Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec Meal Kits Review 2020

Ottawa and Montreal meal kits and other food subscription boxes in Quebec have blossomed from locally run businesses by ma-and-pa entrepreneurs, to nationwide mega-companies. With so many meal kit delivery options to choose from, Montreal residents are fortunate to benefit from competition in the market, and the ability to select from a wide variety of meal kit companies.

When we say “Montreal meal kits,” what we’re referring to specifically is a food subscription box where you log in, choose your meals/recipes for the week, and then everything that you need to make that meal is mailed to your door. Obviously, as the second-largest city in Canada, there is no shortage of suppertime meal options. We’re not going to look at the various types of pre-made meals that are available for pick up or grocery delivery options. Instead, we’re going to focus on which national meal kit companies (see our Hello Fresh Review, Goodfood Review, and Chef’s Plate Review for more information) deliver to Montreal and the rest of Quebec, and compare them to some of the smaller, local-only options.

Quebec’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
In case you have never tried a meal kit, here are a few reasons why we love them so much:
  • GONE is the crushing feeling of driving home from work, wondering what you’re going to make for supper, and realizing that you forgot to stop at the grocery store or thaw that cut of meat!
  • SAVINGS from fewer nights ordering delivery or eating out.
  • ZERO wasted food to stink up the fridge.
  • Constant new ideas and tasty recipes
  • DELICIOUS new recipes  
  • Easy-to-follow instructions that even a newbie can master.

Background on Montreal and Quebec Area and Meal Kits Industry

Value Rank (of 10)
Population 8,433,301 2
Food stores per 100,000 ppl 81 4
Farms per 100,000 ppl 343 8
Average family size 2.8 5
Experience difficulties with food budget 30% 10
Eating fruits/vegies 5+ times a day 35% 1
Time spent eating per day 105 1
Vegans and vegetarians 9.1% 3
Duck Poutine – Quebec traditional dish

Montreal is the most populous city in Quebec and the second-most populous city in Canada after Toronto. However, there are only 343 farms per 100,000 citizens, which is one of the lowest numbers in the country, and 81 food stores. This explains why meal kit companies in Montreal are so popular among various demographics–they offer food delivery directly to your door!The average family size in Montreal is 2.8, the same as in Vancouver, and they both are in fifth place in the country. Thirty-five percent of Montrealites eat fruit and vegetables five or more times a day, which is more than residents of any other city or province in Canada. Over nine percent of them are vegetarians or vegans. Those Montreal meal kit companies that offer vegetarian plans have many current and future customers here.

Fun fact: Montrealites spend more time eating than anyone else in the country, 105 minutes a day.

What Does a Meal Kit Look Like?

With several different national and local meal kit companies available in Montreal, Ottawa, and across much of Quebec, it’s tough to say precisely what your specific food box will look like. That said, the “Big 3” companies tend to deliver a very consistent product across Canada. Your meals for the week will arrive in an insulated box that keeps your meats cool with frozen ice packs, and the rest of your meal comes in self-contained bags. Simply store in your fridge, and when suppertime arrives, pluck out the bag, and get cooking!

The boxes are engineered to keep everything cool, no matter how hot it is outside. When we first started ordering Hello Fresh, we tested the claims by leaving the box outside in 32-degree heat for 8+ hours. The ice packs were still more than 50% frozen when we opened the box, and consequently, the meat was still quite chilled, and the produce was cool and crisp.  Chef’s Plate, and Miss Fresh, and Good Food in Ottawa and Montreal employ similar engineering for their boxes.

The boxes come complete with colorful, can’t-screw-it-up-even-if-you’re-a-rookie recipe cards. For a kitchen newbie, these step-by-step instructions are a lifesaver. It’s actually functioned kind of as a cooking 101 class for some of us to be honest. Now we are much more confident in adding spices or homemade sauces/marinades to other meals that we cook.

The bags come complete with all of the ingredients you need, save for a few kitchen essentials such as salt, sugar, oil, or parchment paper. Chef’s Plate is known for their 15-minute meal options, but most meal kit meals take 20-45 minutes from “fridge to table.” Many people choose to get their meal kits delivered to their place of business or a neighbor’s house if they aren’t home during the day or they don’t have a reliable parcel management system in their building. It’s basically the same deal as getting a package from Amazon.

