10 Best Meal Kits for Dieters - 2018 Rankings
We're excited to announce the launch of our Meal Kit Delivery Services Rankings for 2018! Our Rankings are determined by a number of factors such as analysis of recipes and nutrition information, actual product tests in the No Recipe Required kitchen, consumer feedback, cost, and cleanup, and packaging and speed of delivery.
Besides earning high marks in these areas, to rank among the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services for Dieters, the company should provide perfectly portioned meals designed to help customers get healthy and lose weight, with plenty of consumer feedback to support any claims. Companies in this category will typically offer several or more food-based diet plans, juice diet plans, smoothies and vegetarian options along with plenty of low-carb, low-fat, and low-calorie selections. In most instances, even the desserts are designed for the health conscious.
The services on our list of the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services for Dieters are also user-friendly and some offer online support for dieters. All offer a flexible policy that allows customers to pause or cancel their subscription at any time and most provide a variety of shipping options to suit all budgets—including free.
Below is our list of the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services for Dieters for 2018.
Medifast as the name implies, positions itself squarely in the weight-loss category, and so they are not a perfect comparison with some of the other meal kit services on the market.
Medifast was founded in 1980 by William Vitale, a medical doctor. And the ties to the medical community seems to have persisted. Their website boosts, it's efficacy as medically proven and recommended by over 20,000 doctors since it's founding.
The company owns a few other brands, all centered round medication, fitness and weight-loss.
The Medifast brand itself offers dozens (if not hundreds) of food items designed to replace other options and help you lose weight. Many of their products are available "a la carte" but there are many packages and subscription options available for those looking to get "on a plan".
Founded in 2011 in Berlin, Germany, HelloFresh is an international food company with a presence in presence in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland. The company provides meal-kits that contain everything required for weeknight meals delivered to the subscribers’ door. Customers have the option to customize their delivery times to fit their schedules.
HelloFresh features 15 chef-curated weekly recipe options, with Classic, Veggie, and Family Plans. “The Capsule Menu By Lauren Conrad" is also available, which consists of meals from the reality star and fashion designers own recipe box. Sample meals include Figgy Balsamic Pork, Chicken Cheddar Fajitas, Mediterranean Baked Veggies, Southwestern Beef Tacos, and Scallops Over Truffled Mushroom Risotto.
All seafood is sustainably sourced and most meals are nut and egg-free. Each kit contains proteins and other ingredients sourced “straight” from the farm, easy-to-follow instructions, and fridge-friendly packaging. Meal plan costs are:
2 people, 2 recipes per week, $8.99/serving + $7.99 shipping
2 people, 3 recipes per week, $8.99/serving + $5.99 shipping
2 people, 4 recipes per week, $8.99/serving + $5.99 shipping
4 people, 3 recipes per week, $7.49/serving + $5.99 shipping
2 people, 3 recipes per week, $8.99/serving + $5.99 shipping
4 people, 3 recipes per week, $6.99/serving + $5.99 shipping
4 people, 2 recipes per week, $7.87/serving + $5.99 shipping
4 people, 3 recipes per week, $7.49/serving + $5.99 shipping
Customers can skip any delivery week and they may cancel their subscription at any time.
3. TakeOut Kit
Takeout Kit is a global meal kit delivery service that caters to diners looking to explore international cuisines. Rachel Lake, founder of Takeout Kit, says she believes that “an appreciation of a country’s food cultivates curiosity in culture, which leads to traveling and learning, which leads to feeling more connected to a global community, and ultimately having a better life. Through Takeout Kit, Lake “hopes to bring that experience to every home in America.”
Each box features hard-to-find, exotic ingredients, authentic recipes, information about the culture and background of the dish, and easy-to-follow instructions. Music playlists and drink pairings are included to enhance the experience. Eighteen different types of cuisine are available ranging from African, Asian and European to Middle Eastern, Peruvian, and Vietnamese. Dietary preference categories include all natural, meat, natural ingredients, proteins, vegan, and vegetarian. Cook time options are under 30 minutes, 30-40 minutes and 45+ minutes and spice levels are mild, medium, and spicy.
Sample dishes include German Spatzle, Korean Tofu Stew, Italian Truffle Risotto, Moroccan Baked Eggs, and Peruvian Creamy Yellow Pepper Chicken. Meals serve four and prices are either $30 and under or $30-$40 for single kits. A subscription is not required, but for those who prefer a plan options include:
• Month-to-Month - 1 kit/month, $32.99; 2 kits/month, $65.99; 3 kits/month, $92.99
• 3-Month, $94.99 - 1 new global cooking adventure each month
• 6 Month, $179.99 - 1 new global cooking adventure each month
Takeout Kits have a two-month shelf life and shipping is free.
Launched in 2017, MamaSezz is a plant-based meal delivery service that delivers fresh food to the customer’s door, with no cooking required. The New Hampshire-based company allows customers to order anything from the kitchen and the MamaSezz team will chop, cut, and prepare all of the meals and snacks. Orders are accepted until 8 p.m. eastern on the Sunday before the set Thursday or Friday delivery times. Each meal includes a return shipping label for cooler recycling.
