Introducing Food Box Recipe Delivery Companies: Food box delivery companies are an extension of online grocery shopping. Instead of picking and choosing your grocery shop yourself, you are sent a curated box of healthy, natural or organic foods on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Some food box delivery companies allow you to choose a number of recipes that you want to cook over the next week and send you a food box with all the necessary ingredients and recipes to cook these meals. Other food box services focus on sending customers seasonal fruit, vegetables, meat or fish sourced locally without any recipes. Whatever the angle food box delivery companies take, they basically appeal to a wide variety of people, from time strapped professionals to healthy people who want to buy local and know where their fruits, vegetables and meat come from. The following blog will introduce some of the main food box recipe delivery companies operating in the UK.
HelloFresh: HelloFresh is the largest food box recipe delivery company and operates in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. It delivers over 11 million meals per month and has over 1.25 million customers. The company heavily promotes itself across the UK and even has a partnership with chef Jamie Oliver who has created recipes for HelloFresh. There are a selection of boxes to choose from (classic, veggie or family), as well different number of meals per box (3 to 5 meals to feed 2-4 people each), and a choice of 3 to 8 different recipes each week.
In the box, all the food is separated into different areas for fresh ingredients, chilled ingredients, heavy ingredients and so on. The recipes are highly rated by users and include both step by step text instructions and photos, as well as nutritional info. Users can choose their delivery time, as well as pause or cancel their subscription anytime. The starting price for a single HelloFresh meal starts from £4 per meal and rises up.
Above: Hello Fresh weekly step by step recipe instructions with photos Source: hellofresh.co.uk
Riverford Organic Farmers: Riverford Organic differentiates itself by its focus on organic food. It started out as a simple vegetable box delivery service from the original farm in Devon. Now it has over 47,000 weekly customers. The service has less choice and flexibility than HelloFresh with 5 different recipe box types (original, quick, quick & light, vegetarian, vegetarian quick) that offer 2-3 different meals that serve 2 people each. The recipes are geared towards slightly rustic home cooking with some unusual ingredients. However, users are not given a choice in the weekly recipes. There have been some complaints that the weekly recipes often lack sufficient photos and can involve longer cooking times than suggested.
The starting prices for a single weekly box with Riverford Organic are £24.95 for 2 meals for 2 people or £33.95 for 3 meals for 2 people, which equates to roughly £5.66-£6.25 per meal. Riverford also offers organic fruit & salad boxes, vegetable boxes and meat boxes. As well, there are options to add individual ingredients such as fruit or vegetables to your recipe box.
Mindful Chef: Mindful Chef is a relatively newer competitor and all of their food is sourced from Devon and the West Country. It differentiates itself by focusing on ‘reducing your intake of gluten and that refined sugars and refined carbohydrates should be avoided’. Proteins are also prioritized over carbohydrates so there are no recipes with pasta, white rice or bread. The service is simpler than other competitors as you choose up to 5 meals from 12 different recipes and then choose how many people you are cooking for (1, 2 or 4). Unlike its competitors, Mindful Chef offers a meal choice for 1 person while most other food box recipe services offer meals that serve a minimum of 2 people.
The Mindful Chef food recipe box takes a different approach than its peers as their food box ingredients are already pre-divided into meals for you which saves valuable time. However, similar to Riverford Organic, Mindful Chef’s recipes have been critcised for lacking step by step photos, the complexity of some of their recipes and longer cooking times than suggested. The boxes are more expensive than their competitors and start from £9 per portion for a 1 person box and £6 per portion for a 4 person box.
Above: Mindful Chef weekly recipe choices Source: mindfulchef.com
Personal Opinion: I never really understood the need for food box delivery companies as I love going to the market every Saturday to buy fruits and vegetables, and I like to control what I eat and what ingredients go into my meals. My whole perspective and understanding of food box delivery services changed when I found out that a few of my friends were subscribing to food box delivery companies. One of my friends, who works in banking, works long hours, travels regularly and does not have much spare time. He appreciates the convenience of having fresh, healthy foods delivered to his home by HelloFresh which he can use to prepare with the recommended recipe. Another friend, who works in yoga, loves receiving a box of organic, natural foods direct from Riverford Organic Farms which she can use for various meals during the week.
It appears that food box delivery services appeal to different types of people from high income earners with limited time to people in the wellness industry interested in eating local, organic foods. The bottom line is that even if you do not have a personal interest in subscribing to food box recipe delivery services, you will probably be surprised by the number of your friends and acquaintances that have a need for these types of services. With the growing rise of millennials and the popularity of organic, natural foods, grocery shopping habits are going to continue to evolve with more people grocery shopping online and subscription food box recipe delivery services becoming more common.
Feedback From The giffgaff Community: Do you order groceries online? Have you or would you be willing to try out a subscription food box recipe delivery service? Do you view food recipe boxes as a niche service for certain people or do you see wider consumer appeal?
Thanks for reading! Jeff Elephant
Jeff loves tech, wine, exercise and travel. He posts every Friday morning.