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Written by: Mike Pawlik on Jul 10th, 2022

Purple Carrot vs. Sunbasket 2022: Is Sunbasket Actually Better?

Purple Carrot is vegan-only, whereas Sunbasket offers vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, and omnivore meals. Both services also offer meal kits and prepared meals, which means either will allow you the choice of cooking, or simply heating and eating.

Both services also offer very similar pricing. However, Purple Carrot provides always-free shipping, and Sunbasket only offers free shipping on your first order. After that, Sunbasket’s fee is about on par with most other meal delivery services.

Though the question of Purple Carrot vs. Sunbasket can be confusing, Sunbasket is the clear winner for me thanks to its range of diet plans, quick-prep meal kits, and organic ingredients. Though, Purple Carrot is still a great choice as it has some extras that Sunbasket doesn’t offer.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Purple Carrot ($8.50 per serving) + always-free shipping

🍔 Menu Variety:

Sunbasket (20+ choices per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

Sunbasket

🍴 Customization:

Sunbasket (11 dietary options)

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Tied

🙋 Customer Support:

Purple Carrot

Menu Variety

Winner: Sunbasket

In terms of menu variety, Sunbasket is the clear winner between these two meal delivery services. The reason for this is that it caters to more diets whereas Purple Carrot is strictly vegan-only.

In addition to vegan and vegetarian options, Sunbasket also offers omnivore, pescatarian, paleo, and Mediterranean diets and meals. However, both services offer carb-conscious, low-calorie, diabetic-friendly, spicy, and high-protein dishes.

Both Purple Carrot and Sunbasket offer 20+ meals per week, but Purple Carrot offers slightly more at around 24. In my experience, I take this as a tie as Sunbasket is only behind by a couple of meals.

Both also provide you with soy- and gluten-free choices, but Purple Carrot adds in nut-free as well, which Sunbasket doesn’t. On the other hand, some of Sunbasket’s meals allow you to customize your meats while Purple Carrot doesn’t allow you to switch proteins.

When it comes to cuisines, there is no clear winner. Both Sunbasket and Purple Carrot give you the choice of several different cuisines. It’s up to you to decide which ones you like best. 

About half, to two-thirds of Sunbasket’s menu is comprised of standard American dishes, like cauliflower mac and cheese. You’ll also find that the other half to one-third of menu items are international. Most of these dishes are also child-friendly.

On the other hand, most of Purple Carrot’s dishes are international, with a few basic American dishes sprinkled in. The biggest difference here is that Purple Carrot’s dishes are far less child-friendly and accessible if you prefer meals that use familiar ingredients and flavors.

Both offer up meal kits along with prepared meals, and most meal kits can be ready in between 15-30 minutes.

Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready meals come in a microwave- and oven-friendly tray, while Purple Carrot’s prepared meals can only be heated in the microwave. Again, this gives Sunbasket the slight advantage if you prefer heating your food in the oven.

Lastly, Sunbasket offers up a larger selection of meal types, which include breakfast, soups, mains (lunch and dinner), desserts, snacks, pantry extras, and meat or protein add-ons. Purple Carrot doesn’t have soups or protein add-ons but offers sides.

Meal Customization

Winner: Sunbasket

Sunbasket has the most meal customization options simply by virtue of having more plans to mix and match. Depending on the meal, you can also choose your preferred meat – but you can’t swap out veggies.

Additionally, you’ll find it easy to filter by any dietary preferences you have, and only view menu items that suit you. You can exclude any meals that contain specific ingredients like dairy, soy, or animal-derived products. You can also filter for diabetes-friendly recipes.

It’s easy to filter down your preferences with Sunbasket. You can select which ingredients to exclude, or which ones you prefer by going to your account page. From there, you can select from a laundry list of ingredients which makes it simple to get exactly what you want.

Though Sunbasket is the clear winner here, Purple Carrot does offer its own set of dietary options. You can choose from four different options in your account portal: No preference, High Protein, Quick & Easy, or Gluten-Free.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Sunbasket

Ordering

I found Sunbasket far simpler to use Sunbasket than Purple Carrot. To sign up, head over to the Sunbasket homepage. From there, you can either look at the menu first, or simply hit Get Started in the top right.

Once you land on Get Started, you’ll be asked several questions. You can choose options like meal kits or Fresh & Ready meals, your preferred ingredients or ones to avoid, and how many meals and servings you want per week. Sunbasket allows you to order two to five weekly meals.

