The pandemic played a huge role in the meal box subscription uplift and they’re showing no signs of slowing down with Barclay Card reporting food subscriptions are remaining popular post-lockdown as one in four subscribers rely on them for at least half of their meals.

According to Whistl, food ranks first in the most popular subscription category as of all the participants survey, 53% use or have used, food subscription boxes, making it the most popular category. With data showing the most popular brands are Graze, Hello Fresh and Gusto.

Consumers have become accustomed to the convenience that meal boxes offer with each concept offering ingredients individually portioned up for cooking meals at home and delivered straight to your door. The food comes in specific quantities with clear instructions for cooking. The recipes often take little time to prepare, and the results can be impressive as brands put plenty of imagination behind the dishes offered.

Each subscription box offers something different whether its healthy, vegan or restaurant quality meals. BBC Good Food rated recipe boxes based on varying factors.

Best overall recipe box: Gousto, from £24.99 for two meals

Best healthy recipe box: Mindful Chef, from £22 for two meals

Best recipe box for diverse recipe ranges: HelloFresh, from £31.98 for three meals

Best organic recipe box: Abel & Cole, from £12 for one meal

Best letterbox-friendly recipe box service: SimplyCook, from £9.99 for a box

Best low food miles recipe box: Riverford Organic, from £12.45 for one meal

Hello Fresh offer a collection of tried and tested recipes exploring a mix of old classics and exciting fusion recipes from across the globe. We thought we’d give it a try! Head to our Istagram, dalziel_ingredients to check out our experience.

Amongst all food subscription boxes, offering a wide variety of dishes is vital to attract and keep subscribers. Therefore, keeping up to-date with food and flavour trends is imperative.

In Gousto’s Food Trends For 2022 Report they mention how cultural impacts such as TikTok have increased our appetite for recipes, hacks have elevated simple meals and trends are driving grocery sales. With their Greek Cheese, Tomato & Tenderstem Farfalle which was our most popular vegetarian recipe in 2021, inspired by the baked feta and tomato trend.

Another trend Gousto reveals is global flavours. Finding in their own research earlier this year found that over a third of people (39%) credited lockdown boredom for their new-found food bravery while almost half (47%) used lockdown as an opportunity to upskill themselves in the kitchen. They also reported that the Korean culture trend has been proving popular with their Korean Fried Chicken recipe ordered over 127,000 times, with customers loving to cook with hard-to-find ingredients such as kimchi, gochujang and gochugaru, which all give Korean food its distinctive flavour profile.

If you’re a food subscription manufacture looking to source recipe seasonings, sauces or functional ingredients please get in touch with our insightful team.