The Dutch consumer program, Radar, recently took a closer look at the fresh pack concept. Are these packs really so tasty and convenient? Isn’t it much cheaper to buy all the products separately at the supermarket?
To find out, Radar called on Dutch food blogger, Brenda Hoff. She compared pumpkin soup and curry kits. These were from three leading supermarkets in the Netherlands - Albert Heijn, Jumbo, and Lidl.
Fresh packs have an advantage: they contain exactly the right amount of fresh ingredients needed, at a fixed price. But many shoppers want to know if it’s more, or less, expensive to buy the products separately.
Generally, it seems these fresh packs are more economical than buying the products separately. With the soups, it didn’t make much of a difference. The Lidl soup pack was the only one more expensive than the total price of the individual products.
All the curry packs were cheaper. And Jumbo’s was a clear winner. At the time, that supermarket’s curry kit was as much as €3,88 less expensive than buying the individual ingredients. That was due to the curry paste’s price.
Brenda was also satisfied with the flavors. The dishes were prepared precisely according to the recipe. And they were judged above average to good. However, according to Brenda, some of the ingredients could be fresher. There is also room for improvement when it comes to preparation.
Especially, the cleaning of the vegetables and cooking times weren’t entirely to Brenda’s taste. Packers must also ensure they add the correct amounts to the packs. For example, one of the kits held two small peppers. That, while the recipe asked for only one. The soup in question turned out to be far too spicy.