Purple Carrot, on the other hand, is less straightforward. If you hit Let’s Do This on the homepage you’ll be prompted to sign up before you see anything about plans and pricing. There is a separate Pricing section on the website, but it’s not as obvious to start there. 

Once you’re in, I found it pretty simple to make an order. And as long as your order hasn’t shipped, you can change it. The minimum order is two servings for three dinners.

Delivery

Sunbasket delivers between 8 am and 9 pm, Monday to Thursday. Deliveries are possible to most of the continental US. If you’re in some parts of Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, or Alaska or Hawaii, you won’t be able to use Sunbasket, however.

I recommend inputting your zip code during the first step of the signup process. This will help you get an idea of whether or not delivery is available to your exact location. Sunbasket’s cutoff date for orders is Wednesdays at 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET.

Purple Carrot ships to all contiguous US states (with no exceptions), and does so on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays. The date is automatically assigned to you based on your location, however, which can’t be changed. Tuesdays are the cutoff day to place your order.

Unboxing

With Sunbasket, you’ll get a big recyclable cardboard box containing paper bags with all the ingredients you’ll need. They’re nicely organized, and the paper bags are labeled, with each ingredient and recipe name, for your convenience.

Something Sunbasket could improve on is its storage instructions, which I found to be lacking. But if you take a look at the FAQ section on the website, it will tell you to place ingredients that aren’t for the pantry immediately into the fridge. 

All prepared meals should be refrigerated immediately. Some prepared meals can be frozen, and some can’t. The instructions included in your box will let you know which meals can and can’t be frozen, which I found really convenient. 

But here’s where Sunbasket falls down. Though the main box is recyclable along with the paper bags inside, many ingredients are wrapped in additional plastic. I would have liked to see a 100% recyclable approach instead.

Purple Carrot, on the other hand, uses an inordinate amount of plastic – so much, in fact, that it far exceeds the amount used by Sunbasket. For a vegan-only, seemingly “forward-thinking” business, I think they could do better to keep up with other eco-friendly services.

None of the ingredients were as neatly organized as Sunbasket as well and didn’t come in separate, labeled paper bags. You’ll have to spend significantly more time figuring out which recipe the ingredients belong to as the boxes just aren’t as organized as Sunbasket’s.

As far as the ingredients are concerned, none of them have storage instructions. Again, with a bit of common sense, it’s not hard to figure out how to store things correctly.

Meal Prep

Winner: Tie (with a very slight advantage going to Sunbasket)

This one is pretty close. In fact, both Purple Carrot and Sunbasket make it equally easy to prepare your meals and clean up afterward. Both offer meal kits that require cooking, along with heat-and-eat prepared meals.

Each service’s meal kits can be cooked in less than 30 minutes, but some of Sunbasket’s meals can be cooked faster. Sunbasket’s Pre-Prepped range will take care of all the prep including chopping, measuring, and sauces. These are labeled as Speedy on the menu and usually take around 20 minutes to put together.

Purple Carrot’s meal kits do have a Quick and Easy option, but you can only get that with the two-person plan – and it only guarantees 30-minute meals.

On the other hand, both Sunbasket’s and Purple Carrot’s prepared meals can be heated in less than five minutes. Cleanup is also very similar. Purple Carrot’s prepared meals are only microwave-ready, whereas Sunbasket’s are microwave- and oven-ready.

Another thing I should mention is that Purple Carrot might have an ever so slight advantage since it doesn’t offer any meat, as meat can be a bit more dangerous to your health if it’s improperly prepared and undercooked.

Customer Support

Winner: Sunbasket

There are several easy ways to get in touch with either company, but I found that Sunbasket has the advantage. Purple Carrot provides an email address, whereas Sunbasket has an online contact form. 

Both companies also offer a phone number, live chat, and an FAQ section. Sunbasket’s support is available between 6 am and 8 pm PST, seven days per week. Purple Carrot’s operating hours, on the other hand, are only from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday EST.

Support isn’t only limited to existing customers. You’re welcome to contact either company with any questions you might have before placing your order. 

I tried out each company’s live chat and wasn’t very impressed with either.

Purple Carrot’s Chat With Us button looked like a live chat, but just sent my inquiry as an email to the support team. It took them four hours to reply and answer my question, which isn’t bad for an email response – but it’s not the instant answer you’d get with a proper live chat function. 

Sunbasket’s live chat is actually just a chatbot that directs you to FAQ pages. When I asked if I could speak to a real person, I got the below response:

In terms of cancellation, Sunbasket makes this very easy. You can do it all from within your account dashboard without ever having to speak with, or message support. But make sure to cancel before 12 pm PST/ 3 pm EST on Wednesday so you’re not billed for another delivery.