All meals, desserts, sides and sauces are available for one-time purchase or by subscription to “bundles,”
which are delivered once a week or every two, three or four weeks. Options include the Family Bundle, Get Me Started Bundle, Heart Healthy Bundle, Just for Me Bundle, Soy-free Bundle, and the Senior Bundle, to name a few. Sample dishes include the Black Bean Bowl, Lazy Lasagna, Moroccan Stew, Southwest Quinoa, and the Veggie Loaf.
Bundle prices range from $89-$99 with one exception—the 2-Week Plant-Based Challenge Course Meal Plan PLUS Ready-Made Meals Delivered for $154. This plan includes a challenge course, 15-minute coaching call, private Facebook group access, and expert tips to help customers transition to a plant-based lifestyle and stick to it.
Shipping is either free or it will start at $19.95 based on location and order costs. Customers can edit, change, pause or cancel their subscription at any time.
Featured in Reader’s Digest and Boston, MamaSezz also has a store located in Brattleboro, Vermont for local customers who prefer to pick up their meals.
5. The Vegan Garden
The Vegan Garden is a plant-based, meal delivery service that sells completely prepared dishes and desserts. This California-based company also offers cleanses and smoothies, along with a variety of light breakfast items. TVG meals and drinks are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and gluten-free options are available. Sample meal items include Chickpea Curry Soup, Mexican Jumping Beans, Mongolian Chik’n, Moroccan Lentils, Quinoa Burrito, and Spaghetti & Meatballs. Smoothies run the gamut from Berry Blast and Blueberry Beet to Cocoa Powder and Green Machine.
The Vegan Garden offers 11 packages. Examples include:
Skinny Feast Protein Pack: An assortment of 12 protein infused smoothies and 12 higher protein entrees. The cost for this 6-day meal plan is $145.
Slim & Trim: Five vitamin filled 100% natural smoothies, five lunches, five dinners, and five light desserts. The cost for this plan is $210.
Slim Dinners: 14 dinners and 14 low calorie, 100% vegan, desserts. Some items are gluten-free. The cost for this package is $160.
Superfood Cleanse – Soups and Protein Smoothies: 3-day soup and 100% raw juice cleanse contains nine soups and nine protein infused smoothies. The cost for this plan is $160.
The Pioneer Meal: One full week’s worth of vegan readymade meals, in a pre-set menu created by TVG’s kitchen specialists. Each day includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The cost for this 7-day meal plan is $295.
Meals are shipped using FedEx “ground home delivery,” and the cost per package is $19 in California and $29 for the rest of the U.S.
6. Fresh n' Lean
Established in 2010, Fresh n’ Lean is a California-based meal delivery service that offers options for diets ranging from Paleo to vegan. All ingredients are organic and proteins are grass-fed, free-range or wild-caught, and antibiotic- and hormone-free. Fresh ‘n Lean does not use fillers, preservatives, or frozen or processed ingredients, and produce is always local and in-season. Oils and “salty sauces” are kept to a minimum and soy-, dairy- and gluten-free options are available.
Customers can subscribe to Fresh ‘n Lean to receive weekly meals or they may order one-time meals (A La Carte). There is a $105 minimum order for A La Carte orders and prices per entree range from $11.99-$14.49. Sample dishes include Mango Chutney Samosa Rice, Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta, Paleo Beef or Salmon, Quinoa and Teriyaki Broccoli, and Roasted Pepper “Aioli” Brown Rice. Plans have two options including Three Meals, Five Days a Week or Three Meals, Seven Days a Week.
ION Performance Paleo (Low-Carb): Five Days $12.69/meal, $190.35/week; Seven Days $12.69/meal, $266.49/week.
ION Performance Protein +: Five Days $12.25/meal, $183.75/week; Seven Days $12.25/meal, $257.25/week.
Low Carb / Low Cal Plant-Based: Five Days $11.33/meal, $169.95/week; Seven Days $11.33/meal $237.93/week.
Standard Plant Based: Five Days $9.33/meal, $139.95/week; Seven Days, $9.33/meal $195.93/week.
Shipping is free for all Fresh ‘n Lean meal plans and orders are delivered every week in specially designed coolers with ice packs. Containers are microwave and oven-safe and all shipping materials are recyclable. Meals are delivered to the customer’s home or office.
Established in 2015, Freshly is a New York-based, weekly subscription meal service that promises to deliver fresher and faster meals. Meals do not contain artificial ingredients, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, artificial preservatives or items from Freshly’s list of over 85 banned ingredients. Meals are fully prepared and ready to eat in just three minutes, so customers don’t have to deal with prep or clean up. Meals can also last up to a week refrigerated.
Besides using only fresh, all natural ingredients, Freshly uses biodegradable recycled denim insulation as an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam to keep meals cool and fresh. Containers are 100% recyclable and meals are perfectly portioned to avoid contributing to landfill waste.
Freshly’s weekly rotating menu offers 30+ different chef-inspired preparations with both new choices and favorites. The menu is 100% gluten-free, making freshly the largest producer of fresh, certified-gluten-free meals in the U.S. Besides never having to worry about gluten in their meals, customers never have to worry about their waistlines. The average Freshly meal contains 30 grams of protein and just 500 calories.
