In our head to head matchup of Home Chef vs Blue Apron, we compare the menu variety, ease of meal prep, quality of ingredients, pricing, packaging, and customer service.
Both companies deliver fresh meal kits to your door. Blue Apron is one of the longest standing meal delivery services in the country, and they have a following of satisfied customers to prove it. About a year after Blue Apron was founded, along came Home Chef, and years later the two companies have changed people’s lives for the better.
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Home Chef started in 2013 to give families healthy options in half the time. Originally owned by Kroger, you can get some of the meal options in stores – however, their entire line of meals are available online. If you are looking to save time and have tasty, healthy meals, Home Chef may be the best option for you.
Blue Apron is widely regarded as the first meal kit delivery company. The name comes from the tradition of new chefs wearing blue aprons to signify that they are still learning. If you are truly looking to learn how to cook and be creative with your diet, Blue Apron stands out
Many people today have special dietary preferences that need to be considered when choosing a meal kit delivery service. Popular diets like Keto and Paleo, combined with movement towards more people eliminating gluten, dairy, and other foods that cause sensitives, means it’s important to understand what dietary options a meal delivery company offers.
Blue Apron is one of the most well-recognized names in the industry. They’ve built a platform off of meals with wide appeal. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always fit in well if you have special dietary needs or preferences.
Blue Apron does offer calorie-conscious meals that come in under 500 calories per serving, along with low-carb options that are ideal for weight loss plans. Many of Blue Apron’s meals are Weight Watchers approved. Blue Apron also offers a few vegetarian meal selections each week.
Similar to Blue Apron, Home Chef also offers meals that are calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian. You can choose meals from these specific categories, with about 6 meals in each. Home Chef does offer some meals that are free of dairy and soy but if you have a serious allergy you might have trouble finding enough variety to keep you satisfied.
Meal Prep & Variety
There are two main reasons why people choose a meal kit delivery service. The first is to save time by having all the ingredients for an easy to prepare meal delivered to their door. The second is for a little variety that lets them break free of the monotony of mealtime.
If you subscribe to Blue Apron, you can expect to see about 12 meals on the menu each week. Most of Blue Aprons meals are traditional style recipes with maybe a few extra touches to make them more interesting. Blue Apron is good if you’re looking to discover an occasional twist on a favorite or learn your way around the kitchen with tried and true recipes.
What some consider a major perk of Blue Apron is that they also offer a wine subscription and advice on how to perfectly pair wine with your Blue Apron meals.
Home Chef offers about the same number of meals each week, although some weeks you’ll see the number of selections jump as high as 15. Also like Blue Apron, Home Chef’s meals feel comfortable. They’re classics that you’re already familiar with, which is great for picky eaters or if you’re trying to gain confidence in the kitchen.
For both services, the average time to prepare a meal is about 25-40 minutes. Home Chef does offer a few quick dishes that can be prepared in about half the amount of time.
The deliciousness of any meal, whether it’s one you shop for and prepare yourself or one delivered to your door, depends on the quality of ingredients used to create it. When you subscribe to a meal delivery kit service, you’re depending on someone else to select all the ingredients for you, and you want to know that they are the absolute best.
Blue Apron’s customers have overwhelmingly positive things to say about the quality of their ingredients. Blue Apron works with a network of more than 100 family-ran farms to source only the best ingredients for their meal kits. They’re also committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing.
Home Chef doesn’t provide a ton of information on their website about where they source their ingredients. Home Chef does use some organic ingredients, although they’re unable to commit to using organic whenever possible.
Taste & Sample Meals
- Rosemary Crusted Steak and Red Wine Demi
- Scallops and Parmesan-Garlic Risotto
- Honey-Ginger Chicken Katsu
- Seared Steaks & Calabrian Chile Butter with Collard Greens & Cheesy Potatoes
- Mediterranean Farro Bowls
- White Cheddar Cheeseburgers
If looking at all those appetizing images on Blue Apron’s and Home Chef’s website has revved up your appetite, you’re not alone. The meals look delicious but how does their taste measure up in real life?
