Hello Fresh vs. Blue Apron: Which meal-delivery service is better?

Hello Fresh vs. Blue Apron

Cooking three meals a day can be a job in itself. Between preparing the ingredients, cooking, and cleaning, it takes most people at least 90 minutes to prepare a home-cooked meal. To save time in the kitchen, some busy people order takeout, some look to devices like slow cookers and pressure cookers, and others try home-delivery meal services.

If you decide on the home-delivery route, you have to then decide which meal service to go with. With so many options now available, factors like price, delivery schedules, dietary needs, and, of course, taste, all come into play. To help give you a better understanding of what these meal-delivery services are all about, we compared two of the more popular options — Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.

Which meal service should you choose? The side-by-side comparison below provides an in-depth explanation of each service, as well as price comparisons, food and diet options, food quality, shipping, and taste.

If you’re looking to skip the subscription and grow your sustenance, check out our home and garden gift guide. Prepping and maintaining your garden has never been easier.

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh vs. Blue Apron

Pricing: Ranges from $8.74 to $10 per serving

Options for those who are gluten-free, or those with other dietary limitations: There is a vegetarian-only plan, where all of the meals are vegetarian-friendly. Hello Fresh also has some gluten free meal options available, but they do not have a plan that is specifically gluten-free. Hello Fresh does, however, let customers know which meals are gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, and which contain ingredients like shellfish. You can also choose your recipes, so this allows you to pick which meals you like the best, or tailor your meal selection to your dietary needs.

Food selection, variety, and quality: Hello Fresh has a team of chefs and dietitians who create 15 new recipes each week. The meals are generally healthy and nutritionally balanced, and you can easily access the nutrition information for any of the meals. But, Hello Fresh is not a diet plan like Nutrisystem, so the focus is more on good food than it is on weight loss or dieting. Customers do have the option to customize the classic plan and choose a “fit preference,” which includes healthier meals that are typically around 650 calories. Customers can also choose preferences like shellfish-free, quick meals, or variety (where the meals feature new ingredients and cooking techniques).

The company says on its website that they focus on finding ingredients that look and taste the best, and they use regional suppliers to source many of their ingredients. Not all of their ingredients are organic, though.

Packaging and shipping: Hello Fresh assumes customers have salt, pepper, sugar, oil, and butter already on hand, so they don’t include those ingredients in the meal box. The company pre-portions and packs the ingredients for each meal in individual kits, and they pack the meat and dairy products in a cooling material. Each meal also includes a recipe card with very easy step-by-step instructions, nutritional information, and an ingredients list.

Hello Fresh does not charge for shipping and on your delivery day, your box will arrive within a 12-hour delivery window (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

Taste and meal preparation: The recipes we tried — figgy balsamic pork and beef rice noodle bowls — were both very tasty and very easy to prepare. It took 38 minutes to prepare the pork recipe and 32 minutes to prepare the noodle bowls (including reading the recipe and getting the kitchen prepared with all of the necessary pans and utensils).

Based on reviews from sites like Consumer Affairs and social media sites, the overall consensus from customers is that the meals taste very good and the preparation is pretty painless. Consumer Reports gives Hello Fresh an “excellent” overall score.

Hello Fresh Benefits

  • Tasty foods
  • Excellent packaging
  • Variety of recipes
  • Ability to customize for people with dietary limitations
  • Excellent customer service and a strong focus on customer feedback
  • Free shipping
  • You can skip weeks
  • Easy to cancel

Hello Fresh Negatives

  • Long delivery time window
  • Price is a bit steep considering some of the meals
  • Not all ingredients are organic (for those who value that)
Product Review

Tovala cooks delicious, idiotproof meals healthier than takeout. For a price

The Tovala Steam Oven is a countertop appliance that can serve up dinner in about 20 minutes with zero prep. The drawback is that the ready-to-heat meals, while tasty, are $12 each.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

Thanksgiving in an Instant ... Pot? Here are our favorite recipes

Did you know you can cook the majority, if not all, of your Thanksgiving menu items in your Instant Pot? It's all about picking the right recipes. These are our picks for the best Instant Pot recipes for Turkey Day.
Smart Home

Drinkworks and Keurig have created a pod-based cocktail machine

HomeBar, a collaboration between Drinkworks and Keurig, creates cocktails the easy way. The machine creates mixed drinks of all kinds. All you have to do is insert in the pod for the drink you want.
Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

Abode System’s Iota DIY home security kit is now available

Abode Systems has an all-in-one security kit called Iota, and it's on sale now. It features a 1080p camera, motion sensor, and on-board Wi-Fi and ethernet so it can stay connected no matter where you put it.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Smart Home

Amazon will bring a 7-foot-tall Christmas tree to your doorstep starting today

If you have fond memories of going out with your family and searching for the perfect Christmas tree, well, Amazon wants to create its own holiday tradition. Starting today, you can order a real, 7-foot tree from Amazon.
Smart Home

Pandora Premium joins Alexa’s Amazon dance party today

There are quite a few streaming services that work with Amazon's Alexa but a big one just got added when the company integrated access to Pandora Premium into its smart assistant and smart speakers.
Smart Home

Plus, Dot, Spot, Show? Which Amazon Echo is the way to go?

Not sure just what Amazon Echo device with Alexa voice assistant you're looking for? Whether you're looking for great sound, smart home control, or a screened device, we've got you covered. Here are all the Amazon Echo devices, what they…
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out 12 great vacuum cleaner deals available on Amazon right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Smart Home

Want the perfect turkey? Here's how to make it sous vide

Thinking of trying something different this Thanksgiving? Don't want to set your yard on fire trying to fry that bird? Try turkey sous vide. Here's our favorite way to sous vide a Turkey.
1 of 2