Meal Kits in Halifax and the Maritimes

Meal kits in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland are bringing big-city convenience to all corners of Atlantic Canada.

While cities like Halifax, St. John’s, Moncton, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Saint John, and Cape Breton were not the starting point for any of Canada’s major meal kit companies, they are now fully served and have several different options when it comes to food subscription boxes.

Halifax’s Best Meal Kits – July, 11th, 2020

#1
 
Overall rating 98.2%
Hello Fresh Review
Plans for
  • Singles
  • Vegetarians
  • Novice cooks
  • Picky eaters
Price range/ week
$78 – $165
$26 – $104
Pros and cons
  • Large variety of meals
  • Wide delivery service area
  • Easily skip weeks as needed
  • Individual packaging – environmental concern
#2
 
Overall rating 96.2%
Chefs Plate Review
Plans for
  • Singles
  • Vegetarians
  • Novice cooks
  • Picky eaters
Price range/ week
$46 – $144
$26 – $72
Pros and cons
  • Lowest priced meal kit
  • Wide variety of meals
  • Super easy meal organization
  • Portion size and veggie / meat balance

These are basically three main meal kit companies across Canada. For in-depth looks at each of them, check out our Hello Fresh Review, Chefs Plate Review, and Goodfood Review. There are a number of small, or more local meal kit companies in some of the more densely populated parts of the country, but in Atlantic Canada, the national companies are the vast majority of the market.

The great news is that depending on the season, these large companies do source a lot of their meat.

Background on Halifax and the Maritimes Area and Meal Kits Industry

Value Rank (of 10)
Population 2,416,014
Food stores per 100,000 ppl 82 1 – 9
Farms per 100,000 ppl 310 4 – 9
Average family size 2.7 5 – 8
Experience difficulties with food budget 50% 1
Eating fruits/vegies 5+ times a day 24% 6 – 10
Time spent eating per day 91 2
Vegans and vegetarians 6.6% 7
Seawater Lobster. Traditional Nova Scotia dish

There are almost two and a half million residents living in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland. For every 100,000 people, there are 310 farms and 82 food stores. In addition, there are meal kit companies that deliver food to the residents’ homes and offices. 

The average family size in Halifax and Maritimes is 2.7 people, which is less than in other provinces. However, 50% of the families experience difficulties with the food budget, more than anywhere in the country. Having that in mind, some meal kit companies, such as Chef’s Plate, for example, develop meals with an affordable price tag of $5 per serving.

Almost a quarter of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland area residents eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day, which is less than in other parts of the country. Almost 7% are vegetarians or vegans. For them, meal kit delivery companies offer plant-based recipes or 100% vegetarian plans with an option to add such proteins as poultry, fish, or seafood.

What Is a Meal Kit?


When you subscribe to a
meal kit delivery service in Canada, the following arrives at your door (or workplace, wherever you want it delivered):

    • A well-insulated box (100% recyclable) that will keep your meat and produce chilled even in the humid summer heat.
    • All of the food you will need to cook your meals that week packaged in convenient color-coded bags. (Minus a few kitchen essentials like salt, cooking oil, butter, etc.)
    • A handy recipe card that illustrates step-by-step instructions and features color pictures to motivate your saliva glands.      

    The precise meal boxes will vary based on the meal prep company in Halifax that you decide to go with, as well as the plan you select. Our meal kit taste experiences have ranged from pretty good to excellent, with perhaps 1-in-50 coming in at “mediocre.” In over a year of subscribing to Hello Fresh, we can honestly say we have not had a “bad” meal—in other words, a meal that we didn’t finish or chose not to eat. We have had perhaps five to seven meals (out of 170+) that we wouldn’t order again, but were fine. The rest of our meals would have to be rated an 8-, 9-, or 10-out-of-10.  

    All of that said, the most valuable thing that arrives in a box on my doorstep each week is the immediate answer to the never-ending quest of “What’s for dinner?”

