Companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh are leading the way in terms of meal delivery. Both services offer the convenience of having pre-portioned ingredients and recipes delivered straight to your door, making it easy to prepare delicious meals at home. However, when it comes to choosing between Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh, there are a few key differences to consider.
I’ve analyzed every last aspect of both services to present you with a clear winner. In my experience and opinion, one comes out on top for some very specific reasons. However, even with that in mind, I still think both services are a great option – so you really can’t go wrong with either. I don’t want you to think that the runner-up is somehow rubbish.
When it comes down to it, Blue Apron is the clear winner in terms of overall quality and value. It offers prepared meals and meal kits, market add-ons like kitchen tools and utensils, and even seasonal holiday boxes. Plus, its wine subscription service adds an extra level of convenience and sophistication to your dining experience.
It’s a tie!
🍔 Menu Variety:
Blue Apron (30+ choices per week)
⏰ Prep Time:
Blue Apron (5 to 50 minutes)
👍 Ordering and Delivery:
It’s a tie!
🙋 Customer Support:
It’s a tie!
Winner: Blue Apron
Blue Apron wins for several reasons, even though it offers fewer overall options than HelloFresh. It features around 25+ choices per week, but in reality, there are many more than that when you consider its customization options. HelloFresh, on the other hand, offers roughly 60+ recipes every week.
Blue Apron offers prepared meals and meal kits, whereas HelloFresh only offers meal kits. Plus, Blue Apron offers many more market add-ons like wine deliveries, kitchen tools, utensils, small appliances, and pantry items like spices and specialty salts.
You can also save further trips to the grocery store with Blue Apron’s food add-ons. It offers lots, including Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lasagna Soup (okay, that’s interesting…), Sourdough French Toast, and extra meats like boneless chicken breast pieces, shrimp, and pork chorizo. Check out our full review for a full breakdown of the menu.
HelloFresh, on the other hand, doesn’t have any add-ons, extras, or sides. If you want any of those, I’d stick with Blue Apron.
In terms of the main menu, you can see Blue Apron’s up to 4 weeks in advance. HelloFresh, on the other hand, allows you to view up to 6 weeks in advance. To me, this isn’t really something I take into consideration as I personally don’t need to plan so far ahead. However, if you’re a family with kids or a busy schedule, this can be extra helpful.
Blue Apron offers tons of cuisines, like Korean, Latin American-inspired, Middle Eastern, French, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Indian-influenced, Chinese, Cajun/Creole, and classic American. Most of the dishes are well thought-out and contain lots of seasonal, fresh produce.
HelloFresh also offers a range of cuisines, but the dishes are more kid-friendly with fewer exotic, fancy ingredients. Cuisines include classic American, Latin American-inspired, Italian, Japanese-inspired, Middle Eastern, French, and Cajun/Creole.
Blue Apron’s recipes often include gourmet twists on classic dishes like Soy Glazed Turkey Meatloaf with Sesame Roasted Potatoes & Cauliflower. You’ll also find globally-inspired recipes like Hoisin Pork Belly & Miso Ramen with Bok Choy & Soft-Boiled Eggs.
Blue Apron’s recipes aren’t quite as good for fussy kids, but I really feel like you’re getting far better quality, overall. For a menu that’s nearly one-quarter the sheer size of HelloFresh, you’re getting far more unique cuisine options.
Meanwhile, HelloFresh’s menu ensures crowd-pleasing dinners for everyone – particularly its tried-and-tested Hall of Fame recipes. Favorites include the Crispy Buffalo-Spiced Chicken with Blue Cheese Sauce, Scallion Mashed Potatoes & Carrots.
In terms of cooking difficulty, there’s lots of variety from both competitors. You can get complex meals that take longer (upwards of 30-50 minutes) or simple, faster ones (30 minutes or less). For example, HelloFresh’s Thai Ginger Shrimp Curry is quick to prepare (<30 minutes) and has a “Medium” difficulty. Blue Apron’s Spicy Hoisin Noodles is labeled as Fast & Easy and takes 30 minutes.
HelloFresh has a new HelloCustom feature if customizing your meals is important to you. It gives you the option to swap, add, or upgrade the protein and/or the sides for several recipes each week. As some specific examples, you could swap the crispy potatoes for broccoli in the Golden Chicken Schnitzel dish, or get the Roasted Veg Kale Salad with chicken or steak.
Blue Apron’s meals don’t have as many customization options. This is because they’re targeted toward more specific diets that include diabetes-friendly options and WW-approved meals (formally Weight Watchers).
With Blue Apron, you can customize some protein options, and some meals have a Make it Veggie tag. You’ll have to click through to each individual menu item to see which meal allows you to do what, exactly. This makes navigating the site and finding your ideal meal a bit cumbersome, but at least the option is there for you.
