KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Home meal kits are growing in popularity. It's a billion dollar industry and it's continuing to grow with brands now partnering with celebrities and focusing on diet trends.
If you find yourself stumped for dinner ideas at the grocery store, home meal kits are one way to tackle your dinner dilemma. It's something Blake and Mimi Rust have never tried before, but were open to the idea of experiencing new recipes.
"It will be interesting to see how it turns out," said Mimi Rust.
You go online and choose your plan and meals along with everything needed to make the dinner is sent straight to your home. WATE 6 On Your Side took two of the top brands to see how they stack up and to see how much money you will have to dish out for their cheapest plans.
First up, Blue Apron where we ordered the plan for two meals per week for two people. The price was $47.95 per order, but we were sent an online offer that knocked it down to $17.95.
Next, we tried Hello Fresh where we signed up for three meals per week for two people. It costs $59.94, but once again we were sent an online deal that slashed the price to $29.94. The boxes come on a scheduled delivery day. All ingredients were sent in their respective boxes with ice packs and compartments.
While the Rusts worked on a Blue Apron dish of catfish and kale, Tearsa Smith's family tackled the Hello Fresh Thai and Basil stir-fry dish.
Both households seemed to have the same reactions.
"So far it was nice having everything there and not having to get anything else out, but there are definitely things there that we are not sure what they are," Mimi Rust said, laughing. "So that will be interesting."
After a lot of rereading of the recipe cards, both meals were successfully completed.
"I think it's pretty cool like, Mimi said, it's neat having everything here. It seems like a pretty nice meal, one that we'd never cook by ourselves," said Blake Rust.
Another trend that's making dinner even more convenient is skipping cooking altogether and having a week's worth of dinner made for you boxed to go.
New to the scene in West Knoxville is restaurant Clean Eatz on West End Avenue.
Neal Gartell owns the local franchise and said, "We come up with a new menu every week. There are six items on it, five dinner options, and one breakfast option. Our guest goes online between Thursday and Sunday at midnight. We come in on the weekend and make everything fresh. Then they pick them up fresh never frozen."
You bring the dishes home, warm up and serve.
It's not the only option. There are many meal prep services in Knoxville: