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Butcher Box Reviews And Our Honest Opinions!

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Butcher Box Reviews And Our Honest Opinions!

Unless you are a vegetarian, meat is an essential part of your diet. Finding and getting quality meat can be difficult at times. Imagine getting quality meat to come right to your door?

That’s what Butcher Box is all about.

With so many subscriptions services available, ranging from cosmetics to premade meals, why not have one for meat?

Is it worth it? Is the meat that good? We will be answering those questions and more in this review.

What Is Butcher Box And How Does It Work?

It’s a monthly subscription service that delivers a month’s worth of meat right to your door. The company isn’t a farm or a supermarket. They act as a middle man that works with farmers. You get to pick from beef, chicken, or pork and the size of the box.

All the boxes are well insulated and have dry ice so that meat is still good by the time it gets to your door. Each piece of meat is individually vacuum sealed.

If you aren’t sure what to do with all this meat, they offer recipes that you can use.

You have a variety of options when it comes to what kind of meat and box size you want. Though know that what you get can change by where you live and what’s availability. Currently, Butcher Box offers:

  • The Mixed Box features a variety of meat across all three animals. You don’t get to choose what you get, the people at Butcher Box choose for you. An example of what you can get is two pounds of ground beef, 2 NY strip steaks, 4 top sirloin steaks, one pound of whole pork tenderloin, and three pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.
  • The Beef & Pork Box features only beef and pork, and once again Butcher Box chooses for you. An example of what the box can have is two pounds of ground beef, two NY strip steaks, four top sirloin steaks, four boneless pork chops, and two pounds of whole pork tenderloin.
  • The Beef & Chicken Box features beef and chicken of Butcher Box’s choice. An example is getting two pounds of ground beef, two NY strip steaks, four top sirloin steaks, three pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and three pounds of chicken drumsticks.
  • The All Beef Box features beef of Butcher Box’s choice. You could get two pounds of ground beef, two NY strip steaks, one premium steak tip, two or more pounds of chuck roast, and four top sirloin steaks as an example.
  • The Custom Box lets you get to pick from twenty-one different cuts. There’s twenty percent more meat than the other boxes. You get full control with this box.

You can also buy add-ons, which are extra cuts of meat. These extras can include bacon, pork chops, burgers, and NY strips.

As for box sizes, you get two choices. You can get the classic box that holds eight to eleven pounds of meat, and equates twenty-four meals. Then there is the big box. It can hold sixteen to twenty-two pounds of meat, which equals forty-eight meals.

What Makes Butcher Box Unique

Butcher Box is different because the meat they offer isn’t the kind you get at the supermarket. All their beef is grass-fed and grass-finished, their pork is a heritage breed, and they offer free-range organic chicken.

They want to know about every aspect of the animals’ lives. They make sure that the animals that turn into meat are treated fairly and humanely. They believe the quality of life makes the quality of meat.

Their beef is a hundred grass-fed and grass-finished. The cows have been pasture raised and allowed to roam as they like. The beef is full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Their pork comes from pigs that have bedding in open barns and plenty of time outside. They are fed an all vegetarian diet.

Their chicken meat comes from chickens that live in barns and can go outside anytime they want. They are given an all vegetarian diet.

Everything is taste tested by the people from the service.

They not only care about animals but the environment as a whole. All their packaging is a hundred percent recyclable or compostable.

The Big Deal About Grass-Fed Meat

Butcher Box shows off the fact that they have grass-fed meat. Many people prefer it over the kind of meat you get at the supermarket. For the most part, you don’t know where the meat comes from or what the animals have eaten beforehand.

What animals eat before they turn into meat have a bigger effect than you might think. It changes how healthy and nutritious meat can be.

Many health bloggers love to talk about how much healthier grass-fed meat is. They claim that it’s not only healthy but also good for the planet. Is it true or is it just hype?

