Sun Basket Food Delivery Service
Sun Basket is a food delivery service that is “Healthy cooking made easy” with organic and environmentally friendly ingredients that are incorporated into delicious recipes that are delivered weekly. Sun Basket recipes include Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Family options. Their vision is to “believe food should taste good first, and do good always” as indicated on their website. This means that they value sustainability with a 100% recyclable box and food made with pristine, organic sourced ingredients with the goal of “good food makes life better.”
On the main page of their website, they tout themselves as having organic and sustainable ingredients and delicious recipes delivered weekly with Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Family friendly options available. Like many of the other companies, This company produces weekly meal kits delivered your home, but unlike others, Sun Basket has a larger number of supported dietary options. Like Blue Apron and Home Chef, the kits from Sun Basket, also, contain pre-portioned ingredients, but instead of recipes cards, they send a recipe booklet with all of the week’s recipes. This appears to be a unique to Sun Basket, and it really makes this subscription-based service stand out. The kits are delivered weekly to most of the United States.
The company centers around their executive chef Justine Kelly, and her impact is seen in many of the recipes. Chef Justine’s many accolades include Gourmet Magazine and an appearance on Iron Chef. Like their chef, the company works hard to find quality seasonal ingredients and unique spices to set off their flavor. They tout their service as using only the best food suppliers and environmentally friendly products that are organic and sustainable.
Sun basket uses organic and sustainable produce that included the highest-quality vegetables and fruits from over 100 farms and producers. All the produce is non-GMO and sustainably grown with over 75% of the produce being organic. Sun Basket is a certified organic handler, and all organic ingredients are clearly labeled on delivery. All the meats and poultry are antibiotic- and hormone-free, and the used ranchers and farmers raise their animals responsibly and sustainable. Sun Basket uses only organic milk and yogurt, and organic, pastured eggs.
One thing that is unique about Sun Basket is the recyclability of their packing. The website features an entire section on recycling which to me is a huge plus. It shows how much they ate committed to being environmentally friendly. Sun Basket only uses materials in the process of packing that is fully recyclable.
I decided to try Sun Basket after trying several other services and receiving a coupon for a discount on a box of their food. I had already tried Blue Apron and Hoem chef before Sun Basket. I decided to try more of the food delivery services and do a review. I ordered my first box in July, and I decided to write this article to review my experience. I have ordered four boxes over the last five months. This article is an honest review of the Sun Basket meals and delivery. I have not received any payment from Sun Basket outside of the discount on my first box that they give every new customer.
Summary of my review
|Quality Of Ingredients|
|Organization of Ingredients|
|Price / Value|
|Ease of Cooking|
|Taste / Deliciousness|
- Simplicity – When learning to cook, it is essential that the recipes come with the food and they are detailed so you can learn to cook. The recipes are easy to understand and follow as you learn to cook. These meals come all ready to go and no shopping trips are required.
- Less meal planning – You will be able to reduce planning by letting Sun Basket do it for you.
- Less shopping – Less shopping is my favorite thing about Sun Basket and meal delivery services in general. I have the meals shipped to me so I can avoid most of the grocery store. I buy only a few essential items and water. Out in less than 30 minutes.
- Health and Nutrition of the Recipes – Sun Basket uses only whole foods with minimal processing. The recipes do not require added salt. They were low fat. The recipes are full of whole grains and vegetable sides. You will be hard-pressed to find a more healthy meal service
- Organized Ingredients – Each meal, except the meat, is in a separate paper bag. This method is convenient but is not quite as good as the ziplock method of Home Chef.
- Portion control and less food waste – Portion sizes of vegetables and seasoning lead to less waste and better portion control. Portion control will lead to weight loss if you do not snack between meals.
- Recipe Variety – The recipe options are the best of any of the services I have tried so far. Sun Basket has Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Family friendly options available and most of the recipes are of moderate to low-calorie content for those who want to lose weight. One thing is certain about Sun Basket; it will introduce new recipes for most that try the service.
- Quick to make – Sun Basket’s recipes are all made in 30 minutes or less.
- Smaller ice packs – The ice packs are a less usable size, and the gel is made of cotton, so it is biodegradable. They are too large for most to reuse.
- Nutritional Information – The nutritional information is readily available online.
- Website – Sun Basket has the easy website to use, but you have to cancel by calling. There is no mechanism to cancel online.
- Mobile app – Sun Basket has a mobile app that it is easy to use.
- Recipe selection is limiting – Sure, they offer Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Family friendly options available, but often I would have to add a meal that did not exactly lite my fire to get to three recipes a week. Some of the recipes were a little granola for my taste, so I had difficulty finding a third recipe.
- Portion sizes are small – If you are trying to lose weight, they might be ideal for some people who are active and require more calories. I found this ideal for my weight loss plans.
- Cost – The cost per meal is a bit on the higher side high. This increase in cost must be because of the recyclability. Even with this, it is quite affordable and much more healthy when compared to restaurant food. The meals with the spices and ingredients are pre-portioned and cut and cook.
Packaging: Unboxing Sun Basket
When I opened my first box of Sun Basket, The most impressive thing was the with insulated packing and the quality of the ingredients. Sun Basket, at first appearance, is superior to Blue Apron and Home Chef, but this fades as you find the recipes limiting. I will continue to compare as I order from even more companies but Sun Basket is a clear number 3 at this point. A typical box is shown above in Figure 1 with the contents in Figure 2.
