Abel & Cole’s veg box delivery service: Is it a good use of your food budget?
Ok, I love budgeting, and I love food, and food that’s sourced well, but I don’t love overspending – so this much asked question is one I love! (Although I’ll explain why I actually think it’s the wrong question, read on!)
Food shopping to our budgets and values is TOUGH. Kuddos to you for even reading a post that might help you do it better. Let’s dive in! And spoiler, my answer isn’t just a resounding yes. I hope this breakdown helps.
So why is “Is It Worth It?” the wrong question – for a Veg Box or anything?
Asking “Is it worth it?” is something highly individual. We need to really know what we’re looking at too to evaluate all the pieces for ourselves – so that’s what I’ll do below. We also need to differentiate between questioning if the price charged is justified verses whether it’s valuable to us personally in return for our money. Then we can make an informed decision for OUR HOME. Ultimately, it’s about finding what resonates with our values and fits within our individual budget!
For Abel and Cole I also don’t think it’s a “yes” or “no” question. There are many different ways to shop it – which is amazing – but NOT all the ways make it worth it for me. So I’ll share how I shop it for the most personal value at the end.
So let’s look at some of the factors that play into value and might make it worth it for you:
1. Sustainable Sourcing: Abel & Cole’s Commitment to Ethics and Environment
One of the key factors that sets Abel & Cole apart (and yes, correctly add to the price) is their value for sourcing sustainable and organic produce. This creates extra costs, and it worth paying more for me. Their emphasis on seasonal, locally grown, ethically and sustainably produced food means the products delivered to our doorsteps are free from so many things we might not want: harmful pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs. It also means the producers are treated fairly and respectfully. Those things matter! But they do the work so we can shop without thinking.
2. A Must Have: Abel & Cole’s Commitment to Quality
Feeding a family, quality is hugely important to so many of us. And I know a huge concern with food delivery services is the quality and freshness of the products. If we’re going to pay for something we need to get what we paid for. Abel & Cole’s direct relationships with farmers and producers allow them to offer items that are often superior to those found in regular supermarkets. Personally, in 4 years of ordering I’ve had one bad box of raspberries and they were happy to refund them. If you’re ever not happy with your order, they’ll always refund it which makes me feel safe and guarantees you get the value you pay for.
3. Convenience and Time-Saving while Holding the Abel and Cole Sustainable Values
For busy families (hi that’s me!), convenience plays a vital role in any choice – including how and where to buy food. Abel & Cole’s app especially give a user-friendly way to shop, customise your weekly orders and set up regular deliveries IF you want at customisable intervals so I can have a veg box every week, but returnable pasta tubs only every other week. They offer curated fruit and veg boxes or the option to create your own, so you can make your deliveries perfect for you family’s preferences. This convenience is really worth something to me. It saves valuable time and effort spent on shopping… and thinking. But also keeps to my sourcing, environmental and health values.
The range they have is also a huge part of considering “worth.” If need be, you can do a while shop on the Abel and Cole site which I don’t do often but love that if I need to I can. It’s why I choose Abel and Cole over other ethics and sustainability based services.
4. Waste Reduction: What Abel & Cole are doing for us as we shop
Another value for many of us in buying food is minimising waste. Abel & Cole do really well on this across the whole spectrum of waste. They use minimal packaging and choose eco-friendly materials wherever possible. Most of what they use is then returnable, and they also collect any soft plastic at all for up cycling whether or not they came from Abel and Cole – you can pop them in your box to return keeping it simple.
A huge part of sustainability in food production is not just what we see as the customer and food waste is a massive consideration when we look at food shops. The waste of food in the whole system is a massive factor, and they’re currently working closely with charities like City Harvest and The Felix Project to ensure that any excess food they can’t sell goes where it can be used rather than being thrown away.
Personally I love that by choosing Abel & Cole, we’re actively contributing to reducing the amount of single-use plastic and other non-recyclable materials entering the environment as well as supporting a system that is striving to minimise and eliminate food waste.
