We Bought & Tested the Most Popular Meal Kit Delivery Services. Here’s Why Blue Apron Is #1
Summary: Blue Apron provides a high quality product with fresh produce and easy-to-follow directions. There’s no doubt the food tastes great, and while you are sure to find some new foods to try out, we found that there are some great recipes to add to everyday use here. Even better, it’s affordable and customizable to fit most needs.
As a busy professional who spends most of my time between meetings and running the kids around the city, I have used meal kits like these for the last 8 or so years. To say that I have tried a few that I did not like is easy. I have a favorite company that I have used for a long time now that's really proven to be an excellent provider.
When I was asked to create a review of the top meal delivery services, I was pretty confident I was going to get some outstanding results – that the company I have used for so many years now is the best. I was wrong.
In fact, what I found was that the service I was using wasn't the best for several reasons. The top five meal kits listed in our list are all good-tasting products. Let's put that aside for now (since everyone's tastes are different). I set out to look at other factors, and as I did, I was blown away that I was so wrong!
Blue Apron provides the best recipes for most people, and that’s one of the reasons we ranked it so high.
The first impression you get is on the company’s website as you set up the service. I was quickly impressed that there were so many options. I have friends who have a child with a nut allergy, and that's just one of the options for specializations here. The company offers other special diets as well, including a vegetarian option, dairy-free, and gluten-free. If you want to eat healthily, you can do that pretty easily here.
Then, I got to the process. Each week the company gives you 30 recipes to choose from – you can browse through the list and learn what the items are, what’s in them, and the prep process before you agree to them. That’s important for people who have picky eaters.
One of the things I noticed is that you can skip a week or change up your subscription at any time. That is something the other service that I was using didn’t offer (and it really is a huge thing for busy people who don’t want these meals collecting in their fridge to go to waste!)
I set up to take advantage of my first offer – 18 meals across 8 boxes with my first box shipping free, and I would get free gifts. The cost of $11.99 per meal was perfect for me though there are other options available as well. The interface is super easy to use – just click on what you want, the number of people you are cooking for, and the number of recipes you want per week. Choose preferences and then get moving on selecting meals.
Another thing that surprised me as I set this up – there was no contract. A lot of other companies have contracts that you have to pay for in advance, meaning you're going to get the product no matter what. I was surprised to see I wasn't going to be paying when I didn't need it. Super happy about that!
Once I got it all set up – a process that took me about 10 minutes – I was ready to go. My box arrived on time, and since I was home at the time of delivery, I quickly unpacked it. I found everything to be in perfect condition with no concerns with the produce. Now, that could be just luck, but I find it so helpful to know that the company is available with customer service if there is a problem down the road. Great, so I was ready to go for that evening.
Once it was time to prepare a meal, I was pretty happy. The produce was in the freshest condition, like I got it out of my garden (I didn't because I don't have time for a garden!) I grabbed the recipe and sat down with a cup of coffee. In my experience, it’s best to read through the recipe, then read it again, so I know what to expect. This is another area that was different from my other products – the instructions were so easy to read and follow, I really didn’t need to review them first.
I followed the directions exactly, wanting to ensure that I got the expected results. The entire process was simple, and the instructions were on point. I didn't have any trouble opening packages (I had that happen before), and everything was flavored well.
Once ready, I put the plate of food down in front of my pickiest of eaters. She was more than willing to get into the meal and offered a positive head nod from the start. I found the food was full of flavor and offered the right level of spice that kept me happy but also wasn’t too harsh for the kids.
I selected the Family Friendly meals for one week, and then for the second week, I chose the Meat and Veggies lineup of options. Both offered hearty meals with portions that were easily enough for our family of four.
During the week, I wasn’t able to prepare meals for several days due to sports. I was worried the ingredients would not be in good condition by the time I got to them. I received my box on a Monday, and when I went to use them on Friday, they were great. I'm pretty sure they would have lasted longer, too.
What Makes Blue Apron Different From Other Products?
There are a few big differences between Blue Apron and other products.
- Flexibility - For a busy family, this is one of the most important facts for us. We needed to cancel, update, or change up the plan often, and it was very easy to do.
- Affordable - I found that this service was on par with what I would spend when making meals fresh each week as well and more affordable than other products out there.
- Customizable - I love that there are a lot of healthy options and options for special dietary needs. That is not something you can always find with other products.
- Solid flavor - It tasted great and was even approved by my kids, who can be picky eaters.
- Easy preparation - Preparing the meal took less than 30 minutes, and everything was included. I didn't have to spend much time at all on the process.
I didn’t think I could find a better product than what I was using, but I was wrong. This affordable, easy-to-use meal kit delivery service is the best out there for its overall great taste and customization options.
Common Questions & Answers
Q: Can I see the nutritional information ahead of time?
Yes, it is all provided to you on the site when ordering.
Q: Does it come cold?
Yes, it comes in an insulated box with ice packs making it super easy to take care of.
Q: How long is the subscription?
As long as you want with no contract.
How Much Does It Cost?
Blue Apron starts at $11.99 per serving and goes up from there. The price is dependent on what you choose and how many people you are buying for.
Fast, easy, and super simple to set up, check out Blue Apron today!
As of March 25, 2023, Ever since Blue Apron was on major international media, an incredible amount of buzz has been generated.