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Blue Apron is a popular meal kit service that delivers two to four recipes per week directly to your door, along with all of the ingredients you need to prepare them.
While Blue Apron is one of the least expensive meal kit delivery services, it’s still more expensive than grocery shopping in most cases and not necessarily a good fit for people with strict dietary needs.
This article reviews how Blue Apron works, its pros and cons, and how it compares with its competitors.
- Convenient, as it requires less meal planning and grocery shopping
- Caters to omnivores and vegetarians
- Offers a variety of meals, such as WW-friendly or diabetes-friendly options, that may suit various dietary patterns
- Uses non-GMO ingredients, hormone-free meats, and sustainably sourced seafood
- One of the most reasonably priced meal kit delivery services
- Offers lower per-serving prices and free shipping on larger orders
- Often more expensive than grocery shopping
- Not recommended for people with severe food allergies or intolerances
- Doesn’t offer meals that are a fit for gluten-free, vegan, paleo, or keto diets
- Not all produce is organic
- Fewer customization options than more expensive competitors
- Smaller orders may be more expensive and include an extra shipping fee
Blue Apron is a meal kit service that delivers two to four recipes to your door each week, along with all of the preportioned ingredients you need to make the recipes. It’s one of the most well known and widely used meal kit delivery services.
Many people value the convenience offered by Blue Apron and comparable services, as they cut down on the time needed to meal plan and grocery shop.
Using a meal kit delivery service can also help you expand your cooking skills and give new foods and cooking methods a try.
Additionally, Blue Apron offers a healthier and less expensive alternative to dining out regularly for people who are too busy to meal plan and grocery shop for each day of the week.
Blue Apron offers three meal plans:
- Signature: two, three, or four 2-serving meals per week
- Vegetarian: two or three 2-serving, meatless meals per week
- Signature for Four: two, three, or four 4-serving meals per week
Each meal plan has a rotating weekly menu from which you can choose your meals. The Signature plan offers 10 recipes per week to choose from, the Signature for Four plan offers 7, and the Vegetarian plan typically offers 2–3 selections.
Some meals may fit certain dietary patterns, including low carb, reduced calorie, or diabetes-friendly. However, the only meal plans offered are Signature (for two or four people) and Vegetarian.
All of the ingredients in Blue Apron meals are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Additionally, some of the produce and ingredients in the boxes are organic, depending on ingredient availability and sourcing.
Its animal proteins are all fed a diet that’s free of animal byproducts, antibiotics, and hormones. Plus, they must meet Blue Apron’s animal welfare policy. All seafood is sustainably sourced, according to Seafood Watch, a nonprofit program.
Note that allergens are disclosed for each recipe, but the ingredients are packaged in a facility that also processes common allergens. In fact, Blue Apron recommends that you don’t use the service if you have a severe food allergy.
Ingredients included in the boxes include all of the proteins, seasonings, sides, and fresh produce you need to create your complete meal. The meals offered by Blue Apron offer bold and classic flavors from a variety of cuisines and cooking methods.
At the time of this writing, some of the menu offerings include:
- Mongolian beef and noodles
- spaghetti squash, pepper, and carrot shakshuka
- seared chicken thighs and couscous
- guajillo beef and veggie bake
- hot Italian pork sausage and Brussels sprouts
Blue Apron may not be a great option for people with specific dietary needs or preferences, such as gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan, keto, or paleo.
While the meal service caters to vegetarians, the selection of vegetarian options is limited to just 2–3 recipes per week — meaning there’s little to no room for swapping out vegetarian recipes that you may not like.
However, within the weekly menu, Blue Apron offers some selections that may be a good fit for certain dietary needs, such as:
- 600 Calories or Less: reduced calorie, with 600 or fewer calories per serving
- Vegetarian: meat-free, but may include dairy, eggs, and honey
- Diabetes-Friendly: follows the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA)
- Carb-Conscious: contains 48 grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) or less per serving
- Mediterranean Diet: inspired by the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet
- WW-Approved: emphasizes vegetables and lean proteins; WW (formerly Weight Watchers) points information is provided for these meals
- Plant Forward: contains only small amounts of meat or fish
However, there’s no guarantee that there will be enough of these options offered each week to fill your order with one particular type. As such, Blue Apron may not be the best choice for people with specific dietary needs or preferences.
This table provides information about the per-serving price for each meal plan offered by Blue Apron:
|Signature||Vegetarian||Signature for Four|
|2 recipes per week||$9.99 per serving*||$9.99 per serving*||$8.99 per serving|
|3 recipes per week||$9.99 per serving||$9.99 per serving||$7.99 per serving|
|4 recipes per week||$9.99 per serving||N/A||$7.49 per serving|
As you can see, prices for Blue Apron meals vary from $7.49–$9.99 per serving. Two-serving meals cost a flat $9.99 per serving, and four-serving meals are priced based on how many recipes you receive per week.
Additionally, if you only order two recipes per week from the Signature or Vegetarian plan, you’ll be assessed an extra $7.99 shipping fee each week. This is notated in the table above with an asterisk.
Shipping is free for all Signature for Four plans, as well as if you order three or more recipes per week with a Signature or Vegetarian plan.
This table compares Blue Apron with other meal kit delivery services — not preassembled meal delivery services.
If you’re interested in prepared meal delivery services, look into options like Freshly or BistroMD.
|Blue Apron||Hello Fresh||Home Chef||Sun Basket||Green Chef|
|Meal plans for special diets||Vegetarian||Vegetarian, reduced calorie, pescatarian||Vegetarian, reduced calorie, low carb||Paleo, low carb, gluten-free, reduced calorie, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean||Keto, low carb, paleo, vegetarian|
|Ingredients||GMO-free, hormone-free meats, sustainable seafood, some organic ingredients||Hormone-free meats, sustainable seafood, some organic ingredients||Per Home Chef’s website, suppliers “follow industry aligned animal welfare standards,” some organic ingredients||Organic produce and eggs, sustainable seafood, hormone- and antibiotic-free pork and chicken, grass-fed beef||Organic ingredients, “high animal welfare standards” per Green Chef’s website|
|Pricing||About $8–$10 per serving, shipping is free or $7.99||About $8–$9 per serving, $8.99 shipping||About $9 per serving, $6.99 shipping||About $11–$13 per serving, $7.99 shipping||About $12–$13 per serving, $7.99 shipping|
Blue Apron is one of the least expensive meal kit delivery options, but it offers extremely limited selections for people with specific dietary needs.
Blue Apron may be worth the price if you’re interested in cooking more healthy, balanced meals at home and value the convenience of a meal kit delivery service.
It may be especially beneficial for individuals or small families who are busy and find themselves eating out often out of convenience.
However, if you have strict dietary needs or severe food allergies, you should consider another meal kit delivery service that caters specifically to your dietary needs.
If you want to learn more about who may find Blue Apron worth the price, check out this article.
Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service that offers a wide variety of appealing recipes for people with no specific dietary needs.
Compared with other meal kit delivery services, it’s one of the least expensive options. However, it offers fewer options for people with strict dietary needs and preferences than some of its competitors.
If you value the convenience offered by meal kit delivery services and don’t have any specific dietary needs, Blue Apron may be a great option for your household.