Unless you’ve taken a vow of hunger or engage in hunger strikes from time to time, the most important meal of your day is, well, every meal. However, with each food decision comes an unfortunate issue – should you gaze into the abyss of your cupboards and attempt to scrounge together a meal of whatever components you’ve already purchased? Should you plop down the extra cash for tip and delivery to have food sent to you from some distant restaurant whose food tastes better on a plate and not a Styrofoam container? Or, horror of horrors, get dressed and sit down at a restaurant, where the dark lights and loud conversations wash out whatever delicious sensations the meal is supposed to deliver?
Fortunately, there’s another way. The rise of startups centered around food delivery and meal kits help to bridge the gap between unsatisfied fullness and unwanted hunger. One viable option, Munchery, offers flexible options for meals if you happen to live in their service areas.
What Is Munchery?
Munchery has gone through several permutations since initially launching in 2010. Initially, Munchery offered a daily rotation of meals that could be ordered either day-of or several days ahead of time. The meals would be about 90 percent finished, leaving you to add a couple of final touches. For instance, when ordering a burger, you may have to toast the bun and toss the burger in the oven for a couple of minutes before it’s ready to eat.
Local chefs created the daily meal offerings, sourcing their ingredients from local farms and distributors. This helped keep costs low for customers and allowed chefs to create unique offerings for each market.
Starting in spring 2018, however, Munchery switched tactics in several of the cities where they offered that service. Specifically, in Seattle and New York, customers now only order meal kits that are delivered once per week. If you live in Sacramento, Los Angeles, or California’s bay area, you can still order daily meals, however.
For the meal kits, you can select either two or three for delivery each week, as well as the day of delivery. Each recipe can serve two and takes up to 15 minutes to fully prep and cook, based on the recipe cards provided.
This transition from daily meal deliveries to meal kits means Munchery loses what once was a unique edge over similar companies. Still, it’s commitment to local chefs and ingredients give it an edge.
Muchery offers two options for their meal kit service. For $12.99 per serving, you’ll receive two kits. (Again, each kit can feed two people). For $11.66 per serving, you’ll receive three kits. For those with math issues, that means the two-kit option will set you back $51.95 and the three-kit choice $69.95.
You’ll be able to pick the meals for each kit from a rotating list of farm fresh options, as well as the day you’d like to receive the kits.
Shipping is free for both options, but with services like this, it’s entirely possible that you’re paying slightly extra for each kit, so the company can state they are offering complimentary delivery.
Coupons and Deals
Image from CouponSuck
Currently, Munchery is offering a deal through their website for both kit-size options. For the two-kit variety, you can get your first delivery for a total of $31.95 and the three-kit choice for $49.95. So, a total of $20 off, regardless of how many meals you receive each week. To break it down further, the cost per serving for two meals is now $7.99, while the larger option is now $8.33. Oddly, that means that you lose some value by purchasing three kits instead of two.
Various deal sites, Groupon or Coupons.com, also can lead to a range of cheap deals. Coupons.com offers half off your first order from Munchery.
Menu choices depend on your location and season. For instance, Seattleites can choose from six options for their meal kit during this summery week:
- Chicken and pesto flatbread
- Lamb kebab with couscous
- Simple Caprese salad
- Ramen noodle and salmon teriyaki
- Sweet corn salad with egg
- Thai steak, spinach, and brown rice
These meals play on both local ingredients – salmon, for example – as well as local tastes, because teriyaki and Thai food are both common throughout the Seattle area.
When ordering, Munchery will provide you with the essential ingredients, but you may still be responsible for providing some standard pantry items like salt, pepper, or oil, as well as common kitchen tools like a frying pan or a knife.
Meal kit delivery is available in over 1000 cities nationwide. However, as mentioned earlier, same day delivery options are only available in some regions of California. It is not known at this point if the same day delivery option will reach other parts of the country any time soon.
