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Gobble Meals are generally tasty, but did not live up to the 15 minute prep time claim. Sun Basket is still my pick for top meal kit delivery service, but Gobble deserves an honorable mention and might be better for some.
Gobble Meal Kit Delivery Service Review
Everyone seeks the holy grail of cooking – fast, delicious, natural ingredients, “healthy” (broadly defined). While that inevitably looks different for everyone, and everyone wants a little something different out of their meal prep, cooking, and eating experience, it’s generally difficult to find a service that is “cooking with gas” on every level. As such, I recently tested Gobble Meal Kit Delivery Service based on its promise of 15 minute prep / cook time. I do enjoy cooking, but sometimes the 40 min+ prep time with Sun Basket grows a little tiresome, and I don’t mind taking a few shortcuts here and there after a long day at work. But – and this is a big but – those shortcuts have to be worth it and not come at the expense of flavor, “healthiness”, and other considerations. And, they actually have to be shorter. So, taking all that into consideration, how did Gobble fare (ha ha)?
Gobble Meal Kit Unboxing
Very similar to other meal kit delivery services, Gobble comes in a branded box with ice packs to keep the ingredients cold in transit and while sitting on your porch until you come home. Gobble says the insulated liner is recyclable, but to check with your local recycling program first. I personally prefer Sun Basket’s recycled paper based liner – I know it’s accepted by my recycling program, and no plastic got involved in the process.
Individual Gobble Ingredient Kits
Next, all the ingredients you need for each meal is contained in its own plastic bag. Although these are technically recyclable with other thinner plastic bags at your grocery store, I again give the point to Sun Basket for using paper bags here and not relying on single use plastic. Each kit comes with a recipe card, which I didn’t find as nicely laid out as Sun Basket’s, but it was fairly straightforward. The individual ingredients are packaged using a similar amount of single use plastic to Sun Basket, but perhaps a little more – for example, you can see that the onion that was pre-sliced came wrapped in its own plastic bag, so in this case the “pre-prep” added to the amount of waste, while only saving about 30 seconds of prep time of slicing a whole onion.
Cooking a Gobble Meal Kit – the 15 Minute Claim
So overall, what’s it like to actually cook a Gobble kit? My expectations were that it would be significantly less work than other meal kit delivery services based on the 15 minute claim that is central to their value proposition. I’ve cooked 6 different recipes, and every time it took more than 15 minutes. Some were close (identified as “speedy” with a lightening bolt icon, similar to Sun Basket), but overall, I was disappointed and felt like on average, it only shaved a few minutes off of Sun Basket’s longer prep time.
I found myself doing more chopping than I expected based on the claims on the website. And when there were shortcuts in terms of already prepared ingredients (garlic confit in a plastic bubble wrapper like you’d find for salad dressing) I felt as though I was losing some control over the “healthiness” of those ingredient elements. Other shortcuts include microwaving things, which I’m generally against. I just don’t think you achieve the same level of quality when that happens. Perhaps I’m being too harsh in my critique of “science ovens” (see American Hustle), but if I’m taking the time to cook something, I want all of the pieces to be cooked at the highest quality using the best methods. It just felt like a compromise I wasn’t willing to make, but understand that’s where some time savings come in.
How Do Gobble Meals Taste?
Despite my gripes around the misaligned cook time / effort involved in cooking them, I don’t want to lose sight of one of the most important criteria – how do they taste? Overall, the meals so far have been either very good or good. My wife and I have definitely been pleased with the taste and flavor palettes of most meals, and I think only one was a “miss” in our book.
Of course, the shadow side of that question is, what is driving the excellent taste, and how does that show up from a calorie and overall “health” perspective? In my experience, overall, Gobble meals are higher in calories than other meal kit delivery services I’ve tried. Of course, that’s not immediately a deal breaker for all – you want meals that taste good, right? But it’s an important consideration when considering which meal kit delivery service might be right for you. Or maybe you’re conservative with calories during the day knowing you will splurge at night. At any rate, overall the tradeoffs for great taste have been worth it for me personally, and the portion sizes have been very generous. I’ve almost always felt full after finishing a Gobble meal.
What About the Quality of Gobble Meals?
Overall, when compared to Sun Basket, the best way to describe the difference is quality would be to use a word like “heavy”. There’s more dairy and oil / greasy feeling to Gobble. When you’re done, you feel heavier than when you finish a comparable Sun Basket. So while Gobble meals are often just as tasty, I can’t help but think that Sun Basket meals are “cleaner” – which is somewhat subjective but again, based on the difference in ingredient composition.
What if Something is Wrong with the Shipment?
Customer support is an important aspect of any meal kit delivery service, because no matter how many processes you put in place on the production side, there’s always going to be little hiccups from time to time, and any reasonable consumer should expect that. The real question is – how do they deal with it when it happens? In a moment of confusion, I thought an ingredient was missing. I looked everywhere in the fridge and couldn’t find it. My wife unpacked the box but she was busy and didn’t want to bother her, so I just assumed it was not included.
I dialed up Gobble and they quickly refunded that part of the order, and were very courteous about it. I felt validated. Of course, then when I mentioned what happened to my wife, she said, “oh, the ravioli are in the freezer.” Oops. I had just become an unwitting criminal, scamming the system! I called them right back and explained my error, and they were able to reverse the refund. Phew. I could sleep at night! At any rate, both calls with support were encouraging, in that I spoke to a real human that quickly resolved my issue both times. Can’t ask for more than that.
Who is Gobble For? Is it Right For You?
I believe Gobble is best for people just getting into the meal kit delivery service game, or who are looking for some variety in their life after sticking with a different provider for a long time and are starting to see the same recipes pop up again and again. I do think that most people will find the average Gobble meal easier to prepare than other meal kits. And I also think that most people who aren’t serious amateur chefs will be totally fine with the tradeoffs that Gobble uses to make the experience easier for people. Let’s be honest, people who can really cook probably don’t rely on meal kit delivery services as their primary recipe and ingredient source, but source their own.
Another criteria to consider is how adventurous your palate is. I would say on the whole, Gobble is best for people with a more simple or “mainstream” food preference – that sounds “judgey,” but it’s not meant to. Overall, Gobble ingredients and flavors tend to be less complex and more “familiar” to the average palate than Sun Basket, which experiments with more outside the box flavor combinations.
How Much Does Gobble Cost? Is It a Good Value?
At the time of writing, Gobble meals are $11.99/serving, comparable to other meal kit delivery services. There is a shipping charge on top of that, FYI. Of course, these aren’t the cheapest calories out there by any stretch of the imagination. To calculate value, it’s important to include the amount of time it would take to select recipes and then buy all the ingredients, many of which won’t be available in the exact quantities you need for the recipe, so you may need to buy more than you strictly need, contributing to food waste. Similarly, for more exotic ingredients, you may need to visit specialty grocery stores, adding to your overall hassle and shopping time saved.
I also like to think of the value of meal kit delivery services when compared to actual meal delivery services like Doordash, Grubhub or Uber Eats – which in most cases, will be higher than $11.99/serving. You need to calculate the value for yourself – but it’s probably overall a better value for two than it would be for a family of four.
Is This Stuff Adam Likes?
Stuff Adam Likes is all about helping you find the best option in a given category, and at this time, despite all the good things Gobble has going for it, I still reserve the top designation to Sun Basket. That being said, if you’ve tried SB and it’s not for you, I would definitely recommend you give Gobble a try and see if it’s more aligned with what you’re looking for out of a meal kit delivery service.