HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy delicious, home-cooked food without stepping foot in a grocery store? It is the epitome of lazy (but healthy) cooking! Enter the meal kit delivery service.
Meal kit delivery services have become more and more popular over the years. Many people are looking for better ways to eat healthier, have more convenient options, and save time when it comes to cooking.
The basic concept of these services is that you choose your meals from a selection of recipes, and the service delivers all the ingredients you would need (plus the recipe cards) to cook the meals.
Some of the selling points for these types of services are that they are supposed to save you time and money, deliver high quality (and healthy) food, and reduce kitchen waste.
Many companies also promote their service as being a valuable way for people to learn cooking skills as well as try new, exciting ingredients that they normally wouldn’t have access to. Two popular options are HelloFresh and Blue Apron. Let’s take a closer look at these two and compare what these services have to offer. HelloFresh vs Blue Apron… here we go!
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Meal Plan Options
Both meal kit delivery services offer meal plan options that can vary in serving size and frequency.
HelloFresh has three plans that you can choose from: classic, veggie, and family. According to their website, the classic option has the largest amount of variety when it comes to picking your meals. The veggie caters to vegetarians, and the family plan is geared towards recipes that would appeal to all family members.
HelloFresh also allows you to customize your plan according to some dietary preferences such as beef-free, shellfish free, and pork free.
Blue Apron has two plans to choose from: a two-person plan and a family plan. If you select the two-person plan, you then have the option to make your plan vegetarian. Both plans have the same menu options.
HelloFresh has different serving options for the number of people you are feeding, depending on which plan you choose. The classic plan offers servings for 2 or 4 people, the veggie plan offers servings for 2 or 4 people, and the family plan offers servings for 4 people.
Blue Apron has different serving options for the number of people you are feeding as well. The two-person plan offers servings for (you guessed it) 2 people. The family plan offers servings for 4 people.
HelloFresh has meal/recipe frequency options that differ based on the plan you choose. The classic plan offers 2,3, or 4 meals a week, the veggie plan offers 3 meals a week, and the family plan offers 2 or 3 meals a week.
Blue Apron has meal/recipe frequency options that also differ based on the plan you choose. The two-person plan offers 2 or 3 meals a week. The family plan offers 2, 3, or 4 meals a week.
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Prices
Of course, both services are probably more expensive than what you would pay if you made the meals yourself, but what you are really paying for is convenience. So, instead of going grocery shopping you can now binge-watch Netflix! Win-win.
Also, some of the ingredients are ones you might not normally have at home, or even if you did, would rarely use. Therefore, it can be cheaper to try them this way instead of paying for an ingredient that you might not use again (or may even expire if you had to buy it in bulk).
The prices for all three meal plans are:
The classic plan is $9.99 per serving.
The veggie plan is $9.99 per serving.
And the family plan is $8.74 per serving.
The prices for the meal plans vary by location. So, depending on where you live, it may cost more than or less than HelloFresh. To view their prices, you must make an account.
For my location, the prices for both meal plans are:
The two-person plan is $10.99 per serving.
And the family plan is $9.99 per serving.
However, other people have stated (based on reviews) that Blue Apron is cheaper for them than HelloFresh is.
So, it depends on your location which will be cheaper, but HelloFresh is more consistent with its pricing (and you can see up front what you will be paying).
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Ingredients
HelloFresh promotes their ingredients as being as environmentally friendly and as sustainable as possible. They also work with family-owned and operated suppliers.
All their seafood is sustainably sourced and is also rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood watch program. They use both farm-raised and wild caught fish.
They state that most of their ingredients are not organic. Their poultry is antibiotic and hormone free, and their pork is hormone free.
Blue Apron promotes their ingredients as being high quality and sustainably grown. According to their website, they work with over 150 farmers.
All their seafood is also sustainably sourced and rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood watch program.
They state that many of their ingredients are organic. Their poultry, pork, and beef are all antibiotic and hormone free. Their beef is grass-fed and pasture-raised, and their eggs are from cage-free hens.
They also require their suppliers to certify that their ingredients are non-GMO. One of their major focuses is on regenerative farming practices, and they base their menu around crop rotations.
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Recipes
HelloFresh recipes are posted on the website for you to choose from. They are divided by meal plan type (classic, veggie, and family). The recipe icons show a picture of the dish and has the average prep time listed on the bottom left.
They also disclose on the icon if it is free of any of these common allergens: soy, wheat, nuts, dairy, shellfish, fish, eggs, and peanuts.
For example, the recipe for Lemony Cheese Tortelloni has a 30-minute prep time and is nut free.
When you click on the icon, you are shown a brief overview which includes the prep time, the ingredients, and the tags (like spicy or nut free).
If you click again on the icon, it takes you to the full recipe which shows the prep time, the cooking level, the utensils/tools needed, any tags, nutritional information, ingredient list, and the recipe.
HelloFresh also has a separate ingredient list for the ingredients you will need that are not included in your delivery (such as vegetable oil, sugar, and salt).
The recipes also include step-by-step instructions that feature a picture for every step. They do have a “recipe archive” section so that you can see previous recipes.
HelloFresh states that its recipes are created by chefs (that work with dieticians to ensure your meal is healthy) and that they release 15 new recipes every week.
Blue Apron recipes are also posted on their website for you to choose from. They are divided by plan type (two-person and family) as well. They show a picture of the dish but do not list the average prep time on the icon. They do show any relevant tags (such as customer favorite or 30-minute meal).
For example, the recipe for Creamy Tomato Fettucine is a “customer favorite.”
