Would you cook from scratch more often if someone delivered ready-to-cook meals to your door, where every ingredient was washed and measured - and all you had to do was open the box and throw stuff in a pan? Then, check this out: The latest cooking trend is “dinner kits”. They’re designed to make cooking easier, and give busy people the chance to make healthy, delicious, restaurant-quality meals. Even if they don’t have time to research new recipes, and shop for the ingredients.
The kits come from companies like Plated, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh. And they aim to fill the gap between buying fresh ingredients, like asparagus and raw salmon. And getting pre-cooked asparagus-stuffed salmon to heat and eat. You just hop online, click-to-buy, and they deliver an insulated box to your door filled with fresh meat, produce and spices - along with illustrated, step-by-step instructions.
Dinner kits are already a huge hit in Europe. And suppliers hope to capture North American fans who can’t seem to get enough of TV cooking shows. They also hope to snag people who are tired of surviving on takeout, and microwave meals. Another segment of people they’re targeting: Parents who feel guilty for not cooking more often. And feel like they’re feeding their kids fish sticks every night.
Of course, dinner kits aren’t cheap. They cost anywhere from $7 to $17 a serving, which is about twice the cost of shopping for your own ingredients. But they cost only a few dollars more than it ordering restaurant take-out.
But the companies insist the kits can actually save you money. That’s because all of the ingredients get used up, so it reduces food waste. And you don’t have to buy, say, a huge jar of curry powder when you only need half-a-teaspoon for the recipe.