Turn the television on any day or time, and you will either see a cop show or a cooking show. Yet, with all the cooking going on in the television, recent studies show that Americans are not cooking at home. Several meal kit companies have launched to help people prepare home-cooked meals. One of the largest and most popular meal kit delivery companies is Home Chef. Over three million meals each month are served from Home Chef’s distribution centers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

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What is Home Chef?

Founded by Patrick Vihtelic in 2013, Home Chef is the company that cooks the meals for millions. Vihtelic wanted to make every day cooking simple, intuitive, and inspirational. Each week, Home Chef makes available a new menu with 15 fresh weekly meal options for a person to choose from. The company sends the customer the recipes to those meals with step-by-step instructions and all the correctly proportioned ingredients needed to make them. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Home Chef’s headquarters is in Chicago. They employ almost 1000 people, who facilitate the delivery of meals to their customers nationwide. In addition to the home meals delivered, Home Chef has partnered with Krogers and Walgreens to offer in-store meal kits. That gives customers the opportunity to make on the spot decisions about what meals they would like to prepare that day. So far, the in-store meal kits are only available in fourteen states, but there are plans for expansion.

In-store meal kits seem to be a big hit with the customers, and they are requesting to have them sold in more areas. To date, Home Chef in-store meal kits are available in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Home Chef strives to be American’s solution to healthy eating.

According to Market Force Information, Home Chef has been rated number one in customer satisfaction among leading meal kit companies for the past two years.

Home Chef’s service is available to over 90 percent of the U.S. population. In a recent article, Home Chef shared the results of a survey that their company conducted. The survey revealed that over 80 percent of those who responded said they could benefit from a meal kit delivery service.

Seventy-five percent of those who responded admitted they did not eat healthy foods because they didn’t have the time or didn’t know how to cook. Over 40% of the people said that they didn’t think they were good enough cooks to be able to eat healthy all the time. Half of the respondents said they ate portion sizes that were too large, which made them overweight. They didn’t know how to shop for foods that were healthy. The respondents also said they didn’t have time to cook healthy meals.

Pat Vihtelic, the founder and CEO of Home Chef, suggested that his company has the solution to Americans not eating healthy. He said, “The time it takes to find healthy recipes, go grocery shopping and prepare a meal can be a deterrent to healthy home. Home Chef takes care of the time-consuming tasks of meal planning and grocery shopping, while offering easy-to-follow instructions to simplify home cooking. Our goal is to make it possible to have healthy, satisfying home-cooked meals without the hassle.”

How does Home Chef work?

In just 3 easy steps you can receive delicious meals that you can cook at home. The first step is to sign up to be a member of the home chef community. Next, Choose your favorite recipes. Then wait to receive your box.

Sign up for the program

When you set up your account, you’re not stuck with a one size fits all meal plan. Home shelf let you tell them what your dietary preferences are. If you have any dairy, pork, red meat, or gluten fool allergies, you can avoid those items. You can also choose a low carb or low-calorie menu.

Home Chef uses your dietary preferences and taste profile to select foods that match. your dietary restrictions and preferences.

Select your favorite recipes

Use the customized feature to choose from 15 fresh recipes featuring chicken, fish, pork, steak, vegetarian and more. Menus are provided to allow you to make your selections within five weeks in advance. With so many meals available you have the perfect opportunity to try something you’ve never tried before.

Some of the Home Chef categories are chicken, fish, beef, seafood, pork, poultry, cod, lamb, shrimp, and steak. You can choose meals without nuts, without soy, without milk, and without wheat. You can select carb conscious, calorie conscious, smoothies, salads, breakfast, and desserts. They also have a selection of customer favorites and staff picks. There is no category of food left out.

Receive your box

Home chef ships the meals to you once a week on a day that you designate. So, it’s important that you select today or you going to be home to receive them. However, if you plan on traveling or being away from home, you can choose to skip a week and restart the program when you return.

You can alter the number of meals you get each week or what meals you get. If you are going to be away for a week, you can pause the program until you get back.

The meals come packaged in recyclable or biodegradable materials. All liquids are shipped in reusable containers. Dry spices are shipped in resealable packages so you can store them for later use if you do not use them all for the recipe.

Except for staples like cooking oil, you’ll receive everything in your box that you need to make the meal. Included are the meat, vegetables, side dishes, and the seasoning. All items except for meat are sorted by the recipe, then packed together in a larger plastic pack.

Cook amazing dinners

Instead of feeding your family fast foods or other foods that are not good for them, you will be able to cook delicious, nutritious, healthy, home cooked meals for your family.

