Farm Charm: The WW freshbox reviewed

Jo Hughes Jo Hughes

Aussie Farmers Direct is weighing in on the meal kit delivery scene, flexing muscle with the likes of international franchisors Hello Fresh in the hope of receiving a regular invitation to grace Australian kitchen benchtops.

Touted as ‘feel good food’, the WW freshbox promises a new take on the now somewhat familiar concept of doorstep-delivered quantities of everything you need (except pantry essentials*) to masterchef your own way to your digestive destiny.

Good deal or no big deal?

Along with the undeniable convenience and upper-hand freshly cooked fare offers over take-away, the freshbox also bears Weight Watchers’ mark of nutritional éclat - with SmartPoints calculated, should you follow a lifestyle plan.

The real head-turner though (for us at least), is the alluring guarantee of a streamlined paddock-to-plate process that directly benefits local farming communities in Australia. At a time when farmers are still being forced out of their livelihoods and burgeoning imports mean that someone pays dearly for our partiality to low-cost food, be it through unfair trade or environmental disregard, it helps to know you can shop ethically and still enjoy convenience when you need it.

The WW freshbos is 100% Australian ingredients
100% Australian-grown ingredients

Squaring up

Our little Aussie kitchen feeds a family of 5 - 3 pre-schoolers and 2 adults. The family freshbox makes 5 meals for 4 people and this was more than sufficient for our young family. As a meal packaged service, it’s on the more economical end as meal kits go, working out at $6.95 a plate or $139 for the box.

We cooked up Pink Ling fillets with roast veg, an oven-baked mushroom risotto, chicken and veg stir-fry, lamb cutlets with minted pea mash & lemon potatoes and a spiced chicken, lentil & pumpkin salad.

With the exception of the warm chicken & lentil salad (absurdly delicious) and the Pink Ling which came listed as ‘Catch of the day’ and hence had the element of surprise (the nice kind), the meals were relatively standard fare for our household. And while only 1 out of the 5 meals came in at under 30 minutes, all did have the big advantage of being unintensive with very little in the way of chop/mix/stir activity needed.

Unpacking the freshbox
Unpacking the freshbox

The feelgood:

  • It was FUN! Take away the repetitive tedium of planning and ingredient selection day-in day-out, and cooking actually becomes quite enjoyable (yes, even after a long day/week/never ending cycle of domestic drudgery).
  • Produce was fresh and meals were healthy, with portion control taken care of and enough interesting variety to keep all but the fussiest of eaters happy.
  • No food waste to speak of. Any leftovers made a great lunch for one.
  • Doorstep convenience, chilled so you don’t need to be home and with a re-use scheme for packaging.

The not-so feelgood:

  • If you like to be spontaneous with choice and timing, the weekly delivery schedule is not for you.
  • Big-family budget-conscious folks would struggle to make this a regular occurrence with the price-per-plate coming in at around double our own average daily main-meal spend. Family box economy could definitely work well though for singles/couples that like to elicit lunchbox envy - i.e you like leftovers.
  • *It’s probably not 100% fair to assume frozen broad beans and reduced-fat feta are among everyone’s pantry essentials.

Overall though, the family freshbox gets a big a tick from us given that in this case the luxury of healthy convenience benefits not just my hungry little horde, but a genuinely worthwhile movement towards a fairer and healthier food system.

As author and local harvest advocate Jackie French so very eloquently puts it:

Buy local food

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