Variety May be the Spice of Life, but is a Meal Delivery Service for You?

Updated: May 6

I was working on a meal delivery project for an online magazine and wanted to share my experience with anyone who is thinking of giving it a try. Lock-down made these services increasingly popular and after sampling a couple of the Canadian options, I found Hello Fresh provided the superior experience. Our relationship started off splendidly, I even chose to stick it out after the project finished and lasted an additional six months before realizing meal delivery was a lunch bag let down. Here’s what happened that made me decide to walk away from the subscription, leaving a bunch of unused credits in my account.

The marketing materials Hello Fresh distributes suggests they deliver a superior product with farm fresh ingredients right to your doorstep. This is where the disconnect started, living adjacent to farmers it was easy to identify that although ingredients were pre-cut and pre-portioned, they were often not exactly “farm fresh’. During the half, a dozen months of participating in the program many deliveries came missing key ingredients or with spoiled produce we could not even cook. The staff at Hello Fresh were always happy to provide us with credits when our families meals were not edible which although appreciated did not resolve our food waste concerns.

When I first thought about participating as a contributor for the meal delivery topic, I pondered if it was a good idea because of the excess waste that can occur in some packaging methods. I investigated to see if there was any way to offset this worry and was happy to discover that since Hello Fresh orders are arriving directly from the supplier and are precisely portioned, families report less food waste then found after regular grocery shops. Hello Fresh suggests their carbon footprint to be 33% lower than meals made with store bought ingredients. This sounded great on the surface, but this calculation probably did not include variables like of our spoiled food, or the gas used to drive to the store replacing ingredients.

After a consecutive stretch of complaints over the easy to use and helpful app on my phone I decided to speak to someone directly. I called and requested suspending service until produce improved/the supplier changed, after all I had those credits. The Hello Fresh representative said for proprietary reasons this was not an option. It was not the reply I expected but one I accepted. Although meal delivery was helpful with its new recipe ideas and acted as a sous chef of sorts chopping and portion our meals, in the end the food waste was not worth the time saved. Five months has passed since my breakup with this service and I have not looked back. Meal delivery managed to last more than a season before it showed its true self but in the end even at a discount was not a keeper!

To be fair experience can often be individual and with meal delivery can differ vastly between regions. If you have another experience please share in the comment section.

Fare thee well, @ Kasyholisticgirl

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