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How much does Home Chef cost?

Compared to what you would pay at a restaurant for the same quality meal, Home Chef meals are relatively inexpensive. Some people might argue that they can shop for their own meals at a lesser price, but Home Chef caters to those persons who are not doing their own shopping. Or, they may be serving up a lot of fast foods or TV dinners to their family. Plus, with Home Chef, you are paying for the convenience of having everything in one box that is shipped to your home.

Meal Plans

Home chef meals are packaged in either serving for two or servings for four.

  • A standard meal for two costs $19.90 and $39.80 for four people.
  • A five-minute lunch is $15.98 for two and $31.96 for four.
  • Smoothies are $9.90 for two and $19.80 for four.
  • Fruit Baskets are $9.90 for two and $19.80 for four.
  • Premium Meals are sold at the market price.
  • There is a delivery cost of $10 for meals less than $45.00. If the order is over $45.00, the delivery is free.

The meal kits sold at Krogers and Walgreens are priced differently.

Home Chef has no subscription fee, you pay by the order. If you don’t want to continue ordering, you must pause your account, or you will automatically receive weekly meals based on your preferences.

Credit can be earned toward meals by getting other people to sign up with your account code. Home Chef has an active affiliate program where you can earn a commission for every new customer who places an order.

Home Chef Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Home Chef offers many positive benefits to people who use their services.
  • There are so many recipes that no recipe is repeated in the same year. There is enough of a variety of meals that there is something to fit the taste of everyone.
  • The recipes are easy-to-follow. They come with step-by-step instructions.
  • The program is flexible. You can choose what meals you want to be delivered and how many meals you want per week.
  • You do not pay for shipping if the total amount for meals ordered during the week is more than $45.00.
  • Since all the meals can be completed in thirty minutes or less, you can save time.
  • There is no waste from purchasing food items that you don’t need. If you only need one stalk of celery, you don’t have to buy an entire bunch.
  • Fifteen different meals offer a wide variety to choose from.
  • The nutritional information is available for each meal. You can view the nutritional information by clicking on the recipe on the website. It will also be on the recipe card when you receive your meal.

The Cons

  • The meals are high in sodium content. They could put you over the 2300 milligram daily sodium intake recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The meals are reasonably priced, but they may still cost too much for most people who live on a fixed income.
  • There are no meals that are strictly heart-healthy or compatible with the diet for diabetes.
  • There is no individual meal serving sizes. A person who lives alone would have to order a two-serving meal.
  • If you have a large family with more than four people, the meal kit deliveries can be expensive and no longer cost-effective. Home Chef does not offer discounts for large quantity orders.
  • Home Chef does not offer meals to fit a specific diet plan like Paleo or Keto, although some meals might qualify for those plans.

What people are saying about Home Chef?

If you search the internet to out what other people were saying, you will discover that most people absolutely love the meals they receive from Home Chef. Many of our reviews were taken directly from the Home Chef Facebook page. Others were from various consumer review companies.

People like the fact that the meals are easy to prepare, and they taste good. Customers also enjoy the variety of foods that are offered.

The negative comments normally didn’t have anything to do with the food. If it was food related, it was because the produce was a little wilted by the time it was delivered.

Some people had problems with their delivery being a little late, which was probably due to the severe weather storms causing a delay with the carriers.

Others complained about having to provide their financial information before they could select the meals.

Here are a few of the reviews from Facebook:

“My wife, son and I love Home Chef. My sister and a work colleague recommended Home Chef after trying several others… The food has been great and the cooking instructions clear and easy to follow….”

“For me, it has been great. I have made over 50 different recipes in the past 6 months. I have learned to cook new things that I would not have considered trying to make from scratch. The recipes are very easy to follow…”

Overall, Home Chef seems to deliver on their promises of providing great tasting healthy home cooked meals.

If you are like most people and don’t have time to spend going to the grocery store and deciding what to cook, Home Chef may be the perfect solution for you.

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There’s more to Home Chef than home-cooked meals

Kitchen Tools

In addition to the home-cooked meals, Home Chef sells helpful kitchen tools. On their website, Home Chef sells different size pans for cooking meats and veggies, as well as a cast-Iron skillet. There are pots, bowls, and knives. They even sell meat tenderizers, potato mashers, strainers, and other items. Anything a person needs to equip their kitchen for cooking can be found.

Student discounts

Students can receive 50 percent off their first meal kit order up to $40.00. They must simply register with Student Beans to verify their student status.

Gift Cards

Gift Cards are available for use at homechef.com and cannot be combined with any other offers. Your payment card when you make the purchase.