Grass Fed Vs. Grass Finished Beef

Grass fed and grass finished are not the same thing. All cows are fed grass when they are first born. They have a diet of their mother’s milk and grass. Grass finished means that cows eat grass their whole life.

There is now an actual definition of what grass fed means. The USDA says that to be grass fed, animals have to eat grass and forage only after weaning off their mother’s milk. It doesn’t say how much food has to be grass. Other foods like hay and other forage are allowed.

Is grass better for cows? You probably think about cows roaming on hills on a farm. Grass is a bit healthier. Grain is described as cake or ice cream for cows. Though, like with people, cows shouldn’t only eat grain. They should have a more balanced diet.

Too much grain can cause pH levels in cows to become too acidic. That can make cows pretty sick.

As for grass fed being better for the planet, it’s a bit of a toss-up. Meat, in general, isn’t great for the planet because cattle create methane, which is a harsh greenhouse gas. Some people believe you should eat less meat to help with climate change.

Though like anything else, good management is key.

Different Types Of Beef

Not all beef is the same. Depending on what cows are fed can change how they taste and how nutritious they are. There are some large differences between what types of food you feed cows and how it affects the beef.

Is grass fed the best though?


Grass-Fed Vs. Grain-Fed

In the US, cows are fed grains more than grass. After young cows wean from their mothers, they move to a feedlot. Feedlots are called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Grains will cause animals to get fat quickly. The grains are usually made from soy or corn. Animals do get a little bit of grass, but it’s mostly grains.

To get the animals as big as possible, they are given antibiotics and growth hormones.

This means that when you have that meat, you are exposed to the diet and drugs the animals have had as well.

Grass-fed animals tend to have less fat than grain fed. This can also mean that grass-fed meat has fewer calories. The fatty acids are different too.

  • Grass-fed meat has less monounsaturated fat than grain-fed meat.
  • Grass-fed and grain fed meat have close to the same amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Grass-fed can have five times as omega-3.
  • Grass-fed meat has around twice the amount of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as grain fed beef.
  • Both grass and grain fed meat are filled with nutrients. They have B12, B3, B6, iron, selenium, and zinc.
  • Grass-fed meat has more Vitamin A and E.

Grass-Fed Vs. Organic

You would think that grass-fed and organic are the same thing. They aren’t. All grass-fed meat is organic, but not all organic is grass-fed.

With organic meat, animals can be fed organic grain. Though, organic meat isn’t pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones.

What All The Chicken Labels Mean

There are a lot of different labels when it comes to buying eggs. What do they all mean and what is the best?

Also, is Butcher Box’s free-range organic eggs the best?

Free-Range Vs. Cage Free Chicken

Free-range is all about chickens being outside for around half their life. It doesn’t have any rules about what the chickens eat or how much time they get outside. As long as they have access to the outdoors, they can be called free-range.

Being outside is important because they get fresh air, sunshine, and can interact with other chickens.

Also, there are no specific size specifications to be considered free range.

Cage-free sounds good on paper, but it’s not as free as you think. Yes, they aren’t in cages, but they are all in a single space. Very similar to caged chickens, there is little room for the chickens to stretch their wings.

Cage-free does allow more natural behavior, stronger bones, and more feathers.

Free range eggs make healthier eggs than cage-free. This is due to having less stress because they go outside. They tend to have less cholesterol, saturated fat, more vitamin A, more omega 3, more vitamin E, and more beta-carotene.

Free Range Vs. Organic Chicken

The term organic is often associated with quality of life for chickens, but that’s not always the case. The organic label is earned by following specific standards set by the government. It means that chemicals are not put in the chickens and they have some access to the outdoors.

As mentioned before, free range doesn’t equal organic.

These labels focus more on how the food is made, not the taste of the product. Organic food has a small amount more of nutritional value.

The most significant difference is personal preference. If you prefer to have your eggs from chickens that are outside more than not, then you want free range. If you don’t want any chemicals in your eggs, then go with organic.

