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Food delivery start-ups are making cooking easier for South Africans

New food-delivery start-ups popping up across the country are making cooking healthy, nutritious meals at home easier and easier for South Africans. 

By Heather Ingarfield

With life getting busier and busier, it’s no surprise that many people find themselves stopping at the nearest drive-through for their supper, or forking out a small fortune on a commercial ready-made meal that is more than likely packed with preservatives and sugar. While this is fine once in a while, it’s well-documented that a consistently poor diet can put someone at risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and diabetes.  

A handful of South Africans have realised this problem, and over the past few years, more and more food and meal-delivery start-ups are being born across the country. A bit late to the party, mind you, with this industry booming in the US already (and estimated to become a $5 billion one over the next 10 years). 

So how does it work? Well, they’re all a little different.


Founded by local lad David Torr, UCook is a recipe book and ingredient-delivery service all in one. You log on to their website once a week, select meals from one of the three menus (Rustic, Low Carb or Vegetarian), choose how many portions you need and leave the rest to them… They will then drop off the ingredients, along with the recipe cards, to your front door. It really could not be easier. 

‘UCook aims to make cooking nutritional meals accessible, easy and stress free,’ says David. ‘We eliminate the need for extensive grocery shopping and instead deliver the exact ingredients you’ll need for whipping up what’s on our recipe cards. Through doing so, we enable you to create three mouth-watering meals each week.’

Price range: from R50–R90 per meal


The Cape Town-based start-up offers healthy meals delivered daily to homes and offices in Cape Town. Imagined 6 years ago by Leanor Abels, The Doorstep Chef is perfect for the busy person who enjoys home-cooked meals, but may not always have the time to prepare it themselves. 

The menu changes weekly – typical dishes you can expect to see on the line-up include chicken, lamb and burgers, as well as low-carb cauli-fried rice and mash. 

Price range: from R250–R1 300


Touted as one of the leading healthy-convenient food companies in the country, FitChef is a monthly lifestyle food, smoothie, drinks and snacks delivery service. 

Famous for their 21-day nutrition kit (which includes 54 wholesome ready-to-eat meals and 44 smoothies), they are devoted to setting people on a health food journey, focusing on providing us with all the vitamins and nutrients we need on a daily basis. All of their meals are completely natural, with no preservatives, colourants, additives, highly refined ingredients or added sugar. 


Similar to UCook, Pantry Box is an online ingredient delivery service based in Joburg that sends pre-portioned and packaged ingredients in the exact quantities (along with step-by-step recipes) right to your doorstep. They offer 11 meals each week, with options fitting into one of three dietary choices (low carb, high fat; fit; gourmet).

Price range: from R695–R1 400


Fuel Foods’ goal is to provide everyone with healthy and tasty meals designed using only the highest quality ingredients. They make a healthy lifestyle an easy one by providing cooked meals right on your plate, as well as meal plans that are organic and tailored to your individual dietary goals.

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