Peace of mind. You will always know what’s for dinner. You just need to choose your menu once a week with a few clicks, or even a month in advance with some meal kit companies, if you prefer.
Best Food Subscription Boxes in Canada 2023
Every day there are around a million food subscription boxes delivered in Canada. Food subscription boxes, also known as meal kits, are highly convenient for people who don’t have the time or energy to go shopping at a conventional grocery store. Meal kit delivery services bring the extra bonus of freeing busy people like yourself from having to plan out an entire lunch or dinner, since the meals are planned ahead of time by a chef or culinary team. Ingredients for each recipe are pre-measured based on how many servings are ordered, which translates into a filling meal with no stale leftovers and no food waste.
With the rise of companies such as Netflix and Amazon, the subscription service model has become one of the most common ways to shop. As a result, it was only a matter of time before this model was applied to the way that people eat. In the past few years, more and more Canadians have opted to try a food subscription service. If you haven’t tried it yet, we’re sure you’ll love it. Plus, we have incredible discount codes for first-time customers of different meal kit services.
Top Three Canadian Food Subscription Boxes -
Consider the following benefits of a meal kit delivery service:
Saving time. You will not have to go grocery shopping for your dinner anymore. Everything will be planned, measured, organized, and shipped to you based on your preferences.
Saving space. You won’t need to store additional food in your fridge or pantry, except maybe for snacks or breakfast. All food subscription boxes in Canada ship you just enough food per serving and will replenish your supply weekly.
Saving the planet. Since you are not driving to the store, so meal kits save gas and reduce air pollution. Most food subscription boxes in Canada are recyclable, their ice packs are reusable, and food waste is drastically reduced since you are not buying more groceries than you need.
When you consider all the factors, food subscription boxes in Canada give you a pretty good bang for your buck. The cost of your subscription food box will depend on how many meals you order, for how many people, if you choose premium meal options, if delivery costs apply, and what company you choose to go with.
While there is an obvious convenience factor at play for all Canadians, we’ve found that our friends that live in suburban/exurban and rural communities get the most value for their money when it comes to the best healthy food boxes because the costs of meat and produce are already much higher in those areas, plus you often can’t find many of the ingredients that an inventive meal kit recipe might include!
Many of the food subscription services are starting to take special diets and requirements into consideration. This trend will only increase as more people cut down on meat consumption and look to eat healthier or push more companies to offer organic meal kits. Information on Statista shows the following about Canadians’ diets: 7% are flexitarian, 1% are vegetarian, 2% are pescatarian, 2% have religious or cultural dietary preferences, 1% are lacto-ovo vegetarian, 3% are vegan, and 73% have no preference.
Getting Started With a Food Subscription Box
As you would probably expect from online services, their sign-up process is simple. You hook a credit card up (like any other subscription box service), and you’re good to go.
Depending on the meal kit company, you’re likely to have the option of a two-person meal option and a four-person “family size.” There will usually be a pool of 5-8 options each week (more, if you eat everything) that you can choose 2-4 meals from. Your food subscription box will show up each week and have the ingredients for each meal pre-portioned in a bag for you. Most meal kit providers assume that you have access to common ingredients such as sugar, oil, and salt, so they won’t include these with your box. This prevents waste if they had to package these each week and allows you to decide how much to use. Plus it lets you adjust how much of these items you use in each meal, which is great if you’re looking to lower your sodium intake, sugar, etc.
The rest of the ingredients that you need to cook the meal with, including all spices, will come in individual packages. After nine months of opening our food boxes, we have yet to receive products that were not fresh. The most negative thing that we’ve had occur is that our basil slightly froze when it was -45 outside in winter—but we’re willing to live with that since it was on our doorstep for 5+ hours that day!
Each week you’ll receive some version of a recipe card that is virtually dummy-proof in your food subscription box, along with a fully insulated and cooled parcel full of delicious food. If you live in the Toronto area, you can also purchase Longo’s meal kits right at the supermarket.
