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When it comes to the best meal kits, there are lots of options that can fit a wide range of households and individuals. It’s hard to always know which might be the best for you and your family. The quality of ingredients can vary from service to service, too.
One company that takes its sourcing seriously is Blue Apron. Blue Apron practices sourcing high-quality ingredients with sustainable practices. But how does this meal kit service compare to others? We’ve tested this meal delivery service, and in our Blue Apron review, we’ll get into the pros and cons, from the pricing to the ingredients and packaging of the meals. Read on to see if this meal service is right for you.
Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.
Tested & Researched Meal Kits
Our team of product testers—certified nutrition coaches, personal trainers, and lifelong athletes—have tested more than 40 meal delivery services, and researched many more, including dozens of meal kit companies. We looked at all sorts of aspects of the services, including price, ordering, meal plans, taste, ingredients, shipping and packaging, and more.
Our product tester for Blue Apron, Sarah Carlton, has used Blue Apron for a few months now and shared her experience with the meal delivery service. Not only do we test our products, but we also asked a registered dietitian, Perry Nix, R.D., for her opinion on the pros and cons of this meal service.
- Meal kit delivery and online market
- Cook dinner in 25-50 minutes
- Over 70 weekly staples to choose from
- New menus every week
Pros & Cons
- Responsibly sourced produce and protein
- Option to skip a week
- Recyclable packaging
- Wide variety of menu options
- Subscription only delivery plans
- Not ideal for weight loss
A Quick Look at Blue Apron
Blue Apron’s focus is on bringing high-quality ingredients and meals to people’s tables. They make great strides to source organic ingredients. Most proteins are sourced from farmers who have sustainable farming practices. Seafood is sourced sustainably and meats are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.
Meal kits provide recipe cards with easy instructions to follow. You can select from about 16 meals each week, and meals are delivered with all ingredients. All that is left to you is prep and cooking your meals.
Before You Buy
- There are several meal plans available to customers, but none (except the plant-based veggie meals) adhere to any specific dietary needs or preferences. Those with allergies, sensitivities, or other dietary needs might want a different meal delivery service with more options for their needs.
- As with many meal kit companies, Blue Apron offers a massive discount for your first box and order. In addition, they have discounts for military, first responders, students, teachers, and seniors. If this is your first time with Blue Apron, make sure to take advantage of these savings.
Is Blue Apron Worth It?
Dietitian Perry Nix, RD, likes Blue Apron for the sourcing of high-quality ingredients. She notes, “Blue Apron uses non-GMO ingredients, hormone-free meats, and sustainably sourced seafood. These ingredient standards support the environment, farmers, and animal welfare.” She also says that Blue Apron offers balanced meals with a source of protein, carbs, and vegetables in each meal.
Blue Apron prices drop considerably when buying more meals. At 20 meals, prices drop to $7.49 per meal. Looking at other meal kit companies like Green Chef and HelloFresh, this isn’t a bad price, making it a decent HelloFresh alternative even. This also makes it a suitable product for larger families, but there are still cheaper options out there.
One of our favorite meal kit services is EveryPlate. When buying bulk meals there, prices can be as low as $4.99 for the same number of meals. Dinnerly has a similar price rate as well.
This may not be the right meal service for those with dietary needs as well. Most meal plans Blue Apron offers don’t account for those following any specific diets or with allergies or sensitivities. Blue Apron is more about the culinary experience than following any specific diets.
If you’re looking to feel like a home chef with step-by-step instructions and high-quality ingredients, Blue Apron is a relatively inexpensive service great for larger families. However, for those with dietary restrictions or cooking for one or two people, you’ll probably be able to find more cost-efficient options out there.
- Home chefs who enjoy the process of cooking and preparing meals
- Anyone looking to save time with fewer grocery runs
- People cooking for a large family
Not recommended for:
- Anyone looking for the absolute cheapest meal delivery services
- Those with dietary preferences or restrictions
- People cooking only for themselves
Blue Apron Specs
|Price per meal
|$7.49 to $12.49
|Meals per week
|4 to 20
|Meal kit or prepared
|Vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, low-calorie, salads,
|Fresh or frozen
Experience Using Blue Apron
Blue Apron is a great service for home cooks wanting to cook meals and avoid takeout, but don’t always have the time for grocery shopping. Blue Apron customers get meals delivered to their door weekly, which saves time for most.
Our product tester Sarah Carlton has been using Blue Apron for a little bit now and enjoys the service, giving the meal service high marks in its customer service and streamlined ordering process—a 5 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5, respectively. She uses the Blue Apron app, which helps ease the process of managing weekly orders.
The menu options each week are a little scarce, although they do change. Also, the fresh ingredients may not be restaurant-quality every time a box is delivered; however, for consistently good meals, Sarah likes this meal kit company.
Price Per Meal
Blue Apron pricing will be determined by the number of meals you purchase per week. Sarah does four meals weekly (two meals for two people), and it costs about $12.49 a serving before shipping. However, if you order 20 meals a week (five meals for four people), the serving prices drop to $7.49. This makes it a nice option for larger families.
