Missing restaurant outings or don’t have time for supermarket and meal planning hassles? These meal delivery kits in New Zealand give you the ability to test your inner Michelin-starred chef muscles without all the prep (or years of training) …
Even when life is ‘business as usual,’ — you know, before 2020 — we found it challenging enough get to the gym, let alone chose recipes, go grocery shopping and then make a meal. Not to mention then forgetting a key ingredient.
We’re not lazy; we’re are just … poor on time. And forgetful.
So instead of relying on a fallback menu of frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and spaghetti, (or takeaway food delivery services), we decided to try the numerous DIY home meal kits available at the moment to make things easier.
Each typically operates on a subscription service with weekly deliveries scheduled that provide healthy recipes to your door with pre-portioned ingredients and handy instructions cards.
With varying degrees of ease, these meal delivery services are all available in Auckland and across New Zealand, and each offers its only point-of-difference.
Most of the ingredients that you need to whip up your delish dinners are included in each box, but there are some pantry staples – things like oil, butter, salt, pepper, milk etc. – you’ll need to have on hand. Each box lets you know these ahead of time, so you don’t get caught out.
Read on to simplifying your life, eat better and add some variety to your dinner repertoire.
P.S. If you are looking for further healthy eating options you might also want to consider ready-made meals, real-time food delivery apps, fruit and veg boxes, or even visiting an Auckland farmers market.
Bargain Box is now owned and operated by My Food Bag, but runs a separate website offering food boxes focussed on family favourites at lower price points.
Less gourmet than other offerings, these large boxes focus on providing value-for-money for the hungry mouths you need to feed with either three or five meals per week depending on the box. Their best value box feeds six people over five nights for only $6.10 per plate, perfect for ensuring a quick and healthy meal for the busy weeknights.
The recipes are all easy to cook Kiwi favourites like Fish Pie or Beef and Venison Burgers, leaving you with more time to spend with the family. You’ll typically get at least one beef meal, at least one chicken meal, and either a fish or vegetarian meal each week.
What we love most: The affordable prices and family focus, which is excellent for getting growing littlies onboard.
This meal prep company hails from Germany and is on a global mission to make dinner easy. HelloFresh is massive, and while we don’t love the idea of a big international company muscling out our local kiwi favourites, there is no denying the quality and appeal of their food boxes. And they are committed to offsetting 100% of direct carbon emissions from their meal kit services.
Because of their size, they can offer flexible options to customise your weekly box, with around 20 weekly meal possibilities to select from. If you have a fancy meal coming up, feel like more fish, or a meal-that-then-turns-to-lunch, these customisations are a godsend.
A different menu is posted each week for you to choose from.
What we love most: The flexibility, variety of options and carbon-neutral promise.
My Food Bag has been part of the meal delivery game in New Zealand for a long time, and their expertise shows. The brain-child of New Zealand entrepreneur, Cecilia Robinson together with celebrity chef and dietitian Nadia Lim My Food Bag allows you to choose from 10 of their best recipes every week with 1-4 people serving sizes to find the options that are right for you.
The meals typically take 40 minutes or less, and there is a wide variety of boxes to choose from catering to low calories or reduced carb diets, along with kid-friendly meals, plant-based recipes, gourmet restaurant-quality meals and gluten-free. Every ingredient is always free-range and as local and seasonal as possible.
Expect innovative recipes like Braised Mushrooms with Kumara Masha and Edamame to tempt you into plant-based eating or Te mana lamb chops with truffle creamed potatoes in their gourmet selection.
What we love most: My Food Bag is the biggest kiwi-owned player, and they efficiently cater to different dietary requirement.
How about 100% plant-based, mostly-organic food meal boxes that just show up at your front door each week? Then look no further than this healthy bunch at the Kai Box.
There are no, zero, zilch animal products of any kind, here, ever!
Pulled Jackfruit & Black Bean Quesadilla, with guacamole (of course) from the Family box, will do the trick every time for children, though there is also a couple’s option should you not have to consider kids tastes. Either way, no one will miss the meat.
You can even make your mornings easy, healthy and delicious with Kai Box’s new Breakfast Box – the only one in New Zealand – offering delights like peanut butter choc smoothies and apple and pear bircher.
As with most vegan cuisine: most meals have nuts in them so be careful with a nut allergy, and if gluten is your family offender, they offer a low-carb 100% Plant-based box, which is always gluten-free, with no grains.
What we love most: That Kai Box is kiwi-owned, and makes healthy vegan eating incredibly simple.
Say goodbye to grocery shopping, meal planning and even most of the prep and clean-up up! Woop shops, chops and delivers everything you need to make 3 or 4 dinners each week, then deliver it directly to your door with fresh ingredients, colour coded labels and exact portions.
The sauces are hand-made already, and many of the veggies precooked, so you get gourmet limited-step recipes for quick cooking with zero prep required. The trade-off is Woop is one of the most expensive meal kits options per meal.
There is a classic box but also boxes catering for vegetarians, and gluten-free. The premium foodie box is a particular standout with vibrant recipes inspired from around the world including option like Sherry Vinegar Glazed Salmon or Lamb Koftas With Smoky Babaganoush And Baby Kale Tabbouleh.
What we love most: Kiwi-owned. You can cook delicious dinners in half of the time of other meal kits in New Zealand.
And there you have it — all the Best DIY meal kit options in New Zealand. It’s hard to choose a favourite, but you could simply trial each one for a week to see which you prefer. Some even have discount codes to help you out.
For a family on a budget, Bargain Box is probably the best option, and for fancier affairs, the gourmet box from My Food Bag is our favourite. To trial a plant-based diet, The Kai Box is a no-brainer, while Woop is perfect for those who want divine home-cooking-in-a-hurry.
All of these are NZ-based, which leaves HelloFresh as the outsider. We still struggle with the idea of supporting a huge Germany multi-national with over $2 billion in annual revenue versus (far, far smaller) home-grown options, but their success also speaks to just how affordable and convenient their offerings are.
PS. There are also fruit and vegetable delivery services in Auckland, should you be looking for other simple ways to kick-start a healthy lifestyle.