How Does Blue Apron Stack up Against the Competition?

ByDaniel ClintonNov.14, 2018

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Blue Apron meal kits
Busy parents and professionals who want delicious, home-cooked, healthy food without a lot of hassle owe a debt of gratitude to Blue Apron. After all, the company was a pioneer in the meal kit delivery business, and the model might not exist without its early efforts.

However, in recent years, a number of competitors have burst onto the scene, challenging Blue Apron in both food quality, selection and pricing. How do these competitors stack up, and should you stick with Blue Apron just because it was first? Let’s take a look:

Blue Apron

Blue Apron delivers fresh ingredients to your door so that you can cook 2 or 4 person meals at about $10 per serving. Blue Apron's focus is on delivering delicious, sustainable food in environmentally-friendly packaging. The company has options for vegetarians, but does not have special meals for other restricted diets, and it only provides 4 options weekly for subscribers to its 4-person family plan.

What does Blue Apron offer?

  • Free shipping and no hidden costs

  • Subscription can be paused, skipped or cancelled at any time

  • Recipes rotate each week and are seasonal

  • Sustainable, healthy and fresh ingredients


Blue Apron recipes
 Blue Apron recipes

Here are the top 5 alternatives to Blue Apron:

1. Home Chef

Home Chef focuses on simple-to-follow and quick recipes with more variety than Blue Apron, lots of options for those with dietary restrictions, and meals for 2, 4 or 6 people. Dinner is about $10 per serving, with a $10 shipping charge for orders under $45, but there are cheaper lunch and snack options as well.

How does Home Chef compare to Blue Apron?

  • Offers 18 meal options every week, much more than Blue Apron's 6 weekly options for couples, and 4 for families

  • Specialty meal plans include gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, low-calorie, low-carb, and more

  • Smoothies or seasonal fruit baskets available for $4.95, as well as 5-minute lunches for $7.99

  • Premium meals available for special occasions


Home Chef recipes
 Home Chef recipes


Try Home Chef

2. Sun Basket

Sun Basket is the go-to meal delivery service for health-conscious people who appreciate organic ingredients. It offers a family plan, with meals that will appeal to kids—even though they're healthy—for about $10 per serving, and a classic menu, ideal for couples and singles, with slightly more sophisticated fare for a bit more money.

How does Sun Basket compare to Blue Apron?

  • All of Sun Basket's produce is organic and non-GMO, whereas only some of Blue Apron's ingredients are certified organic

  • Offers meals for paleo, gluten-free and vegetarian diets

  • All recipes are developed by an award-winning chef, Justine Kelly, and are nutritionist-approved

  • Shipping is $6.99, but the first week is free


Sun Basket recipes
 Sun Basket recipes


Try Sun Basket

3. HelloFresh

HelloFresh offers a nice variety of food for individuals or couples, and good value for families, while vowing to keep it simple with 30-minute recipes that have just 6 steps each. While the Classic Plan is the standard $10 per serving you'll find at Blue Apron, the Family Plan's cost per serving drops to just $8.74 per serving, which can be a welcome discount when every dollar counts. HelloFresh's Classic Plan can be further customized into a Fit option, with balanced, low-calorie meals, a Quick option, which consists of the simplest recipes, and a Variety option, for people who want to learn about exotic ingredients and techniques.

How does HelloFresh compare to Blue Apron?

  • HelloFresh far surpasses Blue Apron's variety with 15 recipes each week, plus the customizable Fit, Quick and Variety plans

  • Features vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan options

  • Customers receive one premium meal a week with a handpicked selection of superior ingredients

  • Offers one breakfast option per week, which is great for weekend mornings


HelloFresh recipes
 HelloFresh recipes


Try HelloFresh

4. Plated

Plated's strong point is its variety of recipes and the option to add dessert to a meal if you have a sweet tooth. The company also offers varying levels of preparation difficulty, which is nice for those who want to learn some new skills and improve their home cooking. If you want only 2 servings a night you'll pay about $12 per serving, but those ordering 3 or 4 servings a night will pay only about $10 per serving.

How does Plated compare to Blue Apron?

  • A whopping 20 recipes to choose from each week, which is more than Blue Apron and just about every other meal delivery service out there

  • All protein is raised hormone-free and antibiotic-free

  • Flexible plans so you can change your delivery schedule or skip days

  • All recipes use fresh and seasonal produce


Plated recipes
 Plated recipes


Try Plated

5. Martha & Marley Spoon

While Martha Stewart is known for creating elegant dishes that seem like they must be complicated, recipes from Martha & Marley Spoon are actually simple to make at home. You can choose either a 2 or 4 person meal plan, to be delivered anywhere from 2 to 4 times per week. If you have plans to go out of town, or just eat out a lot during a particular period, you can skip a week anytime you choose.

How does Martha & Marley Spoon compare to Blue Apron?

  • Meals are more affordable than Blue Apron—from $8.70-$9.50 per serving—with free delivery

  • Offers 10 recipes to choose from each week, all of which require 6 steps or less

  • After your third order, you can send a free box to a friend

  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options


Martha & Marley Spoon recipes
 Martha & Marley Spoon recipes


Try Martha & Marley Spoon

Start Saving Money and Eating Healthy with No Hassle

Whether you opt for the tried and true Blue Apron, or go for one of its competitors that offers better menu selections and more options for restricted diets, meal delivery services will change the way you eat. Treating yourself and your family to healthier and more interesting meals has never been easier or more affordable.