Blue Apron vs. Home Chef
Are you trying to decide between Blue Apron vs. Home Chef? You're not alone. Both of these meal delivery services are extremely popular, and many families are facing similar decisions.
The question you need to ask is, are these meal delivery services equally good? The rest of this article will take a look at exactly that and give you our opinion on which of the two services is best for you.
We'll take a detailed look at various elements of each service to see which company does best. Some of the things I’m taking into consideration include the following:
- Public opinion
- Flavor and quality
- Recipe clarity and difficulty
After looking at each of these things in detail, we'll give you our verdict. Let's get into it.
Blue Apron Vs. Home Chef In A Nutshell
In just a moment, we'll take a closer look at the detailed differences between Blue Apron vs. Home Chef. But first, let's take a quick look at how these two websites differ in a detailed overall service comparison.
Blue Apron Pros And Cons
Blue Apron has many advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include:
- A higher calorie intake per serving
- More balanced nutritional balance per serving
- A pricing scale that decreases the more you order
- A quick and efficient meal ordering system that allows you to change your order quickly
- Efficient, easy-to-use customer service options
- Better taste and flavor profiles
- The ability to order large amounts of meals and servings per week
- Great recent reviews on sites like Trustpilot
The disadvantages include:
- An unclear cutoff time for changing orders
- A limited selection of vegetarian and vegan options
- More preparation and slightly more complex recipes
- A lack of options where four-serving meals are concerned
Home Chef Pros And Cons
While Home Chef is a favorite with many people, it's not without its flaws. This company’s disadvantages include:
- A narrow selection of vegetarian and vegan options
- Low-calorie intake per serving
- A less balanced nutritional value per serving
- Relatively Bland and flavorless meal options
- A consistent price range that doesn't change no matter how much food you order
- Limited scaling options for the number of meals and servings per week
Home Chef’s advantages include:
- Heat and eat, and easy-to-prepare menu options
- Less preparation time when making the provided recipes
- A precise cut-off time for changing orders
- It's easy to select your menu options and change your order
- Friendly customer support that is easy to get in touch with
- Awful recent reviews on most review platforms
Affordability is one of the main things many consumers consider before deciding which service to use. That's only natural since you want to spend your hard-earned money as well as you can. Let's compare Home Chef and Blue Apron to see who gives you more bang for your buck.
If you make a Home Chef cost comparison, you’ll find that the meals cost more or less the same, no matter how much you order. For instance:
- Two recipes a week, with two servings, cost $39.96. That comes down to $9.99 per serving, with $13.99 for the week’s shipping.
- Two recipes a week, with six servings, cost $119.98. That’s still $9.99 per serving, but the shipping is only $10.99.
- Six recipes a week, with six servings each, costs $359.64. That’s roughly $9.99 per serving.
- Six recipes a week with two servings each cost $119.88 or exactly $9.99 per serving.
Irrespective of your family’s size, you can rest assured that your meals will cost around $9.99 per person, and plan accordingly.
When you compare Home Chef to Blue Apron, price-wise, you’ll have a pleasant surprise if you’re buying larger quantities. This meal provider lowers the price per serving as your order size increases. For example:
- If you buy two meals a week, with two servings each, each serving works out to $11.99, or $47.96 per week, sans shipping.
- If you buy two meals a week with four servings each, the price drops to just $9.49 per serving or $75.92 per week.
- If you buy four meals a week, with two servings each, you’ll pay $9.49 per serving or $75.92 per week.
- If you buy four meals a week, with four servings each, the price drops to $7.99 per serving or $127.84 per week.
When looking at a Home Chef and Blue Apron cost comparison, quantity is the main factor. Home Chef is wonderfully consistent with their prices, but that can be a disadvantage.
Blue Apron’s cost per serving decreases significantly as the number of portions or meals you order increases.
If you’re buying for two people, Home Chef is the best, but if you’re buying for a family of four, we’d suggest Blue Apron.