Free Range Vs. Caged Chicken

Not to be too be preachy, but caged chickens do not have a good life. Caged production is the most common way to get eggs. These places are known as factory farms.

Caged chickens are packed into cages and are very unsanitary. Because of these conditions, they get sick more often and are more stressed out, which means that they need to be pumped with antibiotics.

Around average, six chickens will share the same cage. They also rarely go outside.

While free range doesn’t disclose what they eat, they at least get to go outside. You’d also like to think that free range chickens are treated to better food than caged chickens.

Different Types Of Pigs

There are different types of pigs out there. Some are better than others. Is Butcher Box’s choice of heritage the best choice?

Heritage Vs. Commercial

Heritage breed is different than your average pig. They have natural “old-world” genetics that slows their maturation process and causes them to get fine marbling and flavor.

They tend to be raised more humanely and are thought to be better for the environment. Also, heritage pigs tend to be pastured raised. This type of raising tends to be healthier, though not all pasture raised is heritage.

To be considered heritage, a pig needs:

  • True Genetic Breed—meaning that it mates with the same breed.
  • Endangered Breed—The breed is or has been endangered.
  • Long History in the US—the breed has been breeding since 1925.
  • Purebred Status—must be registered as purebred animals.
  • Meat has to be sold as heritage.
  • Managing Practices—raising the pigs according to their breed. This means what their diet is, letting them outside anytime, and no chemicals.

Pricing

Pricing is where most people start to hesitate. For all the boxes that aren’t customized, the classic box costs $129 a month, and the big box is $238. The customized boxes cost $149 a month, and the big box is $270 a month.

While those prices seem extreme at first, if you break down the numbers by how many meals you can have, then each meal costs around six dollars.

Still, if you aren’t a huge meat fan, this could be too much. It also seems to work for smaller families. If you have a large family, the meals might not stretch out as far during the month.

If you don’t have a preference for what your meat is fed, then this will not be worth the price for you.

Luckily, you can cancel the subscription anytime if you find that it’s not worth the price.

Shipping is free too.

What Other People Think Of This Service

So, Butcher Box sounds great on paper, but does it deliver? Depending on the Butcher Box reviews, it can be the greatest thing or the worst. It appears to be very polarizing.

People have really loved how the meat tastes and how fresh it is. All their meat was packaged well and kept frozen. People also love the fact the animals are treated so well.

Sliced bacon on top of brown chopping board

Image source: Pexels

People also appreciate that the boxes are different every month so that they get to try different things. Many people with families can create amazing meals with meat from the subscriptions and the recipes they offer.

The biggest problem that reviewers have mentioned is that the customer service is terrible. People claim that representatives are rude and brush off customer concerns. These concerns range from packing problems to the boxes being on the smaller end of the scale all the time.

There also seems to be some problems with using coupons. Many people have tried to use promo codes and have them not work. When people tried to contact them, there always seemed to be some fine print that customers didn’t know about.

Then, of course, there is the price. Even the people who loved this service have been wary of using it more than once due to the price.

What We Think

Overall, we think that Butcher Box offers great quality meat for a fair price, but they need to get their act together. Many reviews even within the same month as writing these Butcher Box reviews have been full of complaints.

Complaints have mostly been about packaging and customer service. The idea of the meat not being properly package is scary. It could possibly make you sick at the worst, and at best, it will be a waste of money.

Having to contact the company all the time to get new meat is ridiculous. Mainly, because they generally don’t give refunds.

For a business to have bad customer service is foolish. So many reviewers have been offended with how they’ve been treated. Many have said the representatives have been rude, condescending, or just haven’t cared.

Many people’s problems aren’t resolved.

This subscription service has great potential, but they need to put as much care into their customer service and logistics as they do with their meat.

If Butcher Box gets their act together, it will be great. If you want to try it either now or in a bit, there are good and bad for certain people and lifestyles.

 

Butcher Box Is Good For

The subscription will suit you if you really care about where your meat comes from. It’s also good for you if you’re worried about the meat in your grocery stores.

