Meal Kit Subscriptions: Are They Worth The Hype?

image shows a series of meal kits on a blue background
Catherine Conyard

Meet the latest lifestyle hack for saving time in the kitchen: meal kit subscription services. Ingredients are individually portioned up to cook meals at home and delivered straight to your door every week. They certainly remove the hassle of planning meals and heading out to the supermarket to find ingredients. But are they worth the hype?

HelloFresh boasts over 2000 recipes to choose from

With more of us than ever spending time in the kitchen over the past year, it is unsurprising that meal kit subscription services like HelloFresh have become so popular. The company claims to have seen 7.3 million active users globally in the first three months of 2021, up 74.2% from a year earlier. Arriving with a step by step easy-to-follow guide, and easy to prepare, delicious recipes, it appears extremely convenient. Plus, there is no shortage of inspiration. HelloFresh boasts over 2000 recipes to choose from.

Of course, these meal kits have also been promoted by numerous food and lifestyle bloggers and Guosto has even been endorsed by The Body Coach, Joe Wicks. This makes it hard to not want to try it for yourself.

Whilst Guosto and HelloFresh are only two of the options on the market, there are plenty of other brands that specifically cater to dietary desires and requirements. Mindful Chef only produces recipes that are 100% gluten and dairy free. Likewise, Pasta Evangelists is a meal kit that only creates recipes for lovers of artisanal, fresh pasta.

Ana on HelloFresh: “As a student teacher, I found HelloFresh really convenient when I was on placements”

Despite the temptation, I, myself have never tried one of these services. Instead, I interviewed some of my friends to gather their thoughts.

Ana on HelloFresh: “As a student teacher, I found HelloFresh really convenient when I was on placements. On the days I came home late, I could never be bothered to cook a fancy meal but I still wanted something that at least tasted nice. This was a great option. The only issue I had was that there was a lot of extra packaging that I felt was unnecessary.”

Vishali on Guosto: “I won a month’s free subscription with Guosto. After trying it for free, I decided to continue because the meals were just so delicious. It allowed me to branch out and try new recipes that were also interesting. I never got bored of cooking their meals! You can also pause the subscription which is really useful if I know I’m going away for the week.”

If you are thinking of signing up to a recipe delivery service, bear in mind the environmental pitfalls. Although you may be saving on food waste, the packaging of these products can often be excessive. Value for money and other limitations surrounding the cancellation of the subscription are also other important elements to consider. With that in mind, there seems to be no harm in giving one of these meal kits a go.

Catherine Conyard

Featured image courtesy of  Cristiano Pinto via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made.

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