CHOICE membership

Meal delivery services review

Hi there

This is a poll for anyone here who subscribes to — or would consider subscribing to or previously subscribed to — a meal kit delivery service such as Hello Fresh, Dinnerly, Marley Spoon and Pepper Leaf, where you receive a box containing ingredients and recipe cards and you cook the dishes yourself.

I’m interested to know what’s the main reason you subscribe to — or would consider subscribing to or previously subscribed to — one of these services?

  • To save money
  • To save time
  • To get out of grocery shopping
  • To avoid having to meal plan
  • To minimise food waste
  • To increase my repertoire of recipes that I cook
  • To mix things up and eat more interesting foods
  • Other

0 voters

Feel free to share this poll with your friends!

Thanks in advance
Rachel

5 Likes

… but in reality I’d never do it.

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I am the same as @draughtrider, never have and at this stage never plan to use a meal kit delivery service.

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Is the poll closed for a reason @rclemons ?? Has time run out?

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I’m not sure why the poll was closed @meltam but thanks for flagging that - I’ve re-opened and would love to gather more responses! And if you do complete the poll and your response is ‘other’, please feel free to expland on that in the comments :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I incorrectly voted. Can I change mine to the first one? I misread it. It’s hard to choose just one of those reasons for subscribing to Marley Spoon. I resisted for a long time, but it has been a lifesaver.
The kids now can cook an entire meal on their own.
They are eating food they wouldn’t normally have tried, our food waste is almost zero.
I no longer have to think about what’s for dinner.
No arguments in the house if you say “ well, there’s a choice of 3 meals. Which one do you want ?”

What i don’t like about the delivery service;
is that it comes with a lot of packaging. Little single-use packets of this and that. Quite a bit of single use plastic to keep the ingredients fresh.
Ice packs to keep the food chilled - they can be reused but Marley Spoon doesn’t take them back so we end up with a lot of useless ice bags.
Comes in a large cardboard box that gets thrown away.
Environmentally speaking, I don’t think it’s that great, but convenience-speaking, it’s amazing.

6 Likes

Not to worry, we’ll factor this in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Marley Spoon :+1:

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The main reason we started was to save time (both in shopping and cooking) and I’ve voted for that but there were a couple of other important reasons. Both my partner and I were commuting 3hrs per day to work and returning home at 7pm we wanted something quick and easy to prepare (usually not a problem for me) that he could share the meal prep and cooking after a long day.
Worked a treat and he now has greatly improved skills in the kitchen thanks to 6 step recipes and all ingredients in correct quantities supplied AND he has also discovered the relaxation benefits of cooking!
We now longer commute but have continued with 4meals a week making it easy for him to start cooking if home before me.
It also keeps me out of the supermarket after work ‘picking up something for dinner’ lol and that saves money as I would spend more than the cost of a HF meal.

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Thanks for those insights @molimu, that’s really useful.

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Thanks to everyone who voted in our poll. Here’s our meal delivery box review - bon appetit!

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Hardly any difference amongst them percentage wise.

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I’ve subbed to precooked meals (Lite’nEasy and Youfoodz) but not to a boxed meal where you still have to do the cooking. I can manage to cook meals without directions or assistance :slight_smile:

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I’m talking not only about Lite’n’Easy which everyone knows about and which Choice has done a kind of review of, back in 2016, but also other meals.

I’ve tried L’n’E, Youfoodz, and the Good Meal company, but there are many more, at various price points, and I havent tried them because they don’t deliver to my area.

So I’m wondering what other people have tried, and has Choice considered reviewing these kinds of meals? Food is such a very subjective thing, it might be difficult… for example, I am not particularly fond of pepper, and Lite’n’Easy meals are loaded with it… well, thats from my point of view. I have a friend who loves pepper and adds more to her L’n’E. I’m noticing that Youfoodz has begun to do the same thing. The Good Meal people are more reasonable about it… but their mashed potato is like babyfood… And their prices are very reasonable…

Anyone else want to weigh in on this topic?

