I’ve been trying out meal prep services in a quest to save time whilst enjoying home-cooked meals. You can quickly sign-up to a website, pick some recipes you like the look of, and the pre-prepared ingredients and recipe cards are sent to you for cooking at home. There’s a bunch of companies to choose from and in this article we’re looking at Good Food (Make Good Food), who is one of the biggest players in Canada. The service is a bit pricier than shopping and cooking yourself, but you can save time and learn some quality recipes. Read on to see our Make Good Food review.
Good Food (Make Good Food) are a meal-prep company based out of Montreal Canada, founded in 2014, and have a staff of approximately 500 people. They claim to be one of the biggest meal-prep companies in Canada, delivering 1,000,000+ meals per month.
Good Food state that for every box of food purchased they will donate a meal box to a child in need in a community that the company operates in. Very admirable, but there isn’t much data on the website about this. The Press section of the website shows that in 2016 they donated around 75,000 meals. It would be great to have more up-to-date and transparent information, as Good Food rely on and promote this across their website.
Good Food have B-corp status (although I wasn’t able to check at time of writing due to website issues). These are businesses, “…that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” You can find out more here.
I picked the Vegetarian basket plan for 2 persons with 3 meals per person (6 meals total per week), which comes to $68 CAD or $11.33 CAD per meal. If you were to opt for 4 persons and 3 meals per person (12 meals total per week), you can shrink the cost to $9.75 CAD per meal.
As part of reviewing other food services, I’ve estimated that on average I will spend around $5 CAD per meal on raw ingredients for my dinners. Consequently, I think that I’m probably paying about 2-3 times as much for the Good Food service compared to normal grocery or food shopping. It’s probably about the same as a cheap main meal out at a restaurant. Perhaps this seems expensive to you, but remember that you are:
- reducing your own grocery or food shopping
- not having to think about what to cook
- saving time when preparing meals
- learning new recipes
Sign-up and website navigation
Once you’re signed up to the Good Food service, you’ll spend the majority of your time selecting from the selection of meals offered by Good Food.
The choices you are presented with are specific to your meal plan choice, so if you pick the veggie plan, you’ll be offered exclusively veggie products. Good Food also gives you extras you can add on to your weekly order, like cookies, coffee, breakfast bits etc. Some users (like me) may find this constant upselling a bit annoying, but other users may enjoy the opportunity to conveniently add more items to their order. It does clutter the screen a bit, but on balance, I think it’s probably a good feature for some users and easily ignored by others.
If you’re vegan, you will have to investigate each option with another click to check-out whether the veggie recipe is suitable for you. To save time you may wish to simply not bother and replace any non-vegan options with your own choices. As mentioned in other articles, there isn’t a way to exclude non vegan items. An improvement would be to tick ‘vegan’ so you aren’t sent ingredients you’re not going to use, and perhaps even a commensurate discount could be provided.
They have a calendar option to view your upcoming deliveries, which is an efficient way to quickly skip or unskip deliveries over the next few months.
Good Food delivery
Good Food posts a box full of supplies with ice packs in an insulated box to your address. I had mine delivered to work which was easier than home as the delivery is during working hours. As the box is essentially a parcel, it’s treated as such and may be left on your doorstep.
It’s worth noting that if you’re a cyclist you can split the box contents between 2 panniers (I am confident that you could fit the 8-meal option between 2 panniers). If you ordered the 12-meal option, I don’t think you’d be able to fit it all in 2 regular panniers.
Delivery box & packaging
Like other meal prep services, the packaging is corrugated cardboard with multiple internal layers of extra-thick insulating cardboard. This protects the contents and keeps it cold so that it stays fresh through the delivery process. I found that the Good Food box was adequately packaged with ice packs to keep the food cool. My ingredients and paperwork arrived safely with no damage or leaks.
The quantity of packaging used by meal prep companies is a recurring and valid criticism of food prep services. Good Food uses cardboard for the main box and insulation, but plastic bags for the recipes. They state that the bags are recyclable, but they’re soft plastic, and may often not be accepted in household recycling.
The meals and ingredients
I selected the vegetarian option with 3 recipes for 2 people, so I received 3 different bags with sufficient ingredients for 2 people. I had no complaints about the quality of ingredients received; all were fresh. I especially liked that Good Food supplied ingredients in hard plastic containers like small bottles and pots, which can be reused more easily than plastic bags. These containers can be seen in the image below. It would be great if you could return these containers to be reused, but Good Food doesn’t have a service for that.
Like with other meal prep services, there’s a balance to be found between packaging and prep-level. I’d rather have less packaging and have to do a tiny bit more cutting and chopping. Other people may prefer things like the garlic to be pre-crushed, which then needs a container that tends to be plastic. I’d push people towards minimising packaging and practising their chopping skills!
Cooking a Good Food meal
I tried the greek pita meal and found the the instructions were easy to follow. It wasn’t adventurous and took slightly longer than anticipated, mainly because of the cooking of the squash in the oven, which took a bit longer to brown off. I didn’t need to actively engage with the meal prep for the entirety of the cooking period, so I could do other things whilst waiting for that item to finish.
Below you can see my cooked meal. I was pleased with it! I probably cooked have cooked the pita a bit more so gain more crispness, but it’s a minor quibble.
I did add some extra frozen squash and spring onions, because I like to pad the meal as a large eater. That’s a theme with meal-prep services – they cater for average portion sizes, which don’t suit me. I think they could improve by adding some more of the basic items, be it rice/potatoes etc. Or even an indication of the portion size you want, but I appreciate this would slow down meal processing time for the factory.
I had to rearrange my delivery time due to conflicts with work schedule. I found the Good Food representative to be courteous, quick, and helpful. We experienced a disconnection during the call and they immediately called me back. All ingredients were present in my bags, so I’ve had no reason to go back to them.
Conclusion – Make Good Food review
I think that Good Food (Make Good Food) is another solid offering in the meal-prep business, providing convenience, an element of novelty, and a way to improve your cooking abilities.
- The price point is just below average for the service
- Fresh ingredients
- Accurate delivery
- Small reusable containers are provided
- Plastic used for recipe bags
- Vegan meal options are limited
Is Good Food worth your time? Give it a go with a fat discount – you can use the following link and get $40-50 off your first week.
If you sign up I will get credit for a meal too. We both get fed!