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Written by: Mike Pawlik on Dec 18th, 2022

Hungryroot vs. Blue Apron 2023: Major Differences Revealed

Hungryroot and Blue Apron both appear pretty similar on the surface, but there are a few key differences between them. Blue Apron is a meal kit and prepared meal delivery service making it easy and convenient for you to cook and prepare your meals – and Hungryroot is more of an all-in-one meal kit and grocery delivery service.

Along with Blue Apron’s prepared meals, both services send you meal kits that you can cook on your own at home – so what else exactly is different between them? My team and I have checked out each service to deliver our verdict on what differentiates them, and which one is our top recommendation.

Overall, I’ve found Hungryroot to be the winner for several reasons. It offers a lower shipping fee, far more selection, and it caters to more dietary preferences and allergies.. Blue Apron was a worthy contender though. Read on to find out how they compare.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Tie

🍔 Menu Variety:

Hungryroot (hundreds of choices per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

Blue Apron

🍴 Customization:

Hungryroot (5+ dietary options)

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Tie

🙋 Customer Support:

Blue Apron

Menu Variety

Winner: Hungryroot

There’s no doubt that Hungryroot wins this category since you can basically access an entire grocery store worth of food. Blue Apron and Hungryroot are different in some more fundamental ways, though. For one, Blue Apron provides one-off meal kits and prepared meals. This means that whatever meal you’re making (or heating up) will be enough for one to two servings.

Hungryroot is different in that it provides you with groceries as well as meal kits. All its ingredients are free from artificial colors, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. I really liked seeing that the ingredients you’ll get here are of the highest quality. Some of the groceries are single-serving, and some are multi-serving items like a tub of cookie dough or packs of fig bars.

Whichever way you decide to order from Hungryroot, you can expect enough meals for the entire week. One thing I should point out is that it doesn’t offer any breakfast meal kits. For that, you would have to use the grocery section. Meal choices on offer include anything you can imagine like pizzas, pasta, meat dishes with sides of veggies and carbs like the Chimichurri Steak + Creamy Butter Bean Mash, and more.

hungryroot menu Chimichurri Steak + Creamy Butter Bean Mash

Try this Chimichurri Steak + Creamy Butter Bean Mash recipe from Hungryroot

Since Hungryroot sends you all the groceries you need to make virtually any dish, the sky's the limit in terms of cuisines. You’ll find things like Korean, Italian, Mediterranean, Greek, French, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Indian, and many more.

Cuisines on offer from Blue Apron include Korean, Japanese, Mediterranean, Italian, Classic American, Indian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and many more which keeps things fresh. It’s tough to get bored with Blue Apron – so if you’re wanting to be a bit more adventurous, you can opt for the meal kits.

With Blue Apron, you can expect the skill level required to be beginner to intermediate. Most dishes are simple to make with the Premium options giving you the chance to put your culinary wizardry to use.

Cooking skill levels required for Hungryroot meals can range from beginner to intermediate. I’ve found most of the meals to be pretty straightforward and simple to prepare, though, so you won’t have to bring any advanced skills to the table.

Keep in mind that, unlike Blue Apron, Hungryroot doesn’t include recipe cards in your deliveries – but they’re available on the website. Many of the meals are kid-friendly, of course, since it offers such a huge number of meals.

Blue Apron delivers meal kits and prepared meals. Whether you like cooking or not, there’s something for everyone here. Its prepared meals are microwave-ready, and its meal kits can be cooked within about 15-45 minutes.

There are 25+ recipes to choose from across four different menus. Signature for Two, Signature for Four, Vegetarian for Two, and Wellness For Two. The Signature plan features balanced meals, the Vegetarian plan contains veggie-friendly recipes and the Wellness menu features nutritionist-approved recipes including low-carb and WW-approved recipes.

I found that about one-third to half the recipes you’ll find at Blue Apron are kid-friendly and more basic, and the other half to two-thirds are more unique and contain more exotic ingredients. For example, the Oven-Baked Squash and Black Bean Tacos sound like an exciting recipe that the whole family will love.

blue apron menu, Oven-Baked Squash & Black Bean Tacos

Try Blue Apron's Oven-Baked Squash & Black Bean Tacos

But the meal kits and prepared meals aren’t all you can get from Blue Apron. It offers a very large selection of other items as well including pantry items, kitchen tools and utensils, spices, and wines. These are all available from the Blue Apron Market. It also has add-ons as well like desserts, salads, appetizers, and sides which are available in the mobile app or from your Blue Apron account page.

In addition, you can get special seasonal holiday boxes related to whatever’s going on at the time. Holiday boxes are bundles of meals you can make for your friends and family for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. These usually feed from six to eight people.

