cookingI love food — especially good, savory, nutritious food. But if you travel a lot for business like I do, you know the struggle of trying to eat well. When you’re home, you don’t always want to buy a lot of groceries since you know they’ll spoil quickly while you’re out of town, but you also don’t want to eat out every meal because it gets expensive fast, and the nutrition-to-grease ratio of pizza is not ideal for someone watching what they eat. So what’s a traveling young professional to do?

As young professionals have also grown increasingly concerned with the nutritional content of the food they’re consuming, books and podcasts examining the integrity of US food in particular have soared in popularity.  Buzzwords like “natural” and “organic” have been overused and scrutinized by the cautious, mindful young shopper, leading to fast food chains reporting significant dips in sales to the college-age demographic. Still, though, young people need their food rather quickly and often don’t have the time, funds, skills, or equipment necessary to cook a wholesome meal from scratch without a little help.

Thus, the introduction of meal kits. Meal kits like Plated, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Chef’d, Peach Dish, and more have boomed recently and have been a saving grace to traveling young professionals like me.  

As millennials, we are all about convenience, and that is exactly what meal kits provide for us.  They ship right to your doorstep and contain all the necessary ingredients for delicious home-cooked meals for an exact number of people, so you aren’t stuck with leftover ingredients to throw out.  Though a little more expensive than grocery shopping, meal kits allow their buyers to enjoy healthful, diverse cooking without the added stress of having to actually get up and go to a grocery store.

It is well documented that millennials are willing to pay a lot for convenience as shown by the sudden boom of delivery services such as Postmates and Uber Eats, and they also are willing to do so for a meaningful adventures and experiences especially when that adventure is trendy or Instagram worthy. So, the gig economy has arrived at boxed cooking services that help popularize and spread home cooking for young adults.

Moreover, these meal kits also help to expand eaters’ culinary horizons by exposing them to spices and meals of other cultures they would have never known about before.  Cooking is no longer viewed as a chore, and research conducted in June of 2015 has indicated that 20-30 year olds are increasingly viewing cooking as an activity and a fun experiment, especially since advances in shipping technologies and the proliferation of youtube tutorials have made indulging in exotic spices and techniques more feasible.

I love home-cooked meals, but with all the traveling I do for my job, it sometimes gets hard to fit in time for grocery shopping.  On weeks like those meal kit services are my saving grace, and let me keep eating nutritious food even when my schedule is tight, and while nutritious, some of the foods I’ve made and tasted from these kits go unmatched.