2021 Comparison of Canada's Meal Kit Companies

It's been a few years since I officially reviewed Canada's meal kit delivery companies and I wanted to see how things have changed as we get into the pandemic. Firstly, three of the four companies I tried in 2016 have since stopped their services, Chefs Plate, the lone wolf from the bunch remains.

Simply put, meal kit delivery companies are made for people who still want to cook their own meals. Each week they deliver the ingredients (except staples) in pre-portioned quantities to make select recipes. You'll need to wash, chop, and cook everything, but if you follow the recipe, you should be left with a decent meal in under an hour. 

While the players in the market have changed, their operating models are still the same:
  • Deliveries occur weekly (with Good Food allowing more just-in-time deliveries) with things arriving in an insulated cardboard box with ice packs to keep ingredients chilled for hours. 
  • Ingredients, except for proteins (and even dairy products for Chefs Plate), arrive in individual labelled bag for quicker preparation; and
  • Recipe cards with pictures and step-by-step instructions are included.

After trying each company for two weeks, with Hello Fresh I did three weeks because of their elongated special deals offer, I've summarized some key points of the experience in the table below. To help, I've classified each company as a “best for”, but only you can decide if that's the case so I recommend you trying all of them before settling down long term. All companies have new customer offers that are fairly generous so why not take advantage of the deal?  

Chefs Plate Hello Fresh Good Food
Delivery (varies depending on area, listed dates are for North York in Toronto) 5 days - Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun 6 days - every day except Saturday

I like their "edit delivery" feature allowing you to change the delivery date each week without having to adjust the overall schedule - so if you normally get deliveries on Friday, you can change it to Tuesday for just one week if you're going away for the long weekend.
7 days and if you pay $9.99 a month or $6.99 per delivery you can also skip the weekly schedule and get next day delivery
Dependability No delivery issues.

Some recipes like the pasta bake do use a lot of pots, pans, and equipment so choose carefully if you don't like dishes
No delivery or equipment issues.

One week (out of the two I used them for) arrived after the 8pm time frame at 9pm. Not the greatest option if you plan on using the day of.

Their "sheet pan" meals also use larger ones than the standard versions most households own so be prepared to figure out how to cook everything with two instead.
Packaging Card board box with ingredients that need to be kept cold placed in a thick tissue paper bag with the ice packs. This does mean most of the produce is not kept cool so this does cause ingredients like herbs to wilt and brown. Card board box with insulation built in and large ice packs underneath where the proteins are kept.  Card board box with insulation built in and large ice packs underneath where the proteins are kept. 
Number of recipes available each week 19 28 18
Environmental considerations Mostly uses paper but the individual ingredients could be improved to reduce waste - for example could provide "pasta sauce" instead of individually packed tomato paste, tomato sauce base, and crushed tomatoes. The best of the three as they try to use recyclable packaging for more ingredients (i.e. giving crushed tomatoes in a tetra pak instead of plastic packages). Heavy use of plastic as the individual recipe bags are made of plastic and the shrink wrapped bags holding ingredients are larger than necessary. The least environmentally friendly of the three.
How it tastes Recipes have improved since 2016 and while they don't sound overly exciting they turn out really delicious. Being more environmentally friendly also means their recipes are less likely to have as many spice packages and additional condiments so some recipes like the grilled barramundi were blander than others. You may want to pick up a couple jars of multi-purpose seasoning to help augment recipes. Great combination of spice blends and extra sauces that really jazzes up a recipe. Even their sides like a potato and green bean salad are amazing.
Price per serving for three meals for two or four people Two - $10
Four - $8.99
Two - $13.16
Four - $11.16
Two - $10.88 - $12.74
Four - $9.89 - $12

The higher price range is for their "easy prep" basket
My opinion of who the company is best for Budget-friendly households that will still receive tasty, albeit not the most gourmet sounding, recipes. Households that need a lot of recipes to choose from as either have picky eaters or vegetarians that want more choice.


Those who know they will want deliveries weekly but want flexibility on the delivery date or number of recipes each week - you can also easily switch from 3 meals to 2 meals for one week without affecting subsequent weeks.
People who need flexibility - those who travel for work or have busy social schedules - as you can pay the $9.99 a month and not risk getting a delivery you forgot to cancel and order when you want for next day delivery.
How to order Chefs Plate Hello Fresh Good Food
Offers for Gastro World readers $110 towards first four orders using link above $60 off first orders using link above $40 off first orders using link above
Detailed post with pictures Chefs Plate Hello Fresh Good Food

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