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Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron (2022): Comparing Service, Meals, and Pricing

Dozens of meal kit services are vying for everyone’s attention โ€” and palate โ€” making it harder to choose where to subscribe. Among the most popular is Hello Fresh. Established in 2011, the company has made a niche thanks to upfront pricing and approachable recipes. Blue Apron, on the other hand, remains a favorite among curious eaters for inventive recipes. It’s gone beyond meal kits, too, with curated beverage pairings, cookware, and food platters among its offerings.

How does Hello Fresh fare against Blue Apron? Below, we compare the two based on their service, meals, pricing, and overall value.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron Comparison Chart

ModelHello FreshBlue Apron
 
Price
ServicesMeal kitsMeal kits, wine, food boxes, kitchen tools
PackagingRecyclable materialsRecyclable materials
Serving OptionsServes 2 to 4Serves 2 to 4
Minimum Number of Meals Per Week22
Vegetarian MealsNoYes
Year Established20112012

How They Work

Hello Fresh and Blue Apron curate a list of recipes for you to follow. However, Blue Apron goes beyond meal kits by offering beverages, pantry essentials, and kitchen tools.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron
Each Hello Fresh order comes with recipe cards (left); Blue Apron delivers the ingredients you need to your doorstep (right)

Unlike food delivery services, meal kits involve the customer more. Here, companies like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron deliver ingredients for easy-to-follow recipes. That means you will do some chopping, mixing, and cooking. It’s perfect for home cooks and kitchen newbies running out of meal ideas for the week. And because you’re getting the exact ingredients to cook lunch or dinner, ingredients are better utilized. It’s a win for minimizing food waste.

Hello Fresh, founded in 2011, is one of the better entry-level services you can subscribe to. The company keeps things simple. When signing up, you’re asked about food preferences, meal size, and the number of recipes you want for the week. Hello Fresh then pre-selects recipes based on your food profile. You can follow the recommendation or swap them entirely, which is ideal if you’re just figuring out the platform. Ingredients are then delivered to your doorstep.

Blue Apron follows more or less the same subscription template. In fact, you’ll find their onboarding is quite similar to other meal kit delivery services. You’re asked about food preferences, serving size, and the number of meals you want in a week. However, Blue Apron does more. The meal kit service has expanded its catalog to include wine bundles and pantry essentials. You can also add food boxes and kitchen tools to your cart.

Click here for our Hello Fresh vs EveryPlate review.

Meals and Menu

While Hello Fresh have more recipes to choose from, Blue Apron elevates meal kits with creative, customizable dishes and a separate wine pairing service.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron Menu and Meals
Here are sample meals from Hello Fresh (left) and Blue Apron (right)

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh has built its value on offering easy and approachable recipes. Most are casual fare, with a mix of local and international flavors. These recipes are spread across six categories you choose when signing up โ€” Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick and Easy, and Pescatarian. You can select one or all six, and Hello Fresh will generate a curated list of recipes based on your preferences.

The Hello Fresh menu rotates up to 30 plus recipes weekly. Kits are either two or four-serving. The company also highlights its top-rated meals, which is useful if you’re new to the service. These are labeled Hall of Fame and include fares like Bulgogi Pork Tenderloin and Firecracker Meatballs. For those who want quick work in the kitchen, there are options for easy cleanup. Some recipes, like pulled pork wraps, also take as little as 10 minutes to create.

Hello Fresh sample menu

Each recipe provides the cooking time, calorie content, nutritional values, and instructions. You can check out their allergen information. Hello Fresh even lists the utensils you’ll need and the ingredients you’ll use not included in your delivery.

Most kits range from 500 to 1,000 calories, although you won’t find the Daily Value percentages of the meals. If you have dietary needs, you may need to look elsewhere. Hello Fresh doesn’t accommodate any, except for pescetarian and veggie-forward meals. The latter isn’t vegan or vegetarian, too. These ‘special’ recipes are limited as well.

Blue Apron

When signing up with Blue Apron, food preferences are labeled as Chef’s Favorites, Wellness, Family Friendly, and Fast & Easy. You can choose as many preferences as you like. On the other hand, menus are categorized as Signature, Vegetarian, Wellness, and Signature For Four. All serve two except for the last category. You can also get add-ons โ€” non-meals that can be appetizers, sides, desserts, or even breakfast options.

Blue Apron has a more limited menu, ranging from as few as 6 add-ons or 19 for its Signature meals. However, their baseline recipes are more elevated than other meal kit services. For example, you’ll find meals like Miso-Maple Salmon and Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda, the latter a spin on a Middle Eastern-inspired salad. Moreover, you can customize a meal to the protein you prefer.