Blue Apron’s plans include Signature, Wellness, Veggie, and Signature for Four. I find this a bit misleading, though, since once you click on Sign Up, you’re presented with different options. For example, you can choose between Chef Favorites, Wellness, Family Friendly, Fast & Easy, and Veggies. You can choose as many of those as you want to get personalized meal recommendations.
HelloFresh offers up a few different diet plans like Meat & Veggie, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian (which is a bit of a rarity). And, just like Blue Apron, you’re free to mix and match these as much as you like.
HelloFresh gives you the option to customize your settings and omit certain ingredients you don’t like, including beef, pork, and seafood. Blue Apron doesn’t give you this level of control.
Both services offer vegetarian recipes, but the options are limited if you’re vegan. In fact, I can’t recommend either Blue Apron or HelloFresh for plant-based dieters, but they’re great for omnivores who want vegetarian meals a couple of times a week. Vegans would be much better off with a service like Green Chef.
If you’re looking for low-calorie or keto-friendly options, Blue Apron’s Wellness plan fits the bill. These recipes are great for boosting weight loss, as they tend to be high in protein and low in saturated fat, as well as featuring WW pro tips to help you cut back on your sodium and calorie intake.
HelloFresh has some organic produce in its meal kits but doesn’t focus much on this aspect. What it does do, though, is source all its ingredients from sustainable business partners and local farmers. It also keeps things seasonal to ensure peak freshness. On the other hand, Blue Apron promises only certified non-GMO ingredients in its meal kits.
Both companies publish allergen information for each recipe. You can view allergens directly on each menu item’s nutritional information right on the website long before ordering. This helps you quickly cull meals that you can eat.
Please keep in mind that neither service caters to specific allergies. If you have severe, life-threatening food allergies, I’d avoid either service altogether. The ingredients are all processed in the same facilities, so cross-contamination could occur.
Winner: It’s a tie
Blue Apron and HelloFresh both have streamlined websites. Signing up and placing an order with either company is easy and fast. Both also deliver to the lower 48 US states, just not Alaska or Hawaii.
It’s also easy to change your orders with both services. Blue Apron lets you change your delivery day, update your address, and more, before the weekly cutoff day. (You can find yours in the Account Settings page). HelloFresh also lets you change many aspects of your order. You just have to make changes by 11:59 pm PST, 5 days prior to your next scheduled delivery.
Both have the same minimum order, but the maximum varies. Blue Apron’s minimum is 2 meals of 2 servings every week, up to 4 meals of 4 servings. HelloFresh starts at 2 recipes for 2 people per week and goes up to 6 recipes for 4 people.
If you need more food per week, definitely go with HelloFresh as you can get more food, overall, per order.
Both services let you choose a delivery day from the options available based on your zip code – but you can change it afterward if you need to. For example, let’s take Boston, MA, 02116.
HelloFresh let me choose lots of delivery days from Monday to Saturday. All I did was click on the First Delivery section to bring up a calendar.
Similarly, Blue Apron also let me choose my ideal date from Monday to Saturday. Once you click on the First delivery date section, you can bring up a list of dates as far as around 4 weeks in advance.
HelloFresh and Blue Apron also have apps that allow you to track your order.
HelloFresh’s boxes come neatly organized with everything clearly labeled. You’ll be sent meal cards for all of the recipes you’ve ordered with colorful pictures and easy-to-follow instructions. Everything comes in 1 paper bag – and 1 paper bag equals 1 recipe. It’s all color-coded, too, so there’s no confusion as to what is what.
Blue Apron offers an almost identical experience, with 1 minor caveat. Everything comes shipped inside a box, in an insulated bag for temperature control. However, unlike HelloFresh, the ingredients are kind of all over the place. They’re not segregated inside individually packaged paper bags like you’ll find at HelloFresh.
Blue Apron uses more plastic in its packaging than HelloFresh. While the company takes steps to be as eco-friendly as possible, there’s no denying it’s best to avoid plastic as much as you can. Most of the plastic used in Blue Apron’s packaging is recyclable, but it’s still not as eco-friendly as paper.
HelloFresh uses more paper and cardboard in its boxes. This is automatically an improvement, but there’s still some plastic present in its shipments. And, like Blue Apron, some of HelloFresh’s materials aren’t recyclable in some local areas.
I’m calling this round a tie overall. Both services are neck-and-neck when you consider the ordering and delivery process as a whole. Both websites also have detailed instructions on how to responsibly dispose of the materials in your box, even if they differ slightly when it comes to the packaging materials used.
Winner: Blue Apron
This category was almost too close to call since both services offer lots of prep options. Ultimately, it came down to Blue Apron’s oven-ready recipes and prepared meals.
Most HelloFresh dinners are quick and easy to make. The meal kits take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, with most averaging around the 20- to 30-minute mark. Blue Apron’s recipes aren’t any faster, but it has special features that give it the edge.