When you're using a meal kit service, you don't just want food that's easy to make and tasty. You also need nutritionally-balanced food that will meet all your family's basic requirements. Let's take a look at the nutritional values of Blue Apron vs. Home Chef meals.
On average, most Blue Apron meals weigh in at between 750 and 950 calories. The rest of the nutritional value seems quite balanced as well, often meeting between 40 and 70% of your required daily intake for standard nutrients.
They also offer comprehensive nutritional value listings, which allow you to check exactly what each recipe contains.
Home Chef meals have smaller calorie values, coming in at between 400 and 600 calories per serving on average.
As far as the rest of the nutritional value is concerned, the average recipes seem to meet between 10 and 40% of your daily requirements for the most basic nutrients.
As the company has matured, Home Chef has stepped up its nutritional value charts. You can now see a relatively comprehensive layout of the nutrients in any meal by opening the recipe.
When comparing Blue Apron vs. Home Chef, I'd have to say that Blue Apron takes the number one position where nutrition is concerned. The meal servings have higher calorie values and tend to meet more of your required daily intake than the meals at Home Chef do.
Both of these companies offer limited package sizes. If you have a large family, you may want to order more food than you would if your family were smaller. Is Home Chef or Blue Apron the better choice for large families? Let’s take a look at the meal package sizes.
Blue Apron allows you to order between two and four meals per week. Each meal has either two or four servings.
You can comfortably feed two or four people for two, three, or four meals every week. While that’s sure to make meal planning easier, it might not be sufficient if you have a larger family. You’d effectively have to use two meal plan orders to feed a family of six or eight.
Home Chef is the more accommodating choice for large families. Their plans allow you to order between two and six meals weekly. The number of servings can also be larger, allowing you to choose between two, four, and six servings per meal.
Home Chef takes the gold on this one. Not only do they offer more accommodating options for larger families, but they also allow you to order more meals per week.
If you have a small family and only want a supplement for your regular meal plan, either company would be an excellent choice. If you want most of your meals for the week to be hassle-free, Home Chef is the service for you.
Recipe Clarity And Simplicity
Let's be honest, if you're using a meal kit service, it is unlikely that you have aspirations to become a Michelin-star chef. In all likelihood, you want simple recipes that are easy to follow and that won't leave your brain twisted up in knots.
Let's take a look at the recipes of Blue Apron vs. Home Chef and see which has simple, easy-to-follow recipes that anyone can make.
This platform offers a lot of recipe diversity, and the prepackaged ingredients make the recipes simple to follow. However, this platform doesn't have the same kind of easy-to-make categories that Home Chef does. Overall, you're probably going to put more effort into making recipes from this platform.
That being said, the tools required for the recipes are always simple and things that most people are likely to have already.
Home Chef has entire categories specializing in meals for the culinarily inept. After using the service, I find the recipes particularly easy to follow, making it much easier to complete your meals when they arrive.
Home Chef takes the prize on this one, as far as recipe simplicity is concerned. Their recipes are simple, clear, and easy to follow. The Blue Apron recipes aren't necessarily much harder to follow. However, the ingredients are prepared differently, and the recipes take considerably more work to get to the end result.
Flavor And Recipe Diversity
Whether you're a great chef or a barely passable cook, we all want as much flavor and meal diversity as we can get. After trying these two services and comparing Blue Apron vs. Home Chef reviews, I reached the following conclusions.
Both companies’ reliability, ease of use, and a wide array of recipe options seem fantastic on the face of it. But, not many users seem impressed with Home Chef’s flavor element.
In my experience, and most reviews agree that the food is quite bland, and many users go as far as to buy additional condiments and spices to help make their food edible.
This company does offer a vast array of different meal choices and sometimes incorporates unusual meals like stuffed peppers or sherry-glazed chicken. The real question is, are you willing to sacrifice flavor for bland meal diversity?
When comparing Blue Apron vs. Home Chef reviews, it's almost hard to believe that these two companies offer the same kind of service. Where the majority of Home Chef's latest reviews involved negative comments about the flavor, Blue Apron customers mostly seem more than impressed with this company's flavor profile.
