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Blue Apron

Blue Apron: Popular Meal Kit With Extensive Options!

Blue Apron: Popular Meal Kit With Extensive Options!
Does Blue Apron have the meal variety and options for your needs?

Updated: April 29th, 2024

Craving a delicious home-cooked meal but short on time or inspiration? Blue Apron is a meal kit company founded in 2012 that might be your perfect solution. Their headquarters are in New York City, and they aim to serve those who have certain nutritional and dietary needs, as well as anyone who wants to eat healthily. Would they offer what you need in terms of quality and taste?

In this review, we will explore everything this company has to offer to help you make up your mind. We discuss their menu options, costs, delivery habits, and what their customers say about them, among other things. Read on to learn more!

Pros

As little as $7.99 per serving
High quality and fresh ingredients
Higher variety of choices than competitors
Customizable recipes
Mobile app

Cons

Few diet-influenced meal options
Pricey when it's for two individuals

Content

Quick Stats

Available Recipes Per Week
Over 80
Prep Time Per Recipe:
25 to 50 minutes
Meal Planning
Available
Free Trial
{"id":"1418"}
Minimum Number of Servings Per Week
2
Money-Back Guarantee
7 days (Freshness Guarantee)
Shipping Fees
$10.99
Starting Price Per Serving
$7.99
Contactless Delivery
Available

Blue Apron at a Glance

Blue Apron is said to be founded in homage to the world's lifelong learners in kitchens, chefs who wear blue aprons, and on the belief that everyone deserves a delicious and hassle-free home cooking experience. They have since quickly become one of the most popular and successful service providers in their field, serving much of the contiguous United States with over 500 million meals delivered. They take care of menu planning, grocery shopping, and pre-measured ingredients, so you can focus on the fun part— cooking and enjoying a great meal with loved ones. They don't want you to be scrambling through grocery store aisles or battling meal-time indecision. Blue Apron delivers fresh, seasonal ingredients pre-portioned to your door, along with detailed recipe cards for a simplified cooking experience. This means less food waste and more time to focus on meal prep.

While they don't offer specific dietary plans beyond vegetarian options, as some of their competitors might, Blue Apron's culinary team designs many recipes to be easily adapted with simple substitutions at home. They also provide detailed allergen information on all their recipes, make them accessible online well in advance for transparency, and ensure all ingredient labels are up-to-date. So, whether you have allergies or specific preferences, you should still be able to prepare a fresh meal with them. If you're happy with them and want to share the joy, they even have a gifting option to give to the foodies in your life!

They promise no rigid commitment. You can skip or cancel deliveries easily, provided you give enough prior notice. But they boast more than just convenience. They strive to build a better food system by prioritizing sustainability, ethical practices, and local options whenever possible. They also champion ethical animal treatment, partnering with farmers who raise animals with care and avoid antibiotics. They even highlight sustainable seafood practices and support organic produce farming.

Blue Apron is well-regarded in their field, and have won awards in the past, like the 2018 Good Chicken award for their commitment to higher welfare standards in their chicken supply chain and an award for their sustainable packaging in 2019. They even received CNET's 2023 Editor's Choice award as the best meal kit service. However, they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and receive a D- rating from them.

Blue Apron's Menu Options

While Blue Apron may not have plans that cater to all specific diets or needs, they design many recipes to be adaptable with simple substitutions at home. This means vegetarians, those with dairy restrictions, or people on certain calorie-watching plans can still enjoy Blue Apron meals with some adjustments. With that in mind, they offer a wide variety of menu options to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. Here's what goes into their standard meal kit plan, along with their other features:

  • Culinary cues: They have options for vegetarians, seafood eaters, people following a Mediterranean diet, those seeking low-carb or weight loss options, and even some family plan choices that are kid-approved. Therefore, there may be many types of meal kits you can choose. On top of this, they have certain other categories to classify their meals, including, but not limited to:
    • Craft: These meals feature unique flavor profiles and cooking techniques, offering a more elevated culinary experience
    • Wellness: This category prioritizes healthy ingredients and balanced nutrition. You might find ingredients chosen for their health benefits, potentially including options lower in sodium, higher in fiber, or containing superfoods. The recipes may be designed to provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to promote overall well-being
    • Fast & Easy: Short on time? These meals are designed for quick and simple preparation, typically in 30 minutes or less
  • Protein variety: Blue Apron offers a diverse range of protein options, including:
    • Meat: Chicken, beef, pork, and lamb are common protein choices
    • Seafood: Expect to see options with salmon, shrimp, scallops, and occasionally other fresh catches
    • Vegetarian options: Blue Apron offers vegetarian meals that are naturally meat-free and feature creative combinations of vegetables and legumes like cauliflower, peas, spinach, beets, and so on. They also offer plant-based proteins like tofu. Keep in mind that they may not have vegan options, although you can make your own through substitutions
  • Add-ons: They also have several add-on items, which could be breakfast or dessert dishes, or sides like soup, snacks, salads, or a la carte proteins
  • Cookbook: They have an online cookbook that functions as a recipe library, featuring past meal kit dishes or creations by their culinary team. This searchable directory may serve as a source of inspiration and cooking ideas, but it's not a separate meal kit service with pre-portioned ingredients available for order
  • Customization: Blue Apron allows you to customize your weekly menu by swapping out recipes you don't like or that don't fit your dietary needs

