The Best Meal Kits in Canada
There are some days where you have no time to whip up a home cooked meal. Trying to fit in the prep and cook times with a busy schedule is extremely difficult. That’s where meal kits come in. These packages are delivered straight to your door, with all the ingredients prepped and ready to go.
Because of their convenience, meal kits have exploded in popularity. There are many meal-kit services to choose from and picking one can be a challenging task. To help you make your decision, we have compiled a list of the best meal kit delivery services in Canada. Our guide will list the various features of each service as well as their pros and cons. So, let’s get started.
Our top picks
What to look for in a meal kit
A meal kit’s cost can change depending on the plan you choose. The price will go up if the number is higher. For example, selecting the four recipes per week for four people will cost you more than two recipes for two people. Most services have special deals or one time offers that lower the fee. A shipping fee is usually attached, although you can sometimes get free shipping. Meal kit companies will have a pricing menu so you can see how much you will be paying. We recommend you develop a budget and see if the meal kit service meshes well with it.
This is an important factor, especially if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegan, etc.). Some companies will have meals for specific diets like keto, vegetarian, and pescatarian. Vegan and gluten free meals are harder to find. But there are companies that specifically cater to those diets. Food allergies will also be listed on the recipe cards. Unfortunately, most companies cannot guarantee their ingredients are free from cross contamination.
If you do not have any dietary needs, it’s still nice to have plenty of options when it comes to your meals. Eating the same dishes time and again can get dull very quickly. That’s why the best meal kits have a wide range of meals.
While most meal kit services ship nationwide, some companies do not deliver to certain provinces. There are other companies that only serve certain areas of Canada, like the western provinces (B.C. and Alberta) or Ontario and Quebec. To check if you are in a company’s delivery zone, enter in your postal code.
The best meal kits in Canada
With Chefs Plate, you can choose from 23 easy to cook recipes every week. Most of the ingredients are sourced from Canadian farmers and suppliers. The recipes are developed by an expert culinary team in collaboration with farmers and suppliers. As a result, the recipes use the freshest ingredients and are both tasty and nutritious. Chefs Plate includes nutritional info on the recipe cards and on the website menu (the recipe cards are more detailed). This information is helpful if you are trying to manage calories and certain macronutrients. Currently, there are no specific meal kits for dietary needs or allergies. However, Chefs Plate intends to offer some in the future. As of now, there is only veggie specific recipes. If you need to make adjustments to a recipe, the “Taste Preference” feature lets you remove ingredients like pork or shellfish. You can also easily substitute ingredients.
Pricing starts at $8.99 per serving for four people. For two people, each serving is $9.99. You can have two, three, or four meals delivered per week Depending on the order and location, a shipping fee is applied. Thankfully, Chefs Plate often has special offers that lower prices. For example, new users get discounts on their first order. Instead of paying $45.96 on your order, you get a discount of $26.00.
Chefs Plate uses a flexible subscription service. There is no monthly subscription fee, you only pay the total amount for your weekly order. You have the option of skipping certain weeks if needed. Just make sure to update your account before the weekly deadline: 11:59 pm PST(Pacific Time) four days before delivery.
If you’re looking for quick and easy to make meals, Chefs Plate is for you. Most of the meals take under 40 minutes to make, and some only take 15 minutes. The weekly menus are interesting and diverse; various cuisines from around the world are represented. The flexible subscription is another plus. You can adapt the service to accommodate your lifestyle. While the cost can be high, there are plenty of deals for first time users. And even though Chefs Plate does not have specific kits for dietary restrictions, users can remove certain ingredients from a meal.
- Quick and easy meals.
- Lots of variety in terms of cuisines.
- Can skip certain weeks if need be.
- Able to remove certain ingredients based on dietary needs.
- Discounts for new users.
- No diet specific boxes (gluten free, vegan etc.)
- Does not ship to every province.
- No allergy free boxes.
- Price can be expensive after your first week.
Since Chefs Plate is a division of HelloFresh, both have similar structures. HelloFresh also uses a flexible subscription service that has the same weekly deadline. The price per serving is slightly higher than Chefs Plate. For example, five recipes per week for four people is $9.25 per serving, a $0.26 increase. Plus, a $9.99 shipping fee is added to the total cost. However, HelloFresh delivers to every Canadian province.
With HelloFresh, you can choose from over 35 recipes each week, which includes six vegetarian meals that use plant-based proteins. There are additional options for brunch, dessert, side and much more. There are also meal plans tailored to certain diets. You can order pescatarian (veggie and fish), low carb, and 100% vegetarian recipes.
HelloFresh strives to use high quality ingredients in all of their recipes. To achieve this goal, ingredients are sourced from suppliers across Canada. Local and organic ingredients are sourced whenever possible. Nutritional info for each meal is placed on the recipe card, as well as the HelloFresh website and app. If you want to modify a meal, HelloFresh has a customization option for certain recipes. For any meal labeled “Custom Recipe ”, you can swap specific ingredients. For example, you can replace pork with turkey.