The kitchen utensils and tools that you can purchase from Blue Apron will be very similar to what you’ll find at your local kitchen supply shop. You’ll find things like pots, pans, whisks, microwave ovens, measuring utensils, aprons, santoku chef knives, cutting boards, and more. I found this to be quite unique to Blue Apron, and haven’t seen this anywhere else.

Meal Customization

Winner: Hungryroot

Hungryroot isn’t just a grocery and meal kit delivery service – it caters to tons of different dietary preferences and allergies as well. This is because you can pretty much customize your meals to exactly your preferences.

Before you even begin ordering from Hungryroot, you’ll be presented with a short quiz that’ll ask you a bunch of questions about your exact preferences. You’ll be asked about who you’re feeding (whether it’s just you or someone else as well), what your goals are including weight loss, saving time, cooking less, wasting less food, and what your dietary preferences are.

You’re still free to peruse the recipes and groceries section of the site as well, of course, but I highly recommend taking advantage of the quiz to get more personalized results. This way, you’ll be able to tell Hungryroot what ingredients you want to see more of, and what ingredients you want to see less of.

hungryroot quiz

Answer several questions on Hungryroot's quiz that will tailor the menu to you

Dietary preferences include omnivore, pescatarian, vegan, and vegetarian, and allergens catered to include gluten, soy, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, and shellfish. Anything you want to avoid is easy to do directly on the recipes section of the Hungryroot website.

hungryroot recipes filtering system

Hungryroot makes it super simple to filter down the recipes to your exact preferences

The reason that Hungryroot won this category is that Blue Apron doesn’t offer nearly as many customization options. You really can’t filter down the menu as extensively as you can with Hungryroot. But just because it doesn’t let you customize as extensively as Hungryroot doesn’t mean you can’t at all.

With Blue Apron’s Signature for Two and Signature for Four plans, you can make some ingredient substitutions to the recipes themselves. For example, you could replace chicken with tofu or the starch for extra veggies. You can also increase the portions of certain ingredients. Upgrading would allow you to select a more premium ingredient, like exchanging bistro steaks for New York strips.

In terms of dietary preferences and allergens, Blue Apron offers a Vegetarian plan but there aren’t any vegan options. It also doesn’t guarantee that any of the ingredients haven’t come into contact with major known allergens. As such, it’s not recommended to choose Blue Apron if you have a severe, life-threatening allergy.

Each menu item has dietary tags and a full list of all ingredients (you need to click on the meal image for this) in case you want to avoid something specific. And, since you’re getting meal kits, it’s easy to substitute or simply omit any ingredients at home in order to make the meal low-calorie, low-carb, or even dairy-free. In that way, many vegetarian meals could be made vegan at home.

blue apron, allergens and ingredients

Blue Apron lists all ingredients and allergens for each menu item

Overall, though Blue Apron’s customization options aren’t nearly as strong as Hungryroot’s, I was still impressed to see the ingredient replacement and upgrade options.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Tie

Ordering from both sites is pretty straightforward, so I gave this category a tie. It may initially seem a bit more complicated on the Hungryroot site because it doesn’t have traditional menu pages like Blue Apron, but once you complete the quiz at the beginning, it’s pretty straightforward after that.

Hungryroot delivers to the contiguous US. The Hungryroot minimum order depends on how many people are in your household. In general, your can order can be anywhere from three to eight two- or four-serving recipes, plus as many grocery items as you want including breakfasts, desserts, fruits, snacks, snacks, or anything else.

Changing your order is also quite easy. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make any changes before 7 pm EST the Monday or Thursday before your upcoming delivery. To see what day your next delivery will be dispatched, you’ll have to head to your account dashboard (My Hungryroot). Availability of delivery dates will depend on your exact location.

hungryroot delivery days, sacramento, ca

Delivery days will depend on your exact location which will be divulged before signing up

Blue Apron, on the other hand, makes ordering very simple. On the homepage, you’ll be able to build your plan right away and choose the number of servings you want. The minimum Blue Apron order is two servings of two meals per week.

Blue Apron also delivers anywhere within the contiguous US. There was a lot more choice than I was expecting when it came to delivery dates for Blue Apron. I was able to choose from roughly 20 different options which I wasn’t expecting at all. This makes the service pretty convenient as you’ll be able to choose the exact day that’ll work best for you.

blue apron delivery days

Blue Apron offers no shortage of available delivery days

You can make changes to your order or delivery date as well – but each individual will have a different cutoff time to do so. You can view the Changeable before date for each upcoming weekly delivery or monthly wine delivery right in your account dashboard. Blue Apron also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android that makes it easy to view your upcoming deliveries and make any necessary changes.