In the box, you will find your recipe booklet the top of the box. They are perfectly illustrated, and the photos and instructions are clear. Once you fold back the insulation, you will notice that the ingredients are included in their own paper bag. Once you remove them, you will find large size ice packs with the meat in the bottom. The meat is not contained in a ziplock baggie. The meat is kept cold by two layers of large ice packs. Everything remained nice and cold during shipping as long as you get them on the day of delivery. Often, the meat remained frozen.
Quality of the Ingredients
They source the best ingredients for each week’s meal baskets. The ingredients are delicious, wholesome, sustainably-sourced produce, seafood, and meat. Sun Basket delivers top-quality produce from the best farms. All produce is non-GMO, and all organic ingredients are clearly labeled on delivery. The recipes feature unique ingredients and spices from around the world. On one occasion, the ingredients spoiled during transit (FedEx failed to deliver it within two days, and the summer heat took over). The quality of the cucumbers, squash, and zucchini was perfect. Unlike Blue Apron, Sun Basket only gives you a minimal amount of garlic so garlic lovers might need to add extra. I like garlic, so I typically added extra. Usually, the ingredients looked almost as good as the contents of the photo from their website (Figure 4). The vegetables were rarely bruised. The meat is top quality cuts of meat with minimal gristle and fat (see Figure 5). The meat is often contained in a ziplock baggie to prevent liquids from meat from getting all over the box (see Figure 6).
Organization of the Ingredients
The ingredients are well organized in paper bags (see figure 4). The meal and ingredients are separate which avoid getting meat juice on your non-meat ingredients. I would prefer the meat in zip baggies, but their method worked.
Price / Value
- For Three meal for 2: $74.94 ($11.99-12.99 per serving) for three meals, six total servings with free shipping.
Ease of Cooking
Sun Basket’s recipes come printed on card stock. The recipes provide simple step-by-step instructions on how to make the meals. The recipes are fairly easy to follow as long as you pay attention to the directions, but there is a slight learning curve if you have never cooked before. If you are unsure of a certain step, there are YouTube videos to help if you search for them. Heck, the recipes even contain some helpful photos to guide you along.
Sun Baskets’s are less mainstream than Home Chef or Blue Apron. I often found the recipes enjoyable but had any difficulty picking 3 for each week. For example, one week I had 12 recipes to choose from, and five were vegetarian. The remaining recipes were a good mix of fish, shrimp, pork, and poultry, but the recipes were just not attractive to me. That being said, it was easy to skip the week.
Taste of Recipes
The recipes are simple and delicious when I could find three that met my tastes. I really liked the recipes I ordered from Sun Basket, but many of them were just a bit too bland for my tastes.
Sun Basket has done a terrific job making sure there is a good mix of protein, starches, and vegetables. They claim to have nutritionist-approved meal plans with recipes developed by award-winning Chef
Justine Kelly and if you review the recipes, you can tell this is the truth. There are plenty of options for those that are health conscious or those on a special diet. There is not a lot of choices for gluten free or paleo if that is your focus. The nutritional information is easily found on the website. The recipes typically have 400-600 calories, so they fit in the weight loss plan for most.
The website and app are easy to use. It is easy to pick your recipes for each week and skip one if you need to leave town for a week. The best part is you can cancel your subscription online without calling.
Overall, the packaging is near perfect. The ice packs (Figure 8) were a bit large to reuse. The ice packs are approximately 8″ x 12″. I often disposed of them. Two insulation pads are folded in a C shape to insulate all six sides of the box, and they are completely recyclable (Figure 6+7). Unlike Blue Apron, the ingredients did not drift all over the box during shipping.
Sun Basket has a lot of plastic and cardboard packaging, but it is recyclable. Unlike Blue Apron, the ingredients did not drift all over the box during shipping.
Out of the four weeks that I have received meals, I had one delay in delivery that resulted in lost meals. If the meals do not arrive on the day of delivery, often the meal is too warm to eat. Some of the ingredients are usable, but the meat and dairy are not. I guess 75% is ok, but then again that should be on FedEx and not Sun Basket. Sun Basket was quick to give me credit to in place of the spoiled box of food.
In general, customer service was perfect. I had a terrific experience with Sun Basket. I have contacted them by email to fix one order that did not arrive on time and spoiled. They respond to emails within 24 hours during the work week. They are polite on the phone and quickly solve all problems. They gave me credit for the meal that failed to arrive in excellent condition.
The Bottom Line
Sun Basket scored 45.5 out of 55 total stars for an averaged of 4.2 stars. I will not continue to use Sun Basket because the recipes are just not what I would want to eat on a weekly basis. I struggled to choose three recipes, and I often had difficult choosing two from the list of choices. The ingredients are unsurpassed in quality and the packaging is perfect. I would recommend Sun Basket to anyone who loves to cook or wants to learn to cook, but you need to be a little adventurous in your food choices. I would suggest Blue Apron and Home Chef because the recipes are little less adventurous and I just like the flavor more than Sun Basket. Sun Basket’s recipes could fit into your weight loss or maintenance plans if you chose wisely of adjusting the portion size. If the recipe is too calorie rich for my plans, I divided it into quarters or thirds or quarters.