Pros and Cons
Fully prepped meals
Fresh, not frozen
Only 6 or 12 meals per week
Not suitable for vegetarians
Slow to add new meals
Only single serving meals
Based in Austin, Texas, Snap Kitchen's concise mission statement is "healthy food for busy people." Unlike most meal delivery services, Snap Kitchen has its own retail stores in Texas, as well as in-store partnerships with Whole Foods in a number of other states. With clean branding and a minimalist aesthetic, the company specializes in offering simple, healthful meals outside of a typical "diet" context. The experience is indeed snappy: direct, and to the point—a food-as-fuel mentality.
With so many diet-oriented meal delivery services on the market, we were curious to try Snap Kitchen's approach and tested six meals over the course of a week. Read on to learn more about our experience fueling up with Snap Kitchen.
How It Works: Yes, It's a Snap
First, a quick note of clarification: Snap Kitchen has a unique position in the meal delivery service market, with brick-and-mortar locations, Whole Foods partnerships, and local delivery to customers in Texas. This particular tester is not located in Texas, so when we describe how Snap Kitchen works, we are referring to the company's Weekly Shipping Subscription service, which is currently available in 44 states (although in some states, Snap Kitchen only delivers within a handful of metro areas).
In keeping with the company's overall aesthetic, Snap Kitchen's shipping subscription service is very straightforward. The signup process is a simple matter of choosing a plan, filling your box with meals, and checking out. You can choose your delivery day, but Snap Kitchen only delivers on Mondays and Wednesdays.
All of Snap Kitchen's meals are single-serving. You have two basic plan choices: Six meals per week for $75.99 or 12 meals per week for $125.99. Next, you'll select your dietary preferences. You have five options: balance, low carb, high protein, keto-friendly, and "total custom," which means that you'll fill your box each week with your own selections. Snap Kitchen also tags some of its meals as paleo and Whole30. Though these options are not packaged as plans, per se, you can filter them out of the broader menu and choose accordingly. All dishes from Snap Kitchen are gluten-free.
Snap Kitchen's meals are all fully prepped and cooked. Like most meal delivery services, Snap Kitchen's meals arrive in a cardboard box with an insulated liner and frozen gel packs. Compared to other services we've tried, the packaging was minimal. Our meals arrived well chilled, individually packaged in rectangular plastic trays. Each dish contains roughly 10 to 12 ounces of food, typically ranging between 300 and 600 calories.
All of Snap Kitchen's meals are single-serving.
Choosing Meals: A Slow Rotation of 40 Items
Snap Kitchen's rotating menu is comprised of approximately 35-40 entrees at any given time. Compared to other meal delivery services we've tried, Snap Kitchen's menu doesn't change very frequently. Most companies maintain a weekly rotation, but Snap Kitchen's is more like monthly. In the three weeks after we signed up, Snap Kitchen added only a handful of new meals, while dropping others from the menu.
You can approach choosing meals in two ways: either accept Snap Kitchen's selections, which it makes based on your plan; or, regardless of which plan you're on, you can choose to override the default choices and make your own picks. Either way, six days before your scheduled delivery date, your order will be "locked," at which point you can no longer make any changes.
Snap Kitchen concentrates on lunch and dinner but does provide one or two breakfast options. During our testing period, the lone breakfast dish was pancakes with sausage. Lunch and dinner are indistinguishable. There are no sandwiches, for instance. Snap Kitchen does not offer customization of individual meals—what you see is what you get.
What We Made
We tried six different meals, including the only breakfast option available. We tried the highest and lowest calorie options and attempted to include a mixture of flavor profiles and proteins.
- Banana pancakes & breakfast sausage
- Hot chicken with mac & cheese
- Naked beef
- Bison quinoa bowl
- Bison shepherd's pie
- Cajun salmon
Support Materials: Not Much Support Needed
Since Snap Kitchen's meals are fully cooked, there's not much need for support materials. Every tray is labeled with microwave reheating instructions. If you don't have a microwave or wish not to use one, Snap Kitchen furnishes oven instructions in its FAQs.
The only support material that arrived in the box was a small cardboard habit tracker card, encouraging us to write a healthy habit we wished to establish and to fill in a bubble when we'd completed whatever task we'd set for ourselves. We did not make use of this card.
The FAQs are accessible on Snap Kitchen's desktop site and app, as well as a blog on such topics as healthy eating, expert advice, recipes, healthy living, and menu update announcements.
Packaging: Mostly Recyclable
Weighed against the competition, Snap Kitchen's packaging is minimal. The outer box is made of recycled cardboard. The interior liner is a product called ClimaCell, which is made from plant-based, curbside-recyclable material. Inside the liner were two large gel-type ice packs and six plastic meal trays with lids.