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If you don’t already have a Blue Apron subscription, you can get some nice discounts on your first box, dropping the price of meals to under $4 in some plans—along with free shipping. There are also additional deals for military, veterans, first responders, teachers, students, and seniors over 55 years of age, so make sure to take advantage of those deals if you choose this meal service.
Blue Apron Meal Preparation
Since Blue Apron primarily focuses on meal kits, there will be some preparation involved in your meals. Each meal comes with a recipe card that’s easy to follow with step-by-step instructions, but the prep and cooking time varies from meal to meal in Sarah’s experience. “Depending on the ingredients you have to cook, I’ve made some meals in 25 minutes and others in 45 minutes. They typically require an oven or stovetop,” she says.
The cleanup can vary as well, although you can guarantee there’ll be a cleanup with Blue Apron meal kits. Sarah recalls, “Cleanup usually includes washing pots and pans, depending on the type of meal. You’ll also have bowls, utensils, and cutting boards to wash up based on what you needed for prep.”
While you don’t need incredible cooking skills to follow Blue Apron recipes, the prep and cleanup can be a bit burdensome in some cases. For this, Sarah gave the meal prep a 2 out of 5.
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Taste, Ingredient Quality, and Portion Size
“I’ve had some boxes that are so flavorful and some that are just bland,” Sarah remarks on her experience with Blue Apron. While Blue Apron recipes are simple to follow and straightforward, sometimes she wished meals had a bit more “oomph” to them. “In one of my more recent boxes,” she adds, “the whole-grain Romesco pasta was alright, but it didn’t really wow me. On the other hand, the salmon in that box was packed with flavor and so good.” Because of her mixed results, Sarah rated the taste a 3.5 out of 5.
Blue Apron strives to get high-quality ingredients when possible, sourcing organic ingredients and produce when available. Also, the protein and meats Blue Apron uses are hormone-free and antibiotic-free. Sarah says the produce is alright, although nothing to write home about, sometimes being bruised in the shipping process. Once they’re cooked in the meal though, it’s fine.
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Each meal in the meal kit is supposed to feed two or four people (depending on the options you select for your order). Sarah got meals for two, and felt each portion was adequately sized, giving Blue Apron a 4 out of 5 here.
Meal Plans and Customization
When ordering from Blue Apron, you can select from five different types of meal plans:
- Chef favorites
- Wellness meals (approved by a nutritionist)
- Family-friendly meals
- Fast-and-easy cuisine (including prepared meals)
- Plant-based meals
You can select as many meal plan options as you prefer when ordering, and then Blue Apron will preselect meals for you. You can swap out meals with other weekly meals to your preference. Additionally, there’s also a section where you can select meats you prefer or want to avoid: beef, pork, shellfish, lamb, fish,and poultry.
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Despite this customization, Blue Apron has limited options for people with dietary preferences or restrictions, such as gluten allergies or dairy sensitivities. Because of this, Sarah rated the customization of Blue Apron a 3 out of 5.
Ordering, Packaging, and Shipping
Ordering from Blue Apron can be done through the website, or via the Blue Apron mobile app. Sarah primarily uses the app for her orders, but notes that the desktop is user-friendly as well. “Blue Apron will pre-select meals for your week based on your preferences,” she notes, “but changing out recipes was easy for me when I wanted something different.”
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In addition to the meal kit service, Blue Apron also has an online market—almost like a miniature, online grocery store. In it, subscribers can add on spices and seasonings, wines, and even kitchen tools to your order.
Americans living in the contiguous United States can enjoy Blue Apron orders and deliveries come in an insulated Blue Apron box filled with your meals as well as two large ice packs to keep the food chilled throughout the delivery process. Occasionally, Sarah’s orders have come in past her scheduled delivery day, which she notes that customer service has worked with her each time.
Sarah explains, “Once or twice it has come the next day and I don’t know how long the items have been in the box. When this has happened, the company has given me credit towards my next box; I don’t want to eat meat that has been in a shipping box for longer than it needs to be.” Because of this, Sarah rated the packaging and shipping a 4 out of 5.
Blue Apron vs HelloFresh
- Meal service that delivers ingredients and recipes
- 6 different plans available, including vegan and pescatarian options
- Can swap out different proteins and sides
- Can purchase between 2 and 6 meals, in portions to feed 2 or 4 people
- 40 weekly recipes to choose from
- Sourced from U.S. farmers
Pros & Cons
- Saves on meal-prepping
- Can swap out ingredients
- Chef-curated recipes
- Sourced from U.S. farmers
- 6 meal plans to choose from
- Customer reviews complain about ingredient inconsistencies
- Some reviews claim meal portions are small
A common service to compare to Blue Apron is HelloFresh, as both are meal kit delivery services with relatively similar prices and services to offer. Blue Apron has a bigger discount on bulk orders, coming out to $7.49 when you order 20 meal servings. Even at 24 meals, HelloFresh will cost $8.99 per meal. This makes Blue Apron the more cost-effective choice for larger families.
