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Why I Switched from Abel & Cole to Pikt

2020 has really upped the vegetable box delivery game in London.

For those of us who are food conscious and environmentally conscious, we usually aren’t just looking for what’s convenient – we also want to minimise our environmental impact.

There are a few strong considerations I take into account when it comes to choosing the right vegetable delivery box for me.

So, what is it about Pikt that has made me make the switch from Abel & Cole?

Why Am I Writing This?

Before I unwrap my Pikt experience for you, you might be questioning why I’ve been motivated to write this article.

About me: I’m a vegetarian (doing my best to be vegan most of the time) digital marketer (you can check me out at Rainbow Dragon Digital) who lives alone. I thoroughly enjoy cooking for myself, but I never follow recipes.

I met the owner of Pikt, Matt Godfroy, on LinkedIn as he wanted to have a consultation about the marketing direction of Pikt and its parent company, SunFresh Produce.

We had a very fruitful hour discussing my ideas and opinions on Pikt’s strategy. As a thank you for the session, Matt offered me a code to get a £30 box of vegetables and asked me if I would be happy to write a blog post about it (since writing is what I most adore about my work). He even offered to pay me for the writing on top of receiving the free box!

While I’m super grateful for the extra veg and the bit of enjoyable paid work, I am also very conscious about maintaining my integrity.

I want to therefore be clear that while this piece of writing has essentially been sponsored, I am giving my completely honest review of my experience and opinions of Pikt.

My Veg Box Rating System

I’ve been using veg boxes on and off for a few years and have stopped and started for various reasons. Here’s the criteria on which I personally use to determine if a veg box is right for me:

  1. Quality – I usually want organic produce (I’ll explain why) and I also specifically want produce that isn’t going to go bad in a few days’ time – I’m feeding only me after all!
  2. Delivery – While I’m home all the time these days, so delivery day isn’t a huge deal for me, there isn’t a safe place for the delivery person to leave my box in the block I live in. That means it can’t be delivered at a time when I’m not home or not awake!
  3. Packaging – I’m aiming for as close to a zero-waste lifestyle as I can get, so I want a veg box that doesn’t come with all the plastic waste the vegetables and fruit so often seem to come with.
  4. Variety – Some people hate the fact that veg boxes deliver things they’re not really sure they want. I love being surprised and being introduced to new vegetables I’ve never experienced before. I want a service with a variety of interesting stuff because I’m easily bored with the same food every day.
  5. Ethics – Ideally, I want to only buy from businesses I know are doing the right thing or, at the very least, making a concerted effort to do the right thing.

That’s the lens through which I’m judging Pikt. Let’s see how it did on each count in comparison to my experiences with other boxes I’ve ordered in the past. If you don’t care for the long story, feel free to skip to the end where I summarise why I made the switch to Pikt.

For reference, the veg boxes I’ve used in the past include Abel & Cole (which I used years ago as well as who I’ve been using for the last few weeks), Oddbox, and Pale Green Dot.

Quality

Rating: 5/5

My opinion on eating organic is that it usually doesn’t matter too much except for the “Dirty Dozen” (the 12 vegetables that are most likely to retain pesticides). Since those 12 are probably in most boxes, I do feel like I have to insist on organic produce from my veg delivery boxes.

Thankfully Pikt’s boxes, like Abel & Cole and Riverford, are all organic and pesticide-free so no worries there. While I loved the price and locally sourced nature of Pale Green Dot, the fact that it’s not organic was the main reason I stopped using them.

I’m not one to be too fussy about bumps and scrapes on my veggies and fruits. Just slice out the bad bits and carry on is how I usually operate. With Pikt, though, every item was so carefully wrapped that everything was in pristine condition (perhaps wrapped a little too much – I’ll explain when I get to Packaging!)

In terms of freshness & lasting quality, I’m writing this about a week after my delivery and I still had the kale and spinach leaves in a salad today. Even though they were not sealed away in plastic, they’ve survived pretty well in the fridge!

Everything else that was in the box has definitely survived the week (and made for some delicious meals!).

Delivery

Rating: 5/5

I love Oddbox’s whole concept of giving ugly fruits and vegetables a happy home. But the major problems I had with them is that 1) they’re not organic and 2) they delivered at around 4am and there isn’t a safe place to leave boxes at my apartment block (I had mine stolen a few times so had to stop using them).

I’m not a morning person, so I have very begrudgingly been accepting Abel & Cole’s 7am deliveries, only because they claim this is more environmentally friendly (driving around more quickly in the early hours). I have also been begrudgingly accepting that they get to dictate the day of my delivery as well, meaning I have to have it every Friday or miss an entire week.