All the packaging is recyclable, provided you live in a municipality that accepts the plastic enveloping the ice packs. A note about recycling the meal trays: Snap Kitchen advises removing the labels from the meal trays before recycling, but this was impossible to accomplish thoroughly—at least with any reasonable amount of effort—as the adhesive stickers tore and left behind sticky paper residue. We do not know whether this impacts the trays' recyclability.
All the packaging is recyclable, provided you live in a municipality that accepts the plastic enveloping the ice packs.
The Cooking Process: All Taken Care Of
As all Snap Kitchen's meals arrive fully cooked, there is no cooking process to speak of. Snap Kitchen designs all its meals for short microwave reheating. All of our meals were ready in less than two minutes.
For the most part, the meals withstood warming very well, even the pancakes. The hot chicken was the only item that seemed negatively impacted by the process since crispy chicken skin from a microwave is unlikely, if not impossible.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Basic and Solid
Remember, this is food as fuel. Snap Kitchen isn't trying to do anything mind-blowingly creative. That said, the menu has a respectable lineup of diverse flavors, ranging from Asian to Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and regional American. Of the dishes we tried, all were reasonably fresh, tasty, well-seasoned, and of better-than-average quality.
The salmon was well-cooked, moist, and succulent, with a deliciously savory side of collard greens. The steak was tender and perfectly medium, even after reheating in the microwave, and the vegetables weren't limp or soggy. The bison quinoa bowl and the shepherd's pie were hearty and comforting. The only item that seemed lacking in flavor was the mac and cheese that accompanied the hot chicken. Apart from that misstep, the overall level of seasoning was acceptable, without much need for added salt and pepper.
Nutritional Value: Good Fuel for the Tank
Snap Kitchen's meals range between 300 and 600 calories. The majority are structured around an animal protein paired with vegetables, but there is pasta (all made with brown rice and gluten-free), grain components like rice and quinoa, and legumes. Each meal's macronutrient breakdown is front and center on Snap Kitchen's menu, and complete nutrition information for every meal is available on both the app and website. Protein and fat usually lead to a macro breakdown. There are a handful of slightly higher-carb dishes, like the beef enchilada bake, spaghetti turkey bolognese, baked ziti, and pasta primavera, but even with these, the majority of the calories come from fat and protein.
Snap Kitchen Is Good For
The company itself says it best: "Healthy food for busy people."
Snap Kitchen Is Not Good For
Vegetarians, vegans, and those who prefer to be a bit more involved in their food prep won't derive maximum value from a Snap Kitchen subscription.
Add-ons: Meals Only
Currently, Snap Kitchen does not offer any add-ons or customizations, with no plans to do so in the near future.
Customer Service: Chat, Phone, and Email
Snap Kitchen provides customer support via phone, email, and chat. Phone support is available during the weekdays, and chat is accessible every day except Sunday. We reached out via the chat feature, both through the app and desktop site, to ask a few basic questions, and received responses within about 10 minutes. A nice feature of the chat is that the messages stay in your inbox in case you need to reference them later. We also called customer service on the phone and reached an agent in about five minutes.
The company itself says it best: "Healthy food for busy people."
Making Changes and Canceling: Best Done in the App
As in all other aspects of Snap Kitchen's service, making changes to your order, and/or canceling your service is straightforward. The app is by far the best way to manage your account. Oddly, the website doesn't allow you to skip multiple weeks ahead of time, for instance, but this is possible in the app, where you can manage your deliveries up to three weeks ahead of time.
The Competition: Snap Kitchen vs. BistroMD
Snap Kitchen and BistroMD both emphasize low-calorie, balanced meals, but in most other respects they are very different services. BistroMD, as its name implies, offers a medicalized approach to weight loss, with a scientifically derived approach based on the concept of glycemic load. Like BistroMD, Snap Kitchen has dietitians on staff, but it emphasizes holistic health as opposed to weight loss. BistroMD offers dietitian consultations as part of its service. Snap Kitchen does not, only offering expert advice by way of its blog.
Snap Kitchen's meals are fresh, while BistroMD's are frozen. BistroMD can provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks nearly seven days a week. Snap Kitchen—with the exception of a single breakfast item—is limited to lunch and dinner, and a maximum of 12 meals per week. Finally, Snap Kitchen is slightly more expensive than BistroMD.
Overall, we liked Snap Kitchen's minimalist approach and preferred receiving food that was freshly made rather than frozen. The meals left us feeling full and energized. If you are a busy person looking for a convenient way to eat healthy, consider giving Snap Kitchen a try.
We spent countless hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
Among the criteria we used to evaluate each company were:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Name Snap Kitchen
- Product Brand Snap Kitchen
- Lowest Price per Serving $10.49
- Number of Diets Served 4
- Number of Recipes 35
- Delivery Area 44 states
- Serving Sizes Available 1