You love the idea of a home-cooked meal but life happens and going for takeout, or eating something quick (and processed) ends up happening more than you’d like to admit. Meal delivery kit services have grown in popularity as people like you are turning to them for mealtime solutions. Here, we’re going to take a look at two of the most popular: Hello Fresh Vs Blue Apron.
Blue Apron and Hello Fresh both entered the scene in the United States at about the same time. In less than a decade, they’ve both built well-respected names for themselves. This is great, but it doesn’t really help you decide between them, does it?
On the surface, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron offer a very similar service. The difference is in the details, so let’s take a closer look.
Table of Contents
Many people today have special dietary needs or preferences. If you’ve ever asked a server endless questions in a restaurant or scrupulously investigated package labeling, you know exactly how challenging it can be to find foods that fit your dietary requirements. The meal kit service you choose must offer dietary options that are aligned with your needs.
Hello Fresh offers some dietary options but they’re limited. Hello Fresh is best for people who are looking for calorie-conscious meals, and possibly those that follow a vegetarian lifestyle. If you have serious food sensitivities, such as gluten intolerances, or follow one of today’s popular diets (Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, etc.), you might find the selection from Hello Fresh to be a little limiting.
Blue Apron offers a few more options than Hello Fresh for those with special dietary considerations. In addition to low calorie and vegetarian options, Blue Apron also offers selections that are carb-conscious, diabetic-friendly, and they offer meals that meet the guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet (some weeks have more selection than others)
Meal Prep & Variety
When you’re ordering from a meal delivery service, the last thing you want is to get stuck in a cycle of ordering the same meals week after week. You also want to know that the meals you do order will be hassle-free and easy to prepare.
As far as variety goes, Hello Fresh does a good job with an average of 20 menu options offered each week. Almost all of their meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Plus, Hello Fresh also offers a category of meals that can be on the table in as little as 15 minutes. This is super helpful if you’re busy or pressed for time.
The flavor profiles offered by Hello Fresh lean to classic flavors, with a few options to try something a little bolder. Overall, Hello Fresh offers well-liked meal options, even for picky eaters.
Blue Apron offers fewer selections, with about 12 meal options per week. Many of the meals that Blue Apron offers take a bit of a twist on classic dishes. Think along the line of curry-spiced burgers or tacos loaded with caramelized onions.
While Blue Apron’s meals are not massive culinary undertakings by any means, on average they do take a bit longer to prepare and cook than those offered by Hello Fresh. The average time for a Blue Apron meal to make it from cutting board to table is 25-40 minutes but a few of their meals do take as long as 50 minutes.
Have you ever looked at a meal that was beautifully prepared, anticipating that first bite, only to be disappointed because the taste and texture just fall flat? You can have all the culinary talent in the world but without quality ingredients, you’re not going to get very far with it.
Hello Fresh is known for their particularness in choosing quality ingredients. According to Hello Fresh, they’re committed to sourcing their ingredients straight from the farm whenever possible. They also promote a strong commitment to ethics and sustainability when choosing their suppliers.
Blue Apron offers more transparency regarding the quality of their ingredients. They source their ingredients from a network that includes more than 100 family runs farms, all of which adhere to sustainable farming practices. They also require their suppliers to demonstrate that they’re certified non-GMO.
Taste & Sample Meals
- Zucchini Pomodoro Penne Bake
- Bulgogi Chicken Tacos
- Harissa Sweet Potato Pockets
- Seared Steaks & Calabrian Chile Butter with Collard Greens & Cheesy Potatoes
- Mediterranean Farro Bowls
- White Cheddar Cheeseburgers
The pictures of the meals on both the Blue Apron and Hello Fresh sites look so good that it’s almost torture to look at them when you’re hungry. The images are mouth-watering but how does the actual taste measure up?
Whether you’re craving something down-home or a meal with a bit of worldly flair, Hello Fresh has you covered. With a diverse range of options, you’re going to find something that will appeal to the tastebuds of even the pickiest eaters at your table.
Honestly, reviews for Hello Fresh are all over the board. With a long history in the meal delivery kit industry, they’ve had plenty of time to build up a reputation and collect reviews. Some customers absolutely love Hello Fresh, while others feel a little more “meh”.
The flavors of Blue Apron’s meals fall just outside the ordinary. If you like the idea of trying new spices, sauces, and flavor combinations, Blue Apron is a great option. Like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron’s customers have a range of comments on the taste. Overall, Blue Apron’s customers seem to be more satisfied with the taste of their meals.
MEALS PER WEEK
RECIPES PER WEEK
For many, the one drawback of meal delivery services is the cost. Some of them can make quite a dent in your food budget. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are two of the more economical options. Here’s how they compare to each other from a price standpoint.
All meals from Hello Fresh cost less than $9 per portion. This is reasonable, especially considering you’re getting a restaurant-quality meal without the hassle of shopping for ingredients. Hello Fresh is also good about offering occasional discount incentives which make their service even more affordable.
Hello Fresh does charge a flat rate shipping fee of $7.99 per order.
Blue Apron’s meals are in a similar price range as Hello Fresh. With Blue Apron, the cost of your meals will determine on the plan you choose and the quantity of portions order. The highest you’ll pay for a meal from Blue Apron is $9.99.
Blue Apron also charges a flat rate shipping fee of $8.99, although there are circumstances in which shipping is completely free.
Packaging & Recycling
How your meal kits are packaged is a major factor in your overall experience and the quality of your meals. While proper packaging is important, there’s also the challenge of disposing of it afterward.
Hello Fresh and Blue Apron package their meal kits similarly. Ice/gel packs are used to keep temperature-sensitive items properly chilled and ingredients are all packed to preserve freshness.
Both companies also do a good job of using mostly recyclable materials. Hello Fresh uses mostly recyclable materials, the only exceptions being the gel inside their ice packs and BPA-free plastic and mylar liners.
Blue Apron also uses almost exclusively recyclable packing components. They also have a very detailed guide on their website that breaks down how to recycle or dispose of each type of packaging. Their only non-recyclable packaging appears to be their spice packets and some lids.
If it were as easy as placing an order, receiving your box, and enjoying a great meal, customer service might not be such a big deal. However, we all know things come up and a company’s ability to satisfactorily handle issues that arise is key to a positive experience.
Both companies take a hit on reviews for their customer service. In all fairness, this seems to be a common trend as meal delivery has become more popular as people are quarantined at home. This equals overloaded customer service departments for many businesses.
Hello Fresh and Blue Apron are similar in terms of their willingness to refund, change plans, etc., although it appears to be somewhat more difficult to cancel your subscription through Blue Apron.
In the battle of Blue Apron Vs Hello Fresh, each company stands out as a winner in their own ways. Blue Apron wins overall because they offer more dietary options, the quality of their ingredients, and the taste of their meals. Did we mention that Blue Apron also offers wine? That’s a perk that’s hard to argue with.
Honestly, the choice depends on what your priorities are. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, you might find Hello Fresh is a better service for you. Here are a few things to consider before making your choice.
Choose Hello Fresh if you:
- Enjoy worldly cuisines
- Like a little more variety in meal choices
- Favor classical dishes or have picky eaters in your home
- Want a calorie-conscious meal kit delivery option
Choose Blue Apron if you:
- Enjoy meals that offer new flavor combinations
- Have special dietary needs
- Appreciate that shipping is free with some plans
- Like the idea that you can easily find out how to recycle packaging materials
- Enjoy adds-ons like their wine selection