Blue Apron sample menu

The recipes are all flavorful and well-balanced. Most lean on regional American favorites but include a good mix of Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean flavors. Despite offering more upscale recipes, they’re beginner-friendly. Blue Apron’s sauces and condiments are pre-made and the ingredients pre-portioned. Some meals require as little as 25 minutes to cook, but there are also “heat and eat” options ready in 5 minutes.

What makes Blue Apron different from your usual meal kit service is its option for beverage pairing. The company offers a separate but integrated wine pairing subscription service. It’s an additional $66 and will include six 500ml bottles of reds, whites, or a mix. Blue Apron will include tasting notes, pairing tips, and even the history of the wine.

Packaging and Delivery

Hello Fresh has more recyclable packaging materials, while Blue Apron has more customizable delivery options.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron Packaging and Delivery
A look at the recyclable packaging materials used by Hello Fresh (left) and Blue Apron (right)

Because meal kits pre-portion their ingredients, except a lot of packaging from Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. Fortunately, both services have committed to eco-friendly practices.

Hello Fresh uses cardboard boxes made from a mix of recycled and virgin fibers. Ingredients are also placed in compostable paper bags, separated by curbside-recyclable cardboard. Its insulating liners for summer can also be reused, although the drain-safe gel ice packs aren’t. Hello Fresh delivers from Monday to Saturday. You’ll get an email for the tracking information once your order is in transit.

Meanwhile, Blue Apron shares that 85% of its packaging materials are recyclable by weight. Most will have identifiable recycling labels courtesy of a partnership with How2Recycle. Boxes, cardboard inserts, and molded containers from Blue Apron are all recyclable. Several of its plastic bags, films, and containers are curbside recyclable, too. The same can be said for glass bottles and tin cans. However, spice sachets and lidding films cannot be recycled.

Blue Apron delivers from Monday to Saturday. You can also update the delivery date and delivery address on specific weeks.

Pricing and Plans

Blue Apron costs less than Hello Fresh both for minimum and maximum order volumes.

Hello Fresh vs Blue Apron Pricing and Plans
Here’s a look at the pricing of Hello Fresh (left) and Blue Apron (right) at maximum order volume

The minimum you’ll spend on Hello Fresh is $57.95, which is the cost of a two-serving, two recipe per week order. That amounts to $11.99 per serving but with a $9.99 shipping fee. For a higher order volume, the cost per serving decreases. A four-serving and six-recipe per week order has a box price of $191.76, putting the price per serving at just $7.99.

Hello Fresh gives discounts to medical providers, hospital employees, and military and veterans. Called the Hero Discount Program, eligible new customers get 50% off on their first box and 10% off on all other boxes for a year.

With Blue Apron, the minimum order will cost you $47.96. This is a meal kit for two at two meals per week. However, there are additional charges if you opt for a Premium recipe. For a maximum order of two servings and four meals per week, Blue Apron’s box price costs $127.84. That puts the price per serving at $7.99, comparable with Hello Fresh.

Previously, Blue Apron offered free shipping for larger orders. Since August 2021, however, the company has added a flat shipping rate of $9.99 for all orders. Nonetheless, new subscribers can get a $110 savings across five boxes. The first box for new customers also enjoys free shipping.

Verdict

Opt for Hello Fresh if you want varied menu options. Subscribe to Blue Apron if you want more upscale recipes.

The biggest draw of Hello Fresh is its varied menu. On a typical week, you can have as many as 30 recipes to choose from. Because of this broad selection, there’s room for low-carb and low-calorie meals, which should appeal to a more specific demographic. Most Hello Fresh fares are also big on flavor and kid-friendly. Plus, the company uses fewer non-recyclable packaging materials for delivery.

With Blue Apron, you’re getting a limited selection of recipes per week. However, the meals are more elevated and incorporate more international flavors than Hello Fresh. The recipes are also customizable, and you can get add-ons and wine pairing services to your kits. Packaging-wise, the company does use more plastic than other meal kit services. In terms of pricing, Blue Apron is also more affordable than Hello Fresh.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Hello Fresh worth it?

Hello Fresh meals kits are easy to prepare, full of flavor, and reasonably priced. Ingredients are always delivered fresh and the menu variety is one of the best in the market.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Blue Apron or Hello Fresh better?

Choosing between Blue Apron and Hello Fresh depends on your food preferences. Since it has a larger menu, you’ll find more variety in Hello Fresh. However, Blue Apron does incorporate more international flavors into its recipes. This makes it a great option if you’re keen on trying new flavors in the kitchen.

๐Ÿ“Œ What can I customize in a Blue Apron recipe?

Each week, Blue Apron allows subscribers to customize select Signature meal kits. For instance, customers can swap ingredients like changing chicken for tofu. You can also choose to add more portions or upgrade to a premium ingredient.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does Hello Fresh have an app?

Yes. Hello Fresh has a mobile app where you can check recipes, place orders, and update your account settings.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.