Although many Blue Apron recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare, they also offer Prepared & Ready options. These are already prepared meals that are chilled but not frozen, which just need to be heated to be ready in minutes. By offering a variety of culinary styles, protein options, and customization possibilities, They aim to provide a convenient and flavorful meal solution for a broad range of home cooks.

The Delivery & Service Perks of Blue Apron

Blue Apron goes the extra mile to make your meal kit experience convenient and enjoyable. Here's what you can expect:

  • Flexible deliveries: You can schedule deliveries that fit your lifestyle, as they promise you're under no rigid commitment. Choose a delivery day that works best for you, and they'll bring fresh, seasonal ingredients to your doorstep in eco-friendly, insulated boxes. If your plans change, you can easily skip a delivery week online
  • Pre-portioned ingredients: They allow you to save time and reduce waste with perfectly pre-measured ingredients. No more measuring cups or wondering if you have enough because they send exactly what you need to create delicious meals, and you won't be left with a lot of leftovers in the fridge
  • Sustainable packaging: They prioritize eco-conscious meal kits. Their packaging uses recyclable materials like cardboard boxes and ice packs, and they encourage creative reuse of some items. They have a webpage with clear instructions to guide you on recycling each element, minimizing their environmental footprint
  • Gift cards: Surprise friends and family with the gift of fresh, flavorful meals. Blue Apron offers gift cards in various denominations, allowing you to personalize a delicious present

Blue Apron Plans & Pricing

They offer a variety of meal plans and pricing options to suit your needs. They allow you the flexibility to choose serving sizes and meals per week, and come with the potential for discounts. Your purchase can be customized with regard to the following:

  • Kits or prepared meals: The first choice you make is whether you want meal kits or Prepared & Ready meals. With a kit, you'd receive fresh, pre-portioned ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes to cook delicious meals at home. On the other hand, the pre-made selections come chilled, and can be ready to eat in a few minutes
  • Preferences: For meal kits, you can limit your options by selecting any number of categories, like Chef's Favorites, Wellness, Family-Friendly, Fast & Easy, and Veggies. There are similar categories for the prepared meals, as well
  • Serving sizes: If ordering meal kits, you can choose enough for either two or four people, and have between two and five meals a week. If ordering Prepared & Ready meals, you can choose between four and 10 servings
  • Market add-ons: Blue Apron offers a marketplace with pre-curated meal kits in addition to their subscription services. You can purchase these themed boxes (e.g., "Customer Favorites," or "Wellness" healthy options) individually for added flexibility in your meal planning, all without a subscription commitment. These kits come with pre-portioned ingredients and deliver the Blue Apron experience on a per-purchase basis

The cost per serving decreases as the number of servings and meals per week increases. With meal kits, you can expect to pay between $7.99 and $12.49 per serving, depending on how many meals you order. For the pre-made meals, you'd pay between $9.99 to $10.99. A flat fee of $10.99 is added for shipping, regardless of your chosen plan.

Blue Apron accepts major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, as well as Apple Pay. They often have promotional offers such as the current discount of 40% on your first four weeks. Additionally, they may provide extra discounts or promotions on particular meal kits or bundles. They also offer discounts to various groups, including healthcare workers, military personnel, senior citizens (55+), teachers, students, alumni, and government workers.

Be sure to check their website for the latest deals. Keep in mind that their subscriptions automatically renew unless you cancel before the cut-off date.

