Overall, we had a positive experience with both Blue Apron and HelloFresh. While meal kits, in general, may be slightly cheaper than takeout, they are almost always more expensive than purchasing ingredients from the grocery store and so may not work for everyone's budget. But you came here to find out which meal kit service is better, Blue Apron or HelloFresh, and the breakdown below should help you pick the perfect cook-it-yourself dinner delivery.
Pricing: If you're trying to decide between the two meal kit services based solely on price, it really boils down to your family's needs. A four-week HelloFresh subscription for two people would range roughly between $120 and $460 (for two to six meals). Four weeks for four people would range between $268 and $748. With Blue Apron, four weeks of weekly boxes for two people would cost between $192 and $240 (for two to three meals). For four people, a month would be between $288 and $479 (for two to four meals). Basically, the two-person, two-meal option on HelloFresh is about $72 less than the same option on Blue Apron -- but for the two-person, three-meal option, it's about the same.
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For my house, we tested the two-person, three-recipe box. For that option, a month of orders would come to about $240 for both HelloFresh and Blue Apron (give or take some change).
Overall quality of meal kits: While this is subjective, Blue Apron meal kits certainly skew more toward high-end restaurant-style food. You might call the recipes more complicated, although most meals can be prepared by a chef of any skill level. HelloFresh meals tend to be simpler and if you're looking for true no-fuss weeknight dinners, HelloFresh has them in spades. The ingredients for both were fresh so we'll call that subcategory a draw.
Healthiness: While HelloFresh may have more diet meal plans such as low calorie and keto-friendly options that filter out the meals that don't adhere, both services have plenty of healthy recipes. Both also have a few splurge meals for cheat days or whenever else you want them. Blue Apron has a Weight Watchers integration, so if you're familiar with and partial to that point system, Blue Apron meal kits would be a seamless transition.
Breakfast, lunch and add-ons: Neither service offers specific breakfast or lunch options, but there's a chance of leftovers, depending on how hungry you are, that could roll over into lunch. HelloFresh does have the option to add things to your order like sides and complements (bread, extra proteins and some breakfast options) and desserts or lunch items, for an additional cost, while Blue Apron doesn't. Blue Apron, however, offers sommelier-picked wine pairings at an additional cost, while HelloFresh does not.
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Difficulty: Both services provided meals that were delicious and not overly complicated to make. (And, OK, it was fun!) The meals all required about the same amount of prep, cooking and cleanup time, on average. Blue Apron tends to have more slightly involved recipes, though certainly won't require a culinary degree. HelloFresh's beginner-friendly directions and straightforward recipes helped me overcome some of my kitchen anxiety and made me curious to try new recipes.
Final verdict: After all this, it's honestly quite close to a draw and it became clear to me why both meal kit companies have become so popular. That said, Blue Apron is a better pick for a moderately experienced chef looking for more adventurous recipes to add to their repertoire. HelloFresh on the other hand is a much better meal kit choice for a genuine beginner or someone looking for dinner shortcuts and time-savers a few nights a week without resorting to takeout.
You should look into both options and take advantage of free trials and offers for major savings. There's no commitment to stick with either, so you could try both if you're able to and see which you like better. If you try one or both, let us know what you think of Blue Apron and HelloFresh in the comments.