Their vegetarian recipes are denoted by a green leaf in the upper right corner. If you click on the icon, it takes you straight to the full recipe. The full recipe shows the total cooking time, the servings, the nutritional information, the ingredients, the utensils/tools needed, and the recipe.
To be able to view if there are any allergens (they list the same eight common allergens as HelloFresh) you must click on the nutrition link for the recipe.
There is no separate ingredient list for non-included ingredients because there are only three ingredients which Blue Apron does not send you: salt, pepper, and olive oil. All other ingredients are always included in your delivery.
The recipes also include step-by-step instructions that feature a picture for every step.
There is a “cookbook” section that lets you view all their archived recipes.
Blue Apron states that they have a culinary team that creates their recipes and no two recipes are ever repeated in the same year.
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Delivery Times and Packaging
HelloFresh offers free shipping for all its plans. They will deliver your meals on the day of your choosing seven days of the week (so even on Sundays).
HelloFresh also allows you to skip meal deliveries if you want to pause your shipments. You just need to remember to do so before your weekly cutoff (which is five days before your next scheduled delivery). You can even schedule this up to 8 weeks in advance.
Parts of their packaging can be recycled. The HelloFresh meal box is made of a mix of virgin and recycled fibers. The separator and meal kits are made of low-density chipboard.
Both their summer and winter liners are made of “honeycomb paperboard with a pulper-safe metalized film.” Their summer liners are also made of jute, kraft paper, and recycled cotton. Their winter liners also contain BPA-free plastic and mylar (fun fact: this is the same material that is used for space blankets).
Their ice packs contain water-soluble gel (but it’s not safe to pour down pipes) and recycled plastic.
Blue Apron also offers free shipping for both its plans. Depending on your location you may be able to select different delivery dates. When you create an account, you can then see your delivery options.
They also allow you to skip meal deliveries if you want to pause your shipments. In your account settings, there is a “changeable before” date that is your cutoff date to do so.
Parts of their packaging can also be recycled. Unfortunately, they don’t list which parts on their main website. You must go to your own personal account, and there is a “recycling” section that lets you know how to recycle your specific packaging.
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Extras
HelloFresh also offers a wine delivery service where six bottles of wine are delivered monthly. They offer three plans: a red wine plan, a white wine plan, and a mixed wine plan. All three options are $89.00 a month ($14.83 a bottle). The wine bottles are the standard (750ml) size.
Their website also has a “kitchenware” section where you can buy a range of items such as dish towels, ice cube trays, spice sets, chef hats, pans, measuring cups, and even knife sets.
Blue Apron offers a wine delivery service as well. They also deliver six bottles of wine monthly. There are no plan options, you just select which wines you want (red or white), and it costs $65.99 (including shipping) a month ($10 a bottle). The wine bottles are smaller (500ml) and are marketed as being perfect for two people to enjoy.
Their website also has a “shop” section where you can buy a range of items such as pots, pans, measuring cups, knives, aprons, cooking twine, bowls, and olive oil.
HelloFresh vs Blue Apron Reviews
As with any service, determining which one is better can be subjective to what a person prefers or needs.
According to Consumer Reports, HelloFresh is the winner with a review of “Excellent” and Blue Apron is rated “Very Good.”
Of course, this is not the be-all-end-all review for the services. Different people have different preferences for what they want (and consider more important) from a service.
However, a lot of online reviewers seem to have consistently similar opinions on the two services.
HelloFresh has fun, cute, and pre-sorted packaging. For example, their grated cheese is labeled “it’s on like parmesan.” It also has easier meal prep because the veggies are pre-cut, pre-prepared, and pre-sorted. For example, the garlic comes already peeled.
HelloFresh’s recipes are considered less involved and more “regular” and “casual” (for a meal service). Their recipes are also less diverse and less spicy. HelloFresh is considered easier to navigate for those with dietary restrictions (and has more options).
Many people also like that HelloFresh is easier to cancel (Blue Apron makes you e-mail them to cancel your subscription). Also, HelloFresh has a strong focus on customer service/feedback.
Blue Apron is considered to have less packaging overall (which is good if you are conscious of package waste), but it’s also not as well sorted. The ingredients for the week, are placed all together in the box (not separated by meal). It has a more difficult prep time (in turn also making it longer) because you must cut and prepare the ingredients.
Blue Apron’s recipes are considered more involved but also more “unique” and “ethnic” (for a meal service). Their recipes are also more diverse, and they are also spicier. Blue Apron is considered more difficult to navigate for people with dietary restrictions (and has fewer options).
Final Thoughts on HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
Whether you are looking to save time, eat better, or even just want to produce Instagram-worthy meals, HelloFresh and Blue Apron may have just what you are looking for.
Some factors that you might want to keep in mind when selecting the right service to fit your needs are:
HelloFresh has more meal plan options, servings options, and overall variety. They also allow you to pick any date for delivery and are clearer upfront about what their packaging contains (and how to recycle it).
HelloFresh is easier to locate allergens, quickly see ingredients, and the recipes are created by chefs. It depends on your location which one will be cheaper for you, but HelloFresh is more consistent with their prices (and you can see up front what you will be paying).
Blue Apron has better quality and more sustainable ingredients. They also send you a wider array of ingredients, include everything but three basic staples, and they don’t repeat their recipes in a year.
Both services offer extras, including a wine program. HelloFresh is more expensive but has bigger wine bottles (and you can choose a specific plan), while Blue Apron is less expensive but has smaller wine bottles (which individuals or couples might prefer).
There are many factors to consider when trying to pick the right service, but what it really comes down to is which one suits your personal needs and preferences.
Both HelloFresh and Blue Apron are popular for a reason, and each of them brings something to the table (food pun intended).
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