Best Food Subscription Boxes 2021

Every day there are almost 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 kits bring the extra bonus of freeing the customer from having to plan out an entire lunch or dinner, since the meals are planned ahead of time. Ingredients for each recipe are pre-measured based on how many servings were 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.

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Top Three Canadian Food Subscription Boxes - Ontario

Chefs Plate
$8.99 – $9.99
Budget-friendly
Wide variety of meals
Ability to easily skip any week you choose
Delivery to almost anywhere
HelloFresh
$9.69 – $11.49
Wide delivery service area
Easily skip weeks as needed
Large variety of meals
No free delivery
Papa Earth
$8.30 – $12.49
Wide delivery service area
Large variety of meat and fish
Focus on organic produce
Local ingredients

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 monthly 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 their credibility and reputation, plan availability, meal variety, pricing, customer service, and many other useful details that would 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.

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How Much Do Food Subscription Boxes Cost In Canada?

As you can see from the chart below, monthly food subscription boxes in Canada are not absolutely the cheapest way to purchase basic groceries. It makes sense when you think about the cost of shipping a box to your house.
Number of people
Recipes per week
Price per serving
$9.99 n/a $8.99 $9.99 n/a $8.99 $9.99 n/a $8.99 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
$12.25 n/a $10.88 $11.50 n/a $10.67 $10.88 n/a $10.00 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a n/a n/a $11.49 n/a $10.33 $11.25 n/a $9.69 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a $11.67 $10.88 $11.84 $10.67 $10.50 $10.75 $10.00 $9.75 $10.60 $9.60 $9.06 $10.50 $9.34 $8.80 $10.50 $9.15 $8.61
n/a n/a $10.49 $10.88 n/a $10.35 $9.89 n/a $9.81 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Shipping
$6.00 n/a free free n/a free free n/a free n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
free n/a free free n/a free free n/a free n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a n/a n/a $9.99 n/a $9.99 $9.99 n/a $9.99 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a free free free free free free free free free free free free free free free free
n/a n/a free free n/a free free n/a free n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Weekly total
$46 n/a $72 $60 n/a $108 $80 n/a $144 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
$49 n/a $87 $69 n/a $128 $87 n/a $160 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a n/a n/a $79 n/a $134 $100 n/a $165 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a $70 $87 $71 $96 $126 $86 $120 $156 $106 $144 $181 $126 $168 $211 $147 $192 $241
n/a n/a $84 $65 n/a $124 $79 n/a $157 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
First week promo
$25 off n/a $40 off $33 off n/a $59 off $44 off n/a $79 off n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
$36 off n/a $36 off $36 off n/a $36 off $36 off n/a $36 off n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a n/a n/a $55 off n/a $55 off $55 off n/a $55 off n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a $28 off $35 off $28 off $38 off $50 off $34 off $48 off $62 off $42 off $58 off $72 off $50 off $67 off $84 off $59 off $77 off $96 off
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
MKC-exclusive weekly total
$21 n/a $32 $27 n/a $49 $36 n/a $65 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
$13 n/a $51 $33 n/a $92 $51 n/a $124 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a n/a n/a $24 n/a $79 $45 n/a $110 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
n/a $42 $52 $43 $58 $76 $52 $72 $94 $64 $86 $109 $76 $101 $127 $88 $115 $145
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
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The real question that you should probably ask yourself is not how much food subscription boxes cost, but rather, are you getting a good value deal for your money?

Consider the following benefits that we were willing to pay a bit more for:

  • Peace of mind. You will always know what’s for dinner. You will need to plan your menu once a week with a few clicks, or you can have the same meals each week if you really like them.

  • 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 any additional food in your fridge or pantry, except maybe for snacks. 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, you are saving gas and reducing air pollution. Most monthly 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.

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When you consider all the factors, food subscription boxes in Canada give you a pretty good bang for your buck. Depending on what you’re looking for, the cost of your subscription food box will range from $5-$13 per serving. The variables being how many meals you ordered, if you prefer vegetarian meals or low-calorie meals for weight loss, 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! Just make sure you always have salt, pepper, sugar, and oil, as these items are not included in meal kits. It is assumed that people who cook at home always have these items available. 

Getting Started With a Food Subscription Box

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As one might expect from app-based companies, 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 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 each bag for you. Some meal kit providers assume that you have access to common ingredients such as sugar, oil, and salt. The rest of what you need to cook the meal, including all spices, will come in individual packages as seen below. We have yet to receive products that were not fresh after nine months of opening our food boxes. The most negative thing that we’ve had occur is that our basil slightly froze when it was -45 outside this past winter—but I’m 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 Our Food Subscription Box: Personal Experience

  • It’s FREE to try! 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 means MORE money in our pocket and less guilt!

  • We easily say “yes” to new foods that we’d likely try anyway if we went 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.

  • We’re paying for “Intro to Cooking 101,” and then follow-up advanced cooking classes. If you want some new ideas on how to combine ingredients, or never really understood why you sear something before baking it, then use your food subscription box recipes as your textbook to a better you.

  • 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. I literally don’t think about supper until 30 minutes before it has to be on the table.

  • It has helped our marital-chore balance sheet because I’m much more inclined to do my fair share when it doesn’t involve being super organized and prepared ahead of time. My wife would put this as the #1 reason!

Frequently Asked Questions about Food Subscription Boxes in 2021

1) Will food boxes be okay in the heat? Do I have to worry if my box is outside or not refrigerated?

Every food box that we’ve received has been very cool when we’ve 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 over-engineered.

2) Can I skip a week or cancel once I’m signed up?
3) Is there a delivery fee?
4) Do I have to be home to get delivery? If I’m not—then what?
5) Are food subscription boxes bad for the environment?
6) Are ingredients locally sourced?
7) Are there vegetarian, keto, or gluten-free food subscription boxes?
8) How big are the portions?
9) Are the meals easy to cook?

Exclusive Promo Offer Codes – Try a Food Subscription Box for FREE!

Promotion
Get 10 free meals!

Black Friday Exclusive Promotion: Get 10 FREE Meals in your first 4 Chef’s Plate boxes.
With this promotion, you can save a total of $101, getting a 55% discount on your first and second box, 30% on your third box and fourth box.
And if you increase the number of meals or servings in your box, you will get even more free meals and save even more money!

Claim Now
Discount code
47-YIJPR
Promotion
Get up to $150 off!

Get up to $150 off your first 4 HelloFresh boxes.
With this promotion, you can save a total of $100 off a two-person box, getting free shipping plus $55 off your first box, $25 off your second box, and $10 off your third, and fourth boxes.
Alternatively, choose a four-person box and save a total of $150, getting free shipping plus $75 off your first box, $35 off your second box, and $20 off your third, and fourth boxes.

Claim Now
Discount code
HFBF2021

The Bottom Line

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. 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 less than 30 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 diverse assortment of vegan or vegetarian meal options. Health-conscious customers can enjoy low-fat or low-carb meal kit choices.

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.

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 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.