We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Zoran Trifunovic
Zoran Trifunovic
Updated on Feb 20th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Blue Apron vs. Purple Carrot 2024: Gourmet vs. Vegan

Besides colorful names, Blue Apron and Purple Carrot don’t have a lot in common. On one hand, both services offer menus that include meal kits, prepared meals, and add-ons. On the other hand, the two services cater to different lifestyles and dietary needs.

Blue Apron is a gourmet meal delivery service that focuses on restaurant-style dishes. You can expect to find premium proteins and chef-designed recipes on the menu.

Purple Carrot is a more unique service with a fully vegan menu. Its recipes focus on plant-based proteins and flavors from around the world. The dishes are tasty enough to convince any meat-eater, but they come at a higher price-per-serving than Blue Apron’s.

Overall, Blue Apron wins this comparison. The matchup was neck and neck, but I can’t deny that many won’t be interested in a vegan service. Read on to decide for yourself which meal delivery service is best for you!

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Blue Apron (from $3.74 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Blue Apron (80+ meals and 15+ Add-Ons a week)

🥦Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

It’s a tie

⏰ Prep Time:

It’s a tie

🍴 Customization:

Blue Apron (5 dietary options)

👍 Ordering and Delivery

It’s a tie

🙋 Customer Support:

Purple Carrot

👑 Overall Winner:
Blue Apron

Menu Variety

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron narrowly beats Purple Carrot in this category. It boasts 80+ weekly meal kits and ready-to-eat recipes compared to 16 Purple Carrot meal kits and 16 fresh ready-to-eat dishes. Both services offer frozen ready-to-eat meals in addition to the ones included in the main menu.

Part of Blue Apron's menu
You'll see recipes for the coming weeks as you scroll down the page.
But, Purple Carrot beats Blue Apron when it comes to add-ons. While Blue Apron has 15+ add-ons, Purple Carrot has twice that number in its Plantry marketplace.

Part of Purple Carrot's Plantry selection
Oatmeal, cakes, and buns are some Purple Carrot's Plantry items.
Both meal delivery companies suit a range of diets. They have carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and diabetes-friendly options, among others. But Blue Apron caters to meat-lovers and omnivores, even vegetarians. Unlike its competitor, Purple Carrot serves only vegan dishes.

Example Blue Apron and Purple Carrot meals
Click on the meal to check its ingredients and nutritional information.

The extras align with Blue Apron’s and Purple Carrot’s lines of meals. Blue Apron's Add-Ons include individual proteins, like bacon and salmon filets, and various dairy and other products. On the flip side, Purple Carrot's Plantry section features vegan bacon, Truffle Burger, plant-based cream cheese, oatmeal, and more.

Blue Apron's Add-Ons and Purple Carrot's Plantry products
If you watch closely, you'll see that Purple Carrot's Bacon is plant-based.

Whipping up Blue Apron and Purple Carrot recipes is easy even for novice cooks. Both companies send pre-portioned ingredients, leaving you to prepare (cut, dice, etc.) and cook them. But if you're not quite ready to don the chef's hat or you're busy, both offer a decent selection of prepared meals you can heat and serve in a few minutes.

Blue Apron features different meal categories for Meal Kits and Prepared & Ready plans. For Meal Kits, you have Chef Favorites, Family Friendly, Wellness, Veggies, and Fast & Easy. Blue Apron’s meal kits are available in 4 and 2 servings.

Blue Apron's menu categories and corresponding meals
Note that some recipes may fall into multiple meal categories.

The Prepared & Ready section is divided into 4 categories – Keto Friendly, 600 Calories or Less, 30g of Protein, and Carb Conscious. However, these categories aren’t exclusive to the ready-made meals section; you can also find meal kits with the same tags.

Purple Carrot doesn't box things into categories as such. It provides extra information about the recipe through labels and tags, such as Gluten-Free, High-Protein, and <600 Calories. As for the number of servings, it depends on whether the meal falls into Breakfasts, Lunches, or Dinners, and if it's a meal kit or a prepared meal. Purple Carrot's Dinners options

Take a look at the tags beneath the name of the dish to learn some useful details before selecting the meal for an in-depth check.

Both companies have meals from various acclaimed global cuisines on offer. You should find meals inspired by Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines, besides American, on their menus.

Sample Meals

Browsing Blue Apron and Purple Carrot menus is a piece of cake. Both websites feature well-designed interfaces. And if you're a planner, Blue Apron lets you check out recipes 4 weeks ahead. While perusing the menus, quite a few dishes caught my eye, and you can check out some of them below.

