Lieferando doesn't require an introduction. It is the biggest meal delivery service in Germany, having acquired Lieferheld, Foodora and Pizza.de. They work 24/7 and deliver within 40-60 minutes on average.
Their main competitor Wolt, a Finnish company, entered German market quite recently in 2020. Wolt's visually catchy and convenient interface, brighter photos of meals, thematic sections and useful tips is what sets them apart. Active 11:00 to 23:00, so far only in Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt and the choice of restaurants isn't as big yet, but delivery time is shorter, at 30-35 min on average.
Check out Wolt's most recent ad with Per Meurling, author of foodie blog Berlinfoodstories. It's stylish, ironic and relevant. Video here.
Meal kits or sets of pre-portioned ingredients to be cooked to a set recipe are in big demand too since the onset of the lockdown. A very convenient option when you fancy cooking your own «like at a restaurant» but don't wish to buy more ingredients than necessary.
How does this work? You log in and set a plan based on your diet, your schedule and the size of your family. A box with ingredients is delivered to your door on a selected date (and we now have no-contact delivery option “thanks” to the pandemic). You can tweak your plan with choices like 'calorie smart', gluten-free, spicy, family friendly, etc. Recipes indicate cooking time, level of difficulty, calorie content and possible allergens.
HelloFresh leads the German market in meal-kit delivery, offering breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as various snacks and bites since 2011. According to their annual report, HelloFresh is looking at a 20-25% increase in the number of clients in 2021 and, accordingly, in revenue. The report also shows that clients are ordering more food and with higher frequency due to the lockdown, displaying interest in greater diversity of meals. Their clients' main focus is dinner, which makes up the bulk of the food budget.
Marley Spoon, a leading meal-kit service founded in 2014, delivers all across Germany three times a week and each week gives a choice of 30 recipes. Their philosophy is based on zero-waste principle and supporting local farmers and producers.
You will find simple six-seven-ingredient recipes at Dinnerly, a budget version by Marley Spoon. Simpler packaging and digital recipe cards instead of hard-copy printed ones are their way to reduce the cost.
Now, the prices: a four meals per week, four person meal kit would be €75.48 at HelloFresh, €72 at Marley Spoon or €63 at Dinnerly.
A crisis forces one to look for new solutions; use the situation to your advantage and perfect your cooking skills. We hope that soon enough there will be no need to look for alternatives to eating out, and that our next review will be dedicated to restaurants that are actually working!