Pikt does it totally differently.

Instead of using their own delivery people they deliver through DPD. Which means we get to choose our own day of delivery and they arrive at a reasonable hour. DPD even let me know that morning at what hour I could expect the box to arrive at my door – I feel spoiled.

The flexibility of choosing the delivery day is really beneficial to me. Sometimes I’m feeling lazy on the weekend and don’t feel like cooking – so delaying my delivery to Monday means I will have fresher produce during the week. Or if I know my boyfriend is visiting that weekend, I can bump up the order a day so that I have time to plan a nice meal.

But what about the minimising impact of the delivery that other boxes do by dictating delivery day and time? Pikt’s answer to this is optional carbon offsetting, which I definitely take up. To me this feels a little more like circular design than simply minimising impact, but I do realise there is some controversy about whether carbon offsetting is truly effective in minimising overall impact.

Packaging

Rating: 4/5

Here Pikt does something that I haven’t found any other veg box to do – it’s completely plastic free.

When I tried Lola’s I was so horrified by the amount of plastic in the box that I never ordered from them again. Abel & Cole, Oddbox and Pale Green Dot all did a pretty good job of minimising plastic. Abel & Cole have some interesting biodegradable forms of plastic but again there’s a whole controversy there about how long they actually take to break down. All of them tend to still have some slivers of single-use plastic they deem ‘necessary’ to maintain freshness – particularly for salad leaves and cucumbers.

Pikt completely bucks this trend – the salad, fruit, tomatoes everything came in little carboard boxes or wrapped in brown paper. All easily recyclable.

Despite being a uniquely plastic-free veg box, I still had two small gripes that brought Pikt’s rating down a point.

First, there is just way too much packaging. Even if it’s all recyclable, it’s still a lot of unnecessary waste and I am trying to aim for a zero-waste lifestyle – which doesn’t only mean no plastic, but also minimum wasted material in general.

I totally understand that this is the price to be paid for ensuring safe delivery of pristine produce and consumers can be so intolerant of bumps and bruises. Since that’s less of a concern for myself, I would have liked to have had a “minimum packaging” option so that only the most fragile of vegetables and fruit were actually wrapped up, and I then accept any damage that might be caused in transit. I’m hoping this is something Pikt might be able to add to the product in the future.

My second gripe is that the boxes don’t get reused. They deliver in such great, sturdy boxes that it feels wrong to just put it in recycling. Most other veg box delivery services pick up the boxes on the next delivery – but that’s because they’re doing their own logistics (and delivering at ungodly hours). I know that All Plants (which deliver frozen meals rather than vegetables) used to give you a return label to send them back the packaging to be reused – but I admit I don’t know how that balances out in terms of environmental impact.

I think it would bump Pikt right up to a 5 if the packaging could be minimised, and if they found a good solution for reusing the boxes.

Variety

Rating: 4/5

I’m a bit weirder than the average person when it comes to veg boxes – I really enjoy not knowing what I’m about to get each week.

I can get that same level of surprise with Pikt’s premade boxes. However, I want both vegetables and fruit, and that only comes in the £30 box size, which is just a touch too big and too expensive for me alone on a weekly basis. I’d prefer a box that was more like £17-£20 in size, which they have but not mixed fruit and vegetables.

Of course, I can totally build my own box each week – which is fine, but it doesn’t quite give me that element of surprise anymore. This is perfect, though, if you want to be able to plan ahead a bit with what you’re going to cook (and to ensure you get basics in your box like onions!)

The bigger reason that Pikt’s rating gets dragged down in this realm is the range of products on offer. They’ve got a lot of very cool vegetables I’ve not seen in other boxes (rainbow carrots in my last box made my stir fry lots of fun!) but it doesn’t quite compare to the much wider range of groceries available on Abel & Cole – which you could add to your premade vegetable box order whenever you needed, making it a little more convenient than Pikt.

That said, I didn’t make a huge amount of use of that with Abel & Cole (since they’re actually quite expensive!), so it’s not a major sticking point for me.

Ethics

Rating: 5/5

To be fair, Pikt has a little advantage here when it comes to my personal review since I’ve had a chat with the owner directly.

Pikt doesn’t earn a perfect score here just because it is B-Corp certified, Soil Association certified, allows you to round-up to donate to their charity foundation, provides carbon offsetting options, and generally provides an ethical service – Matt also informed me that everyone at Pikt is paid above a living wage.

He also informed me that the unscrupulous pricing and produce management by supermarkets was part of what drove him to offer a service that ensures farmers aren’t being ripped off and that there are shorter supply chains. I am extremely pleased to see business owners like Matt taking a big stand on topics like this.