Global Canadian Meal Kit Companies Servicing Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec

The most popular meal kit provider in Montreal and around the world is Hello Fresh. It arrived on the Canadian scene several years ago and has used its meal kit delivery experience from several continents to dominate the Canadian food subscription box market. They are not the absolute lowest-priced meal kit in Montreal, but they are competitive on price, and they seek to really deliver outstanding delicious meals (with large portions) each week. We have been a Hello Fresh customers for over a year now and can honestly say we’ve never received a “bad meal.” We should mention in the interest of fairness that most of us are not picky eaters, but everything from the cuts of meat, to the fresh produce that Hello Fresh sends to our doorstep, has been excellent quality.
Chefs Plate is the lower-cost, smaller portion, little sibling of Hello Fresh. Started by Patrick Meyer and Jaime Shea in 2014, Chef’s Plate grew beyond Ottawa and Montreal extremely quickly and sold more than two million meal kits across Canada. The most unique aspects of the company are that they are the only meal kit delivery company in Canada to be federally registered as safe for food processing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency AND that they have a large selection of 15-minute meal options for the super time-crunched household. Chef’s Plate was recently acquired by Hello Fresh, but Canada’s most popular meal kit company has stated that they plan to run the brands as separate entities, with Hello Fresh being the more premium model and Chef’s Plate in Ottawa, Montreal, and other places targeting folks looking for a time-saving solution at the lowest possible price point.
Goodfood bills itself as “Canada’s #1 Meal Kit” (likely based on their Canada-owned status). While Goodfood is smaller than Chef’s Plate and Hello Fresh, it is larger than any of Canada’s other meal kit companies. Goodfood is clearly aiming to corner the market on being the most popular meal kit in Montreal and throughout Quebec, as evidenced by their partnership with award-winning TV Host and French Media personality Anne-Marie Withenshaw. Goodfood offers a huge menu each week, including many super-fast 20-minute options. We particularly liked how many low-carb recipe options that Goodfood included. We did notice that Goodfood portion sizes were consistently smaller than Hello Fresh’s; however, given that their price point is closer to that of Chef’s Plate, that would make sense.
Miss Fresh is the first Canadian meal kit company to partner up with a major grocer in order to get their meal kits to Canadians. Metro Grocery stores (Canada’s third-biggest grocery store chain, with hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations in Quebec) purchased Miss Fresh back in 2017 and has been experimenting with various types of grocery and meal kit delivery methods ever since. This corporate backing gives Miss Fresh some unique capabilities and areas to grow. We love the fact that we can cut our grocery store visits in half by having our meal kit delivered to our doorstep. Consequently, it surprises us how many Canadians (especially Quebecers) prefer to pick up their meal kits at the grocery store! There is no denying the success that Miss Fresh has had with this model. We suppose you don’t have to worry about being home or at work when your food box arrives in that scenario. And it stands to reason that Miss Fresh could cut down on overall costs due to minimal delivery expenses as well.

Local Meal Kit Companies in Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec

COOK It

The little meal kit company that could, COOK It was created on a date night when Judith Fetzer mentioned the idea to Patrick Chamberland. In a romantic twist of fate, Patrick was hooked—on both Judith and the meal kit idea. In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Chamberland revealed: “I got it immediately. I was exactly the type of person who needed something like that, a young professional who wants to eat right and learn new recipes but didn’t have much time or a full range of ingredients at home.” COOK It hit the big time when it appeared on the Quebec entrepreneurship show Dans l’oeil du dragon (think Quebec’s version of CBC’s Dragons’ Den), and made a deal that included selling 35% of their company for $125,000. The local meal kit company believes there is a place in the market for them as a premium product. They are quick to point out that their produce comes from Chez Louis in the Jean-Talon Market, their fish from Poissonerie Falero, and most of their meat from La Maison du Rôti—banking on Quebecers’ passion for elite quality ingredients, as opposed to the “Big 3”

Overview of the Ottawa and Montreal Meal Kit Scene

With so many options and price points to choose from, it’s tough to make a blanket recommendation when it comes to meal kits in Quebec. The majority of our team are loyal to Hello Fresh after enjoying their product for over a year and having only great things to say. That said, if you already grocery shop at Metro grocery stores or prefer to support a local Montreal meal kit company, we can see the appeal of Miss Fresh and Goodfood. With our exclusive promo discount offers, it’s relatively affordable to order several of these options and give them each a trial period since the first week for each one is such a good sale! (Just remember to cancel your credit card once you’ve decided what the right meal kit option is for you.)