To the Internet I Eat, Follow Up
Darren Seifer, Executive Director, Industry Analyst ;
Food Consumption Foodservice
Some time ago I posted about my first box from the Plated meal delivery service and since then I’ve tried other services as well. Our research on meal kit delivery services has shown many consumers leave these services due to cost concerns but I wanted to share my experiences now that I’ve sampled a few players.
There are several services competing in this space now with a few new ones on the way, so I wanted to make sure I went with one that best fit my needs. Like most newcomers to meal delivery kits, I started each one because I had a discount code or was gifted a box from an existing user, making it easier to start the service. I eventually settled on one (which I will not name so as not to appear partial) for a couple of reasons. First I felt the recipe instructions were clearest and led me from step to step most logically. There were some recipes in other services that seem to leave a gap making me wonder how I would get from one step to the next. Second, the one I chose seemed to have more food-forward recipes representing a departure from the foods I would normally make on my own.
So the big question is, will I stick with it now that I chose one? Well that remains to be seen. Just the other night I realized there are a few recipes piling up in the fridge. That’s probably because I’ve been busy with travel as well as just enjoying the summertime and I’d rather be outside versus cooking dinner. I had to improvise a little with the last meal I made because the basil had gone bad since I didn’t make the recipe right away. Fortunately, I had some dry basil and the recipe didn’t suffer but next time I might not be so lucky.
While I might be finding some struggles there are still elements of the service I enjoy. First and foremost, I’m not going to the grocery store. Like I said previously, New York City grocery stores can resemble a rock concert in that there are lines to enter and can be packed to the gills! Meal delivery kits have greatly reduced my trips to the store. I also appreciate that I’m not struggling to answer the age-old question, “what’s for dinner?” The recipes are consistently tasty and I don’t have to search for ideas or ask friends and family what I should put on my dinner plate.
Interestingly, although the average cost of a meal from these kits is more than had you acquired all the ingredients at the grocer, I seem to be spending less money on groceries overall. I can’t say if this is true for the typical user, but perhaps I’m saving on all those impulse items I grab while in the store, or perhaps I’m also saving on restocking fresh foods that went bad because I couldn’t use them in time. I’m in a household of two people so when I have to buy bunches in the vegetable aisle I often can’t use the entire bunch before it rots.
For now, it seems I will stick it out but I did just decrease the number of meals per box from three to two and I’ll see if that will help prevent the buildup of recipes in the refrigerator. I also want to see if I return to cooking more often when the weather gets cool in fall and winter and perhaps I’ll go back to three meals in a box.