Blue Apron has been around long enough that they’ve had plenty of time to build up a reputation about the taste and quality of their meals. Blue Apron’s customers seem to be pleased with the outcomes of their meal delivery kits, which tend to be well-liked classics.
If there’s a complaint about Blue Apron’s meals, it’s that in a world where bold and unique flavors are popular, some consider Blue Apron to be a bit on the bland side. If you like traditional flavors or have picky eaters at your table, this might not be a concern for you.
Home Chef meals are in many ways similar to Blue Apron’s, so there isn’t that big of a difference in the flavors these two companies deliver. Where Home Chef stands apart here is that they ask targeted questions about your taste and dietary preferences when you sign up. This helps them guide you to the meals you’ll enjoy the most.
|Type of Meal||Cost Per Serving|
|Culinary Collection||$12.95 to $13.95|
|Protein Packs||$4.37 to $9.99|
|Recipes Per Week||2 People||4 People|
Price can be a major determining factor in choosing a meal delivery service. There’s a balance between paying for a quality meal kit and stretching your budget too thin. Blue Apron and Home Chef are considered economical options in the meal kit delivery industry.
With Blue Apron, you’re not going to spend more than $10 for a meal that most people would find more than satisfying. Shipping isn’t free (usually) with Blue Apron, but their flat-rate fee of $8.99 is reasonable and predictable.
Home Chef pricing scale is a bit different. Some of their meals are very budget-friendly. At the low end of their price range, you’ll find meals priced at just under $7, however, most of their meals average a few dollars more per serving. At the high end, expect to pay a few dollars more per meal than you would with Blue Apron.
The only information Home Chef provides on their website about shipping is that the cost will be determined when you place your order. The lack of transparency can be a bit of a turn-off for someone just browsing and trying to decide on which service they want to try.
Packaging & Recycling
Meals from Blue Apron and Home Chef come securely packaged in shipping materials designed to protect your meal kits and help them maintain the optimal temperature for freshness. This usually ends up in a bunch of packaging that you have to either dispose of or recycle. Here’s how the two companies measure in the packaging department.
Blue Apron is committed to using as many recyclable materials as possible in their packaging. They do a decent job of this, with just a few odds and ends that won’t make it into the recycling bin. Blue Apron also provides a short video on their website that details how to recycle or dispose of their packaging materials.
Home Chef does an equally good job of using packaging materials that are almost all recyclable. The one downside here is that Home Chef can be a little overzealous with their packaging, which means a bit more hassle for you when it comes time to sort items out for the recycling bin.
Customer service is an area that can make or break a meal service company’s success. Both Blue Apron and Home Chef have similar policies regarding flexibility, pausing subscriptions, returns, etc. There are a few points where their customer service stands apart.
If at any time you choose to cancel your subscription, with Home Chef you can do this right from their website. Blue Apron makes cancellations more challenging by needing to contact their customer service department via email.
One spot that might put-off a few potential Home Chef customers is that you need to enter an email before you can really browse their website and get a good look at plans, menu options, etc.
It’s also important to look at what their existing customers have to say about customer service. Home Chef receives overwhelmingly positive reviews for customer service, where Blue Apron has had a few complaints about a lack of responsiveness and poor customer service skills.
This isn’t an easy call to make but in the duel of Blue Apron Vs Home Chef, it’s Home Chef that emerges as the winner. Home Chef wins overall for offering more dietary options, a few more meal selections each week, a wider range of flavor profiles, and quick, easy to prepare meals.
This isn’t to say that Blue Apron isn’t worthy of any love. Both companies have their strong points and will appeal to people with different preferences and needs.
Choose Home Chef if you:
- Are busy and sometimes want dinner on the table in under 20 minutes
- Have special dietary needs and appreciate easy access to nutritional information
- Appreciate a service that helps guide you in the direction of meals you’ll love
- Value a company with a strong reputation for customer service
Choose Blue Apron if you:
- Are just learning to cook or prefer simple, uncomplicated meals
- Enjoy classic flavors or have a picky eater at your table
- Want predictability with pricing to stay within your budget
- Like the idea of an add-on wine subscription