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What is a meal kit and how is it different from meal prep?

Most of you have heard of “meal prep” or “meal kits” or any of the other terms people use to describe pre-made meals, but what’s the difference? While some of the terms are used interchangeably, there is one key difference between a meal prep and a meal kit. Meal kits are usually a “make your own meal” with all the ingredients pre-portioned for you, whereas as meal prep is a fully prepared meal that may not have been heated yet. 

Meal kit companies send out a kit of raw ingredients to their customers to give them everything they need in order to create a tasty fresh dinner at home. A meal kit will generally have all the foods neatly chopped and ready to cook along with spice or sauce packages, plus a beautifully printed recipe for the customer to follow.

The meal kits can be sent all over the country, as they are vacuum-packed, then covered in dry ice and/or frozen gel packs and sent out in an insulated big box.

Meal prep companies (specializing in meal kits) send out foods before they have been cooked. These companies have already done the heavy lifting for their customers, by shopping for and doing all the preparation of the raw ingredients. However, as they haven’t actually done the cooking, this type of service is generally less expensive (and usually much healthier) than meals that are fully prepared by a restaurant.

Meal kits are perfect for people who like the fun of doing a little cooking themselves and then ending up with a really great meal that would have taken them about an hour to do themselves. Couples tend to enjoy doing this type of cooking together.

In contrast, the majority of meal preparation companies (or meal preparation services) make the entire meal from start to finish and all the customer has to do is heat and serve. It’s quick, easy, and healthy.

The majority of meal preparation companies deliver delicious fresh fully-prepared meals locally, or have them available in specific spots around town for their customers to pick up. While many only  deliver locally, there are others that ship all over the country.

Meal prep and delivery services tend to replace fast food restaurants for customers who prefer healthier meals and are willing to spend a little more money for their food. Meal prep companies tend to deal with healthy food and what they offer is as varied as people’s opinions about what exactly is healthy food. Here are some types of meals that meal prep companies are offering as of 2020: Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, High Protein and Low Carb. 

Meal prep services and kits are a great way for today’s busy customers to bring healthier meals into their home, or to easily stick to a particular dietary plan.

We’d love to hear from you.

Are you meal prep or a meal kit company? Or are you something entirely different? We’d love to hear how you decided which business model was best for your company. 

Have a story to tell?

Connect with us and let us know if you would like to guest post on our blog. We'd love to share your meal prep or food industry story with our readers. 


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