Why We Love A Food Subscription Box: Personal Experience
You get lots of free meals included with your first box or few with most companies. The only thing better than sliced bread? FREE sliced bread!
Guaranteed fresh produce. While all of our meals have been fresh, we’ve been especially impressed by the quality cuts of meat.
Far fewer trips to the grocery store—a chore that just seems infinitely harder at the end of a workday!
Less wasted food, less ordering in, and fewer restaurant visits mean MORE money in our pocket and less guilt!
You get to try new foods without going through the time-consuming process of looking up recipes.
Planning the next week’s meals takes five minutes or less with a super easy-to-use app or website.
You essentially get cooking classes included. If you want some new ideas on how to combine ingredients, or never really understood why you sear something before baking it, then use food subscription box recipes to improve your cooking skills.
Healthy eating isn’t a chore anymore. The recipes are great (as you’d expect when they’re created and tested by dozens of pro chefs) and are designed with health in mind.
The mental grind of worrying about supper every night is GONE. You literally don’t think about supper until 10-50 minutes before it has to be on the table.
It can help impress your partner or make the “chore” of cooking a thing of the past, so it doesn’t just fall to one person! Plus, no need to shop for dinner, so more time together.
Frequently Asked Questions about Food Subscription Boxes in 2023
Every food box that we’ve received has been very cool when we opened it. In fact, just to test it out, we left a box in +30 degrees Celsius for a whole afternoon. Upon opening it at 7 PM, over half of the ice packs were still frozen solid. The bottom line here is that these boxes are well-engineered.
Yes! Skipping a week is very easy with most services. All three of the large food box subscription companies allow you to easily skip a week when you sign up. Cancelling is as simple as opening your account, and a few clicks later, you’re no longer committed—although there will be some follow-up emails that try to entice you back.
Delivery fees vary by company. Some companies simply factor delivery costs into the price and won’t charge any additional delivery fees. Others might give free delivery for new customers but eventually start charging a delivery fee. For companies that do charge for delivery, those fees tend to range between $3.50 and $9.99. Sometimes fees can be reduced based on the volume of food being ordered.
Every food subscription delivery service does things a bit differently, but long story short is that most companies will figure out how to get you their box—as long as you live in a city. If you live rurally or in an exurb/bedroom community, you might have to get a bit creative.
Now, if you want to make life easy on yourself and don’t want your package sitting on your doorstep or have parcel pickup (if you live in an apartment or condo), you can make an arrangement with a kind neighbour, ask a local business that you frequent if they mind holding it for you, or simply get the box mailed to your workplace. These boxes will be fine beside your desk or wherever else there is room. Just take your dinner home with you as you leave!
While there is no doubt that individualized packaging isn’t ideal from an overall environmental footprint point of view, 95% of the packaging in our boxes has been recyclable. The other thing that must be taken into consideration is the crazy reduction in food waste that meal kits allow you to benefit from.
This is unique to each company. All food subscription delivery companies pride themselves on being able to deliver fresher food than what is available in supermarkets because they can cut out a lot of “middle man” logistics in the farm-to-table supply chain. However, each company does this a little differently. For instance, FreshPrep reports that they “work directly with local purveyors and farms in BC that support sustainable practices.” While most companies strive to maximize the proportion of their food that’s grown locally and organically, the realities of the climate in Canada mean that it’s difficult and expensive for a meal kit to be completely organic and locally sourced.
Several of Canada’s healthy food subscription box companies have vegetarian options. Not only are they a very healthy way to eat, but they are also some of the cheaper options available. While the bigger meal kit companies are able to offer the occasional keto-friendly or non-gluten meal, we have yet to come across a company that markets those meal types specifically. HelloFresh offers low-carb meals, which are often suitable for the keto diet.
