Meal kits have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a simple and convenient option to cook delicious meals with freshly delivered ingredients, all in the comfort of your own home. Surprisingly, they can actually be more environmentally friendly than the average supermarket shop too (more about that here).
The biggest issue with meal kits comes with the sometimes unnecessary packaging. For this reason, we suggest choosing companies with clear policies around packaging – which ideally should be recyclable, reusable and/or compostable. It is also important that they are transparent about their supply chain, supporting sustainable farming practices when sourcing their ingredients. And of course, the choice of dishes and overall cost are both important factors too.
Our recommendations are listed below; many companies will have initial sign up offers or discounts, so it is worth shopping around a bit to find your favourite!
Our Top Picks…
Company: B-Corp certified, Mindful Chef put effort into ensuring their packaging is recyclable wherever possible (check out their materials guide here). In mid 2021 Mindful Chef launched their 100% recyclable cool box, composed of 60% recycled materials and with a 30% lower carbon footprint than their previously-used insulation.
They are committed to being a net zero company by 2030, give back to causes including forest protection in Brazil and cooking stoves for communities in developing countries, and support local producers with 100% of their meat coming from British farmers. They are committed to transparency; their full carbon report is available online.
Product: Mindful Chef emphasise natural, plant-prioritising healthy dishes that are high in protein and fibre. They offer options for a wide range of dietary preferences including vegan and pescatarian, and highlight those dishes that are particularly kind to the environment with their ‘low carbon impact’ sticker.
Company: Sustainability fiends Abel and Cole greatly impressed us with their commitments to the planet. Another B-Corp certified company, Abel and Cole utilize returnable cardboard packaging and work with a host of sustainable packaging gurus in their efforts to continue to evolve.
The great majority of their suppliers are located in the UK, and they are committed to never using air-freight for ingredients. Delivery routes are arranged to minimise emissions and their ‘One Box : One Portion’ initiative donates a portion of fruit or veg to those in need for every Fruit and Veg box sold. We were particularly impressed by the transparency and willingness to learn and evolve demonstrated by Abel and Cole; a wealth of further information is available on their website.
Product: Slightly different to the other companies on the list, Abel and Cole predominantly deliver organic produce boxes – such as their fruit and veg boxes, meat and fish options, and ‘Pantry Favourites’ – for you to cook with. They do also provide a meal kit delivery service, with recipes that change weekly – although preferences for lighter options and vegan and vegetarian dishes can be highlighted. We think this offers a great way to try out dishes you may never have before, whilst also eating more seasonally.
Company: In 2021 Gousto joined the growing list of B-Corp certified meal kit delivery companies. Interestingly Gousto have pioneered the first edible stock sachets alongside natural packaging experts Xampla, and they also prioritize British suppliers and boast near zero food waste in their factories. They have also launched their FoodFinder and Cookstarter campaigns to support people and independent businesses impacted by the global pandemic. Pioneers of their own ‘Eco-Chill Box’, Gousto look set to continue to make significant strides in their sustainability.
Product: Gousto provide for a wide range of dietary preferences, from their Joe Wicks selection to Everyday Favourites choices. Recipes are rotated weekly with 60+ to choose from; we were very impressed by the variety on offer from Gousto.
We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!