The Advantages of Blue Apron

  • Variety of choices: With them, you have a wide range of meal options, including vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, low-carb, family-friendly, and even calorie-conscious choices; all with complete nutritional information provided. On top of that, they have come to offer pre-made meals that only need to be heated in the microwave
  • Quality ingredients: They are known to use fresh, high-quality ingredients sourced directly from farms and responsible producers
  • Shopping convenience: Using their service saves you time on meal planning, grocery shopping, and prepping, especially with their pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes
  • Level of customization: They allow for some customization of meal choices within their plans. You can swap out recipes that don't appeal to you or don't fit your dietary needs. This flexibility ensures you get meals you'll genuinely enjoy
  • Discounts: Blue Apron frequently offers promotions and discounts, especially for new customers as well as 'heroes' like first responders, teachers, veterans, and medical staff. These deals can help you save a good amount of money on your meal kits

Why You Might Not Choose Blue Apron

  • Cost: Their meal kits can be expensive compared to grocery shopping, especially for smaller households or those on a tight budget. However, cheaper meal kit delivery services are available
  • Limited diet-specific options: This company doesn't strictly cater to specific allergies or restrictive diets like the paleo or vegan diet, although they may begin offering keto options
  • Service inconsistencies: There are occasional reports of delivery delays, especially during peak seasons. Also, some users have found the prep time to be longer than advertised

The Blue Apron Customer Experience

This meal delivery service receives a good amount of positive notices online, although they get generally mixed reviews. They get a high review score of 4.2 out of 5 on Trustpilot, with thousands of reviews written. On the other hand, they receive much lower scores of 2.7 and 1.8 out of 5 on Google reviews and Yelp, respectively. However, the reviews on those sites are significantly fewer than those on Trustpilot.

They receive a moderate amount of complaints on the BBB.

Ease of preparation and taste

Customers generally agree that Blue Apron provides a convenient way to enjoy delicious meals at home, what with their pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards. Many customers also praise the quality and taste of the food. They also appreciate the easy meals with simple instructions, as well as the opportunity to learn new recipes and cooking techniques. However, some users found the preparation time to be longer than expected, and a few recipe presentations were seen as peculiar or with odd suggestions.

Packaging and environmental friendliness

While their customers find that they deliver fairly fresh ingredients that arrive in good condition, the ecological impact of their packaging is a concern for some. The multiple layers and plastic bags used to keep ingredients fresh can generate a significant amount of waste, despite their efforts to enhance the recyclability of their material.

Delivery services

Their delivery services seem to be reliable in most cases, getting fresh ingredients to customers on time. However, there are occasional reports of delays, especially during the summer months. This can lead to spoiled food upon arrival, which is a major inconvenience.

Customer service and overall satisfaction

Customer service experiences appear to be mixed. Some customers report a helpful and responsive team that rectifies mistakes and offers substitutions for vegetarians and those with allergies, even though their allergen accommodation seems to be limited. However, others have had difficulty canceling subscriptions or received no response from customer service representatives when contacting them.

Blue Apron responds to some complaints filed with the BBB, and to some critical reviews, but their responses have been inconsistent in promptness, tone, and helpfulness, leading to varying levels of customer satisfaction. In fact, a significant amount of complaints do not get public replies. Common complaints include difficulty canceling subscriptions, billing, product, and customer service issues. The tone of Blue Apron's responses leans towards apologetic and professional, often indicating they will reach out privately. A portion of their customers were dissatisfied with how their issues were handled, while some reported satisfactory resolutions.

Customer Support at Blue Apron

Unlike some other meal kit services, Blue Apron doesn't offer live chat support. However, customers can reach out via email at contact@blueapron.com, or by phone at (646) 891-4349 or (888) 278-4349. The FAQs section is another way to find answers on various subjects like recipe selection, meal deliveries, ingredient standards, gifts, billing information, and more. If you just want to read fun, useful articles, they have quite a few on their blog page.

Final Thoughts

Blue Apron offers a tempting escape from the drudgery of meal planning, grocery shopping, and prepping. With a vast array of menu options, fresh ingredients, and pre-measured portions, they cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences, including vegetarians, pescatarians, and those seeking healthy or family-friendly choices. Additionally, their pre-made meal options provide a convenient solution for busy days when you can barely even order a burger! Blue Apron might be a good fit if you value convenience, quality ingredients, and a chance to explore new recipes, particularly if you can take advantage of their introductory discounts.

However, convenience comes at a cost. Blue Apron can be expensive compared to traditional grocery shopping, especially for smaller households or those on a tight budget. They also don't strictly cater to specific allergies or restrictive diets, like veganism. Also, while some praise their customer service team's helpfulness and responsiveness, others report issues with getting a hold of them, as well as difficulties canceling subscriptions.

Ultimately, the decision to subscribe to Blue Apron hinges on your priorities, and the best part is there are many other meal kit services that could address those priorities. You can find out about those companies by reading our thorough reviews of the best meal delivery services, then use our comparison tool to pit different companies against each other to make an informed choice. You may also consult our blog for some interesting articles about how these services work and what they could offer. The perfect option for your needs is out there!

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