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Are meal kits worth it? 8 best meal kits & food boxes in Canada in 2023

From sustainability to affordability, these the best meal kits & delivery subscriptions available in Canada in 2023.

view of kitchen countertop with three hands making steak and asparagus dinner, hellofresh meal recipe kit
Best meal delivery services & kits in Canada in 2023 (photo via HelloFresh)

There are two types of people in this world: those who enjoy cooking and those who would rather fire up DoorDash than any of their appliances.

Whether it's for lack of time, skill or general interest, a meal kit or meal delivery service can save you time in the kitchen and cut down on your weekly grocery shopping.

Meal kits vs. meal delivery services

At this point, you've likely heard of meal kit companies like HelloFresh and Goodfood. A meal kit contains pre-measured ingredients and a recipe card to follow at home. If you want to further simplify your meals, there are prepared meal kits. In these types of subscriptions, the customer is given pre-cooked meals that only need require a microwave or oven to heat up.

Are meal kits cheaper than groceries?

Meal kits are expensive; however, grocery costs have also spiked. In Canada, food inflation is at its highest level in more than 40 years, hitting pantry staples like pasta, coffee, meat and fresh produce. The cost of groceries saw record levels in 2022, and they're expected to rise even further in 2023.

To draw a cost comparison, we looked at this Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Herby Roasted Salmon recipe from HelloFresh and compared the price of a meal kit with ingredients found on Voilà by Sobeys, a grocery delivery service.

If you made this meal with HelloFresh, it would cost you between $24-$37, depending on your weekly meal plan (not including butter, oil and salt & pepper). On the flip side, if you bought each ingredient individually via Voilà by Sobeys, your grocery bill would be upwards of $77 for the meal (prices at the time of publication).

Cart view of ingredients for Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Herby Roasted Salmon via Voilà by Sobeys' grocery delivery service (Photo via Voilà by Sobeys)
Cart view of ingredients for Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Herby Roasted Salmon via Voilà by Sobeys' grocery delivery service (Photo via Voilà by Sobeys)

The caveat is that while grocery store ingredients may be more expensive up front, you're left with far more product. Instead of a teaspoon of pre-measured spices, you have a bottle. Rather than a cup of dry pasta, you're left with the box. Additionally, grocery store costs vary — especially if you buy at discount stores or are able to shop in bulk.

Are meal kits worth it?

Like anything to do with food and diet, there are pros and cons to meal kits and food delivery services that will differ per person and household.

Pros of meal kits & food delivery subscriptions:

  • Saves time both in the kitchen and in the grocery store

  • Reduces food waste with pre-portioned ingredients

  • Can save you money, depending on what you already have in your pantry

  • Try new foods and recipes

  • Convenient at-home delivery

Cons of meal kits & food delivery subscriptions:

  • After the initial promo period, the costs can add up, especially if you're cooking for multiple people

  • Excess packaging. Despite a move towards recyclable, compostable packaging, meal kits generate a ton of single-use waste

  • Diet and allergy restrictions. If you can eat anything — great! However, if you have food intolerances or severe allergies, most companies warn cross-contamination is possible and your weekly meal choices may be limited

flat lay of meal kit ingredients in plastic bags on green background, spinach, rice, oil
Despite a move in a positive direction, meal kits still generate a lot of single-use packaging waste (photo via Getty).

From sustainability to affordability, scroll below to check out the best meal kits and delivery services available in Canada in 2023.

Best meal recipe kits in Canada in 2023

Chefs Plate

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From $8.99 per serving at Chefs Plate

  • Cost: $46-$180/week, before discounts. First-time subscribers save $200 across first three boxes.

  • Plans: Choose between two and four meals per week and two, three, four or five recipes per week.

  • Menu & diet options: Select from 24 recipes each week, including air fryer, 15-minute, vegetarian and premium meals.

  • Packaging & sustainability: Boxes are 100 per cent recyclable and can be placed with your household recycling. Kit bags and cool pouches are made from compostable materials; however, stickers and pouch zippers need to be removed before putting them in the green bin.

  • What makes them unique: Chefs Plate is Canada's most affordable meal kit and some recipes can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes.

  • Is there an app? Yes. The Chefs Plate app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Delivery areas: Chefs Plate delivers to Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Manitoba.

  • Trustpilot rating: 3.8/5 stars

HelloFresh

woman making hellofresh meal kit on stove with chicken and vegetables
HelloFresh is one of the best-known meal kits in Canada (photo via HelloFresh)

From $9.25 per person at HelloFresh

  • Cost: $73-$185/week before discounts. Savings of $80 available for first-time subscribers.

  • Plans: Choose meal plans for two or four people, three, four or five recipes/week.

  • Menu & diet options: Select from 35 recipes each week, including mostly meat, family-friendly, carb smart, vegetarian, calorie smart, pescatarian, high protein and flexitarian.

  • Packaging & sustainability: HelloFresh boxes are 100 per cent recyclable and the meal kit bags are recyclable and compostable. Your recipe box comes with pre-measured ingredients sourced directly from the producer. According to the brand, HelloFresh meals create 25 per cent fewer carbon emissions than the same meals made from supermarket ingredients.

  • What makes them unique: Extras available, including desserts and sides. Choose from premium meals for special occasions.

  • Is there an app? Yes. The HelloFresh app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Delivery areas: HelloFresh delivers to 95 per cent of the Canadian population including Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and the Maritimes.

