Grocery and Meal Kit Delivery Services – August 2017 Focus on Food

 

Picture of Miriam

Hi Fit Fam!

This month I wanted to talk about food delivery services, since I have been ordering my groceries online because I just had a baby. As a lot of you know, it’s not advised to take the little one out in public for about 6 weeks; it’s not like it’s easy anyway! Oliver is 7 weeks now, and I am still ordering my groceries online since I have not fully figured out what to put him in, how to carry all the groceries and him, and how he will do. Of course I would love to go to my favorite food stores in person to get that beautiful inspiration, but we must adapt when life changes, right? I vow to eat healthfully and tastefully, even when I can’t physically shop for the food myself, so I’m sharing how I’m doing it.

 

The delivery services I’ve used are Amazon Fresh and Prime Now for groceries. I have heard great things about Thrive, but haven’t tried it just yet.

 

 

 

 

Amazon Fresh doesn’t have all the products I want just yet, but Prime Now has a lot of what I want because they have access to all of Sprouts products! Having access to a health food store is perfect for me (and you, I argue) 😉 . If you order with Prime Now, it’s a $7 charge per delivery. For Amazon Fresh, it’s a free delivery if you are a Prime member and order over $40. The products were on time and fairly fresh. I do wonder if my organic avocados and organic bananas were actually organic. I can see how you can easily put an organic sticker on them… you do have to let some of the control go unfortunately.

So what did I order, you ask? Here was the latest list to create breakfast (yogurt and fruit), lunch (tofu, avocado, and bean salad), dinner (pasta), and snacks (chips and ice cream with whipped cream):

  1. Greek 0% yogurt
  2. Organic strawberries
  3. Organic blueberries
  4. Organic bananas
  5. Organic spinach
  6. Organic avocados
  7. Wild Woods teriyaki tofu
  8. Black beans
  9. Organic kale
  10. Late July chips
  11. Pop Chips
  12. Hummus
  13. Whole wheat spaghetti
  14. Shredded parmesan
  15. Halo Top ice cream
  16. Tru Whip whipped cream

I also ordered some other stuff for my husband. He loves pepperoni pizza right now. I am looking forward to more variety once I can visually get that inspiration again, but perhaps I will find new inspiration from searching online. For now, this is how I am getting by… and it’s not too shabby! I do feel badly about the waste from Prime Now, but Amazon Fresh has big green coolers that they will pick up along with the packaging for recycling.

For those interested in more controlled meals, I thought it might be nice to add a comparison I found of popular meal delivery services:

Meal Kit Delivery:

A lot of the marketing for these meal kits focuses on “freshness,” so there’s a perception that the meals are also healthy. The ingredients are indeed fresh­, but not all of the services provide enough nutrition info for their meals. HelloFresh listed the most—calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, sodium, and sugars—on their recipe cards. Others provided only calories. (See “Our At-a-Glance Guide” below). In determining how healthy the meals were, our experts looked at calories, fatsaturated fat, and sodium. If a company didn’t provide data for one of those nutrients, we calculated it using a nutritional database program.


Our At-a-Glance Guide

All of the factors below, except characteristics of note, were taken into account in determining our overall scores. The information in each section is based on each service’s basic plan for three meals per week for two people. 

Hello Fresh logo Green Chef logo Plated logo Purple Carrot logo Blue Apron logo
Overall Score Excellent Excellent Very Good Very Good Very Good
Average price per portion $11.50 1 $11.99 2 $12 $11.33 $9.99
Number of recipes to choose from each week
6
Also offers Family and Vegetarian plans.
6
Also offers Carnivore, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian plans.
7
Can add dessert for $4 per portion.
No choice of meals; everyone gets the same three recipes selected by the company per week. 6

Also offers a Family plan.
Ingredient freshness Four instances of produce with very minor blemishes. Majority of foods were fresh and unblemished. Majority of foods were fresh and unblemished. Majority of foods were fresh and unblemished. Majority of foods were fresh and unblemished.
Nutrition notes • On average, lowest in calories, fat (tie), and sodium.

• Recipe card listed the most nutritional information.

• Highest in fiber (tie) and lowest in fat (tie), on average.

• Recipe card listed calorie info; an expanded nutrition profile can be found online.

• Recipes had the most vegetables.

• All ingredients are certified organic.

• Meat and poultry raised without antibiotics.

• No GMOs or hormones.

• Highest average fat (tie) and sodium content.

• Recipe card listed calorie info; an expanded nutrition profile is online.

• Meat and poultry raised without antibiotics.

• Vegan.

• Highest average fat content (tie) but lowest in saturated fat.

• Highest in fiber (tie).

• Recipe cards listed calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein (nothing online).

• All recipes contained whole grains or legumes.

• Company claims ingredients are often organic.

• No GMOs.

• Some recipes were on the high side for fat.

• Recipe card provided information only on calories (nothing online).

• Company claims ingredients are often organic.

Tasting notes All very appetizing. This service had more standard fare than the others. Earned second-highest marks for taste. Earned the highest marks for taste. Our tasters said they would make every recipe again. Recipes were tasty but not as impressive overall as those from the higherrated services. Recipes were tasty but not as impressive overall as those from the higherrated services.
Ease of preparation
(1 = very difficult, 7 = very easy)
6.5 6 6 6.5 5.8
Average number of cooking utensils used per recipe 10

Recipe card had a detailed but not complete list of equipment needed up front.
12

Recipe card had a thorough list of equipment needed up front.
10

Recipe card had a small list of the equipment needed up front, focusing mostly on pots and pans.
11

Recipe card didn’t list equipment needed up front.
10

Recipe card didn’t list equipment needed up front.
Average time to get dinner on the table Company claims recipes take 30 minutes or less, but three took 8-15 minutes longer. Times listed on the recipe cards were 20-45 minutes, but some meals took about 30-40 minutes. Times listed on the recipe cards were 20-45 minutes, but most meals took 5-10 minutes less. Meals took 30-40 minutes to prepare, close to the times on the recipe cards. Times listed on the recipe cards were 25-60 minutes, but most meals took 5-10 minutes less.
Notes • Had the fewest ethnic-inspired dishes.

• Averaged 31 packaging items per box, including 8 plastic bags and 4 plastic containers.

• Company claims most packaging is biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable.

• Recipes often had premade, unique, high-quality sauces/ingredients.

• Recipe cards didn’t list ingredient amounts.

• Averaged 37 packaging items per box, including 22 plastic bags and 6 plastic containers.

• Company claims most packaging is recyclable, compostable, or reusable.

• Offered descriptive tags on recipes (Vegetarian, Quick Prep, LowCalorie, Test-Kitchen Pick, etc.).

• Averaged 39 packaging items per box, including 22 plastic bags and 10 plastic containers.

• Company claims most packaging is recyclable, reusable, or compostable.

• Averaged 29 packaging items per box, including 20 plastic bags and 3 plastic containers.

• Company claims most packaging is reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable.

• Had the most ethnic-inspired dishes and the least expensive plan.

• Averaged 31 packaging items per box, including 14 plastic bags and 7 plastic containers.

• Company claims all packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.

• You can return all materials to the company free.

 

Let me know what topic you are interested in and it can be addressed!

Picture of my son Oliver 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toodles,

Miriam Turner

Studio SWEAT Dietitian

  

Resource:  October 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine,

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