Last week we received our first delivery from HelloFresh. They are one of the many meal kit delivery services available in Canada and the first we’ve tried. A little skeptical about how a company is able to ship fresh ingredients like shrimp to my door, I was also curious to experience this trend for myself. After ordering, a selecting my three first meals, as promised a brown box arrived at my door via Purolator on the appointed day.
The first thing I noticed upon opening the box was the shiny foil interior and thick corrugated cardboard walls. These served as clues to the delicate fresh produce it protected. As we unpacked the box, I found part of the secret of their fresh shipping guarantee: disposable ice packs. Apparently recyclable, but “not pipe friendly”, they recommend flushing the contents and recycling the plastic once their job is done.
Why You Might Love It
Pre-measured, fresh ingredients along with clear, easy-to-follow instructions, shipped right to your door, is the ultimate in food preparation convenience. We were able to try three new recipes using some delicious ingredients we don’t normally use (like fish sauce, panko, or glass noodles).
The instructions were simple, and we enjoyed the experience of painlessly cooking together in the kitchen. The result was a freshly prepared meal, made with our own hands. It’s a great feeling to cook food for yourself and have it taste and look delicious. And the prep and cleanup process is painless, on every front.
Why You Might Hate It
If you regularly make from-scratch meals for yourself or your family, this whole idea probably sounds preposterous. HelloFresh, and most of its competitors, are expensive! In the $10-12 per serving range, most people aren’t able to afford this method of nourishment on a regular basis. It’s demonstrably less expensive to shop for groceries yourself in almost every case.
While a service like HelloFresh promises to eliminate individual food waste (and it does!) it also introduces a whole different kind of waste. There were cardboard dividers, and plastic bags galore! While it’s all recyclable, the energy and materials put into making and shipping each meal are staggering. Is it worth it, to save throwing out the last 1/5 of a container of mixed greens you would otherwise purchase at the grocery store and may not use? Highly unlikely.
HelloFresh probably won’t be part of every supper time in most households. However, If you don’t often cook for yourself, never cook with your significant other or your children, are intimidated by a recipe book, or just downright dislike putting together a meal, this is a fun and easy way to change things up! My wife and I enjoyed each meal experience, and looked forward to our next one!
Being together in the kitchen can be a fun and fulfilling process, and HelloFresh helped make that happen. We’ll likely continue to get a meal kit delivered once or twice a month (perhaps replacing eating out) for the joy of cooking together and enjoying a fresh, hassle-free meal experience.