The ethos of most veg box delivery companies is exceptional – I particularly love how Abel & Cole are specifically transparent about the farms they work with and even show us photographs and bios of all the places they get their products from. If there’s anything I think Pikt could work on here, is that extra layer of transparency, which I believe will come it’s just a matter of time.

So why did I make the switch?

To summarise here are Pikt’s ratings against my criteria:

Quality – 5/5

Delivery – 5/5

Packaging – 4/5

Variety – 4/5

Ethics – 5/5

To me, this is was a very close race with Abel & Cole and I’d argue that it’s likely that they’re on par just in different ways.

The disadvantages for me, personally, with Abel & Cole are ones of convenience. With Pikt, I get to choose when I get my box and it’s delivered at a reasonable hour.

But also, with Pikt I know that absolutely everything I’m getting is going to breakdown within a few years at most. With Abel & Cole, I’m still getting some small bits of plastic.

So I feel like overall, Pikt is giving me minimum impact and maximum convenience.

I’m so enthusiastic about supporting a business that I feel is trying to do the best thing across their entire supply chain – not just for us consumers, but also for the famers, and for the planet. That’s the maximum I can expect, I think, from a veg box delivery company, and I’m sure the tiny issues I have with Pikt’s boxes are one that will be solved in time.

Guest post by Daljeet Singh.

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Autumn Amazingness with Pikt Fresh Organic, Plastic Free Fruit & Veggies Review

Autumn Amazingness with Pikt Fresh Organic, Plastic Free Fruit & Veggies Review: September 2020

With the Autumn weather firmly planting its roots it can be easy to head straight for the snacks and convenience foods.

However, Pikt fresh provide a perfect healthy alternative, as you can stay snug and warm inside, as they deliver plastic free, fresh 100% organic fruit and veggies direct to your door.

Family run, Pikt are a brilliant bunch and work hard to source all this lovely organic produce, so you can simply sit back, relax and wait for the sweet sound of your doorbell.

They have made the ordering process extremely easy.  Their online platform is user friendly, you can see exactly what you are ordering and you are not committed to a subscription, so you can enjoy a non-pressured shopping experience.  

Pikt are all about being healthy and ethical, as they are fully plastic free, deliveries are carried out by carbon neutral DPD and Pikt are B-Corp meaning that they are actively committed to social change taking care of both our planet and people.

My favourite Pikt box is the Homey, as it allows flexibility for me and my family to choose exactly which produce we would like allowing us to mix things up a little.

As you can see from the photos the fruit and veggies are fabulous, fresh and full of goodness.  From beautiful blueberries to gorgeous greens you are spoilt for choice.

Make sure you Pikt a healthy Autumn for you and your family Enjoy.

Hands, Face and Space #StaySafe

Thank you for reading 

Melanie xx

This article was originally posted on Forkwardthinkingfoodinista.

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5 Health Benefits that originate from organic fruit and vegetables

organic fruit and veg delivery

There are a number of significant health benefits associated with eating organically. In this article we will discuss five of them in more detail.

Reduced exposure to heavy metals and pesticides

Fruit and vegetables labelled organic will have been grown without using most artificial fertilisers or synthetic pesticides. These chemicals are considered safe for use in conventional farming but some studies raise concerns about the health implications of long term exposure.

In 2014, The British Journal of Nutrition published an article showing organically grown produce was 48% less likely to result in a positive test for cadmium. In addition, a common herbicide used in farming has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen” and an insecticide has been connected to developmental delays in infants.

Organic food benefits the environment and is good for you

Pesticides used in conventional farming can run off the land with water flow, contaminating the water supply with the same pesticides. This can result in complications both for plant and animal life relying on the water and for any people who drink it or use it on any crops. Organic farming practices help to conserve water, use less energy, increase the fertility of soil and reduce soil erosion, resulting in benefits for both people and the environment.

Increased antioxidants

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published an article in 2017 regarding a six year study in which researchers found onions grown organically were found to have an approximately 20% higher antioxidant content than those grown in a conventional manner. These researchers even speculated whether previous studies may have been affected by study periods being too short and other variables, such as weather conditions. Other research has found evidence that organic fruit and vegetables are also high in calcium, vitamin C, iron, magnesium and chromium

GMO free

Organic produce is GMO free. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and GE (genetically engineered) foods are those where the DNA has been changed in some way that has not occurred in nature or from crossbreeding. These alterations are usually to enable resistance to pesticides or to produce an insecticide. Whilst GMOs can be classified as safe, there have been concerns raised over long term effects and some links have been made between GMOs and gastro-intestinal issues for humans.