They also work with another B Corp, Green Element, to measure the impact and emission throughout their supply chain and beyond it. It means they can identify their problematic areas and change the way systems work to have the most positive impact. For me, that’s a massive win, value, and reason I choose them.
5. Care for everyone: The people behind our Abel and Cole’s food
Abel & Cole works closely with local farmers and suppliers, fostering relationships and supporting small-scale, sustainable agriculture. It’s a piece we don’t often think about. To me, that’s a massive value add when I’m shopping because it’s something I want to see happen, but it’s really hard to seek out for a food shop.
5. Constant Progress + Accountability: The commitment of being a B Corporation
For me I love the stamp and vetting of being a B corporation, and the transparency that Abel and Cole show. You can see the farms food is coming from, and you have the additional certifications that come from regular third party vetting. This means the company has to exist for the “Benefit” of people and planet not just for profit. Every three years they have to go through an intensive certification process looking at every aspect of their business and they’re scored on many different areas from sourcing ethics to in house hiring policies and environmental impact. All the results are public and there’s an expectation on you as a brand to improve your score year on year. In a world of false marketing and greenwashing – I love the in depth analysis and certification.
8 Tips I use personally to shop Abel and Cole for the best value
I definitely don’t just hit “add to cart” on everything on my shopping list. Abel and Cole goes way over the average UK food budget if you do that. Instead I shop very strategically to get value while spending the least (forever my goal!). My advice is to have a budget and work out what matters to YOU to buy from them. My top things to shop for and ways to do it are:
- Look at their veg boxes, I think they hold the most value of anything Abel and Cole sell. You get the values of low waste, organic and well sourced produce that it can be hard to find locally – in a box. And use the code ABELKEZIA for 50% off on them HERE.
- The British Veg Box is a win for values if you like local – it’s always 7 portions of British Fruit and Veg at a constant price – and I think it holds great value cos local produce is so hard to find without getting a curated box! And again, use ABELKEZIA for 50% off that one HERE!
- Then make it right for you by customising the small/medium/large fruit and veggie box – I love it cos I can change the contents but the price is the same every week which is SO great for budgeting. This one, again 50% off with the code ABELKEZIA.
- Then scroll through what else is on offer – they list them HERE each week and sometimes they’re what I need! they also do things like £5 off £20 and I’ll stock up.
- Use Club Zero (their package free section) for things you can’t get locally if you want package free and that’s a value to you. Pasta, raisins and lentils are my most shopped items.
- Request a FREE plastic pickup bag HERE – you can add any soft plastics (not just Abel and Cole one) when you return your boxes and have them take care of upcycling it into sheets used during construction.
- I also find so much value in using Abel and Cole for more questionable items like avocados, bananas and chocolate where there are often extra human rights, emissions or ethics concerns. Knowing there’s no airfreight, and everything is sourced carefully is a massive win for me.
- If you don’t want to think about adding them each week and a repeat order is a win for you, adjust the delivery frequency. You don’t have to do this, your order isn’t a repeating order. But it adds value for me to have a veg box and pasta show up each week without me thinking.
Conclusion: So is Abel & Cole worth it?!
Hopefully looking it over helps see the two aspects of value and worth! Is Abel and Cole charging a fair price for what they’re selling? Yes. When you consider all the aspects you’re paying for beyond just “carrots” then yes, 100% they’re charging a fair price. BUT, is it the best value for your budget? Not necessarily, and only you can decide that.
I think using their introductory offer makes a veg box a good option for everyone but beyond that it’s going to depend on what you can locally, and what your values in shopping are. Some things are more expensive than in other places if you just compare the food in one place to the food in another. But shopping Abel and Cole is paying for something beyond a carrot. If you want those additional values and differences – from organic growing to waste reduction and food traceability – then shopping Abel and Cole for at least some of your food is going to be of value to you!