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Hi @SueW, we had a look at meal delivery services earlier this year, but not all brands are included (we might consider expanding it in the future though). Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it is subjective but it can also be useful hearing from a range of perspectives.

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When I was a community advocate in a rural town of 800 people, we noted that many elderly were buying frozen prepared meals as a staple. Mainly to avoid cooking for one. Back then it was the frozen TV dinner style and very limited brands - and ingredients. Most were high in salt, a little meat, two mushy veg & gravy. There were concerns about adequate nutrition. Meals-on-Wheels (twice weekly cooked at the local hospital) was similar but fresh and providing a piece of fruit.

Today, being so far from a major centre, there are questions about the “freshness” of food kits, and no ready prepared meals (think Ubereats) delivers there. You can now get “fresh” meals from the shop refrigerator, but these are limited as they have a short shelf life and variety is lacking (they stock only quick sellers), and expensive. Frozen meals for one are still the staple.

My mother, in her late 80’s, has been living on Lite’n Easy for at least a couple of years. She is living in a capital city with reliable delivery. She looks to be in good health. I only spent 2 days (visiting) on L’nE mainly cleaning up the dishes she does not like. I found the frozen prepared meals a bit uninspiring (probably why they lived in the bottom of the freezer), but was impressed with the variety & look of the salad & breakfast type meals. We both commented on the excessive packaging - single items in plastic, eg a few carrot slices or nuts in a bag, meaning you may open 7 bags to plate up. They provide fresh fruit & juice which she could buy for herself. She said, while the menu is flexible, it isn’t flexible enough to eliminate the dishes she does not want (hence the pile in the freezer). She finds it is too much for her and may eat one dish over two sittings. Her L’nE delivery does not look like what I see on the adverts; where they open the fridge and plastic bags are marked “Day 1 Lunch”, hers comes as individual packets to make up a meal.

I remember reading about the TV Dinner (20+yrs ago), that research showed the customer was most likely a smoker so they added more salt to compensate.

Wondering if these are nutritionally adequate for the elderly as a sole source of food, and how closely they align with Australian Dietary Guidelines.

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There have been a few prepared meals that have had recent recalls that Meals on Wheels used which @Fred123 posted at Meals On Wheels - Flagstaff Fine Foods Frozen Meals 360g Recall. Sold In NSW, ACT, Qld & SA.

Now this post isn’t so much about the Meals on Wheels foods but rather the risks beyond nutritional adequacy, it is about the risk factors of relying on easy meal products being produced having contamination. Based on what you have noted it could be easily assumed meals like this are regularly purchased by or supplied to elderly people who are at greater risk from the exposure to the pathogens that could be in a meal. Too late to fix for a person who has eaten the product before a recall is even started, so does more stringent hygiene control need to be put in place for these frozen/refrigerated “heat to eat” meals and is this contamination something CHOICE might also look to testing the products for and see if there is a problem with the hygiene standards of the products?

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These days, because of the concern over salt, they seem to have switched to pepper. There’s still salt in the meals but theres so much pepper now, I find most of the LnE meals inedible.

I didnt realise MoW was getting its food from other sources. Back in the olden days when I was a general nurse trainee (before the university thing) we did a stint at Meals on Wheels just to see what they were about, and they had a big kitchen and did the cooking themselves. Everything was fresh daily. I suppose the population has grown so much, funny it never occurred to me.

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3 posts were split to a new message: Clarification on comments in meal delivery kit

Thinking of trying a meal delivery service? We’ve updated our review to see how they compare in quality, freshness, delivery and accuracy:

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I thought for a minute you were talking about Uber Eats etc but it was the food box and prepared meal deliveries you were discussing, absent to me appeared to be Light & Easy which while a weight loss/weight maintenance food delivery is still in that area of boxed meals. Should they be included?

1 Like