    Global Canadian Meal Kit Companies Servicing Halifax and the Maritimes

    The most popular meal provider in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and PEI is Hello Fresh.

    That’s no surprise considering that the company is the most popular throughout Canada, and delivers to most places, and after their purchase of Chefs Plate, it’s fair to say that they dominate the Canadian food subscription box scene.

    Hello Fresh is not the cheapest meal kit on the market (roughly 10% higher than their competitors), but instead, pride themselves on top quality meals that include large portions. After being their customers for the last 14 months, we can say with confidence that you will be impressed by the quality of their produce and meat, as well as the simplicity of their app. 

    Chefs Plate is the cheapest way to try out the whole meal kit experiment and see if it is a good fit for your family. The company was started by Patrick Meyer and Jaime Shea in 2014 and was purchased in 2018 by Hello Fresh. The larger company has committed to running Chefs Plate separately and has kept the unique feature of the 15-minute meal options that Hello Fresh doesn’t include. While meal plans are cheaper, the portion size and lower-cost recipes prove the adage that you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to meal plan, try meal kits, and take some stress out of supper prep, this is your ticket.

    If you live in Newfoundland, you should note that Chefs Plate does not currently list Newfoundland as among the provinces that they deliver to. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI are all fair game for Chefs Plate, though.

    Goodfood is the largest Canadian-owned meal kit company and is based out of Montreal, Quebec.  They claim to deliver to all major cities in the Maritimes, including St. John’s.

    Billing themselves as “Canada’s #1 Meal Kit,” they are, in fact, the third most popular meal kit and would be more of a direct competitor to Chefs Plate than Hello Fresh in terms of price point and offerings.

    Like Chefs Plate, Goodfood has several “super quick” recipes available on their menu. I’ve had several customers tell me that they really enjoyed the low-carb options available with Goodfood, as well as the large number of recipes you can choose from each week.

    Neither Chefs Plate nor Goodfood currently delivers to many smaller towns or rural areas in Atlantic Canada, but if you’re trying to choose a low-cost meal kit provider, we hope you’ll give them both a shot to earn your business using our exclusive promo offer codes. (It makes them cheaper than buying groceries for your first week.)

    Local Meal Kit Companies in Halifax and the Maritimes

    Global and nationwide meal kit companies are not the only ones servicing Halifax and the Maritimes area. In case you live in Nova Scotia and are looking for an in-direct local meal delivery competitor, there is a pre-made meal service called Saute available in Saint John, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and Halifax.  

    The company claims that its mission is to help Nova Scotians live healthy lifestyles with proper nutrition. Saute offers classic and vegetarian plans, as well as a weight loss program that provides three meals a day, with 1200-1500 calories per day, seven days a week. In case you don’t want to subscribe to a plan or a program, you can always buy a number of Saute frozen meals and snacks and have them delivered to your door.

    Overall Review of Halifax and the Maritimes Meal Kit Scene

    If you live in large metropolitan cities like Toronto or Vancouver, there are a bevy of local meal kit companies to choose from. However, most of Atlantic Canada lacks the population density to make a go of these small, localized meal kits. In Nova Scotia, there is only one company that can compare to global meal delivery companies, but they offer already cooked meals, not meal kits. 

    Personally, we are not huge fans of the pre-made frozen meals market. They’re usually more expensive because of the labor involved, and it’s tough to call ingredients “fresh” when they’re already pre-combined in a container. It’s tough to beat cutting or mixing up the ingredients yourself, 20 minutes before dinner is served. We also noticed a definite difference in the overall quality and wider variety of recipes that can be produced with a meal kit service vs. a pre-made meal delivery business.

    In case you’re looking for the cheapest way to try out meal kits, take a look at Chefs Plate or Goodfood. If you want the highest quality taste with the widest delivery map, my pick for meal kits in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and PEI is Hello Fresh.