Fruit and veg boxes have become big business, you may have had a canvasser ask if you’d like a regular delivery to your door… But which company offers you the best fruit and veg delivery service? To my mind, the concept of these services is to keep you stocked up and save you time.

Generally, a carrot is a carrot, I don’t subscribe to the view a carrot must be 15cm long and at least 2.5cm diameter. So when looking at quality I will be looking at the range of products offered. How much of your weekly shop can you get from one supplier, to cut down your own trips to the supermarket?

A fresh fruit and veg delivery to your door, should also be reasonable. Expect to pay a small premium, as with all “to your door” services but they can still offer great value if we shop cleverly and value our time. So, in terms of which offers best value for money I will asses each provider on the cost per 100 grams of regular carrots, tender-stem broccoli, apples and pears (when buying minimum weight). I will also look at any applicable delivery charges, when determining the best value.



Let’s take a better look at our contenders. First up is Riverford, who have been around since 1987. A great selection of veg that ranges from purple sweet potatoes to your regular carrots, through tender stem broccoli and Otello tomatoes. Everything is sold with pleasing colours that would brighten and lighten any meal cooked. Enticing veg can be used to pad out meals.

In terms of fruit, all the major staples are there: your apples and oranges, alongside more exotic offerings like pomegranates and green satsumas. They even had custard apples recently. Don’t forget that Riverford only supply certified organic fruit and veg, and sourcing appropriately certified exotic fruit and veg is hard. Riverford’s product range is seasonal as well, so no more flavourless Spanish strawberries, picked to ripen in transport, hence the lower natural sugar and lack of that true strawberry flavour.



Range = 50 vegetables and 20 fruits, all of which are seasonal, and are supplemented with a range of veg boxes and fruit bags. Riverford also sell the usual range of salads and juices on top.

Carrots = £0.25 / 100 grams

Tender-stem Broccoli = £1.24 / 100 grams

Apples (Russet) = £0.45 / 100 grams

Pears = £0.43 / 100 grams



Abel & Cole have been around since 1988, and you’ve probably seen their distinctive yellow vans a few times. Ethical, sustainable and seasonal fresh fruit and veg suppliers, Abel & Cole have an extensive product range!

Twice the range of Riverford, but not quite as exotic, Abel & Cole do a full range, including meat and fish, which Riverford do not. BEWARE, Abel & Cole charge a WHOLE £1.25 per delivery box! But that’s comparable to the lower end Tesco prices for Click and Collect, and you still have to go to Tesco for that.



Range = 105 vegetables and 40 fruits, not to mention a host of box deals! In fact, with 17 fruit and veg boxes your bound to find one you will almost fully use.

Carrots = £0.22 / 100 grams

Tender-stem Broccoli = £1.25 / 100 grams

Apples (Russet) = £0.46 / 100 grams

Pears = £0.46 / 100 grams



Out of the four products tested, only one (the carrots) were cheaper at Abel & Cole. The others being cheaper bought from Riverford. The question though should be: What am I trying to achieve?

If your looking to cut out the weekly food shop, you aren’t going to do it using Riverford. They have a reasonable range of fruit and veg and plenty of exotics that could add rich colour to any plate, but the everyday range is limited.

Where Abel & Cole win out is that you are getting the full weekly delivery you need to avoid trudging around the supermarket after work, and everything you buy is certified organic. It helps you plan out what you’re cooking each week in advance, developing good kitchen habits and household planning, whilst saving yourself precious time and minimising wastage. 

Abel & Cole have more than twice the fruit and veg range of Riverford, and you can combine that with a range of fish and meats, spices and herbs, bakery items and drinks. All items are certified organic as well, so Abel & Cole could be what you’re looking for the in terms of fresh fruit and veg delivered to your door.

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