With plenty of meal options, HelloFresh is a good option for people following special diets like keto or vegan. The ability to swap out ingredients is a useful feature, particularly for picky eaters or people with food intolerances. However, the company does not have specific boxes for dietary requirements like gluten free, vegan, Halal, or Kosher. People with severe food allergies may not be able to use HelloFresh; the company cannot guarantee that ingredients are free from cross-contamination. Still, HelloFresh is a big step up in terms of meal options.
- Able to customize meals (swap ingredients).
- Meal plans for diets like vegetarian, pescatarian, and keto
- Delivers to every Canadian province.
- Can get expensive.
- Not a good option for people with severe food allergies.
- No plans for specific dietary needs like Kosher or vegan.
Although Goodfood is one of the younger companies on this list, it has become one of the largest meal kit providers in Canada. As of February 2021, the company has 319,000 active subscribers. The main reason for this rapid growth is the dietary variety offered. The menu includes vegetarian recipes, low carb dishes, and meals to feed the whole family. However, there are no meal kits for specific diets. Any potential allergens are listed on the recipe card, and all the important nutritional info is included as well. However, there is still a danger of some ingredients getting contaminated. In addition to meals, Goodfood also delivers grocery items, ready-to-eat meals, and breakfast meals and products. As with other meal kit services, Goodfood sources most its ingredients from local businesses and Canadian farms; about 85% comes from these two sources. To further guarantee freshness, Goodfood prioritizes ingredients with zero additives or preservatives.
Like other meal kit services in this guide, Goodfood lets you skip weeks if need be. You can also manage up to 12 weeks of deliveries ahead of time. For new users, Goodfood automatically selects recipes based on the plans and preferences you selected during the registration. These selections are not set in stone, you can still customize your orders and pick the meals you want. The price for Goodfood is fairly decent, with the Family Basket plan being the most affordable. There are plenty of deals for new subscribers; about $56.00-$70.00 is taken off your first week total. For extra savings, the Goodfood Wow feature provides unlimited same day and next day deliveries. This feature costs $5.99 + taxes per month with zero delivery fees and weekly subscription management. Lastly, Goodfood has a referral program. You can send $40 worth of Goodfood credits to a friend via a special link. Each time a new member signs up using the referral link, you will receive $25 worth of credits.
Goodfood is a good meal kit service for families in need of convenience and flexibility. Plus, being able to order groceries, precooked meals, and other foods gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Even though no diet specific meals are offered, there are still many tasty options to choose from.
- Incentives and deals for new users.
- Can order groceries and pre-made meals.
- 85% of ingredients come from Canadian farmers and local businesses.
- Does not deliver to every province.
- No diet specific meal plans.
As their name suggests, Plant Prepped is a meal kit service that offers 100% plant-based options. Additionally, gluten free and soy-free meals are available. All of the ingredients used are sourced from farms as well as natural and artisanal food suppliers. All soy products are made form soybeans grown in Canada. Most of these ingredients are local, completely organic, and GMO-free. For people with food allergies, Plant Prepped packages ingredients separately. This makes substitutions easier. However, common allergens are still present in Plant Prepped’s kitchen. The company cannot ensure that accidental cross contamination does not take place.
Prices for plant prepped start at $12.08 per serving for three meals for four people. Shipping is free, and you can skip a delivery week if needed (update account before cut of time, Monday at midnight). Unfortunately, Plant Prepped only delivers to most of Quebec and Ontario.
For people following a vegan diet, Plant Prepped is a great meal kit company. It is also a great option for eating a gluten free or soy free diet. Signing up with Plant Prepped also benefits the environment. The company states that a plant-based diet can lower your eco-footprint. For example, eating a vegan diet saves 1100 gallons of water and 20lbs CO2 equivalent. The only areas of improvement would be a wider delivery range and meals that were 100% allergen free.
- 100% plant-based meals.
- Gluten free and soy free options.
- Eco friendly.
- Free shipping on all orders.
- Organic and GMO-free ingredients.
- Only available in areas of Quebec and Ontario.
- Some meals may still contain allergens via accidental cross contamination.
Fresh Prep is a regional based meal kit service that delivers to most of Alberta and British Columbia. The company has two plans: two person meals and a family plan (serves four). Prices start at $10.50 for four recipes per week on the family plan. Fresh Prep’s menu is flexible and you can order extra items like salads or baked goods. There are also meals for low carb, vegetarian, and vegan diets. The poultry and lamb used by Fresh Prep are Halal certified. Most of the ingredients are sourced from Canadian owned and operated suppliers. And if you have any questions about where Fresh Prep gets their ingredients, the company lists some of their suppliers on their website.
A unique feature of Fresh Prep is their Zero Waste Kit. These meal kits are designed for convenience and sustainability. The kit itself is a plastic tub with individual cups that store the ingredients. As you are cooking, grab the cup and pour the ingredients into the recipe. Think of these cups as measuring cups or mixing bowls. Once you are finished, rinse out the cups and the kit with cold water for 20-30 seconds. You can place them into the top rack of a dishwasher. Once all the parts are dry, place the kit into the reusable cooler bag, which will be picked up on your next delivery. The downside though is that not every meal uses the Zero Waste Kit. Only recipes labeled “Packaged in a Zero Waste Kit” use them.
