August 12, 2021

UK Veg Box Review: 4 National Favourites Side by Side

We first got a veg box the year before Clayton was born as I began my journey to reduce plastic food packaging and food miles. It was a local farm CSA with great produce, and a surprise each week as to what was in the box… which I struggled with. I think the lack of control on the contents of some veg boxes puts a lot of people off when we’re used to choosing every single item ourselves to look perfect. A lot of us also rely on being in the shop to see the items we need – but with the more “online shop” style of many veg boxes now and a bit of planning they are an AMAZING way to go.

In many areas they can be a great source of organic, local and less packaged produce than we might get at the shops, and a massive time saver too. I can sit down and get everything we need for the week in 15 minutes rather than driving to the shops and spending an hour+ shopping. I do still go, but I love the qualities of the services below for busy weeks, lowering waste, and getting a wider range of organic, well sourced, package free produce.

OUR WEEKLY ROUTINE: 2 x pint of organic whole milk, 2 x organic greek yogurt, 1 organic butter from Milk and More , some staples like carrots and potatoes (all package free) from Abel & Cole, and I use Riverford only if I need a different delivery day from Abel and Cole in a pinch! 


Riverford

FOR YOU IF: You have another go to spot for most of your dry goods and home needs, but you want a fully organic, well sourced and always plastic free fruit and veg, with maybe a few extras.

WHAT THEY SELL: Fruit, veg, salad, other “essentials” like meat, butter, hummus, milks, cheese, eggs, milk, cream.

DELIVERY SCHEDULE: Once a week depending on your area with the order deadline 48 hours before delivery.

PACKAGING: All their fruit and veg comes in 100% home compostable packaging if packaging is needed. Riverford meat and dairy products are mostly packaged in plastic. 

PRICING COMPARISON

  • Delivery fee: free over £15
  • 1kg apples: £4.47
  • 1kg organic cheese: £11.80
  • 1kg carrots £2.03:
  • 1 pint milk: 1L = 1.20 (in plastic)

Get £15 credit to Riverford by shopping HERE

What do they stand for? “We want to do better than vague claims of social responsibility and greenwash so we try to make informed decisions about the important issues affecting us and our environment.” Everything they sell is organic, across the year around 80% of their veg is UK grown, 100% of their meat is British, they’re a certified B corp and use no air freight (flying food that creates a much larger footprint that alternative forms of transport).

SHOP RIVERFORD HERE WITH £15 CREDIT!


Abel + Cole

FOR YOU IF: You want a one stop shop for a fully organic food and home shop from tomatoes to toothbrushes. You maybe want on a few staples on repeat but to add other pieces depending on the week. You’re happy to navigate around a few pieces of more needed plastic packaging and avoid them if you want, in return for the ability to get everything in one place. 

WHAT THEY SELL: All organic, Fruit, veg, salad, meat, dairy, full range of supermarket food and home and personal goods, a small selection of zero waste staples in returnable canisters: “Club zero”, garden +seeds, wine and spirits, pet food.

DELIVERY SCHEDULE: Once a week depending on your area with the order deadline 48 hours before delivery.

PACKAGING: Their fruit and veg is largely unpackaged and when it is there’s a mix of compostable/recyclable paper and card, recyclable/returnable plastic, and home compostable materials. They do note on every item how it’s packaged so you’re powerful to choose which I like.

TRY ABEL & COLE HERE

PRICING COMPARISON

  • £1.50 delivery
  • Price for 1kg apples: £4.64
  • Price for 1kg organic cheese: £11.40
  • Price for 1kg carrots: £2.00
  • Price for 1 pint milk: 1L £1.40 (in plastic)

What do they stand for? No air freight, B corp, all organic food and goods. “That’s why we’re a Living Wage accredited employer, committed to equal Gender Pay, have pledged to the Mental Health at Work Commitment, and founded our own Equality & Inclusivity Committee with an Anti-Racism Charter.”

TRY ABEL & COLE HERE


Milk and More

FOR YOU IF:  You want doorstep milk (dairy or otherwise), juice or eggs up to 3 times a week along with maybe some other extras, and the ability to add on a bit of everything from toilet paper to compost when you need it up last minute until the night before.

What they sell: Doorstep milk (organic, conventional and non , fruit, veg, salad, bakery, dairy, meat, home and garden.

TRY MILK + MORE HERE! 

  • No delivery fee
  • Apples: £3.25 for 6
  • 1kg organic cheese: £17.50 
  • 1kg carrots: £2.30
  • 1 L milk: £1.70

What do they stand for? Milk and more is about accessible every day eco friendly options, as well as just making life easier with a doorstep delivery 3 times a week. “At Milk & More, we are passionate about encouraging people to eat well and live sustainably. We do this by championing smaller suppliers who we trust to provide the very best products for us to deliver to your doorstep.  Our mission is to deliver a positive impact on local communities, the environment and ultimately you.”

TRY MILK + MORE HERE! 


Good Club

FOR YOU IF:  You want the experience of a bulk shop while just hitting click! If you want well sourced items like fair-trade cocoa, and you want to buy multiples to save even more money. It takes a little time to do the unpacking and then you set out the containers to return so I’d say it’s best for every other week or a monthly shop. But delivery is included and free within the $3.33/month price. 

What they sell: Pretty much every pantry staple with a focus on no packaging, and organic, well sourced, healthier items.

TRY GOOD CLUB HERE with £15 CREDIT! 

  • No delivery fee in the £3.33/month membership
  • Apples: no fresh goods

What do they stand for? Sustainable home delivery options with lowered waste and lots of organic and well sourced items! 

NOTE: I found that in ordering there is a lot of paper wrapped around glass things – but you can send it back in the box which they pick up the next day – that felt like a major plus that the box doesn’t sit a whole week! In general we’ve really enjoyed it and the range of products are perfect for us in avoiding the shops – as long as it’s combined with something fresh like Abel and Cole.

TRY GOOD CLUB HERE with £15 CREDIT! 

 


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