In keeping with the theme of starting 2016 by getting into shape and eating healthily, I wanted to review some of the home meal delivery services out there to see which were best. I'm somebody who doesn't mind cooking, although I hate the process of having to come up with ideas of what to cook. Often this process takes even longer because I'm also trying to figure out how to ensure each meal is as healthy as possible too.
Luckily, Australia has a number of companies like Hello Fresh, Lite n’ Easy, and The Food Bag who all offer home food delivery services with a healthy and tasty focus - precisely the sort of thing I'm looking for. If you are tempted to try one of these services, or are unsure of whether to jump ship from one you're already using to another, here's my breakdown of some of the best options available in Australia.
Lite n’ Easy
Lite n’ Easy is a home food delivery company that promises to deliver great tasting, healthy meals that help customers lose weight. Their business model focuses on people that are too busy to food shop or cook healthy meals every day.
How it Works
Lite n’ Easy basically take all the thinking out of eating, such as the calorie counting, weighing and brunt of the cooking, which is all done by their expert chefs. Their full meal plan provides you with up to three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), along with a choice of snacks (for in-between) and desserts.
The Lite n’ Easy chefs have produced over 100 tasty meals within their menu, ranging from tasty home cooked options to exotic curries and stir fries. Their dinner menu can be viewed here for example.
|Meals & portions measured by chefs||Packaged food, some processed|
|Plenty of variety, meal flexibility||Mixed reviews online|
|All daily meals included||Quality of food lacks consistency|
|Requires minimum prep time (heat up only)||Same quality as supermarket|
Lite n’ Easy have a wide range of meal options ranging from 5 x dinners per week to 7 x breakfasts, lunches and dinners per week. There is also flexibility to choose the amount of calories you wish to consume per day (1,200, 1,500 or 2,800).
Price examples for Lite n’ Easy food options are:
- 5 x 1,200 calorie lunches: $44 per week
- 5 x 1,500 calorie lunch and dinner: $111 per week
- 7 x 1,800 calorie breakfast, lunch and dinner: $173 per week
Hello Fresh is different from Lite n’ Easy in that its business model gives more control over the cooking process to the customer. The only ingredients they don’t provide are kitchen staples such as olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Their professional chefs prepare all meals and recipes and each week the menu is a surprise, so there is no predictability only variety. When describing Hello Fresh's food, think great ingredients with good natural flavours, garlic, ginger, chilli, herbs, spices etc.
How it Works
Hello Fresh send you a box of fresh food produce and necessary ingredients to prepare meals based on a recipe card that is included within the food box. Generally the box has everything you need to cook and they come in a variety of options such as vegetarian, vegan or meat based dishes.
There are 5 different types of meal boxes one can order:
- Classic box (e.g. salmon, chicken breasts, crab burgers, beef medallions)
- Veggie box (e.g. veggie pasta, veggie burgers, couscous salads)
- Family box (e.g. chicken and veg)
- Fruit box
- Juice box (e.g. add on to a meal box)
|Great meal / recipe selection||Can’t choose what you eat|
|Easy to follow recipes||Poor customer service when cancelling|
|Saves time supermarket shopping||Considered expensive|
|Encourages cooking||Meat sometimes not the best cut|
The meal options from Hello Fresh are simple. You can choose a box type as mentioned above and then within each box you have the flexibility to choose from either 3 or 5 meals per week, to feed either two or four persons. Below are some price examples of both:
- 3 x classic food box meals for two people: $69 per week
- 5 x classic food box meals for four people: $189 per week
- 4 x family food box meals for 4 people: $139 per week
My Food Bag
Nadia Lim and her team of chefs and nutritionists at My Food Bag dream up the creatively tasty dishes each week. The company prides itself in choosing fresh Australian produce that’s in season. All items are free-range and sustainably farmed wherever possible.
How it Works
Similar to Hello Fresh, you are provided with bags containing ingredients for a meal/meals which you then prepare yourself based on a recipe card with instructions on how to prepare and cook your food. You have a choice of six different food bag which get delivered every fortnight. Customers will also be given a folder so they can easily keep a record of their favourites recipes.
The My Food Bag options fall under four different categories,
- My Classic: Feeds 4 adults
- My Family: Feeds 2 adults and 2/3 children
- My Gourmet: Feeds 2 adults
- My Own: Feeds 1 adult
|More options to feed more people||Single packets = more plastic use|
|Healthy, free-range produce||No vegetarian option|
|Great tasting variety of recipes||Difficult for specific allergies|
|Good value vs. takeaway food||Trickiest recipe card to follow|
My Food Bag provides options within all of its varieties (mentioned above) a choice of either 3 or 5 meals per week. These meals generally focus on dinner and their prices look like this:
- 3 x My Classic food bag meals: $119 per week
- 5 x My Family food bag meals: $159 per week
- 4 x My Gourmet food bag meals: $139 per week
- 3 x My Own food bag with breakfast: $99 per week