Fresh Prep has gifts and offers for their customers. The company has a referral program, which you can use to get free meals. Click on “Invite Friends” and share the referral link with friends or family. For every person that signs up and orders using the link, you receive one free meal and the referred person gets three free kits. Fresh Prep also sells gift cards. They go up to $360.00, or you can enter your own amount (between $20.00 – $9999.00).
If you are following a specific diet or have food restrictions, Fresh Prep is a good meal kit service. Although the company cannot ensure meals are allergen free, you can personalize the menu based on your preferences and dietary needs.
- Vegetarian and vegan meals.
- Halal certified meats.
- Zero waste kits.
- Easily substitute ingredients in a recipe.
- Referral program and gift card.
- Allergens may still be present in recipes.
- Only delivers to select areas in Alberta and B.C.
- Not every meal is packed in the Zero Waste Kit.
Questions and answers about meal kits
What are meal kits?
Meal kits contain pre-portioned ingredients and recipes which are then delivered to subscribers in boxes, bags, or reusable containers. Some kits will contain partially prepared ingredients.
Why are meal kits popular?
The convenience of meal kits is the primary reason for their popularity. People and families with busy schedules like meal kits because it lets them quickly whip up a home cooked meal. They are also valued for their efficiency. On average, it takes less time to cook a meal kit recipe since you do not have to prep most of the ingredients. Another reason why meal kits are popular is they can help you save money. Since the ingredients are pre-portioned, meal kits cut down on food waste, which can cost an average household more than $1,300 a year. Meal kits can also help curb your spending when it comes to eating at restaurants/ordering takeout. When it comes to groceries, meal kits can help lower your bill; you do not have to buy as many items for the week.
How can I get free meal kits?
One way to get free meal kits is through a referral program. For example, Fresh Prep offers free meal kits to people who participate in their referral program. Some companies have special offers for new users that include a free meal kit in their first order. Unfortunately, there is no meal kit service that is completely free. You may be able to get free meals using a promo or discount code, but eventually you will have to pay for your orders.
Are meal kits healthy?
In general, meal kits are a healthier option than many takeout meals. Most companies use fresh ingredients in their recipes to provide proper nutrition. The ingredients are usually pre-portioned, which can help with portion control. Some companies offer calorie conscious options. For example, HelloFresh has a Calorie Smart plan which has 650kcal or less per serving. Lastly, a recipes nutritional values will be listed on both the recipe card and the website.
Are meal kits worth it?
If convenience is something you value, then meal kits are worth it. They help you save time on planning and prepping meals, which is valuable for people with hectic schedules. On top of that, most of the recipes are quick and easy to make. And if you do not like the hassle of buying groceries, meal kits are a great alternative.
Meal kits are worth it if cooking is your hobby. They can be used to learn new recipes and improve your cooking skills. And for people just getting into cooking, meal kits can be a good place to start. The recipes themselves are worth the membership. Each week you get unique and tasty dishes to choose from. This helps keep your weekly meal plan interesting.
From a price perspective, the answer to this question varies. As I mentioned earlier, meal kits help curb food waste, which can save households thousands of dollars. Plus, they can also lower your restaurant/takeout bill. So, from these two points of view, meal kits are worth the price. When it comes to groceries, things can get tricky. When meal kits first debuted, they were far more expensive than buying groceries. This fact still applies to several meal kits. However, the recent rise in food costs have made some meal kits an affordable alternative. If you also factor in the gas used to drive to grocery stores, meal kits might be a cheaper solution. In the end, the plan you choose and your current spending habits at the grocery store will determine whether a meal kit is worth buying.
If you have severe allergies, you should not order meal kits. Most companies cannot guarantee that cross contamination of ingredients does not take place. Therefore, a recipe could potentially contain allergens that cause extreme reactions.
Are there downsides to meal kits?
Despite their numerous benefits, there are some downsides to meal kits, one of which is the packaging used. Some companies use lots of plastic and/or cardboard packaging in their delivery boxes. Most of this material is not recyclable and goes to waste.
While meal kits do lower food waste, there is always a risk of the ingredients going bad. The ingredients will stay fresh for only a few days, after which they will start to spoil. That’s why you should cook the recipe within 2-3 days of delivery.
The price for meal kits is another downside. Since the meal kit market peaked in 2020, many Canadians have cancelled their memberships. About 78.1% cited the expensiveness as the main reason for leaving. And according to Global News, meal kits tend to cost more per serving rather than buying the same ingredients from a grocery store. Even with cheaper services, solely relying on meal kits for the entire week will likely break your budget. A better strategy is to incorporate meal kits into your existing diet. For example, you can cook a meal kit recipe once or twice during the week. This will help you save money on buying certain groceries, and it will keep the meal kit affordable. Another strategy is to make use of any coupons or discounts offered by a meal kit service. Some companies also offer welcome back discounts for returning subscribers. Still, these strategies do not change the fact that some meal kits can be quite expensive.
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