Munchery Specifics Table
- Delivery service type: Meal kits
- Kits per week: Two or three
- Price: $51.95 per week for two kits, $69.95 per week for three kits
- Servings per kit: Two
- Specialty: Recipes crafted by local chefs using local ingredients
- Gluten-free options: Yes
- GMO-free options: Yes
- Sustainable options: Yes
- Vegetarian options: Yes
- Target audience: Busy couples who want to spend less than 15 minutes cooking
Comparing To Other Meal Delivery Services
Image from Blue Apron
Blue Apron is perhaps the most popular meal delivery service, with an expansive array of meal options, services per week, and even number of servings per kit. Because of the full range of possibilities, Blue Apron is very customizable and great for individuals living by themselves or entire families.
When it comes to meal kit plans, Blue Apron offers both a two-person plan and a family plan that serves four people. Once deciding between those two options, you then choose between two and four recipes a week. (Although, the four recipe a week plan is only available for families).
Price-wise, Blue Apron is tough to beat. For the two-person plan, you’ll pay $9.99 per serving regardless of whether you receive two or three recipes a week. However, the two-recipe tier also tacks on $7.99 for weekly delivery. Luckily, this is the only plan and tier combination that doesn’t include free delivery.
Deal-wise, you’ll find online coupons for three free meals on your first order. This discount knocks your initial weekly price for the two-person/two-recipe plan to $20.45 (regularly $47.95) and the two-person/three-recipe combo to $32.44 (regularly $59.95).
For the family plan, the price per serving differs based on the number of recipes per week. Two recipes per week set the price at $8.99 per serving, three go for $7.99, and four lowers the rate to $7.49 per serving.
With the coupon above, the total price for the first week is set very low:
The normal price per serving already beats Munchery, but the online coupons make Blue Apron a fantastic value, especially for that first week.
When it comes to what’s in the meal kits, a sample Blue Apron menu provides hard choices between tempting dishes:
That’s quite a selection, with options that range from global to local. Like Munchery, Blue Apron will provide all the significant ingredients cut to the appropriate portion size, and you’ll need to supply the basics like salt, pepper, oil, and standard kitchen tools.
Blue Apron’s food will take longer to prepare, up to 20 or 30 minutes, but dinner will still be ready in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, you can choose which meals you’d like to come each week, so folks with restricted diets are okay to subscribe.
Image from Sun Basket
There are many similarities between Blue Apron and Sun Basket:
The differences between these two meal kit companies are subtle, as well. Sun Basket is cheaper overall, even more so when factoring in their $35 off coupon. They also have a broader range of options for those on specialty diets – specifically paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and “lean and clean” – but only for those on the two-person subscription. If you’re on the family plan, you only get to choose from six recipes from their “Chef’s Choice” and vegetarian menu items. Another odd restriction, if you’re on the two-person plan, you must receive three recipes per week. Ordering two or four is not allowed.
Sun Basket’s pricing structure is competitive at its normal rates, so its steep discount on the first week is an amazing value:
Also, their menu options tend toward the healthy and the worldly:
Sun Basket also provides further level of customizations:
With their preference towards organic, healthy dishes, Sun Beam is a great choice if you have specific dietary needs and are operating on a budget. However, even with the inclusion of add-ons and discounts, the food from Blue Apron and Munchery just looks and sounds much more appetizing.
Comparing the Specifics
- Servings per kit: Two
- Weekly recipe options: Two or three
- Price per serving: $11.99 – $12.99
- Discount: $20 off the first week
- Menu rating: Three stars
- Ease of recipe: Five stars
- Overall: Three stars
- Servings per kit: Two or four
- Weekly recipe options: Two to four
- Price per serving: $7.49 – $9.99
- Discount: Three free meals on first order
- Menu rating: 4.5 stars
- Ease of recipe: Four stars
- Overall: 4.5 stars
- Servings per kit: Two or four
- Weekly recipe options: Three, two to four (four-people plans)
- Price per serving: $10.99 – $11.99
- Discount: $35 off the first week
- Menu rating: Four stars
- Ease of recipe: Four stars
- Overall: Four stars
Munchery Pros and Cons
It’s tough to know who exactly Munchery is for. It’s easy, with most recipes only needing 15 minutes to get to the finish line, but there’s no family plan for those who need dinner for four ready as quickly as possible. It’s delicious but more expensive than its competitors.
If there are only two members of your household and you are willing to spend a little extra each week to guarantee you will not need more than 15 minutes making your evening meal, then Munchery is for you. Because of this limited appeal, this meal delivery kit service receives three stars.