Of the 2, Blue Apron is the only service to offer prepared meals each week. These single-serving dinners are ready to eat after just 5 minutes in the microwave. It doesn’t get quicker than that!
Blue Apron takes things another step further with its Ready to Cook meal kits, which come with prepped ingredients and a recyclable aluminum baking tin. You can get tasty-sounding dishes like Oven-Baked Green Shakshuka with minimal prep and cleanup.
With both companies, you’ll receive the printed recipe cards in your box, with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process. You’ll also find cook-along videos on the app. All the ingredients arrive perfectly portioned and individually packaged in both cases, too, so you only need to get chopping and cooking!
Some of Blue Apron’s sauces come premade, and some require a little prep. All the veggies seem to require some prep as well.
HelloFresh also doesn’t pre-chop its ingredients. You’ll have to do a bit of prep here, too. Again, some of the sauces come prepared, and some need to be mixed – but just like Blue Apron, this depends on the meal.
Winner: It’s a tie!
There’s no real difference between the 2 companies' customer support offerings. Both offer a great live chat experience, an in-depth FAQ section on the website, phone, and email support.
Blue Apron’s support hours are Monday to Friday 10 am to 9 pm, ET as well as on weekends from 11 am to 6 pm ET. HelloFresh support via phone calls will be from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 11 pm EST, along with 24/7 live chat.
I tried out both services’ chat support – and was impressed with both. Blue Apron’s agent was friendly, helpful, and professional when I asked about vegetarian meals.
HelloFresh’s live chat support was equally friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. I tried the same question and got a similar answer that also directed me to the current menu.
Both companies offer some of the best customer support in the industry, so you won’t need to worry if you have any issues with your order or delivery.
Winner: Blue Apron
Blue Apron wins here because it’s better quality, and cheaper than HelloFresh. Without any discounts, Blue Apron’s pricing starts at around $7.99 per serving (when you order 4 meals for 4 people per week) to $11.99 per serving when you order just 2 meals for 2 people. Note that if you use our special discount code: Enjoy $180 off across your first 6 orders, you’ll get the lowest price of $5.74 per serving.
HelloFresh’s pricing starts at >$9 per serving, which is higher than Blue Apron’s starting prices. Even when you order the max order of 6 recipes for 4 people per week, HelloFresh’s pricing is still higher than Blue Apron’s. If you want to reduce the price, you can use our exclusive discount code (18 free meals + first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code DR18HF) and bring the starting price down to $3.32 per serving.
Both services are great for families, but HelloFresh does allow you to order more meals per week (up to 6), which is great if you have a larger household, want lunch-friendly leftovers, or just have very little time in the week to get to the grocery store!
However, note that HelloFresh has a slightly higher shipping cost, with a flat rate of $10.99 per shipment compared to Blue Apron’s $9.99.
But the best way to try out either of these services is with our introductory discounts. Right now, you can get our Blue Apron discount of Enjoy $180 off across your first 6 orders, and HelloFresh’s discount – 18 free meals + first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code DR18HF.
Gourmet meals and add-ons
Families and picky eaters
$5.74 per serving (with discount)
$3.32 per serving (with discount)
2 recipes for 2 people per week
2 recipes for 2 people per week
19 options per week
30+ options per week
5 to 50 minutes
15 to 45 minutes
5 to 30 minutes
10 to 30 minutes
Ready to Cook, Heat-and-Eat
Easy Cleanup, Easy Prep
Special Dietary Options
Diabetes-Friendly, Vegetarian, WW-Approved
Calorie-Smart, Carb-Smart, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Vegan
FAQ, online chat, phone
FAQ, online chat, phone
18 free meals + first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code DR18HF
Blue Apron wins my comparison, hands down. It offers higher-quality ingredients, more unique cuisines and meals, tons of market add-ons, extras, desserts, sides, snacks, and even seasonal holiday boxes and wine pairings. Plus, you get the choice of meal kits or prepared meals.
And, to top it all off, it’s even cheaper than HelloFresh. To me, that’s a no-brainer.
But that’s not to say that HelloFresh doesn’t provide a great dining experience. If you have a larger family with kids, the kid-friendly meals and the ability to order more each week might suit your family better. The choice is yours.
Blue Apron is cheaper than HelloFresh but not by a lot. When I compared their pricing, I found that both services range from $7.99 to $11.99 per serving, though HelloFresh has a slightly higher shipping fee at $10.99, compared to Blue Apron’s $9.99 fee.
Blue Apron may be the healthier choice for some. Its dedicated Wellness menu is inspired by the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and features WW-approved recipes that let you track your SmartPoints and watch your sodium intake.
Blue Apron is better than HelloFresh. It won my side-by-side comparison of both services thanks to its larger selection of cuisines, higher-quality meals, prepared meals and meal kits (vs. HelloFresh’s meal kits only), and a ton of market add-ons and extras.