Hungryroot’s ingredients come inside the delivery box with cooling packs to keep ingredients fresh until you can store them or use them. Boxes, food protectors, and paper coolers are all recyclable. The ingredients all come packaged neatly, and ready for easy storage in the fridge.

When you first open your box, you’ll be greeted with your official receipt along with the recipes you’ve chosen for the week. Each item is packaged individually, and you can easily locate the “Use by” or “Enjoy within” date ranges printed on each item's packaging. Since everything is packaged individually, you’ll be able to tell what’s for a recipe and what’s a normal grocery item.

All Blue Apron ingredients also arrive fresh and never-frozen, and it recommends that you place all perishable items in the refrigerator immediately upon delivery. Each ingredient is packaged together with everything else so it may take some time to sort it all.

But you won’t have to guess – each recipe card will tell you exactly which ingredient will be needed, and everything is clearly labeled for identification. Everything is also preportioned with exact measurements so you won’t have to do any measuring or weighing. The only exception is the meat. Each meat is packaged and portioned separately so you know exactly what recipe it’s for.

In terms of storage instructions, Blue Apron recommends you store all temperature-sensitive ingredients in the fridge until they’re needed. Meats and poultry should be used within seven days, and any dishes containing seafood within two. You’re also welcome to freeze these items until they’re needed – just make sure to take them out about 24 hours before they’re actually needed to ensure they thaw correctly.

Blue Apron’s meal kits and prepared meals also come in recyclable boxes with insulation keeping everything at the right temperature. The prepared meals come in recyclable, microwaveable boxes that you’ll just have to rinse out before recycling. As for the other materials, keep an eye out for #1 and #5 symbols on all of the individual packages for recyclability information.

Blue Apron delivers a ton of different items including wine boxes, delivery boxes, meal kits, prepared meals, and kitchen tools, so each package will have specific recyclability information. For example, you can recycle most rigid plastic lids, trays, wine bottles, sauce bottles, jars, clam shells, cans, molded fiber containers, and recipe cards with either the #1, $5, #40, or #70 recycling designations. Drained ice packs are also recyclable, depending on your location. Look for the #2 or #4 designations on the packaging material. Some materials like the spice blend sachets and film lids can’t be recycled.

Meal Prep

Winner: Blue Apron

In terms of meal prep, Blue Apron is the clear winner because it offers prepared meals. These can be heated up in the microwave in about two to three minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

Hungryroot mostly offers meal kits that’ll have to be cooked from scratch. A lot of the meals will take less than 15 minutes to make, but there’s a decent range of cooking times to be found.

Many of Blue Apron’s meals have a “Ready to Cook” label, which means all the ingredients are chopped and prepped for you. Any meals that don’t have this label will require more prep as the ingredients come whole. That also means chopping and processing down each individual item. You can also get a large selection of Quick Prep meal kits which include several sheet pan and one-pot recipes.

Most sauces you’ll get from Hungryroot are ready-to-go from the package like the Thai Green Curry Sauce and the Cranberry Sauce. That means zero prep for you. Most of the sauces you’ll get from Blue Apron, on the other hand, will have to be made from scratch – but with the easy-to-follow instructions, these really don’t take much time at all.

Customer Support

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron offers support via phone and live chat from 10 am to 9 pm EST from Monday to Friday, and 11 am to 6 pm EST on Saturdays and Sundays. I found the customer support team to be highly responsive via live chat, so I always recommend trying that option first (unless you prefer speaking to someone directly on the phone).

blue apron, customer support live chat

Blue Apron's chat support was quick, professional, and friendly

Hungryroot offers support via chat, help ticket, or text message from 10 am to 6 pm EST, seven days per week. Blue Apron’s hours of operation are definitely a bit better – but it’s still great to see that both services offer excellent support.

As with Blue Apron, I found Hungryroot’s support email to be quite responsive, friendly, and professional. The agent replied to my question in about one hour and 15 minutes which is way above average for email support. My question was answered completely, and the agent gave me all the information I needed without having to email back again.

hungryroot, email support

Hungryroot's email support was quick, professional, and friendly

Keep in mind that both companies answer tons of common questions in each competitor’s respective FAQ section. I highly recommend heading to the relevant FAQ section first as your question may very well have already been answered. Each FAQ section is fully searchable for the exact keyword you’re looking to get answered.

Pricing

Winner: Tie

Nobody really wins this category per se because each service offers something uniquely different. With Blue Apron, you’ll get specific ingredients to make specific meal kits, or you can choose its prepared meals. Hungryroot, on the other hand, provides you with groceries to make your meals.

However, technically speaking, Blue Apron offers a lower per-serving pricing at around $5.74 after discounts are applied (Hungryroot is Price: Missing Product hungryroot per serving). Blue Apron’s shipping fee is a flat fee of $9.99 regardless of where you live or how much you order. Hungryroot’s shipping fee is $6.99 if you spend less than $70 – and it’s free for orders over that amount.

