This post was brought to you by Mental Scoops and the lovely Jane, check out her blog to see my guest post, it’s all about contouring!
As a consultant, I travel quite a bit – Monday through Thursday to be exact, leaving me 2-3 days to be a party pooper and cook at home so I can tell myself I’m being slightly healthy and not the fat lard I already might be. But surprise, surprise; 1) being a recent college grad and 2) cooking from home don’t work too well together. Even if I want to be domestic one weekend and try to use some online recipe, I find myself paying a lot of money for spices or herbs I’ll use once in my life. That’s where Blue Apron and Hello Fresh come in…
They’re both fairly similar in that they:
- Offer 2 person / portion boxes and family portion boxes
- Have 6 meal choices, of which you can choose 3
- Have 3 free meals to share with others as a promotional program and
- Advertise their farm fresh ingredients
Although the basics of these two services are the same, there are subtle differences that affect people who have specific preferences or needs. Below, I’ve listed a few of the ones I’ve observed while using the two products to help find the best option for you.
- Publicizes / has more celebrity endorsements (hellooo Jaime Oliver!). It also sponsors Youtube celebrities like Philip DeFranco and his family.
- Has 3 boxes options, with a specific box for vegetarians (Veggie Box)
- Doesn’t restrict you to which meal you can get! Blue Apron often eliminates alternative choices when you’re creating your meal box; if you choose option 1, for example, option 6 will go away and you’re only left with options 2-5 for your next two meals.
- Always emails you when you change your meal selection, though I’m sure you can turn this off
- Sends you more meal instructions and ingredient lists than the 3 meals you paid for. Blue Apron only sends you the cooking instructions for the 3 you ordered.
- Has more realistic food, as in food I’d actually cook again; ingredients are also easier to find at local markets than Blue Apron’s. (As a side note, Blue Apron’s food is – I can definitely see myself making them for fancy parties! However, I also don’t see myself cooking certain recipes again.)
- Pre-separates ingredients into 3 smaller tagged boxes. Blue Apron tags each individual ingredient so you’ll have to sort them yourself
- Is cheaper. Blue Apron’s two person plan costs $59.94, whereas Hello Fresh’s two person plan costs $69.00. If the extra $10 doesn’t really faze you, then I would suppose this doesn’t apply as much.
- Instead of just having a veggie box, Blue Apron asks for dietary restrictions that encompass more than only being vegetarian
- Provides a wine option, or at least tells you which wine goes well with your meal
- Has a user-friendly site interface that is much easier to understand. Its delivery calendar/schedule is on the same page as meal options for each week, which means you don’t have to navigate everywhere to set up one week’s worth of meals
- Has interactive cooking pages for videos, how-to’s, etc.
- Follows up after each meal to ask for feedback, so they’re constantly upping their game
- Has a tools marketplace where you can shop for cooking tools
- Has great customer service and fast responses! (Although I have yet to need to use Hello Fresh customer service – their service so far has been seamless and I don’t even need additional help. Maybe it’s a sign, guys.)
Even though Blue Apron is slightly cheaper and may be a bit more well known in this industry, I actually prefer Hello Fresh. Personally, the most important factor in deciding between the two (other than how damn good it should taste) is whether or not I can see myself using their recipes again. I also appreciate how much time I save because Hello Fresh pre-boxes each meal for you within your package. I find myself digging through groceries in the fridge with Blue Apron, especially for smaller ingredients that get lost in my sea of expired snacks and drinks.
Let me know what you think! What’s most important to you when it comes to meal delivery services (other than taste)? Do you have specific needs or preferences not addressed in this article?
For anyone interested in registering for Hello Fresh, use the code: FSQ4A5 and you’ll get $40 off your first delivery! You can also subscribe to MentalScoops.com for a chance to win free meals with either Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Email us which one you prefer and we’ll pick 6 lucky winners a chance to test these products out!
FOUNDER, of MentalScoops.com. FEMINIST, who wants to eventually be an amazing soccer mom with flexible work hours. CONSULTANT, who is thirsty for flight status and hangry for hotel cookies. DOG LOVER, who plans to own a German Sheppard, Oreo, and a Golden Retriever, Cheerio. A SELF PROCLAIMED PRACTICAL OPTIMIST, who struggles with the difficult act of staying positive while battling with depression.