  • Trustpilot rating: 4/5 stars

Fresh Prep

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From $10.50 per serving at Fresh Prep

  • Cost: $54-$168/week before discounts. First-time subscribers save $120 across first four boxes.

  • Plans: Choose between two and four servings, with two, three or four recipes/week.

  • Menu & diet options: Choose from 10 recipes every week, including vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Packaging & sustainability: As a B-Corporation, Fresh Prep created a zero-waste kit, eliminating single-use plastic and waste. Shoppers can return their Zero Waste Kit with a reusable cooler bag upon the next delivery or schedule a free pickup.

  • What makes them unique: Dubbed Alberta's homegrown meal kit, Fresh Prep creates your meal kit in Alberta using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, including Alberta beef and antibiotic-free poultry.

  • Is there an app? No, there is not an app available.

  • Delivery areas: Fresh Prep delivers throughout Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Greater Vancouver, Greater Victoria, Nanaimo and the Okanagan.

  • Trustpilot rating: 4.6/5 stars

Goodfood

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From $11 per serving at Goodfood

  • Cost: $87-$196/week before discounts. First-time subscribers save $200 across first four boxes.

  • Plans: Choose between two and four servings, with two, three or four recipes/week.

  • Menu & diet options: Choose from 30+ recipes every week, including classic, easy prep, family, vegetarian and clean 15 (includes keto & paleo options).

  • Packaging & sustainability: All Goodfood packaging is entirely recyclable, according to the Goodfood blog.

  • What makes them unique: At least 85 per cent of the contents of a Goodfood box are either Canadian products or packaged in Canada.

  • Is there an app? Yes. The Goodfood app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Delivery areas: Goodfood delivers across Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Maritimes.

  • Trustpilot rating: 3.7/5 stars

Best prepared meal kits in Canada in 2023

LiveFit Foods

LiveFit Foods chicken teriyaki with rice & vegetables meal (photo via LiveFit Foods)
LiveFit Foods chicken teriyaki with rice & vegetables meal (photo via LiveFit Foods)

From $8 per meal at Livefit Foods

  • Cost: $9-$15 for individual meals. Subscribe and save meals start at $8.

  • Plans: Meals can be purchased individually or via Subscribe'N Save. Shoppers who opt for Subscribe'N Save can save up to 10 per cent of their entire order plus get free shipping.

  • Menu & diet options: Fat burner, gluten free, juice cleanse, keto, vegan, vegetarian and more.

  • Packaging & sustainability: Meals from LiveFit Foods use seasonal, local and organic ingredients whenever possible. The brand has a closed-loop partnership program with its farmers, composting 100 per cent of its food scraps and giving the fertilizer back to the farms. Plus, its packaging is completely recyclable, including box liners and ice packs.

  • What makes them unique: The brand will reuse some of its organic materials in other meals to promote sustainability. For example, broccoli and cauliflower stems are used in soups and stews, broth left over from cooking shrimp is turned into homemade soups, etc.

  • Is there an app? Yes. The "LiveFit Pal" app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Delivery areas: Livefit Foods delivers across Canada. However, due to its time-sensitive, perishable nature, there are some areas delivery partners cannot service.

  • Trustpilot rating: 4.2/5 stars

Ethey

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From $10.99 per meal at Ethey

  • Cost: $64-$220/box before discounts.

  • Plans: Choose between four, six, eight, 12 and 20 meals per week.

  • Menu & diet options: Ethey offers meat, vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Packaging & sustainability: Ethey has a zero per cent food waste production model. Leftover food scraps are sent to Ethey's in-house worm farm, returned to the earth and used as nutrient-rich compost.

  • What makes them unique: Ethey meals are prepared by chefs in Canada with local ingredients.

  • Is there an app? No, there is not an app.

  • Delivery areas: Ethey services all of Canada, including Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, among other provinces. However, due to the perishable nature of the product, there are some areas that cannot be serviced. Contact the company to learn more.

  • Trustpilot rating: No reviews as of yet.

WeCook Meals

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From $11.34 per meal at WeCook Meals

  • Cost: $12.25-$14.95 per meal before discounts. Save up to $20 on your first order.

  • Plans: Choose between six, nine, 14 and 22 meals/week with 100g or 200g of meat.

  • Menu & diet options: WeCook has a database of over 500 different recipes, with 14 options to choose from each week. On average, they offer 1-2 vegetarian meals per week.

  • Packaging & sustainability: WeCook uses fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers in a zero-waste facility. All packaging is recyclable.

  • What makes them unique: In addition to healthy prepared meals, WeCook offers sealed food options, snacks, grocery items and breakfast meals.

  • Is there an app? No, there is not an app.

  • Delivery areas: WeCook delivers in Ontario and Quebec.

  • Trustpilot rating: 4.6/5 stars

Factor Meals

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From $12 per meal at Factor Meals

  • Cost: $90-$216/week before discounts. First-time subscribers save $135 across first four boxes.

  • Plans: Choose between six, eight, 10, 12 and 18 meals/week.

  • Menu & diet options: The Factor Meals menu changes weekly and includes recipes for keto, calorie smart, vegetarian, vegan and more.

  • Packaging & sustainability: The majority of packaging is recyclable. However, the brand recommends disposing of ice packs in the trash.

  • What makes them unique: To help keep track of your meal and diet plans, Factor Meals offers customers a free 20-minute consultation with an online dietician.

  • Is there an app? Yes. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Delivery areas: Factor currently delivers to residents in Ontario with plans to expand delivery availability in 2023.

  • Trustpilot rating: 4.2/5 stars

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