Overall, I think the question of pricing is a wash because of the prepared meals Blue Apron offers that simply aren’t available from Hungryroot. Keep in mind that there are some great opening offers for new customers that could bring down your prices. Enjoy $130 off across your first 6 orders for Blue Apron and 30% off + free gift in every delivery for Hungryroot.

This is where things get a bit interesting. Blue Apron offers a ton of extra market items and gadgets that Hungryroot doesn’t. For example, you can get a host of things like Holiday Boxes (which are made up of mains, sides, and desserts), wine bundles, pantry items, and kitchen utensils, tools, and supplies like pots, pans, whisks, spices, and a lot more.

Pricing for the Holiday Boxes starts at around $125 for the vegetarian option all the way up to around $190 for the Roast Beef option, and each one serves around six to eight people. Wine packs include between three to six bottles and range in price from about $50 to $90.

Pantry items like flake salt, kosher salt, and a wide variety of spices range in price from about $10 to $85. Finally, Blue Apron’s kitchen tools include pots, pans, aprons, skillets, lids, spatulas, microwave ovens, Japanese santoku knives, cutting boards, garlic presses, and a ton more.

Prices for the kitchen tools range from around $5 for the veggie peeler to around $530 for a 4-in-1 Multi-Oven with Inverter Microwave, Air Fryer, FlashXpress Broiler, and Convection Bake modes. You can get pretty much anything your kitchen is missing from Blue Apron.

Any grocery items you choose from Hungryroot will vary greatly in pricing, depending on what exactly you’re ordering. Items include produce, sauces and condiments, meats and seafood, grains, bread, pasta, pantry items, eggs, and more – which is pretty much anything you can find at your grocery store.

Features Comparison: Hungryroot vs. Blue Apron


Hungryroot

Blue Apron

Best for

Those looking for a complete list of all grocery items

Those who want meal kits or prepared meals

Starting price

Price: Missing Product hungryroot per serving

$5.74 per serving

Shipping cost

$6.99 (or free for orders over $70)

$9.99

Minimum order

Three entrees

4 servings

Menu variety

Hundreds of choices per week

25+ choices per week

Prep time

10-30 minutes

5 to 50 minutes

Low-prep options

10-minute meals

Heat & Eat prepared meals, Fast & Easy kits, sheet-pan recipes

Allergies catered to

Dairy, soy, gluten, tree nut, peanut, egg, shellfish

Limited

Special diets

Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, balanced

Vegetarian, WW-approved

Customer support

Text from 10 am - 6 pm EST, every day + email

Live chat and phone from Monday to Friday from 10 am- 9 pm EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am - 6 pm EST

Promotions

30% off + free gift in every delivery

Enjoy $130 off across your first 6 orders

And The Winner Is: Hungryroot

Overall, it’s a pretty close call, but Hungryroot is the winner here. It offers a much more extensive selection since it’s a grocery delivery service and caters to more allergies than Blue Apron. There are also lower shipping fees, and far more diet types on the menu. Most of the items you’ll get and the meals you’ll prepare from Hungryroot can be ready within about 10-15 minutes.

However, Blue Apron is still an excellent option as it offers a slightly different business model than Hungryroot. If you’re looking for prepared meals and meal kits, lots of extras like kitchen gadgets, utensils, and tools, and a large selection of wines and spices, Blue Apron could still be an excellent option for you.

FAQ

How many meals do you get with Hungryroot? 

With Hungryroot, you can get a combination of eight recipes for lunch and dinner per week (16 recipes in total) that you can organize any way you like. For example, you can choose four and 12, six and ten, eight and eight, or any other combination. Other grocery items like breakfast, snacks, and sweets range from zero servings per week all the way up to around eight to 12.

What kind of groceries does Hungryroot have? 

Hungryroot provides almost any groceries you can find at a regular grocery store. Items include fresh vegetables, fruit, pantry items, meats, legumes, cereals, and tons more. Check out the Meal Variety section in this article to find out about all the different types of groceries you can get from Hungryroot.

Are Blue Apron meals already cooked?

Some of them are and some of them aren’t. With Blue Apron, you can choose from a large selection of both prepared meals and meal kits. Both options give you lots of choices in terms of international cuisines like Latin American, Korean, Japanese, Italian, classic American, and many more. The prepared meals can be heated up in about two to three minutes depending on the strength of your microwave, and the meal kits can be cooked in around 20-45 minutes.

About The Author

Mike Pawlik
Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank
Mike is a writer based in Calgary. Though he's written about technology, fitness, and lifestyle, as a seasoned cook, food remains one of his top passions
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