Veggie box (stock photo – not an actual example from me, because I’m lazy). Photo by Nick Saltmarsh
Ever find yourself doing the weekly grocery shop on autopilot, stuck in a rut?
It’s very much a first world problem, but one we’re particularly prone to.
Food delivery services are starting to take off here, and there’s now a number of different companies doing fruit and produce boxes.
Probably the biggest one, in Auckland anyway, is Ooooby. So we figured we’d start our experiment there.
Ooooby has a range of different box options, with varying prices based on amounts and whether the contents are wholly organic or not. Bonus: they also sell a bunch of other yummy goodies that you can add to your order, from breads to spreads and cordials to coffee (the ciabatta is delicious!).
All went well. Although broccoli was included in that first week’s contents, I was able to email the team to get it blacklisted for our account and swapped out for something else. And when I realised I had put in the wrong address (the house behind us), I emailed them to change that and they were super responsive. The box turned up, on schedule, packed with goodies.
And I mean PACKED. I’ll be honest – we eat a lot healthier than we used to but probably still nowhere near 5+ a day. And the small, couples-sized Lil Mix box was still too much for us. So we changed to fortnightly instead of weekly delivery.
A couple of other things became apparent:
1) The only delivery day to our area (mid week) was just not meshing well with our food routine, which includes main grocery shopping at the weekend
2) The lack of customisation was actually a bit much for us. We thought we wanted to totally be surprised every week, but in truth we want a bit of control
I figured we’d try out a different company; Foodbox was another I’d had my eye on.
Nothing against Ooooby at all – zero complaints! – but for us, Foodbox turned out to be a better fit in this instance. They deliver to our area on Mondays, which goes well with our weekend grocery shop, and they allow personalisation of your delivery, with easy online account management on the website.
An email goes out on Friday summarising what’s in the next box. I log in, and from there I can change the quantities of each to suit (and set rules like ‘never include this’ or ‘always include this’), as well as add on other extra produce items that happen to be available but not part of that week’s bundle.
They’ve also just teamed up with Neat Meat to offer meat packs, so we may be giving that a whirl soon too.
What do I like about getting fruit boxes delivered? Obviously, convenience is the number one factor. You don’t have to think too much about it, and it comes to your doorstep – generally for about the same cost as buying from a normal shop (Examples: $2.79 for a bunch of asparagus or $1.99 for a kilo of potatoes; however spring onions and cucumbers tend to be on the expensive end). You’re supporting local business (though we mostly get produce from FruitWorld, which as far as I know is local). Everything is fresh – occasionally too fresh? Hah.
Speaking of freshness, one downside of produce delivery boxes is that you obviously don’t get to handpick items (and this has always been my reservation about online food shopping). For example, once we got a few avocadoes, none of which were ready to eat yet. We’d planned to use them that day or next but had to wait until later in the week. Also, I had expected to receive, say, one exotic item a week, but that hasn’t really happened. The most exciting thing to date we’ve received is some sort of kale.
Related: Here’s Bunny Eats Design’s review of Ooooby with a detailed breakdown from 2012, and Diana Clement in the Herald with a general overview from last year.
Do you use any fruit box or food delivery services?