A Foodie’s Guide to Vancouver Meal Kit Delivery Services

As a thrifty meal planner, I like to sit down once a week, scour cookbooks and online recipes, create a shopping list and map out where Ryan and I will buy our groceries based on the cheapest store prices. This is obviously a time-consuming task that requires loads of creative cooking energy, and sometimes (aka often) I am in no mood to lug our old lady push-cart around the city to stock up on fresh ingredients. The idea of having inexpensive, fully conceptualized meals packaged, portioned, FRESH, delivered to your doorstep and ready to cook seems like the ultimate urban foodie solution. Now – in the age of online shopping and instant gratification – this idea has become a reality. And I, for one, was ready to get a taste of the action.

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Over the course of two months, I signed up for five of Vancouver’s most popular meal kit delivery services: MissFresh, Goodfood, Fresh Prep, Chef’s Plate and HelloFresh. Not only was I trying to save some change by cashing in the first-time subscriber discounts for each service, but I wanted to see which one was the most efficient, economical and delicious. Essentially, I wanted to research what would work best for me and Ryan, at the lowest cost possible, whenever we experience a particularly frantic week and have no time for meal planning. Hopefully, our research can also help you and your giant appetite if you’re on the fence about which service to choose.

Pro-tip: Groupon frequently offers decent discounts on your first week or first purchase. Most – if not all – meal kit companies will offer some sort of first-time offer when you subscribe to their service. Just MAKE SURE to monitor the payment cut-off dates and remember to skip or cancel your subscription if you don’t wish to continue.

Note: I’ve based the prices off our subscriptions, which included 4 recipes a week for 4 people (16 total meals). This allowed Ryan and I to have enough leftovers for lunch.


Week One

MissFresh

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Hoisin-Glazed Soup with Chicken, Five-Spice Broth & Sweet Chili Sauce

My first Groupon meal kit service was MissFresh, a Canadian company based in Montreal that ships almost anywhere in the country. This service offers three categories of meal selections, including breakfast and snack options, and a total of ten different boxes.

I was conflicted with MissFresh for a couple of reasons. While I can confidently say that this company’s recipes were the most delicious and diverse of all five boxes we tried, I experienced a few bumps in the road when it came to the actual delivery. It could be because the company is not locally-based, but there was a miscommunication with delivery instructions, and my box was left in front of my street-facing apartment building after I was unable to answer the buzzer. This was probably an error with the shipping company, but while customer service was quick to respond, they didn’t offer any solutions. Thankfully, my landlord had been the first person to come across the box, and so we never needed a replacement.

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Aged Cheddar, Pancetta, Apple & Arugula Pizzas with Parsnip Fries

Overall, the accuracy of the recipes, speed of cooking time, portion size and taste of the MissFresh meals were truly delicious – and if I had a doorman, I would probably re-order.

Regular price (16 meals): $150/week | $9.38/pp
Taste: 5/5
Portion size: Large
Level of difficulty: Easy
Options: Vegetarian, custom, snack boxes, breakfast boxes
Local ingredients: Not from BC
Flexible delivery: No


Week Two

Goodfood

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Ground Beef & Mozzarella Thin-Crust Pizza

Goodfood has flown under the radar in Vancouver as far as meal kit delivery companies go, despite stating on their website that they are Canada’s #1 Meal Kit. Another company based in Montreal, this service prides itself on providing original recipes for healthy, fresh meals delivered once a week. They offer up an enticing recipe selection and a good variety of box choices, which makes for a very customizable experience overall.

Unfortunately, when I put them to the test, the recipes fell flat. The finished product always tasted okay – but the recipe itself, instructions and cooking times were very, very inaccurate. One recipe for cassoulet indicated a cooking time of 35-minutes and ended up taking me well over an hour to complete. I would not recommend this service – especially since there are so many other local options available in Vancouver.

Regular price (16 meals): $150/week | $9.38/pp
Taste: 2/5
Portion size: Medium to large
Level of difficulty: Advanced (one recipe was for risotto!)
Options: Classic, vegetarian, easy prep, family
Local ingredients: Not from BC
Flexible delivery: No


Week Three

Fresh Prep

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Tuna Walnut Bagna Cauda

In our third week of meal kit delivery testing, we were able to try a Vancouver-based company… and Fresh Prep truly delivered. This service hit every mark perfectly – even if at first glance it may not seem like there are too many meal plan options. But what they lack in subscription plans, they make up for in recipes, local ingredients (near and dear to my heart), flexible delivery – and sustainability.

