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December 05, 2017

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I don't think that analysis surprises anyone. The hole that these fill in is for those that have trouble finding or trusting recipes that they find online and also want to avoid going shopping for sometimes obscure ingredients.

It's a nice meal at home aimed at people that may not consider something cooked at home to usually be a nice meal.

So it's more expensive than going to the grocery store and getting the stuff yourself (how could it not be, profit comes from somewhere) but it's cheaper than the typical cheap eats restaurant per person.

It probably also gives a little more confidence since these meals are curated by the staff at these services.

To extrapolate it as if it is eaten for every meal is a bit much, in my opinion. I haven't looked into them but I and probably many people would probably use it in an effort to go out to eat less while also trying different recipes that I am free to re-make at home later without buying the ingredients from the service if it's a hit.

We were looking at some of those services - we both work, then usually go to the Y after work, so it's often 7 pm before we're home and fixing dinner. After some thought, though, we realized that the problems are
1) deciding what to make
2) shopping - hate going 3-4 times a week

So we're experimenting with PlateJoy (https://www.platejoy.com) which asks a bunch of questions about your diet, number of people, whether you want leftovers, how long you want to spend cooking, etc., then makes a menu for you, attempting to use similar ingredients over the week. It then provides the recipes (very good so far) and a shopping list, conveniently organized. We both have the free app, so either one of us can do the shopping for the whole week at once and end out with the right amount of food.

They have a special now for $49/6 months, which works out to about $0.20/meal for 2 people, 5 meals a week. We've just done the 10 day trial, really liked it, and so will be signing up.

Ayuuuup. I can only see meal delivery services being useful for a few reasons: they give disabled individuals freedom to cook at home or they teach people how to cook at home in a way that's not intimidating. Either way, it's still much cheaper to compile all the ingredients and recipes for yourself. I've also heard frustrations about the cheap food in these baskets and the portions. Just fix something at home and don't spend money on this stuff each month.

It's limiting to think of these meal kit delivery services as "too expensive." Financial success isn't just about cutting nominal costs; time — to monetize or to pursue more enjoyable activities (than shopping, cooking, or cleaning) — should be factored in, too.

Perhaps nonintuitively, restaurants that deliver can “save” the most money for freelancers with a high billing rate (example: $25 per meal, but $250 billed with the time saved not shopping, cooking, or cleaning. Net profit: $225 for that hour . . . plus no chores).

Additionally, meal kit delivery services offer the benefits of a fast, easy education in cooking for the domestically challenged.

I'm late to the party in commenting on this post, but I think that you vastly underestimate the number of adults who don't know how or don't like to cook. I'm in my 50s, and I learned how to cook from my mom, dad and maternal grandparents. Many people my age and younger didn't have that training at home, including several of my close friends growing up. All of us had moms that worked full-time outside the home, and after work, the last thing they wanted to do was cook a complicated meal. The two of us who stayed after school with relatives who cooked are best at home cooking now, and the other two married men who handle the cooking in their households.

My mother-in-law quit work after having kids, and she doesn't like cooking. It's still a struggle for her to fix a meal we consider edible. I'm convinced that my cooking is one of the reasons my husband married me, and he's learned how to cook since we've been together.

My daughters are in their early 20s, and most of their friends from high school and college don't know how to cook.

I think these services bridge the gap between eating grocery store frozen meals and eating at a restaurant. A few years ago, there were businesses in my area where you could pay to prep meals for the week and take them home to freeze. Many of my neighbors used this service, and they learned how to cook this way since they hadn't been taught at home. If the meal kits have an educational element similar to what the meal prep businesses provided, then people may be able to transition to cooking from scratch after using the meal kits to gain confidence. If you've looked at the price of cooking classes, it's not a bad trade-off. Some of the classes in our area are $75 per person for a 2-3 hour class, and there may be additional fees for the ingredients.

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