[ If you're interested in trying FreshPrep, please see the PS below. ]
Starting in the Fall of 2020, upon recommendation of a good friend, I started using one of the major meal-kit services for delivery of four 2-person meals each week. Despite a slight increase in my overall food spending, I've come to enjoy the benefits of meal kits:
- Convenient (most of the shopping done for me), with better variety that I'd do on my own.
- Little or no food waste.
- Learning new cooking ideas (well, new for me, anyway).
- Great meal-cards that can be kept for future reference.
- Last but certainly not least, my 20-year old son (Nathaniel) and I do more cooking together.
- The kits were prepared in Vancouver*1 -- arriving at least a dozen hours (if not almost a full day) after shipping.
- The delivery box had to be recycled.
- The consumer is expected to dump the freezer pack contents down the drain and recycle the overwrap.
- Regularly dumping reusable products is not my thing -- let me know if you have need for a box of reusable freezer packs!
- On multiple occasions, vegetables (especially the leafy ones) had started to "turn" after the 4th or 5th day of the week. Some arrived in bad bad shape on day one, or were completely unusable by mid-week.
- To be fair, the two times I complained about this the company responded well and placed an automatic (and healthy discount) on my next orders.
- Twice, before opening the box I stuck a digital probe into the box at mid-height. In both cases, the internal temperature was almost 20oC. While the meat was okay, I wasn't thrilled by this.
- FYI: The meat was was in the bottom of the box alongside the freezer pack, both separated from the rest of the contents via a thin piece of carboard with ventilation holes in it.
- Privately owned (Vancouver, BC).
- Personally, I have much greater trust for privately held companies to truly "walk the talk" when it comes to delivering all their marketing promises. In the end, publicly traded companies are fully beholden to their shareholders -- not the owners' ideals.
- Locally packaged in Victoria... which means less time out of the cooler, which will be a bigger deal when the warmer weather arrives.
- Frequently, the package arrives with the meat slightly frozen. While I'd rather fresh meat, I'm WAY more comfortable receiving the meat in that condition than as noted above.
- Better balanced meals, with more food in the plate that the previous company I'd been using.
- Almost consistently, Nathaniel and I can extend a 2-person meal onto three plates and appreciate the larger ratio of non-meat to meat products.
- Reusable delivery packaging and freezer packs.
- Local delivery drivers who give great service.
- Excellent communications and delivery notification.
- About $10 lower weekly cost than I'd been paying prior -- based on four 2-person meals.
- A Certified B-Corporation.