The main complaint seems to be about Thanksgiving meals, with a couple of people saying that it was below expectation. Unfortunately, it's entirely possible that a meal kit service just cannot provide the type of Thanksgiving dinner that people are craving.
From my side, I'd have to say that the slightly more complex meal preparation was worth it when it came to the taste of the food and the meal diversity.
This company tends to lean more towards gourmet and lesser-known types of foods, while still catering to people who love old favorites. We love the fact that Blue Apron offers things like cous cous, faro, and other lesser-known grains.
They also tend to offer a lot more herb and spice integration, with many of the recipes involving basil, thyme, and other basic herbs to give that recipe extra zing.
When it comes to flavor, which is better? Blue Apron or Home Chef? Blue Apron gets a gold medal, without any doubt. Both my own experiences, and the general consensus of the public, indicate that this company's recipes are the most flavorful and diverse.
Blue Apron is the older company of the two, so I expect that we might see improvements in the Home Chef offerings as the company matures.
Most of the reviews we’ve seen agree that Blue Apron provides a more fulfilling flavor profile. However, some older Home Chef customers prefer their flavors.
In the end, it comes down to the type of flavor you’re after. Blue Apron provides more flavor profile, and a lot more diversity in ingredients used. Home Chef doesn’t provide as varied a flavor scheme, but some people prefer the plainer recipes used.
Ingredient Freshness and Quality
We all want the freshest ingredients with the highest quality. Crisp greens and fresh vegetables can mean the difference between an average meal and a great one. Which meal kit service gives you that excellent freshness: Blue Apron or Home Chef? Let’s take a look.
Blue Apron has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality ingredients in its meal kits. By most accounts and our own experience, the meat or fish usually arrives frozen. The vegetables also arrive fresh and are of good quality.
However, the ingredients aren’t always packaged conveniently. We’ve seen several customer reviews claiming that the ingredients should be better organized within the kit. Some people also said that they struggled to figure out which packaged ingredients were for use with each recipe.
As far as we’re concerned, the freshness and quality of the ingredients more than make up for the effort it takes to track down the right ingredients in the box.
Home Chef’s reputation regarding ingredient quality seems to be under review more often than not. We didn’t notice any problem with the ingredients in our box. The ingredients mostly seemed to be of good, or at least average, quality.
However, from what we’ve seen in customer reviews, it looks like the first few boxes are typically excellent. The ingredient quality seems to decline after the fourth or sixth box. While I can’t vouch for this, the fact that we’ve seen at least three recent reviews mentioning this raises some questions.
In my opinion, Blue Apron takes the lead with fresh ingredients. While I have seen some less-than-stellar reviews of this company, I didn’t see any complaints about the ingredient quality.
Home Chef doesn’t have the same reputation for consistent quality and freshness. If you’re eating a lot of vegetable-rich meals, you probably don’t want to go with this meal kit provider.
Ease Of Use
When comparing Home Chef vs. Blue Apron, most users are looking for an easy-to-use, accessible user platform. Which of these two meal kit services is the easiest to use?
There are several factors to consider, including:
- How easy it is to place or alter an order
- Whether or not it’s easy to contact customer support
- How readily available meal replacements are for dietary restrictions
Let's take a closer look at how these two meal-planning platforms compare in this regard.
We found Blue Apron easy to use. Thanks to its simplistic box planning menu, you can easily choose exactly what you want from the currently available meals every time you order.
Finding meal replacements for those with special dietary requirements isn’t too difficult. Blue Apron offers the following categories:
- Chef’s favorites - the highest-ranking meals from their test kitchens
- Wellness - Recipes approved by nutritionists
- Family-friendly - Meals that both adults and children will adore
- Fast & Easy - Heat and Eat, or quick prep type meals
- Veggies - Plant-based meals for vegetarians
However, while you may be able to order plant-based meals, that doesn’t mean you’ll have access to plenty of diversity. Many, if not most, of this provider’s meal options involve meat. While you can sometimes replace them with alternative proteins, this is still only an option for some meal types.