Fresher food

As organically grown fruit and vegetables don’t contain preservatives, they can’t be stored as long. This can actually be an advantage as they have to get to the shelves faster and therefore can often be fresher. Fresh food tastes better – buying organically may be the closest you can get picking your own produce whilst still having the convenience of buying from a supplier! Even better and potentially fresher is an organic fruit and veg delivery to your door.

The debate continues over whether organically grown vegetables and fruit are genuinely healthier but there is significant evidence in their favour.

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How Organic Fresh Ingredient Delivery Companies Are Dealing With The Pandemic?

organic fresh ingredients delivery London

The Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has caused numerous changes to our everyday lives, not least in the way that we shop. People who are vulnerable or shielding have needed to stay away from shops, supermarkets and markets and many of us have chosen to do so wherever possible to minimise the risks of contracting or spreading the virus. Pikt has provided a vital service of organic fresh ingredients delivery in London and throughout the UK during the pandemic, providing doorstep deliveries of organic fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients.

Why is fresh ingredient delivery important?

We all need to eat healthily. This is especially important if we are to give ourselves the best chance of staying well. Pikt help customers do this by providing easy to order fresh fruit and vegetable boxes, delivered to the doorstep or workplace by DPD delivery. You can either opt for the convenience of a ready-made box, or swap, add or delete items to create a box tailor-made for you. You choose the quantities to suit your own needs, meaning that you have what you need in your weekly shop but without contributing to food waste.

Many customers discovered at the beginning of the pandemic that supermarket home delivery and even click and collect slots were difficult to secure. Product availability could be patchy due to the demands placed on the supermarket supply chain. Those who were able to visit shops were faced with queues due to the need to limit customer numbers inside stores, making a shopping trip a lengthy affair.

The Pikt fresh ingredient delivery service is the ideal solution to providing all of the fresh fruit and vegetables that you and your family need each week to make healthy and interesting meals. Our customers are assured of the best quality ingredients, with a straightforward and transparent ordering system and quick and easy delivery.

Pikt is ideal for providing a socially distanced fresh ingredient delivery

The Pikt delivery service makes it easy for our customers to maintain social distancing. It is ideal for those who are shielding or required to isolate due to the quarantine rules, as no face to face contact with the delivery service is necessary.

Pikt boxes are delivered to your doorstep by DPD, with the cost of weekday delivery included in the price. Delivery can be contactless meaning that you have the fresh ingredients you need without the risk of visiting a shop, supermarket or market. You can be assured that the produce we include in our boxes is chosen and packed carefully so that it reaches you in the best possible condition. Our boxes are specially designed to protect the contents in transit.

Pikt was able to adapt easily to the unusual demands of the pandemic, allowing customers to be confident of receiving all of the fresh fruit and vegetables they required.

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Enjoy Nutritional Juice with Piktfresh

Organic juice delivery online

Make summer juicy!

With summer in full swing, this is the perfect time to enjoy nature’s bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But if you want to mix things up a bit, a great way to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables is to turn them into smoothies or juices. With potentially endless combination to suit all tastes and preferences, at least one is sure to become a family favourite!

Getting started with juicing is simple – all you need is a decent juicing appliance (whether it be a traditional blender, a juicer, or a hand-held stick blender) and some fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to your door!

Customise your produce

Pikt’s customisable produce boxes give you a range of options; whether you want to focus purely on fruit or vegetables, or a combination of both, we have a box for you! Alternatively, you can opt for one of our pre-picked options, such as our popular Seasonal Mixed Fruit, Veg and Salad Box or our Juice Kit boxes. All our produce is certified as organic and sustainable by the Soil Association, so you can be sure that your juices will not only be nutritious, but free from harmful pesticides and chemicals as well.

Once you have made your choices, your order will be delivered right to your door by the DPD courier service. Best of all, the cost of delivery is included in your order, so the price of the box you see is the price you pay (with the exception of a weekend delivery, when a small surcharge will apply).

Feel-good produce boxes

By choosing Pikt’s organic juice delivery online, you are not only choosing great tasting produce; you are also choosing sustainability. Our fruit and vegetable boxes are completely plastic-free (no single use wrappers, gel pads or ice packs) – instead, we keep your order fresh by wrapping it in vegetable leaves which can be composted after use. In addition, customers have the option to offset the carbon impact of their delivery, as well as to round up their order to the nearest pound to support the Fresh Republic Foundation.

We are also a certified B-Corporation, which means that we meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. As part of this commitment, you will notice that our products don’t have a fixed price. This is because the price we pay to farmers and growers varies depending on seasonal availability, size of the harvest and cost of production. In this way, we make sure that everyone gets a fair deal.

