TRAVEL HERE: BYE-BYE FRESHLY AND SUN BASKET
Well, I’m on the decision end of my journey. I’ve tried these meal kit companies, in this order: Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Sun Basket, Home Chef and Freshly. Two are now out of the running for my on-going business. Let me tell you why.
Bland, Blah, Boring!
I was skeptical of Freshly from the moment Bill suggested it. I wanted to be out of the meal planning and food management business, but I like cooking. Freshly seemed like a pretentious form of frozen food to me, but since he’s the one I’m trying to please, I gave it a shot.
Our first meal was Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini & Potato Cakes. These are three of my favorite foods, so it should have been a shoo-in for delicious. NOT! Last night we had Chicken Provencal with Roasted Pepper Cauliflower Mash. Lots of reasons we should have enjoyed it, but we didn’t. Peppercorn Steak with Carrots and Green Beans is still in the refrigerator, but after choking down two disappointments we’ve already made up our mind. We’re even going to forfeit the discount on the second week’s delivery.
If you read their packaging, they do warn you they go easy on the seasonings and suggest ways to spice up your meals. Well thanks, but there is only so much ground pepper and lemon juice can do. If your pork, potatoes and zucchini all taste the same to begin with, just adding condiments is not going to fix them. The items may then have more flavor, but they don’t taste like pork, potatoes and zucchini with pepper and lemon, they taste like mush you are trying to doctor up with pepper and lemon. Freshly prepares the meals, flash freezes them and then they defrost on their way to you. What’s more, that’s exactly what they taste like.
A Basket of Mistakes
Sun Basket’s meals were actually pretty good, but they were fired for cause – two causes, in fact. First, I hate their recipe book. It’s a waste of paper for one thing, for another it gets all yucky in the cooking process and finally, their book is bereft of helpful photos and clear instructions. Instead they have chatty blogs and vague do-this-until-that suggestions.
My second beef with them was the unreliability of their produce and packing. You may or may not get your seasoning packages. Your cucumber might have been frozen and rendered useless. Your lemon might have a big spot on it. We had six meals and had a least six oops. I don’t want a weekly $10 refund. I just want all the ingredients to arrive and for them to be top quality.
Their packaging was of the brown paper bag sort, like Hello Fresh, but while it’s not my preferred method of receiving my stuff, it wasn’t the reason I abandoned them. With the other two complaints, it was just one more thing I didn’t like.
So, that leaves Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Home Chef. There are pros and cons to all of them. So who wins the Meal Kit Challenge? Come back next week and find out.