Allrecipes is collaborating with eMeals to create a weekly subscription meal plan, the companies announced Monday. The service lets you choose how you want to get your food: They'll ship the ingredients for your meals through AmazonFresh and Instacart, or you can pick up your groceries at Walmart Grocery and Kroger ClickList locations.
In addition, magazines Better Homes & Gardens and EatingWell will also work with eMeals for subscription plans under their respective brands. All three companies are owned by the media company Meredith Corporation. Meal subscriptions start at $5 a month.
How it works
eMeals already offers weekly meal plans through its website with the same options for home delivery or grocery store pickup. But the Allrecipes, Better Homes & Gardens and EatingWell meals will be selected by staff nutritionists and editors at each publication, which could be a huge draw for fans of each brand and an easy way to target a large audience (Allrecipes, for example, has more than 80 million users).
Every week, each publication will provide you with a menu of seven meals. You pick the meals you want for the week through the eMeals app (available for iOS and Android).
The app will create a grocery list of all the ingredients you'll need to make that week's meals. You can also add other items to your list, even if they're not in a recipe (like paper towels or coffee filters).
Then you decide how you want to receive your groceries. You can shop on your own with the grocery list; use Walmart Grocery or Kroger Clicklist, where store employees shop for you and you pick up the groceries; or have your groceries delivered straight to your home the same day through AmazonFresh and Instacart (Shipt will also be available for shipping soon).
Add regular groceries
eMeals is more similar to the type of grocery shopping you'd do without a meal kit: You buy regular-sized boxes, bottles, bunches and jars of groceries that you could, in theory, use for other recipes besides the ones you're cooking from your plan. As a home cook, I like the combination of having planned dishes and the ability to get some regular groceries to tide me over between meals.
These services reflect a growing interest in going to established grocery stores for meal kits as opposed to delivery-only subscriptions. In-store meal kits generated $154.6 million in sales in 2017, a growth of more than 26 percent over the previous year, according to Nielsen.
Blue Apron has taken notice of grocery store meals -- the company announced last week that it would sell its meal kits in stores. A company rep said it plans to have the meals in stores this year, but didn't have information on how much they will cost or in what stores they will be available.
Read more: The best meal-kit delivery services