Home delivery meals are frozen or fresh meals that you can have delivered to your home, typically through a meal kit subscription service. The best home delivery meal services are made with high-quality ingredients and easy recipes, and some even use organic and sustainable sourcing practices.
There are also many options for special diets or food allergies. For example, some meal kits are vegetarian-friendly and others have been created by dietitians for dietary needs like diabetes or keto diets. Some even offer a wide range of vegan and gluten-free meals.
Many people who use these home delivery meals are seniors or individuals with disabilities. The services are often provided by Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) or contracted with them, and they deliver prepared meals to homes, day programs and senior centers. These meals may be delivered by volunteers or paid employees.
The most popular meal delivery services are those that provide pre-portioned, ready-to-eat or heat-and-serve meals for consumers to reheat at home. These meals are often delivered in small Tupperware-like containers and include a menu that specifies nutritional information and can include dietary restrictions or special dietary needs.
Prepared meal delivery services that are delivered to a consumer’s home or office usually operate on a subscription business model and often require an initial setup fee. These services include large, nationwide companies such as Blue Apron and Plated. They may also include smaller, local companies such as New York City’s own Portable Chef and Provenance Meals.
These meal services are great for busy people who want to eat healthier but struggle with the time it takes to shop and cook. Most of these services allow you to choose from a weekly menu and will adjust your order based on your preferences. Some will even work with you to create a plan that fits your specific dietary needs.
Some meal delivery services are good for families, and some of them can be particularly helpful for parents who are struggling to balance their careers, home life, parenting and children’s extracurricular activities. For instance, some meal kits have a family plan that offers the same meals at a discounted rate.
A few of these services also have options for families who are traveling. Some of these meal delivery services will allow you to pause, reschedule or cancel your deliveries in case you are away from home for a long period of time.
Some of these services will also charge a flat-rate delivery fee, which goes toward the cost of fuel and other transportation costs for their drivers. While this fee is not a part of the overall price of the meal, it should be factored in when making your decision about which meal delivery service to use. It is also common to tip the driver upon picking up your meal, although opinions on appropriate amounts vary.