So, go on – get juicing! And best of all, you can feel confident that when you order from Pikt, not only are you choosing great-tasting, nutritious produce, but you are also choosing a sustainable and ethical approach to eating and drinking.

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Bring The Farmers’ Market to your front door with Pikt

fruit and veg delivery

With Pikt, you can easily bring the freshness, quality and variety of the farmer’s market direct to your own front door. Our fruit and veg delivery service is ideal for busy people and for those who wish to avoid travelling for their shopping. We make things simple by bringing the best, freshest organic fruit and veg straight to your doorstep.

Top quality produce

At Pikt, our fruit and vegetable produce is certified organic and of the very highest quality. Just like the best farmers’ markets, our produce comes straight from the grower meaning that it is ethical, super fresh and you get the best seasonal produce available. We are organic and honest. We do not allow any herbicides or synthetic pesticides to be used in growing our produce, so choosing a Pikt delivery helps you keep healthy by reducing your exposure to pesticides in your food.

We take great care of your fruit and veg throughout the order and delivery process: our boxes and the way we pick your produce are designed to ensure that your fruit and veg reach you in the best possible condition.

Plastic free

Pikt deliveries are plastic free, allowing you to reduce the environmental impact of your fruit and veg shopping. No gel pads or ice packs are used, thereby, helping you to help the planet. Choosing a Pikt delivery also sees you cut down on food waste because all of our boxes are portioned which gives you the control you need over the amount you buy.

Value and convenience

We pride ourselves on passing the value of our supply chain onto our customers. We pay a fair price to our suppliers, too. When you choose Pikt, you get both great value and the convenience of a doorstep delivery. Once you have chosen the contents of your box using our easy online ordering system, we pick and carefully pack your produce for you. Our boxes are delivered to you by DPD with weekday delivery included in the order prices and just a small supplement if you need a weekend delivery.

You choose the contents of your box yourself and also set the quantities of each product meaning that you have the same level of control over what you buy as you would if you were shopping in person. You can remove, add or swap items from your box as you wish. If you are short of time or inspiration we can help with that too – simply choose one of our ready-made boxes for the ultimate in convenient ordering of all the fruit and vegetables that you will need for your weekly shop.

If you would like the quality and freshness of the produce available at a farmers’ market with the convenience of doorstep delivery, why not try one of our boxes today. Everything you choose will be deliciously fresh.

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Create a Healthier Environment at the Office with an Organic Fruit Box

organic fruit box

We all know that getting in your five a day during a busy workday can be tricky, so if your employer is able to give you a bit of a helping hand by providing fresh, highly nutritious fruit in the office, you’re probably going to be pretty appreciative.

The benefit of having fresh fruit in the office

Fresh fruit that is picked, delivered and eaten at its peak contains plenty of potassium which supports heart health. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and blood oranges, have been proven to help ease stress. Whichever fruits you choose to have delivered to your office, they are certain to have a positive impact on your working environment.

We all need fuel to continue to work at our best throughout the day and encouraging healthy snacking will ensure that you and your team are equipped to deliver work of the highest quality. Encouraging healthy snack breaks can also provide ideal times for your team to socialise or problem solve, which will likely lead to a more cohesive work environment within which everyone feels supported enough to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

So, for business owners, establishing a positive and supportive working environment can drive myriad, lasting benefits. Demonstrating to your team that you genuinely care about their health and wellbeing can encourage company loyalty and boost productivity but, until recently, organising a regular delivery of fresh produce has been a relatively complicated process.

Fresh, organic fruit delivered directly to your office

Using our experience of supplying produce to some of the biggest supermarkets across the UK, we can deliver an organic fruit box for your office as frequently as you want them to arrive. We want to help you and your team to stay healthy at work, which is precisely why we designed our Fruitist box. Available in both small and large sizes, our boxes and packaging are all plastic-free and recyclable. You can choose up to three different fruits from a wide selection of in-season options and we’ll deliver them in quantities that will keep your office snacking healthily for the whole week.

We source all our fresh produce from Soil Association certified growers and farmers, which ensures that the fruit that is delivered to your office will arrive in peak condition and stay that way throughout the working week. In addition to creating your own positive working environment, your business will also be supporting passionate growers who take pride in growing fruit of the highest quality. So, when choosing a Piktfresh box, you can feel assured that each one of our partner growers has received a fair price for the produce they have provided.

From supporting other businesses to reducing your carbon footprint and ensuring that your team has easy access to fresh produce, there are myriad benefits that come from arranging a fruit delivery to your office.