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 meal kit delivery services 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 meal kit companies have changed people’s lives for the better.
How does Blue Apron vs. Home Chef compare? Let’s take a look!
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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 meal kits is 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 French culinary 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
When looking at Blue Apron vs. Home Chef, it’s easy to see they have a lot in common. Still, here, we’re more interested in what sets both Home Chef and Blue Apron apart.
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 the movement towards more people eliminating gluten, dairy, and other foods that cause sensitives, mean 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 meal kits with wide appeal. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always fit in well if you have special dietary needs or preferences.
Blue Apron offers calorie-conscious meal kits that come in under 500 calories per serving, along with low-carb meals that are ideal for weight loss plans. Examples of low-carb meals that Blue Apron offers include Chimichurri Shrimp with sweet peppers, barley, and tomato or the One Pan Chickpea & Curry Shakshuka. Keep in mind that you have to dig around a little to find the low-carb meals on Blue Apron’s menu since they’re not listed in a category of their own.
Many of Blue Apron’s meals are WW-approved meals. Blue Apron also offers a category of vegetarian options, with about six or so vegetarian meals each week. Keep in mind that these are meat-free dishes but that they aren’t, as a rule, vegan.
Similar to Blue Apron, Home Chef also offers meal kits that are calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian. You can choose meals from these specific categories. There are about a dozen low-calorie meal options in their calorie-conscious category. You can also expect to see about six or so carb-conscious meals on the menu as well. This isn’t a huge amount, but it is enough to offer some good weekly variety to those who have special dietary restrictions.
Home Chef does offer some meals that are free of dairy and soy, but if you have serious food allergies, 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, which makes meal planning a breeze. The second is for a little variety that lets them break free of the monotony of mealtime and enjoy some delicious meals they otherwise might not have tried.
If you subscribe to Blue Apron, you can expect to see about 12 meals on the menu each week. Most of Blue Apron’s recipes are traditional-style family meals 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. Blue Apron also stands out for offering oven-ready meals in addition to their meal kits. These are no-prep meals that can each be prepared in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
Home Chef meal kit service 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 meal kit 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. Both supply recipe cards that make preparing these family-friendly, budget-friendly meals even easier than it otherwise would be.
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. Here is how Blue Apron vs. Home Chef compare.
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-run farms to source only the best ingredients for their meal kits. They’re also committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing. Blue Apron’s ingredients are consistent and of top quality, which is important for taste, especially with low-calorie meals where you’re not counting on fats and calorically heavy sauces to provide the flavor.
Many would agree that ingredient quality for from meal subscription services like Blue Apron and Home Chef is one of the things that makes them stand out over services that offer prepared meals. There’s nothing worse than a prepared meal with watery mashed potatoes and soggy green beans. You’re not going to have this issue with Blue Apron.
This commitment to quality really shines through with each Blue Apron dish. It’s just one of those details that can make your typical comfort-food style dishes taste and look like premium meals.
Home Chef doesn’t provide a ton of information on its website about where they source its ingredients. Home Chef does use some organic ingredients, although they’re unable to commit to using organic whenever possible. Home Chef’s menu is right on par with many other meal delivery services that make an attempt to use organic when it’s available, convenient, and cost-effective. At the end of the day, both Home Chef and Blue Apron want to offer their customers the best quality possible at a price point that fits most budgets.
Taste & Sample Meals
- Rosemary Crusted Steak and Red Wine Demi
- Scallops and Parmesan-Garlic Risotto
- Honey-Ginger Chicken Katsu
- Crispy Curry Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
- 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’s meal kits 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.
On Home Chef’s menu, you’re going to find some out-of-the-box flavors, like feat burgers with creamy spinach and artichoke, Chicken with fig and bacon jam, and Souvlaki-style chicken. Home Chef offers a great way to try three or four meals a week with flavors you haven’t previously explored.
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RECIPES PER WEEK
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 your Blue Apron meal plan, but their flat-rate fee of $8.99 is reasonable and predictable.
The Home Chef subscription pricing scale is a bit different. Some of Home Chef’s meals are very budget-friendly. At the low end of Home Chef’s prices, 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. Home Chef does also offer meal prep bundles, which are great for when you want to plan entrees and sides, which can save a little bit of money compared to a regular meal plan.
The only information the Home Chef service 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 both 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 its packaging. Blue Apron packaging does a decent job of this, with just a few odds and ends from the Blue Apron box that won’t make it into the recycling bin. Blue Apron also provides a short video on its website that details how to recycle or dispose of its packaging materials, including ice packs and other components.
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. Their packaging for sure guarantees fresh ingredients when you open the box, but the packaging itself can be a bit burdensome.
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, whereas Blue Apron’s customer support 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 in the meal kit industry. 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 Home Chef and Blue Apron meal services have their strong points and will appeal to people with different preferences and needs. If you’re looking for a great meal kit service, consider the following points.
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