Blue Apron vs HelloFresh: Which meal kit delivery service reigns supreme?
Meal kit delivery services are a booming business, and that was before a global quarantine made the idea of receiving fresh food in the mail even more appealing. When you subscribe to these services, you get weekly packages with all the essentials you need to cook fantastic meals without worrying about going to the grocery store or making your own recipes. Today, a variety of meal kits meet a variety of needs. Much like we have favorite restaurants, Blue Apron and HelloFresh feature prominently as the meal kit delivery services that most home chefs turn to time and time again. If you are interested in this convenient culinary revolution, which service should you choose?
How much do meal kit delivery services cost?
In general, meal kits tend to be reasonably priced per serving. After all, their chefs don’t have to do the hard work of cooking food – it’s your job. On average, Blue Apron costs $ 7.49 to $ 9.99 per serving, while HelloFresh is slightly more expensive between $ 9.99 and $ 12.99 per serving. Blue Apron asks you to do more kitchen work, which might explain the lower price.
Prices may fluctuate depending on the subscription plan or if you choose to order a meal with premium ingredients. Blue Apron offers free shipping except for its smaller two-meal plan, which costs $ 7.99 to ship. HelloFresh charges $ 7.99 for shipping regardless of the plan. Both services are delivered throughout the United States with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, a common limitation for meal kit delivery services.
Winner: Blue Apron
Bao sweet potato and spicy cucumber blue apron
As more meal kits attempt to differentiate themselves by offering specialty menus (such as healthy vegetarian and vegan services), Blue Apron and HelloFresh are targeting the general omnivorous audience. The specific menus change from week to week, but expect the same styles of food each time.
As of this writing, HelloFresh has beef and veg bibimbap, chicken and white bean soup, three mushroom truffle gnocchi, and over a dozen extra items for the week. Over the past few months my partner and I have used the service, rarely saw the meals repeat themselves, the selection is just overwhelming. If you have any special dietary needs, such as a peanut allergy or a keto plan you’re trying to stick to, you’ll need to factor that into your browsing. Still, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to enjoy.
Blue Apron’s meals seem a bit simpler in comparison, but there’s a good reason for it. Blue Apron asks you to do more of the kitchen work yourself, so you don’t overwhelm yourself with complexity. In addition, the meals are always very appetizing. As of this writing, some of the menu items included Cajun chicken and rice, pan-seared trout and Calabrian chili sauce, and a three-cheese pizza. There’s an all-vegetarian subscription plan, but no vegan options, and you’ll have to read the recipes yourself to find any potential allergens.
Open the box
You will familiarize yourself with the boxes that arrive at their doorstep each week. Fortunately, Blue Apron and HelloFresh are making it easier to recycle their cardboard containers, and companies are trying to reduce the amount of plastic they use. To keep fresh and raw ingredients safe and cold during transit, boxes contain frozen gel packs. Blue Apron even lets you dump that coolant down your sink, while you have to throw away the artificial ice packs that come with HelloFresh.
In keeping with Blue Apron’s philosophy of asking a little more effort from you, their food comes in one big package (aside from some selected ingredients), so it’s up to you to sort them properly when it’s time to. follow one of the recipes. Compare that with HelloFresh, which separates each meal into its own paper bag inside the box, except for the raw meat laid out as close to the ice as possible. This makes it easy to place meals in your fridge and start with whatever you want.
In the kitchen
Most meal kit sets can’t help but teach you a little more about cooking, but Blue Apron acts as an educational tool for novice chefs. He wants you to have the real experience of taking a box of fresh produce and turning into a high quality meal with your own hands. Along with the recipe cards, the mobile app provides all kinds of detailed information on seasoning and knife techniques; it’s like a personal and useful cooking channel. Making cooking such an accessible activity will give you an appreciation of the skills needed to prepare a tasty and enticing meal.
HelloFresh Provencal Sirloin Steak
Meanwhile, HelloFresh makes meal preparation as easy as possible without sending you the finished product like other pre-prepared meal kit services do. Its menu even tells you which meals are “lightning-ready” and hardly take long to complete. Large recipe cards with beautiful images guide you through the recipes step by step, and there are rarely an intimidating number of steps. Cut some vegetables. Bake or sauté a protein. Add the sachet of premixed spices or sauce. You should be able to figure this out in no time, even if you don’t have any cooking experience.
With either service, you won’t have to worry about providing your own ingredients apart from the basics like salt, pepper, and oil. However, you should research upcoming meals just to make sure you have the proper utensils and appliances.
Winner: Blue Apron
The taste test
Few things are as subjective as your literal taste in food, and several PCMag authors have generally had good things to say about food from Blue Apron and HelloFresh. These are the two editors’ choices. So, when we compare these services, we have to look at other factors as well. The Blue Apron is cheaper and highly recommended if you want your meal kit to teach you how to cook along the way. However, with its varied menu and convenient preparation, HelloFresh considers it the meal kit delivery service we recommend for hungry home chefs.
Overall winner: HelloFresh