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Blue Apron Review

article by Sandra Trentino author January 05, 2020
our score
Does inspiration abandon you every time you set foot in the kitchen? Do you have a hopeless addiction to fatty foods that sees you leaving the grocery store with a pile of bread and frozen chips? With Blue Apron, you can avoid these problems and get the benefits of healthy, tasty meals.
  • Restaurant-quality meals
  • Easy-to-read instructions and recipes
  • Wide variety of dishes influenced by global cuisines
  • Flexible delivery times
  • Affordable plans
  • Complex cancellation process
  • More challenging for inexperienced cooks
  • Nutritional information not included on recipe cards
an impressive and reliable service offering high-quality meals at an affordable price
Sandra Trentino, author
Two-person Plan
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Two-person Vegetarian Plan Two-person Vegetarian Plan
Parental Control Family Plan
Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Cost Very Affordable Meal Plans
Two-person Plan Try Now >>
  • Save $50 Over Your First 2 Boxes!
  • Variety of dietary preferences
  • Best quality and fresh ingredients
Try Now >>
Two-person Vegetarian Plan Try Now >>
  • Save $50 Over Your First 2 Boxes!
  • Variety of dietary preferences
  • Best quality and fresh ingredients
Try Now >>
Family Plan Try Now >>
  • Save $50 Over Your First 2 Boxes!
  • Variety of dietary preferences
  • Best quality and fresh ingredients
Try Now >>

All you have to do is follow the recipe, throw the ingredients together and enjoy! One step up from the Chinese takeaway around the corner, Blue Apron’s meal delivery service was one of the very first in this niche, meaning they have the benefit of experience and longevity. Blue Apron promises to introduce you to the joys of cooking while ensuring your family is getting all the nutrients they need to live a healthy lifestyle. Their menu includes simple meals that take just 20 minutes to prepare as well as more complex meals for those special occasions. You can even order a bottle of wine to accompany your meal and get tasting notes and insights into how the wine was made so you can become a wine connoisseur as well as a super chef!

Ease of Use Ease of Use

Selecting your plan and subscribing to Blue Apron’s meal delivery service is simple enough – just go to their website and click on the relevant button. Although Blue Apron plans are fairly limited compared to some of their rivals, with no no-sugar or low-carb options available, the company claims you can alter the recipes and use simple substitutions to adapt the Blue Apron meals to suit your specific dietary requirements. This obviously adds a little extra work and people wanting a gluten-free menu may want to consider looking at an alternative, such as Freshly or Green Fresh, both of which are more focused on providing a menu suitable for people with specific food intolerances.

In this Blue Apron review, we found a couple of disappointing things regarding their service in terms of being user-friendly. For one, the company doesn’t ask about food allergies, choosing to supply the information on each recipe’s allergens. Furthermore, Blue Apron doesn’t recommend their service to people with food allergies, which seems a little limiting. Another negative is that, when the kit arrived, the ingredients had been jumbled together in the box. Unlike other meal kit delivery services which color-code ingredients according to the recipe and group each meal’s components into separate bags, Blue Apron leave it to the consumer to work out what’s what. While not a catastrophe, again, it means a little more work for the customer and a little less time and care on the behalf of the supplier.

On the positive side, the ingredients are super fresh and delivered in a robust, recyclable box lined with an insulated bag and chilled by a reusable ice pack. Blue Apron meals also come with the smaller knick-knacks and condiments in a separate package so you don’t have to rummage through the box trying to find them all. Brightly colored recipe cards give easy to follow, step-by-step instructions to creating the perfect meal. On the downside, nutritional information isn’t included on the recipe cards but rather on an additional set of cards included in the condiments bag, making gathering the necessary information that little bit more time-consuming.

While the meals themselves are, as Blue Apron claims, restaurant quality and will encourage you to experiment with different ingredients and flavors, the portions aren’t exactly generous. Of crouse, if you chose Blue Apron plans as part of a calorie-controlled diet, then this is a benefit, but for people just looking for convenience after a busy day, you may need to supplement some of the dishes before you feel properly satisfied. Some customers may also resent needing to wash the ingredients prior to preparation, while others may struggle to find the appropriate pots and utensils for the job. In some respects, Blue Apron is more suited to those already comfortable in their kitchens that for complete culinary beginners.

