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Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service. Meal kits are one way to help people eat fresh, healthy foods while saving time and reducing food waste. People can choose from different brands according to their preferences and budget.
This article provides a review of Blue Apron and an overview of how to use the service. We also list some of the alternative meal plan services available and outline some other ways to eat healthily while saving time and money and limiting food waste.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Below are some benefits and drawbacks of Blue Apron.
- provides premeasured ingredients
- caters to various diets
- offers an option to skip weeks
- high customer rating on Trustpilot
- not suitable for vegans
- caters to only two or four people
- costs $9.99 extra for shipping
- no gluten-free options
Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service that aims to help people cook fresh meals at home, regardless of their culinary skill level. Individuals choose a meal plan based on their dietary requirements, preferences, and serving needs.
Meal kits feature recipe cards alongside premeasured ingredients so that a person can cook the meals easily at home.
Blue Apron delivers the meals once per week, and people have the option to skip a week if necessary.
Blue Apron lists its recipes by dietary preference and provides detailed nutritional information for each meal.
Below are some of the available meal options:
- Four-Cheese Enchiladas
- Creamy Tomato Fettuccine
- Fennel and Saffron Risotto
- Shrimp Lettuce Cups
- Mexican-Spiced Chicken Thighs
- One-Pan Spicy White Bean & Spinach Shakshuka
- 600 calories or less:
- Romesco Chicken Bowl
- Indian-Style Butter Shrimp
- Orange and Soy-Glazed Cod
- Cheesy Chipotle Beef and Vegetable Bake
- Sheet Pan Pesto Salmon
It is important to note that not all dietary choices are available every week.
To use Blue Apron, a person must first create an account. This involves signing up using one of the following:
- email account
- Apple ID
- Facebook account
A person can then select the meal plan they want to purchase. Blue Apron offers the following options:
- Signature and Signature for 4: Individuals can choose from the following recipe types:
- Beyond Meat, which is a vegan alternative to meat
- Vegetarian for 2: These are non-meat recipes featuring seasonal produce.
- Wellness for 2: These are nutritionist-approved recipes, with options including carb-conscious and WW-recommended meals.
Making changes to orders
A person can change their order at any time before the “Changeable before” date for their deliveries.
To view the “Changeable before” date, a person must navigate to the Plan Settings page in their Account Settings or to the receipt icon on their Upcoming Orders page.
There is also an option to enable push notifications on the Blue Apron app. This feature reminds customers of their next delivery date.
After placing an order with Blue Apron, customers will receive a choice of delivery dates.
Once a customer chooses their delivery day, Blue Apron will email them a tracking number. If a person chooses to download the Blue Apron app, they will receive a push notification when their box arrives.
Blue Apron packs all ingredients in insulated liners and coolers to keep them at safe temperatures. Nonetheless, the company recommends that people plan ahead and store and use the ingredients appropriately.
Blue Apron provides the option to skip a delivery before the “Changeable before” date.
To skip a delivery through the Blue Apron website, a person needs to do the following:
- Navigate to the Upcoming Orders page.
- Click “Manage Delivery” for an upcoming order.
- Click “Skip This Delivery.”
If a person skips a delivery, they should see a red “X” next to the order.
The cost of Blue Apron depends on the number of meals a person selects.
The table below shows the cost of Blue Apron meals according to the number of servings and meals per week. These are correct at the time of publishing.
|Twice a week||Three times a week||Four times a week|
|2 servings||$11.99 per serving||$9.99 per serving||$9.49 per serving|
|4 servings||$9.49 per serving||$8.49 per serving||$7.99 per serving|
At the time of publishing, Blue Apron charges $9.99 for shipping.
Blue Apron has been operating since 2012. The company’s name refers to the blue apron that trainee chefs wear.
In addition to meals, Blue Apron offers a wine subscription service.
Customer reviews on Trustpilot give Blue Apron an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, with most customers stating that the meals are easy to prepare and cook.
Those who have left positive reviews note that they like the wide range of flavors from Asian, Mediterranean, Latin, and American cuisines. Others mention that the food is of similar quality to restaurant meals.
However, some authors of negative reviews claim that their food deliveries contained rotten, warm, or moldy produce. One customer says they received food that spoiled a few days after delivery.
Blue Apron offers options for varying dietary needs and preferences. Some examples are outlined below.
Blue Apron offers low calorie and carb-conscious options that may support weight loss.
Blue Apron offers carb-conscious recipes that may be suitable for people with diabetes who need to track their carbohydrate intake.
However, the company does not appear to offer meal options specifically catered to people with diabetes.
Special dietary requirements
The company does cater to vegetarians, offering 2–4 options per week. Some recipes include the meat alternative Beyond Meat.
Blue Apron claims that it assembles all its boxes in the same processing facility. Therefore, the company does not recommend its service to anyone with a serious food allergy.
Alternative meal kit delivery services are available to suit a range of dietary preferences, delivery schedules, and budgets. Below are some examples.