GGR’s SEO director Ashley Little uses HelloFresh, and is rarely disappointed. “I’m almost always satisfied with my meals. HelloFresh doesn’t include typical seasonings like salt and pepper or butter, so you can season your food to your own taste,” she adds. Ashley does note, however, that sometimes produce comes in less fresh than she’d like.
This is similar to Sarah’s experience with Blue Apron, where she says, “The fresh produce is typically OK, but nothing out of this world. Sometimes produce can be bruised, which I assume is from the shipping process.” Once it’s cooked up, though, the meals are fine.
HelloFresh does have notably more variety in weekly meals to choose from, as Ashley has noticed their variety in meals expanding during her time using the meal kit service. The Blue Apron menu has about 16 meals each week to choose from, according to Sarah, on a slowly rotating basis. Both have a vegetarian, plant-based meal plan, but no other plans revolving around dietary needs.
As far as which one is best for you, it really comes down to what you’re looking for. For a cheaper bulk option, Blue Apron is a great choice. For a bit more variety though, HelloFresh edges out Blue Apron. Both have great first-time buyer discounts as well, so make sure to take advantage of those savings.
For a more in-depth look at the competing meal service, check out our HelloFresh review.
|Price per meal
|$7.49 to $12.49
|$8.99 to $12.49
|Meals per week
|4 to 20
|4 to 24
|Meal kit or prepared
|Signature, Vegetarian, Wellness, Signature for Four
|Veggie, family friendly, fit & wholesome, quick & easy, pork free, pescatarian
|Fresh or frozen
Blue Apron can be contacted through phone or email, and they also have a robust help center on their website, filled with frequently-asked questions on a variety of subjects revolving around the meal service. In her experience, Sarah finds the company great in helping out with orders. “They are really easy to work with,” she says, and adds, “They’ve even helped me when a box has shown up late!”
Blue Apron also has an app which helps streamline the ordering process. Sarah uses the app primarily, and remarks, “Once you log in, the dashboard is clear and easy to navigate to pick your meals or skip a week.” For the helpfulness from Blue Apron and their streamlined process, Sarah rated the customer experience of the meal delivery service a 5 out of 5.
Along with excellent customer service, Blue Apron does work to be a sustainable company. Sarah notes in her experience with Blue Apron that the cardboard packaging is recyclable, and the large gel packs are drain safe, and the plastic can also be recycled. “I’m not left with a ton of plastic by the end of cooking, which is nice,” she says. Additionally, Blue Apron tries sourcing from farmers that practice sustainable farming, which is why we give them a 4 out of 5 here.
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As of this writing, Trustpilot has 5,732 reviews for Blue Apron, averaging to 4.1 stars out of 5. A majority of reviews were 4-star or 5-star reviews, all applauding Blue Apron on quality ingredients and easy ordering and shipping—although some wish for more customization or variety for those with dietary restrictions.
Negative reviews reported issues with the ingredients in shipments, either items missing or there being damage to items from shipping. Others didn’t like the seasoning or flavors of meals as well. A few negative reviews reported that customer service was a burden to deal with when items came missing or shipments were late, but in our experience, customer service helped out in those situations.
Final Verdict of Our Blue Apron Review
Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service that provides quality ingredients and consistent quality in our testing. Affordably priced for larger families, this meal service will suit anyone looking to experience home cooked meals without any hassle. Still, Blue Apron doesn’t have any plans that adhere to specific dietary restrictions, so if you’re concerned about sensitivities or plans that fit your dietary needs, there may be better options elsewhere.
Blue Apron Rating
Blue Apron Meal Kits
A sustainably-sourced meal kit service with high-quality ingredients; check out how this service compares to the rest in our Blue Apron review.
Product Brand: Blue Apron
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 12.49
Product In-Stock: InStock
Blue Apron FAQs
Is Blue Apron a good service?
Blue Apron is a service that strives to source high-quality ingredients and to source them sustainably. They’re also affordably priced, making them a decent choice for a meal service. With that in mind, they don’t have specific plans for those with dietary restrictions or needs, so this may not be a meal delivery service for everyone.
Does Blue Apron offer vegetarian options?
Blue Apron does offer plant-based meals, ideal for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as anyone simply wanting to eat more vegetables in their diet.
Is Blue Apron a good service for children?
Blue Apron is a good service for families, offering meals that can feed four people. Regardless, Blue Apron doesn’t provide meals specifically for children. If your child is a picky eater, there may be other meal services better-suited to their likes or needs, such as Little Spoon or Splendid Spoon.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
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When it comes to the best meal kits, there are lots of options that can fit a wide range of households and individuals. It’s hard to always know which might be the best for you and your family. The quality of ingredients can vary from service to service, too.One company that takes its sourcing seriously is Blue Apron. Blue Apron practices sourcing high-quality ingredients with sustainable practices. But how does this meal kit service compare to others? » Read more about: Blue Apron Review (2024): Quality Ingredients, Sustainable Meal Kits » Read more