Fast, fresh, and healthy meals are what you want on your table but who has time to shop and cook? Meal delivery services are an option that is helping to make mealtime something to look forward to. In search of deliciously quick meals that are also healthy, we’ve compared Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron to see how they measure up.
Purple Carrot and Blue Apron both offer meal kit delivery, where everything you need for a delicious meal is packaged and delivered fresh to your door. All that is required of you is a little prepping and cooking. They offer minimal stress and minimal mess around mealtime.
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Blue Apron is one of the most recognized names in the meal delivery industry. Customers love them for their classic style meals, healthy options, and fresh ingredients. Purple Carrot is slightly newer on the scene but only by a couple of years. Purple Carrot is different in that their meal kits are 100% plant-based.
If you’re looking for fast and healthy, Purple Carrot and Blue Apron are two options to consider. Here are a few of the pros and cons of each.
Special dietary preferences are something you want to consider when choosing a meal delivery service. Purple Carrot is purely plant-based, so they appeal to vegetarians, vegans, whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) eaters, and those who are simply looking to eat healthier.
Blue Apron also offers some vegetarian meal options. However, their menu also caters to meat-eaters, pescatarians, and those who want a variety of both animal protein and plant-based meals.
Purple Carrot offers enough gluten-free meals that it shouldn’t be an issue to find options you’ll be excited about ordering. Because their meals are plant-based, they’re also dairy-free.
Purple Carrot does provide allergen information for each meal, making it easy to eliminate choices if you need to avoid gluten, soy, or nuts. Keep in mind that except for gluten, there is a risk of cross-contamination with other allergens due to all meals being prepared in the same facility.
Blue Apron also offers dairy-free and gluten-free selections, although the options are limited. When choosing meals, Blue Apron makes it easy to choose according to your dietary preferences with easy to use filters. If you’re following the WeightWatchers plan or are looking for low-calorie meal choices, Blue Apron is a great choice with meals designed according to WW specifications.
Meal Prep & Variety
he beauty of both Blue Apron and Purple Carrot is that they make mealtime effortlessly simple. Both of these companies deliver perfectly portioned ingredients to your door with minimal prep involved. When it comes to the degree of meal prep involved, these two companies are very similar.
Meals from both Blue Apron and Purple Carrot can be on your table in about 30 minutes, although prep and cooking times can run a bit longer.
For variety, Purple Carrot offers dinners, breakfasts, lunch, and snacks. They have about eight dinners on their weekly menu and a couple of options for every other category of meals. With Purple Carrot, you’re going to find some new and interesting dishes to try. This is a great option for those who like to experiment with new flavors or don’t mind stepping away from the classics.
Blue Apron offers an average of 11 meal options each week. Their meals are more traditional, with some new takes on classic dishes. When looking over the Blue Apron menu, you immediately think “comfort food.” Blue Apron also features a selection of desserts and wines to go along with your meal kit.
The quality and freshness of their ingredients are one of Blue Apron’s strong points. They’re committed to using the highest-quality ingredients they can find, and this includes working with a large network of family-owned and operated farms. Sustainability and ethical sourcing of ingredients are also high on the list of priorities for Blue Apron.
Blue Apron works hard to package their meals so that each ingredient is at its peak of freshness when they are delivered to you. For the most part, they do a really good job of this, although you will find some customer reviews that claim Blue Apron missed the mark a little for freshness.
Considering that Purple Carrot’s meals are plant-based, the quality and freshness of their produce and plant-based proteins are key to their success. Purple Carrot works with respected farmers and vendors from all across the nation to provide the highest quality possible to their customers.
Most of Purple Carrot’s non-produce items are organic. For example, the tofu, vegan cheese, and nut milk used in their meal kits are almost all organic. Currently, not all of the produce they use is organic, but they are committed to finding ways to include more organic produce in the future.