Blue Apron

Thai-Style Steak & Noodle Salad
Blue Apron's Thai-Style Steak & Noodle Salad is Blue Apron's Premium dish that comes at an extra cost.

Blue Apron has lunch and dinner options on its main menu. If you're after breakfasts, check out Add-Ons and look for Breakfast-labeled recipes. Since I don't follow a restrictive diet, dishes I'd especially like to try from this meal kit and prepared meal delivery service are:

  • Signature: Thai-Style Steak & Noodle Salad

  • Vegetarian: Olive & Feta Cheese Pizza

  • Wellness: Hot Honey Butter-Glazed Pork

  • Dessert (Add-Ons): Challah Bread Pudding Muffins

Purple Carrot

Indian-Style Grilled Cheese by Purple Carrot
The cheese in question here is vegan mozzarella.

Most Purple Carrot's recipes, 12 to be exact, qualify for dinner. You can order these dishes for 2 or 4 people. Four Breakfasts options come in 4 portions, while 4 Lunches suit 2 individuals. This vegan-friendly meal delivery service also has single-serving prepared meals. And some favorites of mine from both the meal kit and heat-and-eat worlds are: 

  • Breakfasts: Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • Lunches: Chilled Sesame Noodle Bowls

  • Dinners: Indian-Style Grilled Cheese

  • Prepared Meals: Portobello Tortelloni

Meal Customization

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a clear winner in the Meal Customization category. It has several categories for you to choose from, and you can mix and match recipes from different categories to suit all your dietary preferences. However, just like with Purple Carrot, you can’t mix and match meal kits and prepared meals.

Purple Carrot uses a similar system, only with icons, to sort its meals into categories based on specific diets or objectives. If you hover over the round green icons under each recipe, you’ll find some dishes are high-protein, soy-free, or gluten-free. There’s also a Chef’s Choice tag that indicates the most popular options.

Blue Apron's plans
Note that Blue Apron's plans differ from menu categories, for the most part.

Blue Apron has another standout feature. It lets you swap ingredients in selected dishes, while Purple Carrot doesn't allow for ingredient customization. With Blue Apron, you can replace certain proteins in some dishes, like the Peanut Chicken & Quinoa Salad. 

Protein alternatives in Blue Apron's Peanut Chicken & Quinoa Salad recipe
Click on View recipe to check the dish before you choose an alternative protein.

You can also transform a meat dish into a vegetarian meal and vice versa. To make an omnivore-friendly dish vegetarian, look for Make It Vegetarian-labeled recipes. To add meat to a vegetarian dish, choose a vegetarian meal, click on it, and see what meat options are available to add.

Ingredient-replacement options in Blue Apron's recipes
In general, you can make any Blue Apron vegetarian recipe omnivore-friendly and 1 weekly Signature meal plant-based.

Purple Carrot's Meal Kits encompass Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners. If you're pressed for time but enjoy cooking by yourself, check out Less Prep options. For a speedy serving, go for Prepared Meals, which are heat-and-eat ready. You can heat Frozen Meals in the microwave and serve them in a few minutes, just like Prepared Meals. 

Purple Carrot's menu options
Less Prep is a Meal Kits subcategory.

Ingredient Quality and Nutrition

Winner: It’s a tie!

Blue Apron and Purple Carrot source seasonal ingredients from farms, some of which are run by local families. Blue Apron purchases high-quality ingredients from importers, too. 

Both services add organic ingredients to their meals sometimes. In fact, the majority of Purple Carrot’s non-produce, including vegan cheeses, tofu, and yogurt, is organic. And you can be certain that you get food free of hormones and antibiotics if you order meals from either of these companies. 

Blue Apron ensures its meat comes from animals raised according to animal-welfare standards. The company authorities are well aware of how important sustainable fishing practices are. Thus, this meal delivery service partners with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, one of the leading authorities in the sustainable seafood field.

Ingredients of a Blue Apron recipe
Each recipe includes nutritional information and cooking instructions, among other details.

Blue Apron's Premium-labeled meals feature ingredients of the highest quality. These special dishes carry an extra price tag of up to a dozen bucks per serving. It's quite a surcharge, but I’m positive it's well worth the splurge for the dining experience you'll get. 

Select the meal to check the list of ingredients and nutritional information. There, you'll find optional ingredient replacement options and a surcharge if you're checking a Premium dish in the case of Blue Apron. Both services provide extensive information in either regard. You’ll also find step-by-step cooking and allergen info there. 