Fresh Prep’s recipes were by far the most consistent in terms of estimated cooking time and flavour profile. You can easily choose delivery times to suit your schedule, so those of us without a concierge or porch can still work a 9 to 5 and be there to accept a delivery in the evening. This is a massive convenience – especially to city dwellers like us who live in old-fashioned apartments without a front desk.

Another win from Fresh Prep is their omittance of the standard meal kit packaging – usually a massive, heavy cardboard box filled with ice packs that can easily leak. Instead, they use insulated and reusable cooler bags that you can either keep to use for your own purposes (grocery shopping, camping), or return with the next delivery. And the best part? Fresh Prep is the most inexpensive meal delivery subscription that I could find in the city.

Regular price (16 meals): $144/week | $9/pp
Taste: 4/5
Portion size: Medium
Level of difficulty: Easy – but adventurous
Options: 2-person, family plan
Local ingredients: Yes!
Flexible delivery: Yes


Week Four

Chef’s Plate

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Steak and Broccoli Soba

Another local-to-BC meal kit subscription hit it out of the park. Chef’s Plate – is the one company I’ve seen using TV and social media marketing to their advantage. Like Goodfood, their website states they are the #1 meal kit delivery service in Canada – but unlike with Goodfood, I can believe it.

Chef’s Plate lists a long list of impressive Canadian partners, and makes it clear they are a company that believes in a sustainable food system to provide high quality ingredients. I recognized some of my favourite family-owned farms on the meat packages, and again – this farm-to-table thinking is a huge appeal to many Vancouverites.

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Risotto

Chef’s Plate and MissFresh were on par with deliciousness, but I did find their subscriptions – which are valued per meal – can add up if you select the more convenient recipes (like the 15-minute meals) which are a tad costly.

Regular price (16 meals): $143.84/week | $8.99/pp (although mine averaged $165)
Taste: 5/5
Portion size: Medium to Large
Level of difficulty: Easy
Options: Classic, family, vegetarian, 15-minute
Local ingredients: Yes
Flexible delivery: No


Week Five

HelloFresh

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Mexican Pork Pozole

HelloFresh was definitely the most hyped up meal subscription service that I came across when researching meal kit companies. The only one on this list that is not Canadian, HelloFresh is based in Berlin, Germany – but ships via third parties to Canada, the US, Western Europe and Australia. I’m always a little iffy about deliveries with international companies, but decided I had to include their service in my test because I’d heard so much about it.

Unfortunately, the delivery options weren’t terribly flexible for apartment residents, and even though the food itself was very tasty, we found that the portion sizes were not big enough to satiate us, and we’d end up eating all four portions in one sitting (whoops). I do think that the student discount options and menu customization could be great for beginner cooks – the recipes themselves were very accurate and easy to follow. But would I keep my subscription? Probably not.

Regular price (16 meals): $155.04/week | $9.69/pp
Taste: 3/5
Portion size: Smallish
Level of difficulty: Easy – very basic recipes
Options: Veggie, pronto, family
Local ingredients: Not sure
Flexible delivery: No


Results

The Winner Is... placard

Overall, our pick for the best meal kit delivery service in Vancouver was Fresh Prep!

Not only is this service Vancouver-based, but the cost is low, the ingredients local, the delivery flexible and the packaging sustainable. Although meal kit plans may not be economical for everyone, I found that Ryan and I were able to save a good amount of money when we had 16 complete meals in our fridge every week. This drastically reduced how frequently we ate out and ordered in.

If you’re interested in trying out this service, do what I did – and use a discount code! To get three FREE plates when signing up for Fresh Prep, feel free to use my referral code: https://www.freshprep.ca/?r=a307-ga6o0

Have you tried any of these meal kits? Are there others you would recommend? Let us know in the comments, or tag us on Instagram @howtofeedyourgiant if you snap pics of your meals.

Happy meal planning!

Author: Jess Purver

Content creator, writer, dog lover, travel enthusiast, mac and cheese connoisseur & powerlifter in training. Fluent in Buffyverse and French (on a good day).

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