- HelloFresh: HelloFresh provides up to six recipes per week, and each is suitable for up to four people. Customers can choose from meat, vegetarian, and pescatarian dishes. Learn more about HelloFresh here.
- Home Chef: Home Chef provides oven-ready meals that are quick and easy to heat up. Home Chef provides a menu that changes weekly, including low-calorie options. Learn more about Home Chef here.
- Sunbasket: Sunbasket provides meal kits and prepared meals. The company offers food suitable for a wide range of dietary requirements, including gluten-free and diabetic diets. Learn more about Sunbasket here.
- Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon offers at least 45 recipes each week and delivers all the ingredients along with a six-step recipe. This service caters to families and those who follow a low carb or vegetarian diet.
- Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest provides organic food that is ready in minutes. Its products do not contain major allergens, including dairy and gluten. Learn more about Daily Harvest here.
- Splendid Spoon: Splendid Spoon provides meals that are both vegan and gluten-free. The selection includes meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The company launches 3–5 new flavors every season and rotates its menu weekly. Learn more about Splendid Spoon here.
- Purple Carrot: Purple Carrot provides plant-based meals. People can choose from high protein, gluten-free, and other menus. Learn more about Purple Carrot here.
Below is a table comparing Blue Apron to its competitors:
|Price range||Caters to||Meal kits or prepared meals?||Meal selections per week||Number of servings|
|Blue Apron||from $7.99 per serving||• vegetarian|
• low calorie
|meal kits||2–4||2 or 4|
|HelloFresh||from $7.99 per serving||• vegetarian|
• low calorie
|meal kits||2–6||2 or 4|
|Home Chef||$8.99 per serving||• calorie-conscious|
|Sunbasket||from $9.99 per serving||• paleo|
|both||2 or more||2 or 4|
|Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon||from $6.39 per serving||• vegetarian|
|meal kits||2–6||2 or 4|
|Daily Harvest||from $5.99 per serving||• dairy-free|
|prepared meals and food items||9–24 items||—|
|Splendid Spoon||from $70 per week||• vegan|
|prepared meals and food items||5||2 or 4|
|Purple Carrot||from $11 per serving||• vegan|
|both||3 or 4||2 or 4|
Below are some alternatives to meal delivery kits that may help a person save time and money and limit food waste while eating a balanced diet.
To save time
Preparation is key for anyone looking to save time preparing healthy meals. It may prevent reliance on convenience foods, which often contain more sugar, fat, and salt.
Tips to save time include:
- cooking in batches and freezing in portions
- preparing a couple of one-pot meals at once, which may include the same basic ingredients such as:
- chopped onions
- using frozen vegetables and canned beans and pulses
- using a slow cooker
To save money
People who want to save money on their groceries do not need to change where they buy their food or restrict what they are buying.
Tips to help a person eat healthily on a budget include:
- buying fresh seasonal produce, which is usually cheaper
- buying in bulk or taking advantage of offers on healthy foods
- incorporating dried pulses and beans, which are inexpensive, filling, and healthy
To save food waste
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that food waste constitutes 30–40% of the food supply in the United States.
Below are some tips to help people avoid wasting food:
- Follow recipes: This method involves measuring ingredients. It ensures that a person will not use more food than necessary.
- Use leftovers: People can save their leftovers and put them in wraps or salads for lunch the following day.
- Freeze extras: Freezing bread and vegetables can help prolong their shelf life.
- Make soups or casseroles: At the end of the week, a person can use any leftover produce to make a one-pot soup or casserole.
- Plan grocery shopping: People should plan meals around ingredients that they already have available in the cupboards or refrigerator.
People can also donate extra food to those in need or share extra meal portions with friends or neighbors.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about Blue Apron.
Can you cancel Blue Apron anytime?
Blue Apron states that a person can cancel their subscription at any time.
Can you skip a week with Blue Apron?
Blue Apron provides the option for people to skip weeks if necessary.
Is Blue Apron healthy?
The Blue Apron website provides limited information regarding the healthfulness of the meals. However, the service does provide “Health-Conscious” meals as an option.
The company also claims to source high quality ingredients.
Is Blue Apron easy?
Each Blue Apron meal kit features premeasured ingredients and a recipe card with step-by-step instructions for cooking. This makes the cooking process relatively quick and straightforward.
Is Blue Apron safe?
Blue Apron states that it follows rigorous food safety procedures. The company’s fulfillment centers have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, and the staff undergo thorough training. The company also adheres to the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices.
Blue Apron is a meal kit delivery service that provides recipes and premeasured ingredients. Meal kits can help people eat healthily while saving time and money and avoiding food waste.
Blue Apron offers a range of meal kits to suit various dietary preferences and needs. However, the company does not offer vegan or gluten-free options and provides limited options for people with diabetes. The service is also not suitable for people with food allergies.
Other meal kit and meal delivery services are available, and a person may need to shop around to find the plan that works best for them.
Other ways to eat healthily while saving time and money include planning meals, buying seasonal produce, and batch-cooking and freezing meals.