Sample meals include Jamaican-Style Chicken, Three Bean Ancho Turkey Chili, and Korean-Style Shrimp. Breakfast options and vegetarian meals are also available. Plans include:
- 4 Meals/Week: $12.50/meal, $49.99/week
- 6 Meals/Week: $9.99/meal, $59.99/week
- 9 Meals/Week: $9.99/meal, $89.99/week
- 12 Meals/Week: $8.99/meal, $107.99/week
Shipping is free for all plans and skipping weeks or canceling is easy. Users can skip a week or cancel anytime as long as they notify Freshly before the weekly deadline prior to shipping.
8. Sun Basket
Founded in 2014, Sun Basket is a San Francisco-based meal kit delivery service that provides fresh, seasonal produce that’s 99% organic and 100% non-GMO. Featured in Vogue, Inc., WSJ and TechCrunch, Sun Basket also says that the company only uses antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and all seafood is wild-caught and sustainably sourced. Customers have their choice of dietitian-approved meal plans including Chef’s Choice, Diabetes-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, Paleo, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy, Vegan, and Vegetarian.
Customers can mix and match from 18 weekly recipes and most are designed to be cooked in just 30 minutes. Each recipe is typically 500-800 calories per serving, with pre–measured ingredients that offer less food waste and easier cleanup. Sample dishes include Mushroom Muffulettas with Olive Tapenade and Kale Chips, Pork Chops with Mostarda Wilted Greens, Roasted Salmon with Pearl Couscous and Date-Apple Salad, Steak with Chimichurri and Harissa-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Tokyo Fried Rice with Togarashi, Edamame.
Sun Basket customers receive three recipes per week for two or four people at $11.99 per serving. A Family Menu is also available and consists of two, three, or four recipes each week for four people at a cost of $10.99 per serving. The shipping cost for all plans is $6.99 per order and the first delivery week is always free.
There is no commitment, so customers can skip a week, double up on a recipe or cancel anytime. Sun Basket also offers a unique "100% mouthwatering or your money back” guarantee.
Founded in 2012, Veestro is a unique meal delivery service that uses only 100% plant-based, organic ingredients. The California-based company, which has been featured in Cooking Light, InStyle, Men's Health, and SELF, says it uses only sustainable, preservative-free ingredients, with plenty of gluten-free and kosher options on the menu. Veestro is one of the few meal delivery services that also offers a weight-loss plan and a juice cleanse plan.
Chef-crafted and fully prepared meals include creations such as Lentil Meatloaf, Mushroom Risotto, Red Curry with Tofu, Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce, and Thai Chick’n Stew. Juices bear unique names such as Beet Zinger, Beta Blast, Immunity Kick, Kale Punch, and Mighty Greens. Customers choose their meals from four selections including:
A la Carte, a one-time delivery only option that includes breakfast, entrees, soups, desserts and juices. Complete meals start at $10 and single items are under $7.
Meal Packs, a one-time delivery or subscription option starting at $8/per meal. Packs range from protein and gluten-free to meatless Monday and wedding prep.
Weight-Loss, a subscription-only selection that includes three-, five-, or seven-day options. Each shipment contains two weeks’ worth of meals, shipped every two weeks. Prices start at $8/meal.
Juice Cleanse, a one-time delivery or subscription selection that has three- and five-day options. The package includes 100% cold pressed juice with no added water or sugar. Prices start at $6/juice.
Customers can cancel anytime and shipping costs are as follows: Orders under $98 ($35), $99-$198 ($19) and over $199 (free).
Launched in 2017, Dinnerly is a meal-kit delivery service created by Marley Spoon that promises the lowest prices per serving than any other brand. Entirely separate from the company’s premium brand “Martha & Marley Spoon,” (a partnership between Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon), Dinnerly promotes itself as “the meal kit that’s always 50% off,” making it the “most affordable meal kit around.”
The company says that it uses the same quality ingredients as other kits, but it keeps costs low by taking a simpler approach: digital recipe cards instead of paper, fewer ingredients per dish (which means less chopping and cleaning), simple packaging, and no fancy marketing campaigns.
Customers have their choice of low-calorie, vegetarian, kid-friendly, meat or poultry-lovers, and other recipes that have just six ingredients per dish. The price for 30-minute meals such as Black Bean & Cheese Tostadas, Crispy Pan-Fried Gnocchi, and Ginger Caramel Chicken is $4.99 per person. Shipping is not included.
Meals are sold in “boxes” as follows:
Two-Person Box. 2 Portions per recipe, 3 recipes per week, $4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping. Total per week: $38.93.
Family Box. 4 Portions per recipe, 3 recipes per week, $4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping. Total per week: $68.87.
Dinnerly meals are delivered in insulated boxes on weekdays and the company said there is no commitment. Dinnerly’s meal plan is designed to allow customers to choose exactly when they do (or don’t) want a box, so customers can skip weeks (with notice) whenever they like.