After hearing a bit about fruit and vege box deliveries over the years and I thought it was time to check a few of them out. Are they good value? What's the quality like? What I found, really surprised me.
You don't have to look too hard these days to find fruit and vegetable box deliveries in the main cities. Out of the the companies operating in Auckland, I chose four to try with the aim of hopefully finding one that I can order regularly. For me, a fruit and vege delivery would need to deliver similar value to what I already pay in the shops and the quality of the produce would need to be at least as good too. How easy is it to order? A big part of buying a product online is making sure customers can buy easily without too much effort. As a web designer, things like this are geekily important to me.
I tried two organic companies - Ooooby and Naturally Organic. Ooooby is a delivery only service, taking pride in supporting local organic growers. Naturally Organic is an organic shop in Albany, Auckland. The other two companies provide non-organic produce - Fruit Guys and Foodbox. Both are online delivery only services.
I wanted to test these delivery boxes to see if I get similar value to what I would normally spend on fruit and vege a week. For us, that would be around $40 a week. I compared similar boxes of similar prices - all fell within $43-$52 including delivery.
Fruit varieties: 2
Vegetable varieties: 8
$43 including delivery (free for orders over $38)
Delivers to Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch
See the unboxing video of my delivery over on the So D'lish Instagram account
Ooooby deliver local, organic fruit and vege to households around Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch. They have close relationships with their growers to ensure quality. Their website is a breeze to use, with options for fruit only boxes, vege only boxes or fruit and vege boxes. I chose the small organic mix (fruit and vege) box because it fit in the price bracket that I'm looking at. They let you know in advance what will be in the box and even the names of the growers and which region of New Zealand they're from.
Delivery was on time and everything fit inside one Ooooby box. There was a great variety of fruit and vegetables and the quality was excellent. Being organic, you don't get much for your money but I was happy with what I did receive. The most interesting thing in there was a bunch of leaves of collard greens, which are to be boiled for ages before eating.
Everything was loose inside the box - no extra, unnecessary packaging - which was excellent. Boxes can be flattened and returned to Ooooby with your next delivery.
This box lasted us just under a week and I felt that I needed to buy a leafy green pretty quickly after the delivery. The next size up box would have been more suitable but at $68, the extra $25 was a bit too much.
Pros: Organic, great quality, includes veges that I wouldn't ordinarily buy, boxes can be returned for future use, no extra packaging.
Cons: I don't usually buy organic in such quantities, so it seemed expensive.
Fruit varieties: 5
Vegetable varieties: 6
$40 + $9.98 delivery for orders under $100 to Auckland
Delivers nationwide - check their website for their shipping costs
Naturally Organic is a retail organic shop in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore. Ordering was a bit confusing. Their website is very busy and there were so many options of boxes: small, family, organic, non-organic, paleo, smoothie... argh! After careful studying of the different boxes, I decided on the small family organic fruit and vege box for $40.
Delivery was an extra $9.98 (!!) and if you wanted potatoes, tomatoes, onions or garlic you had to order this as additional items. This would add up pretty quickly as I would normally need some if not all of those 'extras'. I'm not sure why they do this as these are staples in anyone's pantry. We were running low on garlic, so I ordered 100g to come with the delivery. They don't tell you what you'll be getting in the box, so it's a bit of a mystery until delivery day.
The variety in the Naturally Organic box was good and included a nice big bag of curly kale. The bag of lettuce was only average, unfortunately and had to be eaten quickly. One big gripe with the Naturally Organic box, is that there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary extra packaging. Everything came in separate bags - either paper or plastic. Apart from the lettuce and maybe the kale, nothing else needed separate bags. It seems a bit incongruent with general organic beliefs and they even mentioned in their emailed receipt that it was not printed and included in the delivery to save paper. For us, the ratio of veges to fruit wasn't quite right: I would have preferred more vegetables than fruit in the box.
The produce itself was fairly good and seemed quite fresh.
Pros: Organic, decent variety.
Cons: Not including tomatoes, potatoes, garlic or onions, too much extra packaging, website is hard to navigate, high shipping charge, boxes not returnable to Naturally Organic.
Fruit varieties: 11
Vegetable varieties: 17
$44 including delivery
Home deliveries in Auckland only
See the unboxing video of my delivery over on the So D'lish Instagram account
I found out about Fruit Guys from one of the Facebook groups that I follow. Ordering was simple - the website is easy to follow and choosing a box was painless. Their $44 Harvest Box is aimed at small to medium sized families and looked the best for this trial. They list what will be included in the delivery and you can request some things to be left out (e.g. if you have lots of potatoes at home already, you can opt out of receiving these) and include other items. I found that not all my requests were filled, but that was fine.
Delivery was as specified and I was impressed that the delivery was two boxes: one with veges and one with fruit. First impressions were great - the fruit and vege were very fresh there was lots of it. I estimated that we easily received more value than the $44 that I paid.
The produce was basic, with nothing too challenging included. All produce is bought at the market on the morning of your delivery - that means everything is super fresh.
This box lasted us almost a week and a half.
Pros: Price includes delivery, good value and quality, can return boxes to Fruit Guys for reuse (leave them out at your next delivery and they'll pick them up), easy ordering system.
Cons: Not much beyond standard fruit and veges, requested extras are not guaranteed.
Fruit varieties: 6
Vegetable varieties: 11
$45 + $6.50 delivery
Delivers to Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga
Foodbox run a slick operation offering a variety of vege and meat boxes, as well as the standard fruit and vege boxes. I chose the Big Bang box which delivers fruit and vege for a small family for $45.
Ordering is easy, the different options are clear. There's a handy configuration tool where you can customise your order before paying. You can either get the standard box with no changes, get a few changes for free, or change any number of items in your box and they will charge you accordingly.
Everything arrived in one box. Everything was pretty fresh and apart from the prepackaged stuff, there wasn't any extra packaging. It was nice to receive some slightly different items like the coconut and spaghetti squash. It seemed a little light on the quantity however, considering I paid $51.50 all up for this. Empty boxes can be picked up upon the next delivery.
Pros: Good customisation options, easy ordering system, good variety, decent value and good quality, boxes can be returned for reuse.
Cons: Delivery is extra, value for money could be better.
In my mind, there was one clear winner. Fruit Guys' fruit and vege box was great value and quality. Sure, the variety didn't include anything too exciting but I guess I could always venture to the vege shop myself to get a bok choy or pomegranate. I have now received three boxes from Fruit Guys and I make sure that I have plenty of room in the fridge on delivery day!
In second place I'd award to Ooooby. I liked the variety and the quality. Being an organic service, I got a lot less than the Fruit Guys and that was expected. In a bid to try and eat organic whenever I can, I will probably order an Ooooby once a month or so for a bit of a change.
It's interesting to note that my two picks don't charge delivery fees and the other two do. Paying $50 or more for fruit and veges stings just a bit and in my mind, they lose their competitiveness because of this.
All four companies offer other goodies on the side that can go with your delivery: meat, eggs, milk, bread, honey... It's worth scrolling around the websites to see what wee treats you can add to your next fruit and vege box. Next week, I think we'll get a 6-pack of Paneton croissants!
Note: None of the companies knew that I was writing this post before I received my deliveries. All boxes were paid for by me.
That's been my experience so far with fruit and vege deliveries. Have you tried any fruit and vege boxes? Good? Bad? Worth it?
Graphic and digital designer.
Specialising in beautiful websites that are mobile-ready.