If you’re looking into meal kits, you’re likely seeking a mealtime alternative that’s quick, easy, affordable, or some combination of the three. You've also probably heard that two industry pioneers, Gobble and Blue Apron, offer just that. But how do these two meal delivery services compare with each other? I’ll lay it all out in my comparison of Gobble vs. Blue Apron.
For starters, it’s clear that the two have stood the test of time. Both Gobble and Blue Apron were among the first meal kits to become available in the United States, and they’re still going strong today.
Gobble is best known for its quick and easy meals, with each meal requiring only 15 minutes of prep and cook time, and one single pan. Alternatively, Blue Apron is likely to be the more widely recognized name in most households, offering a range of recipes that even beginners can conquer in the kitchen.
In fact, Blue Apron made it onto our list of this year’s Best Meal Delivery Services.
Let’s take a closer look...
Lean & Clean, Vegetarian, Balanced
Vegetarian, Balanced, Carb-conscious & Weight Watchers approved, Diabetes-friendly
15+ options across three menus
12 options across all menus
$11.99 per serving
$5.74 per serving
$6.99 per box; new customers get free shipping on the first box
Free shipping on three or more recipes per week; $7.99 on two recipes per week
Gobble is a simple and straightforward meal kit service offering three different menus, Classic, Vegetarian Only, and Lean & Clean. Within the Classic menus, you can customize your plan based on your protein preferences, which is a feature you don’t see too often with meal kits.
There are at least three different vegetarian options per week as well as the Lean & Clean menu which offers low-carb, nutrient-dense dinners that are all under 600 calories per portion. Lean & Clean meals include no filler grains and are filled with a healthy mix of lean proteins, vegetables, and fats necessary for a balanced diet.
Blue Apron caters to more specific dietary needs with a range of menus to choose from, including Vegetarian, Signature, and Wellness plans. There are also categories for Carb Conscious, Weight-Watchers approved, and Diabetes-Friendly meals. These recipes have all been nutritionist-approved, and the Diabetes-Friendly menu also follows guidelines regulated by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Despite Gobble offering protein customization within its Classic meal plan, I still feel like Blue Apron’s diet-specific meals reign superior. Because of this, Blue Apron is the winning meal kit in terms of dietary preferences.
Winner: Blue Apron
Gobble has an average of 15 meal options to choose from weekly, with the addition of a few extra items, such as soups, breakfasts, desserts, or snacks. Menus are rotated each week, ensuring variety in each of your boxes.
Gobble even has a feature called Personalize this Meal, which allows you to upgrade or alter your protein to your liking. For example, in this Al Pastor Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple & Skillet Refried Beans and Shrimp, you can change the protein option from shrimp to sliced chicken breast, or flat iron steak strips.
Each week, Blue Apron offers 12 different recipes, from a range of world cuisines, aimed at a variety of culinary abilities. Blue Apron also highlights one premium, seasonal meal each week, like this Mother’s Day dinner of Lime Butter Scallops with Peanut Butter Buckeyes.
To help spice things up in the kitchen, Blue Apron often works with a celebrity chef to design recipes for its meal kits. Recently, Blue Apron has partnered with award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi, known for his Japanese-American-inspired cuisine.
Determining a winner between Gobble and Blue Apron in terms of menu variety is tricky. Neither have the most expansive weekly choices I’ve seen in a meal kit service, but both do an excellent job of keeping things fresh each week. Although I can appreciate Blue Apron’s efforts with the premium meals and guest chef recipes, I think Gobble has more variety thanks to its customization options and different daily meals.
One of Gobble’s stand-out features is its easy-to-understand pricing model. Regardless of the plan you choose, Classic, Vegetarian Only, or Lean & Clean, all meals are $11.99 per serving.
This pricing model is more expensive than Blue Apron’s pricing, ranging from $7.49 to $9.99 per serving, depending on the number of recipes you choose per week.
To break it down, let’s look at the pricing for the smallest possible order for Gobble, which is three meals for two people at $11.99 per serving. Shipping costs $6.99 per box, so for six servings with Gobble, your total will be $78.93. An identical box from Blue Apron costs $9.99 per serving. When you order more than four servings with Blue Apron, shipping is free, so a box of six meals costs $59.94.
As you can see, Blue Apron is the clear winner in terms of starting price. Even at its most expensive price per serving, you’ll still save nearly $20 weekly for the same number of meals.
Winner: Blue Apron
When it comes to delivery, both Gobble and Blue Apron offer flexible scheduling, including the ability to skip orders. Between the two, though, Blue Apron is more accessible. While both deliver to the contiguous United States, Gobble is currently unable to provide kits to Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
Your weekly box delivered by Gobble comes with each meal separated in a plastic bag. In case you need to divide your bags for storage purposes, each ingredient has a designated sticker identifying which meal it belongs to so you definitely won’t get confused.
Blue Apron’s packaging couldn’t be any more different, with each weekly box arriving with all the ingredients mixed. Since the idea of Blue Apron is to prep your meals for the week in one go, it minimizes time spent opening packages by putting everything together.
For those who prefer to prepare their meals one at a time, this does mean adding a few extra minutes to find all of the necessary ingredients for each meal.
Although it might seem tedious to sift through your Blue Apron boxes, I preferred this packaging method for its commitment to being environmentally friendly. After receiving one package of a meal kit, you can quickly see how your waste can build up week after week. For that reason, I appreciate Blue Apron’s movement towards more eco-friendly packaging.
In addition to minimizing waste, Blue Apron has also teamed up with How2Recycle, a program designing easily identifiable recycling labels to help reduce waste even further. All packaging that comes from Blue Apron is 85% recyclable. On the other hand, Gobble has removed claims of being eco-friendly after disputes with the National Advertising Division a few years back.
The packaging factor is going to depend on personal preference. I’m leaning towards Blue Apron for its commitment to the environment but I recognize how the convenience Gobble’s packaging may be preferable to others. That aside, Blue Apron delivers across the contiguous United States while Gobble has some limitations, giving Blue Apron the edge here.
Winner: Blue Apron
One of Gobble’s main marketing strategies is convenience at dinner time, with all of its meals guaranteed to be ready in 15 minutes.
On the other hand, Blue Apron has recipes for all culinary levels, meaning meals can take anywhere from 20 up to 65 minutes to prep and cook. And, as previously mentioned, sorting through your meal box can also add on a few extra minutes of prep time.
With all meals under 15 minutes, it’s hard to beat Gobble if you’re looking for quick and easy meals.
Ultimately, I can see why Gobble and Blue Apron have endured the test of time. Both cater to some dietary preferences and feature mouth-watering recipes that change every week to help you maintain variety at dinnertime.
Gobble has prioritized convenience, with every recipe it offers ready to eat in 15 minutes. With tasty dishes like Pan-Roasted Chicken with Asparagus and Basil Mashed Potatoes or Soyrizo-Stuffed Roasted Poblano Peppers with Refried Black Beans, it’s nice to know you aren’t compromising quality for this level of convenience.
Blue Apron has done an excellent job keeping its menu fresh, too, with guest chef recipes and premium choices available each week. All meals are still relatively simple with cook times ranging from 20-65 minutes. While convenience is a significant factor in meal kits, price is also pretty high up there for me, which is why I believe Blue Apron to be superior with quality meals available at $2 to $4 less per serving than its competitor Gobble.