Grilled meat dish served on white plate

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As mentioned before, Butcher Box makes sure their meat comes from animals that are grass-fed and have the best quality of life possible.  You can’t say the same about the meat you get at the supermarket.

It’s great if you want meat like from Butcher Box and can’t get it locally. Some places, you can go to a butcher or farm and get meat that way.

If you want to try more of a variety of food, Butcher Box is a great way to do so. Because you can only pick the kind of meat but not the cut, you will be forced to try new things. If you don’t try it, then it’s a waste of money.

Finally, it’s good for you if you’re too busy or just like the idea of getting meat right at your door and not having to go out.

 

Butcher Box Is Bad For

You don’t need this subscription if you can get good meat locally. Again, places like butchers, farms, or special grocery stores can offer you similar meat. If you have access to any of that, then you don’t really need the service.

If you want complete control, then this is not the subscription service for you, unless you always purchase a custom box every time. As a reminder, custom boxes are twenty more dollars than the regular ones.

Like when we talked about the pricing, if you eat a lot of meat or have a big family, then this may not be a good subscription for you. It will just get too expensive.

 

Coupons And Deals

As of writing these butcher box reviews, they are offering a special deal. You can get two free pounds of salmon and two filet mignons just by giving them your email.

Get It Together Butcher Box

It’s disappointing to see a company that cares so much about quality meat, animals, and the environment doing so poorly in the customer service department. You would think it would be easier to treat customers kindly than the work of finding such good meat.

They have lost a lot of customers due to a bad attitude and bad packaging.

If you really like high quality meat, it’s worth keeping an eye on this company. If they start getting better reviews, then you should try it. Until then, save your money.

Freshly Reviews That Won’t Lead You Astray!

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Freshly Reviews That Won't Lead You Astray!

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Have you ever longed for something healthier than take-out but with the convenience of home delivery? Then look no further! Freshly promises 30+ chef-cooked, all-natural, healthy meals delivered to your doorstep.

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What Is Freshly And How Does It Work?

Freshly is the gourmet meals-on-wheels you’ve been dreaming of. Each meal is gluten-free, packed with protein, all natural and free from refined sugars, making them ideal for celiacs.

Freshly also guarantees that their meals are 100% peanut free, an essential consideration for those with peanut allergies. However, there are other nuts used in the preparation of several of the dishes which you can see from the ingredient list.

Every meal is portioned to feed an average adult and range from 300 to 650 calories. Since Freshly does not use chemical or artificial preservatives, each refrigerated meal has a shelf life of approximately four days. They can be frozen if needed as well.

The meals come fully cooked and are packaged to be heated in the microwave. You’ll need to transfer the food to an oven or stovetop appropriate container if you choose to reheat the meal in that manner.

Did you know?

Your Freshly meals come in eco-friendly meal packaging made from biodegradable, recycled denim. The inner plastic microwavable containers are also recyclable. Freshly also minimizes food waste by packaging their meals in single-serving portions.

You can pick your meals from the weekly menu. Freshly even has an Android and iOS friendly mobile app to help you choose your meals on the go. There are 4, 6, 9 and 12 meals per week plans available. You will also be able to select the days of the week you wish to have the meals delivered from a delivery calendar for your zip code.

The 6-meal plan is designed to provide one person with six dinners per week. If you have more than one family member that wishes to use Freshly meal delivery services, you can order multiple subscriptions. Families with more members would do well to look at the 12-meal plan which provides three meals for four diners per week.

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What Makes Freshly Unique?

Freshly is unique in the prepared meal home delivery market because a variety of dietary preferences can be accommodated. Every meal is gluten and peanut free. There are four paleo and vegetarian options in the weekly meal rotation. Each week 8-10 meals are dairy free as well.