Changing an order is relatively simple, but there seems to be some confusion as to the deadline you have to change your order by. The website says to alter your order at least six days before it ships. However, they're not specific about which time on the sixth day is the cutoff point.
Fortunately, contacting this company is relatively easy, and you can do so via email or phone.
The basic layout for Home Chef is the same as for Blue Apron, and they’re equally easy to use. I quite prefer the meal box layout of Home Chef as it makes it much easier to choose what you want.
They offer a fair variety of dietary options, including:
- Meal Kits - A variety of standard meals that you create according to the provided recipes
- Express Meal Kits - quick, easy-to-make style meals pre-portioned and packaged
- Oven-Ready - Meals to cook in the oven, usually quick and easy
- Grill-Ready - Meals to cook on the grill, usually quick and easy
- Culinary Collection - For high days, holidays, and special occasions. The gourmet version of quick meals
- Fast & Fresh - heat-and-eat style options for the busy modern individual or family
Unlike Blue Apron, Home Chef doesn't offer any specific categories for vegetarians or vegans. However, they do allow protein swaps and minor changes within preset limits. Accordingly, you might be able to set up quite a good meal plan involving vegetarian or vegan options. You can also add all the meat types to things you’d like to avoid.
As with Blue Apron, you probably won't find a lot of real vegetarian diversity, even if you manage to meet your specific dietary requirements.
Customizing your box is as easy as choosing between the available meal options for any period and setting the types of meals you'd like to receive. After registering, they'll take you through a couple of questions involving how many servings you need, how many meals you want per week, and the type of meals you want.
Modifying an order is also quite simple as long as you have finished any alterations by the Friday before your order is supposed to ship.
You can easily contact Home Chef at any time using the online contact form or toll-free hotline.
Both of these platforms are easy to use and have a good reputation for excellent customer service.
Changing orders is simple with both Blue Apron and Home Chef. However, Home Chef is clearer about the cutoff time for modifying orders.
While Blue Apron offers a meal range specifically for vegetarians, The selection is slimmer than we'd like and unlikely to please a vegetarian for an extended time. Home Chef allows protein substitutions but has no specific range for vegetarians or vegans.
We'll have to call this one a tie because neither platform truly satisfied our expectations for a diverse range of substitutions and meal plans for vegans and those with specific dietary requirements.
After the tests I’ve done, I can only come to one conclusion. Blue Apron wins by a nose.
Honestly, the differences aren’t spectacular enough to proclaim Blue Apron the creme de la creme. Bearing in mind that they have a better reputation among consumers (again, barely), better flavors, more recipe diversity, and more flexible pricing, Blue Apron has to take the lead.
We’d not say that Blue Apron is the right subscription for everyone though. It’s probably the right choice for you if:
- You have a moderately-sized family (up to four people) and want to order up to four meals per week
- You’re willing to explore various meal types and don’t want to stick to mainstream flavors
- You don’t mind putting in a bit of extra effort to get the full complexity of the recipes they’re sending you
- You want to order four meals a week (more meals and servings cost less to order)
My Rating for Blue Apron: 4.5/5
Home Chef, on the other hand, is an ideal choice if:
- You have a family with more than four people (Home Chef offers up to six servings per meal)
- You prefer mainstream flavors or have young children who don’t like a lot of diverse flavors
- You want easy, pre-prepared, or heat-and-eat type meals, even if that means sacrificing flavor
- You don’t need large amounts of meals per week (Because Home Chef has a fixed price range, buying fewer meals is affordable)
My Rating for Home Chef: 4/5
Meal kit services like Blue Apron and Home Chef are excellent options for busy people or the culinarily challenged. However, they’re mass-produced kits that try to simplify things for many people.
While the quality may be great, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the same flavor that you’d get from your mom’s cooking. If this is the best option for your family, try the freshness, taste, and quality of Blue Apron.