some of these cater to those with specialized diets while others are aimed at those who simply want to enjoy a healthier lifestyle or lose weight. There are also meal delivery kits for those who want to bulk up or build muscle for competitive sporting events. The bottom line is that the majority of these healthy meals delivered kits claim to be a healthy option. The question is whether they combine a healthy choice with value for money.
By and large, these meal delivery services will deliver a meal prep kit that is more expensive than preparing the same meal from ingredients sourced by the diner – be they from a farm to table supplier or even a retailer. However – that is not the entire story. When evaluating these kits there is always the question of simplicity and time-saving (saving time can help the consumer lead a healthier lifestyle through setting aside a portion of the day for exercise).
Do these healthy meals delivered kits or delivery options make preparing the meal simpler and do they save the recipient time and effort. All indications would be that they do deliver on this promise. They also allow busy people to explore the wonders of different cuisines from around the world – encouraging people to try something new and exciting them about the possibilities of meals and tastes that they may not otherwise have enjoyed. They also cut down on food waste – an epidemic problem in the U.S. Consumers are delighted by this added choice – in fact, the meal kit delivery industry is expected to grow to into a $10 billion service by 2020.
But are those receiving the kits really getting value for money – and are the majority of these kits a healthy choice?
There are some questions that consumers should be asking before they select a healthy meals delivered company that will deliver their meal prep kits or a finished meal to their doors. These questions will give them the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they have made a healthy choice. Are the ingredients GMO-free? Do they come from sustainable sources and are those ingredients sourced from suppliers who are ‘cruelty-free? The last may not impact on the health of those ingredients – but is one of those questions that are important. The way in which the meals are prepared is also something that should be examined (too many oils of various types will for instance impact on the health of the meal). There are other questions such as sodium levels and trans fats that have a huge impact on the health of the meal.
Selecting meals that conform to a specialized diet such as keto, vegan or Paleo will influence what the consumer regards as healthy.
There is also a question of whether those meals are healthy for the environment. Packaging plays an enormous part in this -too much plastic is not a healthy choice when it comes to environmental concerns.
When in doubt – ask. If the consumer asks some simple questions and applies their mind to their own interpretation of healthy diet chances are that they will be satisfied with their choice as far as satisfying any questions around the health of a meal kit or a ready-made meal that is delivered to them.