Since the pandemic has most mature adults sheltering of us have ordered something from Amazon before, the amazon’s meal kits they sell are like comparable well-known meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron, Home Chef, Sun Basket, HelloFresh which include nearly everything you’d need to make a meal, but they’re only available to Amazon Prime members or Amazon Fresh Members who live in metro areas that offer grocery delivery service or at select Whole Foods stores in those areas. The prep work is done for you with no subscription.
How Does it Work?
Unlike meal delivery services, you can literally order 1 meal at a time whenever you need it. One of the catches with Amazon is that they have limited availability.
Most of us have ordered something from Amazon before, and the kits they sell include nearly everything you’d need to make a meal, but they’re only available to Amazon Prime or AmazonFresh Grocery members who live in metro areas that offer grocery delivery or at select Whole Foods stores in those areas. The prep work is done for you with no subscription.
Amazon announced plans to buy high-end grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in a move that could have major ramifications for the online and offline grocery delivery market
Amazon Fresh is currently available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Even if you are in an Amazon Fresh delivery area, some kits aren’t available, customers in Seattle, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, and the Northeast.
Do you live in one of these areas? Now you’ll need an Amazon Prime membership ($119 per year or $12.99 every month) most people already have Prime so you may not have to sign up. They are offering a 30-day free trial here.
If you’re used to ordering groceries online, this might be a great option, you can schedule the delivery time straight to the door if you won’t be home or if you’re hard of hearing, the meals can sit until you get back.
If you don’t live in the delivery area, you still have some options at Amazon Go stores including Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, and some Whole Foods Market stores in the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona.
The meal kits come in simple paper bags with 2 frozen water bottles to keep the food cold.
How Do You Choose Meals?
Because the site has so much stuff on it, it can be confusing to find the right things you want. It’s not clear how many meals Amazon has in its database, but at least 8 options that change at will.
Browsing the site isn’t easy to find the meal kits because they are mixed in with the groceries and everything else.
The customer reviews are helpful to read before making decisions.
They have Amazon Kitchen branded entrees that are pre-made, just heat and eat. The Spaghetti and meatballs prepared meal are one of those examples.
Sample Meal – Classic spaghetti and meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, topped with parmesan.
Prepared with other foods that contain milk, soy, and wheat.
They also offer Amazon Kitchen branded meal kits, like this Sweet Chile Chicken,
Sample meal: Chicken with bell peppers, baby corn, and water chestnuts in a sweet and spicy chile sauce, served over rice
No-prep kit for 2. You’ll get step-by-step instructions, all you do is mix the included ingredients, cook for 10 minutes, serves 2. The price is $14.99.
They also have separate meals with just main meats and veggies for two like this Amazon Kitchen branded Chimichurri Rojo Beef with Chile-Lime Butter meal, and could pair it with this vegetarian side-dish of Asparagus and Red Onions that’s topped with a hollandaise butter.
They feature multiple guaranteed fresh side salads, here is an Organic Kale, Caesar Salad kit, almost 10 ounces only $4.99.
To top it off, you can order a choice of soups, comes in 24 oz plastic tubs, prepared, just microwave in 5-6 minutes, or cook on the stove-top for 12-15 minutes. This creamy sharp cheddar and broccoli soup has a touch of nutmeg and lemon and is vegetarian.
Meal Kits: What’s Included?
Each kit comes with a small cardboard box with a full-color recipe card. Usually, there are five or six steps you’ll need to with some helpful tips.
The photos can offer useful visuals to help you along the prep process, oddly the pictures are of the ingredients instead of the finished meal.
The packaging is less than other meal kit brands, They don’t have big boxes to recycle or insulated liners encased in plastic. The kits come in compact paperboard boxes that you can easily recycle, the ingredients can fit in the fridge.
The meal kits link with Alexa-enabled devices to provide instructions and cooking tips, which actually sounds pretty useful.
The ingredients will be wrapped tight in insulated plastic bags, clamshells, tiny tubs, and screw-top jars in bubble-wrapped packages. You may even get a pair of gloves to keep your hands from getting messy while prepping your meal.
The cooking process is fast, since the ingredients are prepped already, you’ll find the Amazon meal kits to be easy and quick to make. With little prep to do, you can get right to cooking, each meal takes 25 to 30 minutes with very little cookware needed.
The recipes are simple and straight-forward so even beginners can make them.
Their competition is heating up with $650 million raised by meal kit delivery startups in a report last year. Purple Carrot has partnered with celebrity quarterback Tom Brady to launch high-protein plant-based, while Blue Apron will roll out a series of burger kits called “Bob’s Burgers” based on the Fox series. Grocery stores and meal kit companies are even working together to compete with Amazon.
Gobble, a popular meal kit delivery service has some happy subscribers who hate cooking but love takeout and since these kits taste better than takeout and have large portions
The majority of meal kits are purchased online via a subscription service, still, in-store meal kit sales are on the rise with grocers Albertson’s and Kroger selling their competing meal kits.
Amazon is said to currently have 17 meals available, including “Steak Au Poivre, Tacos al Pastor with Pork and Seared Salmon with Fennel and Pea Risotto.
Amazon meal kits are great for seniors or their caregivers who already have Amazon Fresh or Prime and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and want to avoid a meal kit subscription.
You may get bored with this option if you prefer a large variety of meals to choose from.
The customer service is very limited, if you want a refund, you’ll be fine, but if you have questions about availability, sourcing, or even the extent of the menu options, it’s probably useless to get answers from them.
You should be able to change your order anytime since there is no subscription.
Getting Amazon meal kits may not be worth it for a senior unless they already have Amazon Prime or they enjoy grocery shopping.