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Freshly allows you to choose meals based on ingredients, calories or carbohydrate values making it easy to meet a variety of special diet restrictions. You can look over the ingredients list for each dish before ordering if you have more specific dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Freshly provides a list of 85 ingredients they do not use in their meals including hydrogenated oils, aspartame, BHT, and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Eliminating these ensures that Freshly meals are head and shoulders above your typical store-bought microwavable meal as a healthier food option.

Additionally, Freshly meals come fully prepared. There is no need for you to cook, combine ingredients or even dirty dishes. Just pop the container into the microwave, and in less than 3 minutes, you have a fresh, deliciously prepared meal.

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How Much Does Freshly Cost?

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Meal plans begin at $8.99 per meal for twelve meals per week. For nine meals per week, it costs $89.99. The six meal plan is $59.99. Four meals per week will cost you $49.99.Shipping and delivery are included in the price of each plan. You can cancel or change a delivery anytime before the weekly deadline.

Gift Option

 Freshly allows you to purchase a week's worth of meals as a gift. The recipient will be able to choose which meals and days to accept delivery of delicious, fully-prepared dishes. Gift recipients can continue with the service or cancel before the next weekly deadline.

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Other Things To Consider

Freshly is committed to bringing the freshest meals to your doorstep. This commitment means that Freshly delivery service is not available in all locations yet. The preparation kitchen is in Phoenix, Arizona. At this time, Freshly delivers to 28 states in the continental U.S., mostly in the states surrounding Arizona.

Even if you live in a state that Freshly delivers to, please check the Freshly site as to whether or not your zip code falls into the delivery area. Delivery days will also be dependent on your zip code.

Freshly meals are not frozen for delivery, but instead, prepared and shipped ready to heat up and eat. Freshly’s commitment to fresh meals may also mean that your order is canceled and disposed of if there are unexpected delays in delivery which might be inconvenient if you were counting on having prepared meals available that week.

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Freshly meals come fully prepared which means it is not possible to exclude individual ingredients. If you have food preferences or dietary restrictions, you can choose meals that meet those needs from the weekly menu options. Each dish lists all of the ingredients to help you decide whether it would be an appropriate meal choice for you.

The best way to celebrate the holidays is with some delicious food. Rachel Hollis

Freshly facilities use egg, tree nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, and soy in some meal preparation. If you have a food allergy to one of these items, you should be aware of that.

While Freshly offers more than 30 different meals, if you plan on using the service for an extended time, the meal options might get tiresome. Several satisfied customers mentioned that they used Freshly meal delivery service as a temporary setup, after the birth of a child or surgery for example. They enjoyed the convenience of having already prepared meals as an alternative to less healthy microwavable dinners bought at the grocery store.

The Freshly meal options do not include any snacks or desserts. Many of the prepared meals have high levels of sodium and saturated fat, making some meals inappropriate for persons looking to reduce their sodium or fat intake. For instance, the Sausage Baked Penne with Sautéed Zucchini and Spinach has a whopping 980 milligrams of sodium. The Turkey Shepherd Pie has 12 grams of saturated fat which is quite high.

While Freshly makes an effort to use organic and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible, there is no guarantee that the ingredients used are either organic or GMO-free.

To recap Freshly meal delivery services offers:

  • Single serving weekly meal delivery
  • Plans of 4, 6, 8 or 12 meals
  • Gluten and peanut free dishes
  • No artificial or chemical preservatives
  • Meals packaged in biodegradable, recyclable and microwavable materials
  • Fresh, not frozen entrees delivered to your door
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Other Freshly Reviews

It’s common for companies to offer their products in exchange for a review. Freshly is no exception. Many of the reviews you can find online for Freshly contain the disclaimer that they are Freshly affiliates or have received sample meals to review. There is nothing illegal in a company asking for reviews or a reviewer providing information as an affiliate, as long as the affiliation is made clear.

However, articles written for these reasons may not be the most honest of reviews. Perhaps the drawbacks to the Freshly meal subscription plan are glossed over in the article or video. Or maybe the author raves about a meal that is only mediocre because of his or her affiliation with the company.