Purple Carrot’s cancellation process is similarly straightforward, and can be completed, again, without ever having to speak with, or message anyone. The deadline for canceling is 11 pm EST on Tuesday. Beyond that, you’ll be billed for another delivery the following week.

Pricing

Winner: Sunbasket

Again, Sunbasket just wins here. It has the cheaper prepared meals by approximately $3. This isn’t a big deal on one or two orders, but in the long run, this could really add up.

Though Sunbasket is cheaper in terms of prepared meals – if you need a smaller order, you will have to decide if it’s good value for you. When factoring in shipping fees, it’s nice to get your first order for free, but $9.99 per week can really add up fast.

Purple Carrot is a few dollars more expensive than Sunbasket in terms of meal kits, too, although it’s a bit cheaper when you place a larger order. On smaller orders of two people with three meals per week, Purple Carrot works out to be roughly 50 cents more expensive per serving.

Purple Carrot’s “plantry” (nope, this is not a typo!) add-ons cost from roughly $4.50 to $7. And a big bonus – it offers free shipping with every order.

Features Comparison: Purple Carrot vs. Sunbasket


Best for

Vegans

People who want organic ingredients

Starting price

$8.50

$4.27

Shipping cost

Free

Free for first order; $9.99 after that

Minimum order

2 servings per week

4 servings per week

Menu variety

20+ choices per week

20 choices per week

Prep time

2-35 minutes

5-30 minutes

Low-prep options

Microwave-ready

Oven-ready; microwave-ready

Allergies catered to

Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free

Special diets

Carb-conscious

Low-calorie / Weight-loss

Vegetarian

Vegan

Diabetic-Friendly

Gourmet

Spicy

High Protein

Balanced / Omnivore

Carb-conscious

Low-calorie / Weight-loss

Vegetarian

Vegan

Paleo

Pescatarian

Mediterranean

Spicy

High Protein

Customer support

FAQ section, email address, phone number, live chat

Mon - Fri 9 am - 5 pm EST

FAQ section, online form, phone number, live chat

6 am - 8 pm PST daily

Promotions

Get $30 Off with code carrot30

$90 off Plus a Free Gift!

And The Winner Is: Sunbasket

Sunbasket easily wins this comparison for several reasons. For one, it not only also offers vegan meals like Purple Carrot, but also several other dietary choices. It also offers all of these things, often at a lower per-serving price than Purple Carrot.

Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready meals are also oven-ready, unlike Purple Carrot’s, which are only suitable for the microwave. Perhaps you prefer to oven bake your food instead of microwaving it, which some might find healthier.

Sunbasket also lets you customize your meats and proteins, and makes it easy to avoid ingredients if you have allergies. In terms of packaging, Sunbasket uses far fewer non-recyclable materials than Purple Carrot, and all of your ingredients are neatly labeled and placed into paper bags.

However, for some, Purple Carrot might still be a better option. For example, if you’re specifically vegan or vegetarian only, you’ll definitely have more options.

In my expert opinion, both options make a great choice. Choose Sunbasket if you’re not specifically vegan or vegetarian as you’ll have access to plenty of meat dishes as well. On the other hand, if you require vegetarian or vegan meals, I’d recommend going with Purple Carrot instead.

FAQ

Does Purple Carrot do prepared meals?

Yes, Purple Carrot offers prepared meals, and meal kits. If you don’t like cooking, aren’t too sure how, or simply want to heat up and eat your meals as fast as possible, its prepared meals can be heated in less than 10 minutes.

Is Purple Carrot only vegan?

Yes. Purple Carrot only offers vegan meals. Its meals, of course, also fall into the vegetarian category – but you definitely won’t find any sort of animal-derived ingredients anywhere on its site, or in the meal box that gets delivered to your door.

Is Sunbasket healthy?

Sunbasket offers a variety of low-calorie, carb-conscious, and diet-friendly meal options. However, the term “healthy” is a highly subjective term, and means different things to different people.

Along with meat, it offers a plethora of vegan, vegetarian, and pescetarian meal options which some might find “healthier”. You’ll also find high-quality organic ingredients, which, again, some people believe are healthier than conventional ingredients.

Does Purple Carrot taste good?

In my testing, I found Purple Carrot’s meals to taste fantastic. You’ll find a wide range of international cuisines and flavors to choose from each week.

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

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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