The Benefit of Meal Kits, and The Drawbacks Too


A couple of years ago, Gildshire examined the emerging world of meal kits. At the time, five meal kits dominated the field, and 2-3 others were in play, as well. We reported on all of them, choosing our favorites of the lot. Since then, approximately a zillion new meal kits have come along, as the market expands with about the same power as The Big Bang. So, we are back for another bite of the topic. But, this time with more than an overview of the benefit of meal kits. Are they convenient and healthy? Is there a weight-loss component to them? What do we know now that we did not know then? Let’s dive in!

Why is meal planning beneficial?

It goes without saying that meal kits and menu planning go hand-in-hand. A meal planned meticulously from scratch involves purchasing and prepping five or more ingredients. Multiply that by three meals a day and seven days a week. That’s 105 ingredients at the smaller end of the calculation. Extrapolate that out to a month and a year, and it is no wonder that the cook in the house is begging for pizza delivery by Thursday of the first week.

Instead, meal kits make menu planning easy and convenient. While there is a prep component to a meal kit, planning and purchasing are a breeze. You are free to plan a healthy meal using whatever criteria you please. Keto, gluten-free, or diabetic? A low carbohydrate, Atkins, or South Beach diet? Mix and match from available plans, and you have a month of dishes planned in less than thirty minutes. The benefit of meal kits includes specialty planning as easy as heating up some hot dogs and popping a cold Pepsi.

Are meal kits healthy?

Relative to what? We aren’t trying to be difficult, but this is the critical question you must answer. If your meal kit replaces a Big Mac or Whopper diet, then the new meal kit will be far healthier. But, if you are a cook who parcels out the soy sauce drip by drip to control sodium, you might want to stick with a traditional meal set-up. By and large, though, the chefs who prepare them pay attention to the benefit of meal kits and try to follow a healthy path.

Does meal planning help you lose weight?

Does the benefit of meal kits include weight loss?

Some of them do, but some of them do not. It all depends on how accurate the label is to portion size. Unlike most traditional foods, where portion size is relatively standard, meal kits range from not enough to way too much in terms of portion size. This is a category that cries out for regulation, on the one hand, but trial and error on the other. If you are dieting, stick with the meal kit that is the most accurate when it comes to portioning and go from there.

Is the benefit of meal kits worth it?

I guess this is where the fork hits the food, as it were. The benefit of meal kits comes down to their value for the money. 

Sure, some people will say a meal subscription is worth it, no brainer. You get to sample new things, making impressive meals. But are you getting a good deal? Your subscription service is not giving you secret ingredients that you could not buy from your grocer. There are very few rare recipes. 

You are paying a relatively high price for food delivered to your door. A male aged 19-50 will spend between $43.60 a week and $66.80 a week on groceries. A female in the same age bracket will pay a bit less. These amounts include all meals and snacks for a week. With a savings of $4.33 per meal to do your own grocery shopping, you are paying yourself some extra cash.

Who should invest in a meal kit subscription?

There is one specific kind of person who would do well to subscribe. If you aren’t the kind to be disciplined enough to shop for and prepare nutritious dinners, instead opting for repeated nights of sandwiches and chips, these are for you. If, though, you like to cook and don’t mind shopping, steady as she goes is the best answer. Most of us fall somewhere in between. Where you fall on that continuum is the best indicator of the benefits of meal kits for you and your family. Your friends at Gildshire will continue to monitor the situation as the market only grows.

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