Plans Plans

The Blue Apron menu is jam-packed with culinary influences from around the world and really gives people the opportunity to try out different flavors and styles of cuisine. While the options for gluten-free recipes and other diet-specific options are rather limited, if you’re open-minded about what you eat, you can enjoy a wide range of flavors throughout the week. According to Blue Apron, you shouldn’t receive the same recipe twice in one year, while the ingredients are sourcing from sustainable suppliers with the emphasis on reducing food wastage.

While not the best for a full-time vegan, Blue apron vegetarian plans are diverse and give customers the opportunity to embrace a wide range of vegetables and pulses into their diets. A sample weekly menu included Caramelized Onion and Heirloom Tomato Crostata, Golden Beet Borscht and a Summer Vegetable Salad with Israeli couscous. Certainly beats beans on toast and spinach soup!

In addition to ensuring a wide variety of recipes, Blue Apron also put a lot of time and effort into plating the finished meals. Following the instructions on your recipe cards will transform a bunch of raw ingredients into a restaurant-standard dish full of color and taste.

In terms of variety, Blue Apron does well against its rivals and consistently produces more menus with different cultural influences than many of its competitors. With dishes inspired by Mexican, Greek and Asian culinary traditions, you can except a global gastronomic experience over the course of a few weeks.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Tasty Taste

While some of the meals we sampled for this Blue Apron review took longer than anticipated to prepare, the extra time and effort were more than worth it when it came to both presentation and taste. The meat they supply is of a consistently high standard, ensuring you can enough a meal with just the right texture and flavor, even if it calls for a notoriously tricky steak. Staying away from complex recipes, Blue Apron meals are still surprisingly intricate and full of different flavors.

The meals do tend to vary rather in terms of standard, with some proving delicious and others decidedly so-so. Of course, much of this is dependent on the individual so, in some cases, a pepper sauce that’s too sweet for one person may be perfect for another. A few meals have great ingredients but, somehow, don’t quite come together to present a harmonious balance of taste and texture.

A lot of the Blue Apron recipes include unusual or specialty ingredients that most of us aren’t that familiar with. This is a definite bonus and encourages consumers to sample foodstuffs that they may not see in the supermarket or can’t afford in larger quantities. For example, Blue Apron’s recipe for Seared Steaks & Spicy Peppers calls for both miso paste and yuzu juice, neither of which you’re likely to find in the grocery store on the corner.While the meals do often take longer to prepare than indicated on the recipe card, it’s highly advisable to follow the instructions carefully, even if it does take a little longer. Mistakes, like making your vegetarian burger patties too fat or overcooking a steak, can ruin the flavor, through no fault of the meal delivery service. Nevertheless, a little more consistency in the quality of the final result would boost the service considerably.

Meal Delivery Services_icons_80x80_Convenience Convenience

If you hate grocery shopping and meal planning, then Blue Apron’s meal kit delivery service is a lifesaver, offering a convenient weekly delivery service that takes all the stress out of meal preparation. Although you sign up for a weekly plan, should you choose to skip a week, either because you’re out of town or you simply want a break, you can easily cancel a week’s delivery online. Any problems with that can be resolved by referring to Blue Apron’s helpful FAQ section. Alternatively, you could download the Blue Apron app and use it, not only to cancel deliveries but also to unlock a whole world of culinary inspiration.

The Blue Apron app is the epitome of meal delivery service convenience, giving you access to over 1,400 recipes as well as useful tips and techniques for perfecting those dishes. Browse the chefs’ latest seasonal recipes and wine recommendations or simply use the app to manage your account while on the move. You can also use the app to update your dietary preferences, although Blue Apron’s slick website also makes the process simple for those who choose not to use the app.

Although Blue Apron claim that canceling a subscription is simple enough, some customers have complained that the process is rather complex in comparison with competitors such as Home Chef or Hello Fresh. In order to cancel your account, you first need to send an email to [email protected] or telephone the department directly. You will then be given further instructions. Admittedly, a more direct route would be beneficial and, at Hello Fresh, they give you the opportunity to cancel your account online by simply logging into your account settings.

Despite the complex cancellation process, Blue Apron are committed to customer convenience, providing a useful app and impressive website to ensure a good customer experience. Blue Apron customer service is solid and they boast a comprehensive help section. With the weekly Blue Apron menu going live a week in advance, consumers have plenty of time to assess the dishes available and make any changes you might desire. You can choose to skip the week entirely should the Blue Apron meals on offer not appeal to you.