Of course, there is the element of personal preference to consider, especially in a meal plan like Freshly.  What one person might find tasty might be just awful for another. Or what one person considers convenient, another may wish that the meals came as ingredients to prepare at home.

I love food. I'm a big food person. I'm really passionate about eating good food all the time. Dreama Walker

Although often lumped in the same category, Freshly is not comparable to Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Hungryroot, Plated, or Home Chef. These are ingredient delivery services. Each of these companies will deliver everything you need to prepare a meal yourself, including the recipe.

The difference between an ingredient delivery service and a meal delivery service in many reviews online may cause some confusion. Freshly is more comparable to Munchery, Fresh Meal Plan, Healthy Chef Creations, Silver Cuisine, The Good Kitchen, Factor 75, Magic Kitchen, or Personal Chef to Go.

So, bearing these things in mind, is Freshly the meal delivery plan for you? Let’s look at some Freshly reviews that won’t lead you astray.

Patti Lamberti compares Home Chef, Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh and Freshly at Money Under 30. There is a fabulous comparative chart which includes price per meal, minimum order, delivery cost, vegetarian plans, kid-friendly meals, and available promotions. Freshly comes in third with an overall score of 8.8 / 10.

Meal Delivery Comparison: Home Chef vs. Blue Apron vs. Plated vs. Hello Fresh vs. Freshly by Patti Lamberti at Money Under 30

Lydia Noyes at highya addresses the significant disparity of customers regarding the taste of Freshly prepared meals. She also compares Freshly to Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, and Fresh Meal Plan in the categories of estimated cost per serving, availability, shipping costs, number of weekly meal options, pausing the subscription, and level of kitchen effort required. Overall, Freshly is most similar to Fresh Meal Plan.

Freshly by Lydia Noyes at highya

Dan Scalco at Food Box HQ talks about how the portion sizes are determined to create the least amount of food waste. He also mentions that packages are shipped via FedEx and OnTrac so you should be able to track your packages and know when to expect delivery. The modified atmosphere packaging Freshly uses to be able to send fresh food without spoiling is explained.

He especially recommends Freshly for someone that is following a gluten-free diet.

Freshly Review: Are These Fresh, Pre-Cooked, Never Frozen Meals Worth It? By Dan Scalco at Food Box HQ

Julia Warren at What to Expect brings up some interesting information you need to know before enrolling in one of Freshly’s meal plans. As of April 2018, Freshly only delivered to 27 states in the continental U.S. If you live outside of a delivery zone, you can request to be notified when service is available. Julia also includes an excellent summary of Freshly’s major competitors, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Home Chef so that you can compare options.

Freshly Review: Is the Convenience Worth the Cost? by Julia Warren at What to Expect

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What Are Meal Subscription Services?

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Most reviews we found on the internet compared Freshly with Blue Apron, Plated or other ingredient delivery services, which is a bit misleading. Freshly is similar to Munchery, which closed in January 2019, and Fresh Meal Plan in that it delivers fully prepared meals rather than ingredients for you to cook at home.

So let’s look at some features that the Fresh Meal Plan offers to compare apples to apples as they say.

Remember!

Fresh Meal Plan offers weekly delivery to southeast Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties), the greater Orlando and Tampa areas, and the greater New York-New Jersey area as well as from Massachusetts down to Pennsylvania. Meals can be picked up in Boca Raton, Florida.

Meals are packaged in Vacufresh sealed microwave-safe recycle plastic containers guaranteeing freshness for up to 2 weeks. The meal shipment is wrapped in special thermal packaging and delivered by a company that specializes in shipping perishable goods.

Fresh Meal Plan offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and juice options. The eight menu options include traditional, Paleo, Keto, Vegetarian, Lean and Mean (designed for body-builders) and XL Plans with double the portion size.

