But especially for Brits looking to trim the fat, fit into their swimming costume, or even just start healthier, there is a better alternative to those takeaway deliveries. Meal delivery and recipe box services abound in places like the States, and now the trend is starting to gain popularity across the UK as well.
What’s the Difference Between Meal Delivery & Recipe Box Services?
There are 2 services providing the general public with healthier ways of eating quality meals without spending a fortune. While hiring a private chef is an option for the elite few, most people can’t or won’t spend so much money on food prep, which is why both meal delivery and recipe box services were spawned. And while these both are a more affordable and health-conscious option, they actually service 2 slightly different niches. Here’s how recipe box and meal delivery services differ one from another:
Recipe box services
Recipe box services take the most painful parts out of getting a home-cooked meal. Of course, we’re referring to the planning and shopping stages of the cooking process. In fact, there are plenty of singles, mums, and dads who really enjoy cooking and would do it more often if not for this aspect. Recipe boxes eliminate this issue by providing you with the recipe, clear instructions, and all the ingredients you need to make your meal. No searching, no shopping, no schlepping.
Meal delivery services
Meal delivery services are taking things one step further. Don’t even want to touch a frying pan? Then get your meals delivered straight to your door, already prepared, and ready to eat. These delicious alternatives are the ideal option for those who truly have no time to cook.
Here are the top 8 delivery services that are making it easier (and much more enjoyable) to eat well without all that effort.
Ideal for: All around best option for everyone
- Budget-friendly options
- Delivers everywhere in the UK
- Fun, flavourful, and unique meals
- No environmentally-friendly packaging
Pricing: From £5.80 per portion for a 2-person meal
HelloFresh originally catered only to the United States, but Britain sent out a rousing cheer when the service opened its offerings to the UK crowd as well. That’s because all HelloFresh meals come with locally-sourced ingredients and clear instructions. Oh, and one other thing that makes HelloFresh stand out is its menu. Customers will have the delightful opportunity to choose from diverse meals, including Mascarpone and Mushroom Pizza and Peachy Pork Tortillas.
2. Mindful Chef
Ideal for: Budget-conscious eaters
- Offers both recipe boxes and prepared meals
- Delivers nationwide
- Health professionals on staff
- Recipe boxes can take 30 minutes to prepare
Pricing: From £4.50-£7 per portion (depending on how many people you are ordering for)
Mindful Chef is one of the premier options in the UK for those looking to eat better and more easily. This food delivery giant offers both prepared meals for those truly short on time and recipe boxes in case you want to try your hand at culinary delights. Mindful Chef offers meat, fish, and vegan plans catering to a wider audience than most, and all ingredients come from sustainable and locally sourced British farms. These meals are all good options whether you’re looking for something tasty or a means to lose weight, offering well-balanced, nutritious options for 1, 2, or 4 people.
3. The Pure Package
Ideal for: People who want to stick to a specific diet or fitness goal
- Fitness-based meal plans
- Full, ready-made meals
- Same day delivery
- Only delivers to London and M25
Pricing: From £39.95 a day for a 10-day plan
The Pure Package is a great choice if you have a specific diet you want to stick to but don’t necessarily have the time to cook for it. That’s because this service delivers already prepared meals to your door, and you’ve got a huge menu to choose from. Plan options include paleo-inspired, post-natal, vegetarian, vegan, and more. The Pure Package menus are built around fitness goals, making them a truly healthy choice. Plus, you get fresh food delivered every single day.
4. Fresh Fitness Food
Ideal for: Serious fitness goalers
- The premier meal delivery service for fitness goals
- Daily deliveries to your door
- Lots of food on the meal plan (so you’re not hungry)
- Only delivers to London and along the M25
Pricing: From £20 per day
There are 6 different packages to choose from, but that’s not all. Since you will be sitting with a nutritionist when you subscribe, you’ll be given the chance to tailor your package to fit your exact requirements and desires. This means Fresh Fitness Food will:
Help you choose the package that will work best with your specific fitness goals. So, you get the most well-balanced meals to help optimize nutrition for your weight loss or fitness program.
Let you customize your meals. So, if you don’t like a particular ingredient or meal, you can remove it and replace it with something you prefer.
Fresh Fitness Food ensures you meet your fitness goals with ease.
Ideal for: Anyone who wants variety and flexibility
- Meals ready in 10 minutes
- Wide variety of meals selection
- Flexible delivery options
- Ingredients aren’t measured out
Pricing: From £24.99 per box
Gousto delivers some of the most scrumptious recipes and ingredients straight to your kitchen. And with 40 recipes every week, you’ll never wrestle with boredom from these menus. Gousto meals are easy to prepare, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Plus, the recipe box service delivers 7 days a week and offers weekly, fortnightly, or monthly deliveries. So, you can take your pick of when and how often you want your food delivered.
6. Riverford Recipe Box
Ideal for: One-off meals for 2 (or 2 meals for 1!)
- Recipes change every week
- Organic meals
- No subscriptions needed
- Only feeds two people
Pricing: From £11.20 for a 2-person meal
Riverford definitely wins over the competition for most flexibility of service. Not only does the recipe box service deliver weekly, fortnightly, every third week, and monthly, but Riverford allows you to order one-off meals without any subscription commitment. So, you get the most value from this, especially if you are the type to order meals at the spur of the moment. And as an added benefit, Riverford recipe boxes come personally hand-delivered by some of the most courteous couriers you could ever meet.
Ideal for: People all over the UK looking for fast and easy healthy meals
- Six minutes to heat and eat
- Flavourful meals
- Well-balanced for nutrition and taste
- Not all meals are microwavable
Pricing: From £5.75 per meal
Everdine is one of the best meal delivery options in the UK currently. It offers plans with 8 or 12 flash-frozen meals, so you always have a well-balanced and delicious meal waiting for you in minutes. And despite what you’re obviously thinking, the freezing and microwaving process does nothing to detract from the taste of these mouth-watering meals. Everdine meals come with vegetables, proteins, and carbs, so you are really getting everything you need for a healthy, energy-filled day.
8. Abel & Cole RB
Ideal for: Those who need organic-only meals
- Organic produce
- Clear, organized instructions
- Low-calorie options
- Not a huge variety of meals
Abel & Cole is one of the most exclusive options, delivering the freshest, organic, and wild ingredients available. Aside from flavour-rich menus appropriate for meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan diets, the Abel & Cole website is delightfully simple to use. You can sort menu options by dietary need or by preferences such as foodie, simple, and calorie-light. So, you get only the recipes that will really appeal to you. Abel & Cole recipes are easy to follow and serve 2 or 4 people.
Pricing: From £12 per meal
There are other notable candidates worth mentioning for their quality, health benefits, and pricing, such as The Detox Kitchen, Munch Fit, Potage, and SpringGreen. We were really hesitant to leave these off of the list because you will hardly find an article about recipe box or meal delivery services in England that doesn’t talk about these scrumptious, appealing, and well-priced meals. However, these 4 brands didn’t make the cut because they deliver exclusively to smaller areas of London. If you are a Londoner though, these chaps are well-worth looking into as well. And look out because, with quality products like these, we’re sure to see expanded delivery options in the future.
Think Out of the Box!
Eating healthy is getting easier by the day with new meal delivery services launching in the UK all the time. Try out some of our favourites, or test drive your own to find delectable meals that are good and good for you.