Taste & Sample Meals
- Sprouting Broccoli Salads
- Avocado Quinoa Burgers
- Penne Mushroom Florentine
- Seared Steaks & Calabrian Chile Butter with Collard Greens & Cheesy Potatoes
- Mediterranean Farro Bowls
- White Cheddar Cheeseburgers
Taste is an area where it’s a bit more difficult to do a side by side comparison between Blue Apron and Purple Carrot. Blue Apron meals lean toward being more traditional, classic dishes with flavors that most people are comfortable with. Purple Carrot’s meals extend beyond classic to explore new and interesting flavor profiles.
Purple Carrot’s meals have just the right amount of spices and herbs, which results in a nice, flavorful dish. Satisfying but not overpowering. Blue Apron is well-liked by people who enjoy classic American cuisine, with an occasional twist on an old favorite. Some customers say that some of Blue Apron’s meals lack flavor, especially their meats and other proteins.
|Recipes Per Week||Serves 2||Serves 4|
|Recipes Per Week||2 People||4 People|
When comparing meal kit delivery services, you’re going to see that pricing is all over the board. Some kits are very economical, barely costing more than if you meal planned and shopped on your own. Others charge as much per portion as a higher-end casual dining establishment. Blue Apron falls somewhere along the middle of this spectrum.
Blue Apron meals average between $8-$10 per portion, making them a comfortable price point for many customers. Their pricing is based on the menu you choose. The shipping is an affordable flat rate, but they often run special promotions where shipping is free.
Purple Carrot costs slightly more than Blue Apron. Their meals run between $9.99-$11.99, depending on the number of portions you order for each meal. This is still a reasonable price, especially for the quality you get, but it’s not ideal for budget-minded customers. Shipping is free with Purple Carrot.
Packaging & Recycling
The packaging is important for keeping your meal kits at their peak of freshness during delivery. Unfortunately, excess packaging can be troublesome to deal with, especially if you’re getting a delivery every week. Ideally, packaging should ensure optimal freshness and be easy to recycle.
Blue Apron does a good job of following through with both of these goals. As with their ingredients, Blue Apron prioritizes ethics and sustainability in their packaging. They minimize packaging in every way possible without compromising the quality of their meal kits. Almost of their packaging components are recyclable, and they provide quick video on how to recycle or dispose of their packaging.
Purple Carrot also does a great job of insulating their meal kits for freshness while minimizing packaging and using as many recyclable components as possible. Purple Carrot has a page on their site devoted to information on recycling their packaging. If your local recycling center doesn’t take certain plastics, Purple Carrot provides a video with an idea on how to reuse the packaging creatively.
Customer service is an area that can make or break someone’s opinion of a meal delivery service. Almost all your interactions with both companies happen through their websites, so when an issue does arise, it’s important that you’re able to reach a real person and have a resolution.
Signing up is easy with both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron. It’s also easy to pause your subscription or skip weeks with both services. Most meals offered by both are customizable to some degree, and each offers a couple of different plans to fit your needs.
Canceling subscriptions or orders seems to be an area of trouble for both companies. You need to contact customer service directly to cancel Blue Apron. With both companies, you’ll find that customer service seems to be a weak spot.
Blue Apron’s reviews for customer service aren’t great, but they are better than Purple Carrot’s. When looking at Purple Carrot’s customer reviews, they get accolades for the quality of their meals. Still, their overall rating is less than stellar, and it’s based almost entirely on customer service issues such as lack of responsiveness or poor resolutions to complaints.
Honestly, it’s difficult to choose a winner in the comparison of Blue Apron vs Purple Carrot. Their services are close in many areas. Purple Carrot wins by the slightest margin for details like the overall quality of their ingredients, dietary options, and range of flavor profiles used in their meals.
That said, either of these meal kit services is great if you’re looking for fresh, healthy meals with minimal prep and cooking. Consider the following points when deciding if Purple Carrot or Blue Apron is right for you.
Choose Purple Carrot If:
- You enjoy plant-based meals and vegetarian proteins
- You like to try new flavors and explore different cuisines
- Organic ingredients are important to you
- You like the idea of having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options
Choose Blue Apron If:
- You enjoy both plant-based and non-vegetarian dishes
- You enjoy classic, traditional-style dishes
- You have picky eaters at your table’
- You’re more budget-minded when it comes to meal kit services