The “portions” vary by each food subscription box company. On average for all of the different services we’ve tried, we usually have leftovers roughly 25% of the time. What we’ve noticed is that the meals that include a high-calorie type of meat or sauce are the most likely to leave us wanting more. This is likely due to the fact that the food box delivery folks want to make sure they keep each meal within a certain calorie range. The pleasant surprise has been how much we enjoy eating vegetarian meals—and how big the portions are when we go that route!
Yes! The meals are pretty straightforward to cook almost all of the time. We’ve had some problems with “fancy” types of flaky pastries, but that’s really it. And we can’t emphasize this enough: some of us are complete novices in the kitchen.
Even the previous non-cooks in our team have been really surprised at how quickly a person can learn how to use different spices and foods to complement one another just by following the step-by-step guides that accompany each meal. You get to try spices and ingredients that you would have never put on your grocery list previously.
If you’re new to cooking gourmet meals, you should probably allow for 10-20% longer than what is predicted at the beginning., If you already know your way around the kitchen, then whatever the specified time is for each recipe will be enough for you.
The best food delivery subscription for you comes down to your personal preferences and requirements. The main factors to choose from are meal variety, dietary requirements, delivery to your area, the types of meal plans available, and cost.
Food subscription boxes are very popular in Canada because they help to save time and eat healthier. Meal kit delivery companies like HelloFresh and Chefs Plate are two of the largest brands and they deliver pre-portioned ingredients to make fresh dinners at home.
Food delivery services can deliver groceries, ready-made meals, or ingredients to cook meals at home (meal kits). Meal kits are becoming ever more popular as a convenient way to eat healthier, explore new recipes, and save time in the kitchen.
You can get halal and kosher meal kits delivered in Canada, although not every area is covered. It’s more common to find ready-made halal or kosher meals available for delivery.
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Who Are We?
We are a team of researchers who go above and beyond the simple listings of promotional materials. Our goal is to provide you with objective information about food subscription boxes in Canada. For this purpose, not only do we try all the subscription boxes ourselves to make our own opinion and share personal experiences, but we also collect and analyze data about the companies. We check and share their credibility and reputation, plan availability, meal variety, pricing, customer service, and many other useful details that will help you find the best food subscription boxes for you and your family.
For those meal kits in Canada that are not available to our team due to service area and logistics, we invite our friends and partners who live all over the country to participate in trying them and sharing their experiences with us.
The Bottom Line on Food Subscription Boxes in Canada
Food subscription boxes have become increasingly popular in the Canadian market. A decade ago this method of buying food was virtually unheard of, yet now there are millions of Canadians using monthly or weekly food subscription services at one time or another. What are some of the reasons for this explosive popularity?
First, food subscription boxes are major time-savers. Busy, on-the-go Canadians appreciate being able to skip shopping for groceries and planning dinners, yet still being able to enjoy a fresh homemade meal that takes between 10 and 50 minutes to prepare.
Second, the most popular food subscription boxes offer a wide variety of healthy and affordable meal options. Kid-friendly meals are available for those interested in a family plan. People who don’t eat meat have a growing range of vegetarian or vegan meal kit options. Health-conscious customers can enjoy low-fat or low-carb meal kit choices from a growing number of companies.
Third, food subscription boxes are environmentally friendly. They reduce air pollution by requiring fewer people to drive to grocery stores, since one meal kit delivery truck can serve dozens of homes. Meal kits also help reduce food waste. Finally, the packaging itself is usually recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable.
Meal kits are a great way to eat healthily and save time. Many singles use meal kits because they want to cook for themselves but don’t want to have to waste food by buying more than they need in the supermarket.
Finally, meal kits are popular simply because they help even the most inexperienced cooks prepare a restaurant-quality meal. Recipes provide detailed instructions that assist novice chefs in avoiding common mistakes. The end result is a premium-quality dinner for a fraction of a restaurant’s price, especially considering gratuities and transportation costs related to dining out.
All of these benefits have played a major role in the rapid popularization of food subscription boxes in Canada. We believe that the food subscription industry will only continue to grow, and that more and more Canadians will convert to this new convenient and affordable method of gourmet dining.