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: It’s a tie

There's no clear winner between Blue Apron and Purple Carrot in this category. Sure, Blue Apron shines in some areas, while Purple Carrot excels in others. In a nutshell, if you appreciate the flexibility to choose delivery days, go for Blue Apron. But if you consider yourself an eco-conscious person, Purple Carrot will likely align with your values better.

Ordering

Ordering food with either service is simple. You have to select See Plans on Blue Apron's site or Pricing on Purple Carrot's and choose a plan. Once you make your choice, hit Continue (Select This Plan), and the system will instruct you what to do next. 

You can choose Meal Kits for 2 or 4 people with Blue Apron. Either way, you can buy between 2 and 5 recipes per week. For Prepared & Ready meals, you can choose 6, 8, or 10 single-serving recipes per week.

Weekly serving and meal options from Blue Apron
The number of weekly meals and servings is the same regardless of the number of meal categories you select.

If you opt for Purple Carrot’s meal kits, you'll have to select a plan for 2 or 4 people. You can buy 3 or 4 weekly meals for 2 people or 2 or 3 recipes for 4 individuals. Ready-to-eat meals come in single-serving portions. 

Purple Carrot's Meal Kit and Prepared Meals plans
If you go for meals for 4 people, you can choose between 2 and 3 meals per dieter a week.

Make changes to your orders before the cut-off time if you change your mind. Go to the Upcoming page on Blue Apron's website or the Upcoming deliveries page on Purple Carrot's site for the specifics. 

Delivery

Blue Apron delivers its meal kits and prepared meals 7 days a week. And you can pick a delivery day that works best for you. Once the company ships your box, you'll get a notification with a tracking number. This meal delivery service ships food throughout the contiguous United States. 

Purple Carrot is less flexible in this regard. If you order this service's meals, you'll get them either on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. The carrier typically delivers between 9 am and 9 pm. You'll get the tracking info as soon as the courier takes over your shipment. You can get your vegan box from this service anywhere in the mainland US.

Image of a Purple Carrot delivery box and prepared meals piled next to the box with a meal served on a plate
Purple Carrot ships to all 48 contiguous states

You can skip deliveries with either competitor. Just head to Manage Delivery on Blue Apron's website or to Upcoming Deliveries on Purple Carrot's site when you sign in. Once there, choose the week you'd like to skip.

Unboxing

You'll get nicely organized food in either service's box. All ingredients come clearly labeled and packed in transparent bags, while prepared meals are in their own packages. In Blue Apron's box, you'll get each ingredient packed in its bag. On the flip side, Purple Carrot bundles all the components of a single meal into 1 larger plastic bag. 

An insulating layer protects your food in Blue Apron's and Purple Carrot's boxes. You'll find the produce and dairy on top, with the meat nestled at the bottom in Blue Apron's case. The ice gel packs are at the base of the insulated bag to keep everything cool.

Image of Blue Apron's packaging including recipe cards, boxes, and insulation
Check Blue Apron's website for more information on recycling and sustainability

Most of both services' packaging is recyclable. On top of that, Blue Apron operates as a carbon-neutral company. Purple Carrot contributes to sustainability by eliminating meat from its menu. For the record, meat production is among the world's largest contributors to global warming. 

Meal Prep

Winner: It’s a tie

You can prepare and serve most of both companies' meal kits in 15 to 45 minutes. Plus, both offer prepared meals that take 2 minutes in the microwave and require no prep at all.

Image of Purple Carrot's Chilled Three Bean Salad in the packaging
This Purple Carrot Chilled Three Bean Salad can be served straight from the fridge!

You'll get fresh or frozen meals with either service, depending on your choice. If you lean toward the frozen Purple Carrot meals, note that there's no need to thaw them out. Just pop them into the microwave in their handy, microwave-safe plastic containers. As for Blue Apron’s food, you can microwave it defrosted or frozen, as you prefer. 

Blue Apron is a bit better when it comes to the freshness of its ingredients – you benefit from a 7-Day Freshness Guarantee when buying its food. Purple Carrot's ingredients typically stay fresh for about 3 to 5 days.

Blue Apron meal's cooking steps
I gave up when I counted 6 steps halfway.

Both services include the cooking instructions on each meal's page. These typically contain anywhere from 1 step for prepared meals to several steps for meal kits. But you'll notice that each step involves up to several actions, even more, most often. So, serving the meal might take a bit more time and effort than it initially appears. 

