Commonly Asked Questions About Blue Apron Alternatives
If you’re looking for a smart and easy way to eat great food and save yourself time and money, then meal delivery plans are a great choice. These meal delivery companies deliver fresh ingredients and clear recipes, straight to your doorstep, allowing you to cook chef-inspired meals with ease.
But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to find the best meal plan for you, especially when you consider unique tastes, preferences, and dietary restrictions. Below we take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about meal delivery alternatives to Blue Apron and what you should be looking for in a meal plan.
What is Blue Apron?
Blue Apron is a meal kit service provider that pioneered the business of selling pre-portioned food ingredients on a subscription basis. To receive their services, you start by checking what dishes they have on a certain week. The company lists all their meals and services online.
If there is a meal you love, specify how many servings you want to be delivered and on how many occasions per week. Each serving feeds two people. Blue Apron charges $59.94 per week for a serving of two delivered three times a week. A serving of four people delivered three times costs $95.88.
Why Look for an Alternative to Blue Apron?
On the surface, Blue Apron looks like a great meal kit service provider and it is for many people. However, they are not the best meal kit solution for everyone and many alternative meal kits exist to best suit your needs.
For example, if you have a food allergy, count Blue Apron out. The company category states it does not cater to people with allergies on their family plans. If you need a special recipe, find an alternative. Another problem with Blue Apron is the size of their meals; customers have complained that they are often too small and not filling.
Blue Apron may be cheaper than some of the meal kit services you get out there, but the company has several major drawbacks. For example, when you sign up to their services, you are promised no contracts and are given the ability to cancel your weekly plans any time. However, in reality, canceling your plan is hectic. It requires you that you email Blue Apron a request and then wait until they reply to you and give you a guide on how to cancel your plan. The whole process can take more than a week and lead to unnecessary charges.
What to Look for When Choosing an Alternative to Blue Apron?
- Variety of Meals: The average meal kit provider lists 4-10 meals per week. The best Blue Apron alternative offers meals meant for different people. There will be a couple of vegan dishes, gluten-free meals, balanced diets with meal or chicken or Paleo meals. The wider the variety, the better for you since you have more options to choose from.
- Pricing: Dinnerly is the clear winner for anyone looking for the cheapest meal kit company. Hello Fresh comes in second and Martha & Marley Spoon third. If you are single, pick companies whose servings cost $10 or lower. Keep in mind you’ll have to pay shipping fees. For families, choose companies that charge less than $100 per week.
- Quality of Ingredients: While they flood their websites with images of fresh, healthy dishes, not all companies mean good for your health. Some meal kit services sell high-carb dishes, which may be bad for your health. Read online reviews to determine which company offers the healthiest, organic, non-GMO foods.
- Variety of Plans: Count Hello Fresh out if you want Paleo or vegan meals. The company offers great recipes for meat-eating customers but is very limited options on the special plans sides. If you love vegan, Paleo, and other special dishes; visit Sun Basket, Home Chef or Martha & Marley Spoon. These companies offer healthy meals and regularly have meals for people with special diets.
- Nutritional Value: Most meal kit services share this one benefit. They find recipes for balanced diets. So, while the value of nutrition differs, buying food from meal kit companies guarantees you more nutritious foods. Still, you can check what each company offers to determine which is the healthiest.
- Style and Complexity of Dishes: Home Chef is the best company for meals that take the least time to cook. Some of their meals are pre-cooked and only require 5-10 minutes of cooking. Dinnerly offers your average 30-40 minutes meals, best suited for families.
- Portion Size: While the standard meaning of a serving is food for two, not every company adheres to this. With some providers, you get food for one when you request one serving. This boils down to companies always trying to decrease their portion sizes. Work with companies known to offer enough food to satisfy your family members.
- Terms of Subscription: Often, meal plan cancellation fees are buried deep into the terms of subscription section. The companies know that few people read them. But considering this can cost you later, always read the terms. If the language used is vague and some issues are not properly highlighted, talk to the company. Only pay once you understand all of the company policies.
What are the Best Blue Apron Alternatives?
The following are some of the best Blue Apron alternatives, with information on their pricing plans, reputation, and more.
Hello Fresh is one of the biggest meal kit companies in the world. They offer services worldwide with recipes that cost as low as $6.99. For comparison purposed, Blue Apron’s cheapest plan costs $8.99. With both plans, a shipping fee of $7.99 is applied.
Still, on pricing, Hello Fresh regularly run promotions that come with free shipping for all meals and discounted plans costing as low as $5.66 per serving. The plans change per week, but they help you save a lot if you choose to become a regular company.
Although many companies like Blue Apron promise to deliver healthy meals, most of them don’t. And that’s where Home Chef succeeds. When you subscribe to their services, you don’t receive just about any kind of meal. The company strives in not only feeding your family but also in helping everyone stay healthy.
The cheapest plan on Home Chef’s menu cost $9.90 per serving, for a fruit basket. No kidding! Standard meals cost $19.90 for a serving of two and $39.80 for a serving of four. There is also a flat shipping fee of $10 for all meals that cost less than $45.
Fresh organic ingredients prepped and delivered to your doorsteps in time. That’s what Sun Basket promises and what many reviews claim online. When it comes to food variety, Sun Basket lists 18 recipes each week. That’s more than twice what services like Blue Apron provide. The meals are also categorized in multiple ways. Choose from Paleo, Mediterranean or carb-conscious diets. Go with vegetarian or gluten-free diets. The meals are designed with all kinds of consumers in mind.
The company’s pricing isn’t friendly to one-time buyers though. Their plans are structured on a weekly basis and delivered thrice. The cheapest plan cost $87.92 per week for a serving of four people.
While many alternatives to Blue Apron promote low prices, Dinnerly is likely the cheapest all-around option. The company’s cheapest plan costs $5, much lower than all other meal kit providers offer.
How does it achieve to keep its prices that low? They don't engage in expensive ad campaigns. They use fewer ingredients, simple packages, and digital recipe cards. While that implies their meal portions are often smaller than what competitors offer, most reviews say the differences are minor.
Martha & Marley Spoon
You know Martha Stewart, right? She started from the bottom cooking meals for her family. She didn’t attend a fancy culinary school, but she is one of the most famous celebrity chefs today. Her show is famous and so is her meal kit company she co-owns with international meal delivery brand, Marley Spoon.
Martha & Marley Spoon focuses on Stewart’s favorite culinary and plenty more handpicked by her nutrition advisers. The company has been featured on the covers of The New York Times and Fortune Magazine thanks to its nutritious meals and great prices.
Blue Apron is not the worst meal kit delivery brand out there. But it’s also not the best. If you don’t like any of their services, Hello Fresh and the rest of the brands reviewed above are great alternatives. Each company is unique, but they are all honest with their policies, and cancellation plans. They deliver meals with all ingredients included, and some have customer support teams available 24/7.