Five meals per week cost $59.99. Ten meal plans range from $109-$132 per week. Extra meals can be added as can a la carte options. Traditional, Paleo, Keto, Vegetarian, or Lean and Mean additional meals are $9.95. XL meals are $11.95. Gourmet Signature plan meals are $13.00

Fresh Meal Plan states that only free-range certified antibiotic and hormone free poultry is used in their meals. Additionally, the seafood is wild, not farmed, and sustainably caught, and their beef is grass fed.

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Meals can be microwaved or heated in the oven after removing the lid and sauce cups. If using a toaster oven, remove the food from the plastic containers and use toaster-oven appropriate pans to heat the meals or snacks. Both the plastic containers and ice packs are recyclable.

Comparing two turkey dishes, Freshly’s Three-Bean Ancho Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cheese and Fresh Meal Plans Turkey Chili you can see a marked difference. Freshly’s meal has 470 calories, 21 grams of total fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 44 grams of protein. The ingredient list belies the all-natural claim that Freshly gives with calcium chloride and powdered cellulose.

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Fresh Meal Plan’s Turkey Chili has 294 calories, 24 grams of protein, 29 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of total fat. The ingredient list is also simplistic with brown rice, onions, ground turkey, peppers and tomato.

Eating good food is, to me, one of life's greatest joys, and I will never punish myself for it. Miriam Shor

Overall, Fresh Meal Plan might be a better option for you if you are committed to a Paleo, Keto or Vegetarian diet. There are more options in these categories than Freshly, but they do not guarantee gluten or peanut free meals.

Personally, the fact that the meats used in preparing the Fresh Meal Plan are hormone-free adds value to their product for us. Freshly makes no such claims. Additionally, the Paleo menu at least provides low sodium and saturated fat meals, which is a significant health consideration.

Prices are within a $10 range difference between Freshly and Fresh Meal Plan. On the other hand, the a la carte snack and juice options could increase the final price on your Fresh Meal Plan considerably.

The delivery areas are not overlapping. Fresh Meal Plan concentrates in the Eastern United States, while Freshly is centered more in the midwest. Even though both insist they have nationwide delivery, you need to check your zip code to see whether you live in an area that they deliver to. One or the other, or both might not be available to you.

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A Quick Look At Other Prepared Meal Delivery Services

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As mentioned previously, Freshly is more comparable to Munchery, Fresh Meal Plan, Healthy Chef Creations, Silver Cuisine, The Good Kitchen, Factor 75, Magic Kitchen, or Personal Chef to Go than Blue Apron and other meal kit delivery services. Let’s take a quick look at each of these for comparative purposes.

Healthy Chef Creations offers organic fruits and vegetables, free-range or wild caught meat options, and no artificial additives. They have a weight-loss Mediterranean diet and low carb option as well as customizable meal planning for those with special dietary needs and a la carte menu. Meals start at $6.99 for a child’s lunch portion and $10.99 for an adult lunch meal.

Silver Cuisine is designed for the nutritional needs of people 50 years of age and older. The offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in a variety of individual dietary restrictive plans including menopausal, heart-healthy, gluten-free, diabetic and vegetarian. There are additional shipping fees, and meals are delivered frozen nationwide. You can choose to have delivered as few or as many meals you wish each week. Prices range from under $6 to about $20.

The best way to celebrate the holidays is with some delicious food. Rachel Hollis

The Good Kitchen uses grass-fed meat, organic and non-GMO produce and heirloom gluten-free grains in their meals. They offer 10, 14, 21 and a la carte menu plans. Prices range from $98 to $231 per week. There are no additional shipping fees. and they ship anywhere in the continental U.S.

Factor 75 offers gluten and soy-free, grass-fed and pastured meat free of hormones and antibiotics, non-GMO produce meals. Meal plans come in 4, 6, 8, 12, or 18 meals per week and range from $11 to $15 per meal. They provide Paleo, Keto, and Gluten-free diets.