Even if you choose not to subscribe to one of the Blue Apron plans, you can still benefit from their service. Their website has a comprehensive list of blue Apron recipes that are free for anyone to refer to. Organized according to main ingredients, season and type of cuisine, the Blue Apron recipes are displayed in a simple layout, making it easy to identify the correct ingredients and then follow the illustrated instructions.

Those opting for the Blue Apron meal delivery service will be delighted at the range of delivery times available. Deliveries are made seven days a week between 8am and 8pm, making it perfect for those working long hours. Overall, Blue Apron is committed to their clients and make their service as convenient as possible. Even the cancellation process isn’t enough to dent their reputation too much.

Pricing Pricing

For most people, the bottom line is money and most of you are probably asking yourselves, “Is Blue Apron worth it?”. In comparison to eating out or ordering takeaways, definitely! Not only are Blue Apron meals much cheaper than either of these alternatives, but you also know exactly what ingredients are going into each recipe, giving you more control over your diet as well as peace of mind that the ingredients are fresh, of a high quality and sourced from sustainable suppliers.

Blue Apron has consistently claimed that their meal delivery service costs between 60 and 70% less than buying the same ingredients at the supermarket. While this is difficult to believe, it seems Blue Apron has done some thorough research before making such statements. One influencing factor is that Blue Apron’s weekly menu will usually involve three completely different meals, with no components appearing twice. Most of us shop very differently to this, buying larger quantities for less money and accepted a less varied diet as a consequence.

If you try actually purchasing the ingredients listed in one of the Blue Apron recipes, you’ll find you have to buy much larger quantities than you actually require. For instance, you can’t buy a single tablespoon of flour, instead of having to invest in a whole kg. Of course, this does mean you’ll have leftovers that can be used to create other dishes but they might be ingredients that you’re not particularly fond of, leading to food and money wastage.

Compared to other similar meal delivery services, Blue Apron are one of the cheapest. At the upper end of the market, you’ll find the delectable organic offerings of Sakara Life, which will set you back an astonishing $95 for three evening meals, although, admittedly, you do get detox tea with every meal. At the other end of the scale, Chef’d were once offering meals for less than $5 per serving but closed down abruptly a couple of months ago, suggesting that these prices were not sustainable.

The next one up from there is Home Chef who boasts an impressively cost-effective price of $7,99 per portion. What they don’t advertise quite so vociferously is that the majority of their dishes cost considerably more. A visit to their weekly menu page is eye-opening, revealing that a Steak Strip and Broccoli Lo Mein will set you back $9,95 per serving. In fact, only the simplest of dishes, like a  Greek Chicken Salad or a Japanese Chicken Grain Bowl, cost $7,99 per portion, while their weekly premium dish costs nearly $20 per serving.

Blue Apron pricing is much more straightforward, with all the dishes listed on their menu costing the same amount. This makes it far easier for the customer who doesn’t have to check on the price of each item before deciding what to order. At just $8,99 per portion on the family plan and $9,99 on the two-person plan, Blue Apron manage to undercut most of their competitors while refusing to compromise on quality.

Bottom Line Conclusion

Competitive prices and high-quality ingredients make the Blue Apron meal delivery service one of the most popular in the US. Committed to providing a wide range of recipes inspired by international cuisines and cultures, Blue Apron meals are tasty and affordable. The Blue Apron app is a convenient add-on for those needing to re-organize deliveries on the go while also giving useful tips and advice to customers will limited cooking experience.

Costing less than most take-out services, Blue Apron pricing means you can enjoy a restaurant-standard meal at a portion of the price. Versatile menu choices and delivery times make Blue Apron plans appealing for most people and especially for those with a busy lifestyle or work schedule. On the downside, a little more could be done to accommodate those with food allergies and make the nutritional information about each meal more accessible.

The ingredients are delivered in a box made of recyclable cardboard while the meal delivery service itself is dedicated to reducing food wastage, meaning you can enjoy Blue Apron meals without compromising on your commitment to the environment. A well-designed website gives customers and non-customers access to a wealth of culinary inspiration and over 1,400 recipes, while the FAQ section will tackle any problems you may have with the service. Refunds for missing or damaged ingredients are easy to secure, although the cancellation process could be streamlined.

Overall, an impressive and reliable service offering high-quality meals at an affordable price.