Customer Support

Winner: Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot has a more efficient customer support team in my experience. I shot off emails to both companies after official working hours, asking about potential vegan options from Blue Apron and vegetarian meals from Purple Carrot. I got a response from Purple Carrot the next day. 

Response from Purple Carrot's customer support advocate
Expect a follow-up email concerning your satisfaction with the agent's response.

I hadn't heard back from Blue Apron even after 2 days. The service sent me a follow-up email explaining that the team currently deals with a high volume of traffic. Blue Apron informed me it might take its agents several days to respond. 

Both services offer different avenues for getting in touch with their customer support. Besides emailing them, you can give Blue Apron a phone call. As for Purple Carrot, use live chat for immediate help or text them via phone.

You can pause your account or unsubscribe from either service with ease. Just navigate to the Account Settings page and edit your subscription or cancel the account.

Pricing

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron is the winner in the Pricing category because its recipes are much cheaper. If you opt for the largest box, the price tag per serving will be $3.74. As for Purple Carrot, the lowest cost per recipe is $8.50. 

Pricing comparison between Blue Apron and Purple Carrot
As you can see, you get a considerably larger amount of Blue Apron meal kits for nearly the same price when ordering for the first time.

Blue Apron and Purple Carrot add-ons come with an extra charge. The same applies to Blue Apron's Premium meals. The prices vary but are generally between a few to about a dozen bucks, depending on the product. You'll also buy prepared meals separately. 

You pay a flat-rate shipping fee of $10.99 for Blue Apron orders. As for Purple Carrot, you qualify for free delivery if your order exceeds $99. If not, you'll pay $10 for shipping. 

Blue Apron vs. Purple Carrot – Quick Overview


Blue Apron

Purple Carrot

Best for

Omnivores and foodies

Plant-based dieters

Starting price

$3.74 per serving

$8.50 per serving

Shipping cost

$10.99

Free or $10

Minimum order

2 meals for 2 people

3 meals for 2 people

Menu variety

80+ meal kits and prepared meals, and 15+ add-ons

16 meal kits, 16 prepared meals, and 30+ add-ons

Prep time

2 to 45 minutes

0 to 40 minutes

Low-prep options

Heat & Eat, Fast & Easy, Ready to Cook, and Prepared & Ready 

Less Prep and Prepared Meals

Allergies catered to

None

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Nut-Free

Special diets

Omnivore, carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, vegetarian, low-calorie, high-protein, wellness.

Vegan, carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, diabetes-friendly, high-protein, vegetarian, gourmet, and spicy

Customer support

Email or call at (646) 891-4349 or (888) 278-4349 from 10 am to 9 pm ET Monday to Friday and from 11 am to 5 pm ET on Saturday

Text to 1-857-703-8188, live chat, and emailing from 6 am to 5 pm PST Monday to Friday

Promotions

Enjoy Meals starting as low as $2.80 - Plus, your first order ships free!

New For You! $100 Off Your First 4 Boxes. Code: Routine100

And the Winner Is: Blue Apron

Blue Apron stands out in this comparison. It offers a wider variety of meals and accommodates more dietary preferences than Purple Carrot. With its impressive customization options, you can easily tailor your meal plan and selected recipes. Furthermore, the ever-changing menu ensures you have fresh recipes to explore weekly.

For meat-eaters, Blue Apron is an ideal choice. Given the broader meal selection and customization capabilities, it caters to those who consume both plant-based and meat dishes.

Purple Carrot has its strong points. While it excels in certain aspects and even outdid Blue Apron in some categories, the limited meal choices and basic customization options posed significant drawbacks.

Purple Carrot is the perfect choice for vegans. If you're dedicated to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, then Purple Carrot is clearly the more fitting choice. 

FAQ

Is Purple Carrot cost effective?

You may find Purple Carrot cost-effective if you follow a vegan diet. Its price per serving is higher than most meal delivery services charge, true. But it has various plant-based meal kits and Plantry items and some prepared meals.

What is special about Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is a carbon-neutral company that sources high-quality ingredients. It has dozens of weekly meals suiting various dieters on the menu and ingredient-swap options. And you can check upcoming meals 4 weeks in advance.

Is Purple Carrot easy to cancel?

Yes, you can cancel Purple Carrot anytime hassle-free. To do so, sign in to your account and go to Account Settings to unsubscribe.

Is Blue Apron more expensive?

Blue Apron is usually less expensive than Purple Carrot. But, some of its specialty items, such as Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Soup, and Premium meals tend to push the price higher.

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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