One of life’s great sources of frustration is deciding what to cook for dinner.
Then you factor in the time spent zooming to the shops – parking and queueing while a manager idles over to undo an errant swipe are my personal favourites, followed closely by the pensioner who wants to pay their entire month’s worth of bills at the ’10 items or less’ till.
These are just some of the reasons why meal kits are proving so popular these days, with companies like Daily Dish and UCOOK are seeing massive growth as they nail down what it is that customers are really after.
Woolworths have just entered the fray, which was always going to happen, and Business Insider decided to put them through their paces.
They chose the “Rib-eye Steak, Mushroom & Pearl Barley” option, and here’s some of what they had to say:
The meal kit came to R210 for two people…
UCook charges R630 for a box with three meals for two people; Daily Dish’s “classic” box for two people holds four meals for R870 [costs range from R760 to R910 per box]
On per-head per-meal basis, that means UCook comes in at R105 – while Daily Dish costs R109. But both of these options include delivery costs.
That’s a large part of the joy of Daily Dish and UCOOK – the meals are delivered to your door, and with Daily Dish that’s dinner sorted for Monday through Thursday.
Back to the Woolies meal kit review:
The meal was easy to put together, and – largely thanks to the ready-to-eat barley – was ready in record-breaking time…
While red-blooded carnivores may balk at getting only 150g meat each, it left us with some leftovers for the next day.
Those are the plusses, and then there were the downsides:
Unlike other meal kit services, which carefully measure out ingredients (including spices and condiments) to ensure no wastage, we ended up with a container of rosemary (only two sprigs were required in the menu) and half of tub of hard cheese.
On the menu card, Woolworths gives a top tip to deal with the rosemary (chop up the remaining sprigs and add to salt to create “rosemary salt”). But we probably won’t get around to do that, and the rosemary will grow old and nasty in our fridge.
Where the other meal kit services emphasise their health-consciousness, this ultra-rich Woolworths menu basically aimed to put us into cardiac arrest. It didn’t hold back on the cream and cheese; in fact, we only used half of the cheese suggested.
When you compare that to the wealth of options available through competitors (banting, for example), that’s a bit of a miss.
Business Insider had one final gripe about the Woolies meal kit:
It assumed you have red wine vinegar in your pantry.
This may not sound like a big deal – but the other meal kits we tried didn’t demand much more than olive oil, salt and pepper from us.
If I buy a meal kit, and I’m then forced to return to the hellscape that is the shops at this time of the year, I may well lash out.
Looks like Woolies may have work to do before they can compete with the big players in this department.
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