Whether Home Chef meals will lead to more Americans cooking at home is unknown. But, for the three million people who receive Home Chef meals each week, it has made an impact.

Parents with active children spend their days working, then rushing from one after-school program to the next, until they finally settle down late in the evening. By that time, they just want to reach for the most convenient thing that’s filling. These parents don’t have time to go to the grocery store. If they did purchase items at the store to make daily home-cooked meals and didn’t cook them, that food would just go to waste. Home Chef lets busy families have nutritious, well-balanced meals at home.

How does Home Chef compare to other meal delivery companies?

Home Chef vs. Blue Apron

Blue Apron also focuses on the way food is grown and distributed. They form partnerships that allow farmers and chefs to collaborate on how to grow and create the best quality foods.

Blue Apron meals are delivered nationwide to the contiguous United States.

Customers who sign up for Blue Apron don’t have to commit to any contract. They can skip a delivery or cancel their plan at any time.

Blue Apron’s customers choose recipes from one of the four plans offered. They have the Signature Plan for 2, the Signature Plan for 4, Weight Watcher’s Free Style, and the Vegetarian Plan for 2.

A variety of kitchen essentials designed to help make the food process easier and faster are available for purchase in the Blue Apron Market.

Gift cards can be purchased to cover any of the plans.

The two-serving signature meal is $9.99 per serving. The two-serving weight watchers’ meals are $9.99 per serving, and 2-Serving Vegetarian is 9.99. The 4-Serving Signature for 4 is $8.99 per serving.

Blue Apron has a Wine program where they work directly with the vineyards of renowned winemakers to provide quality wine to Blue Apron customers.

Unlike Blue Apron, Home Chef does not partner with any program such as Weight Watchers. Home Chef also does not have a wine program. However, at $8.95 per serving, Home Chef meals are slightly less than the meals from Blue Apron.

Home Chef vs. Plated

Plated was co-founded by Josh Hix in 2012. Albertsons acquired the company in 2017 and began selling the Plated meal kits in some of its stores.

Plated has partnered with various producers in the food industry to provide foods that are thoughtfully grown and raised. The seek out artisans who sell small authentic food items that you won’t find in stores.

Through Plated, millions of meals are delivered to customers nationwide to the contiguous United States. Since they are now owned by Albertsons, plated meal kits will be offered in over fifteen grocery stores nationwide.

Customers who sign up for Plated do not have to commit to any contract. They can skip a delivery or cancel their plan at any time.

Plated has 20 dinners in its weekly menu, plus an additional dessert. The meals are designed to fit every cooking level and take 20 minutes or less to prepare.

The three meal plans offered are based on how many food servings per night fit the customer’s needs. Prices also vary depending upon how many nights during the week the food is to be delivered.

  • The cost of one serving of the 2 servings per night plan is $11.95.
  • The cost of one serving of the 3 servings per night plan is priced at $9.95.
  • The cost of one serving of the 4 servings per night plan is priced at $9.95.

Gift cards can be purchased to cover any of the plans.

Plated seems to focus strictly on providing healthy meals to its customers. They don’t offer any wine or cooking utensils on their website. Like Plated, Home Chef meal kits are being made available in grocery stores to provide different options for their customers.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh

The 2018 fourth quarter figures revealed that HelloFresh delivers 54.7 million meals to 2.02 million households. HelloFresh began operation in 2011 in Berlin, and it’s the leading global provider of fresh food at home. The company’s objective is to give every household a chance to enjoy home-made meals at home without having to do any shopping or meal prepping. They are meticulous about choosing the right food suppliers and making sure the food arrives at your door as fresh as possible.

HelloFresh operates in the United States, Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Customers who sign up for HelloFresh do not have to commit to any contract. They can skip a delivery or cancel their plan at any time.

Customers recipes from either the veggie plan, classic plan, or two-meal family plan. They also have wine delivery plans to select from.

For students, HelloFresh offers fifteen percent off every box.

HelloFresh does provide gift cards, but there are no pots and plans on their website for customers to purchase.

The prices are affordable with the Veggie Plan starting at $ 8.99 per serving. The classic plan is $ 8.99 per serving, and the family plan is $ 7.87 per serving.

While HelloFresh has an international market, Home Chef is only sold in the United States.

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Summary

The growth of meal kit delivery companies has occurred because most people feel they don’t have the time to cook and don’t know how to prepare healthy meals. Home Chef strives to be the leading home-cooked meal kit delivery company. Their meals are convenient, affordable, and easy to make. In addition to the two million home-cooked meals delivered to the homes of Americans each week, Home Chef offers in-store meal kits.