Magic Kitchen ships frozen meals nationwide. They offer Renal/Dialysis Friendly diets and Low Sodium and Diabetic diets among others. You can choose up to 3 meals per day. The costs range from $75 - $250 per week.

Personal Chef to Go offers free shipping on the East Coast with delivery to the rest of the continental U.S. for an additional fee. You can choose from 5, 8, or 10 meal plans beginning at $78. You have the option of a one-time order or subscription plan. There is a large variety of meals available however there is a $10 fee if you need special dietary accommodations.

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Conclusion

We listed and summarized several reviews and information about other prepared meal delivery services to help you decide if Freshly is the meal delivery plan for you.

While there are other Freshly reviews online, both positive and negative, they often didn’t have enough unique information to make reading them worth your time and effort. Many reviews just regurgitated information found the Freshly site without any comments on personal experiences of any kind. Others complained about issues that Freshly clearly addresses on their page.

For example, cancellations are possible unless the food has already been prepared or shipped. So, if the customer tries to cancel after the food has shipped, the fault lies with the customer rather than Freshly, although in most cases, Freshly offered a discount on the next shipment to appease inconvenienced customers.

It's easy to impress me. I don't need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I'm happy. I'm satisfied. I'm content. Maria Sharapova

Another issue that appeared repeatedly was the comparison to Freshly prepared meal service to companies that are ingredient delivery services, like Blue Apron. Freshly is more comparable Fresh Meal Plan since both provide already prepared meals.

All in all Freshly is an ideal meal delivery service for periodic use if you want a healthier alternative to processed microwavable meals from the frozen food department. The meals are fully prepared, making it extremely fast and convenient. They also are completely gluten and peanut free. Many of the meals are under 500 calories, and the list of banned food items means that your food is substantially better for you than McDonald’s.

However, several of the other prepared meal delivery services we looked at offered more variety, healthier food choices and nationwide delivery, although they were often more expensive that Freshly.

We hope this list of Freshly reviews that won’t lead you astray will help you determine whether Freshly is what you are looking for in a prepared meal delivery service.

man looking at food

gif source: giphy

Daily Harvest Reviews and Our Thoughts

Variety of fresh harvest fruits

The meal kit trend has become incredibly prevalent in the few short years since its inception, with people flocking to the convenience of being able to order food online that provides fresh ingredients and recipes right to your doorstep. The success of early companies like Blue Apron has spurred on several new contenders in the meal kit arena.

As with any other product or service, not every meal kit subscription is the same, and different companies have worked to make their mark by offering unique twists on this idea. It's easy to find an offering that can help meet your home's meal needs, food tastes, and dietary restrictions while helping you cook healthy foods with minimal shopping and prep time.

Daily Harvest is one of those companies, but its concept is a bit different than many other meal kit services out there. Instead of bringing ingredients ready to cook right to your dinner table, Daily Harvest focuses on smoothies and other foods that you can keep frozen, prep up with minimal effort, and enjoy straight out of the delivered cup. Our Daily Harvest reviews have the details.

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What Does Daily Harvest Do?

While the meal kit delivery industry has a relatively short lifespan of about six years under its belt, Daily Harvest is even newer than that. The company started with delivery smoothie cup options and, since then, it has expanded its selection into other drinks, foods, and even desserts. Instead of offering multiple meals a week, you can choose from the extensive range of available cups to order.

Getting Started

Plan Options

Cup Options

Delivery and Packaging

Preparation

The Daily Harvest Experience

Pausing and Canceling Service

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Pros and Cons at Glance

Pros

  • Quick prep times on all items
  • Daily Harvest uses one-hundred percent non-GMO, organic ingredients
  • All foods are vegan-friendly
  • Cups provide convenience for on-the-go people
  • Lower or comparable cost to other services
  • Does not require much cleaning

Cons

  • Does not allow you to cook meals
  • Packaging can create waste
  • Non-smoothie items are not enough to serve as a meal supplement
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How It Compares

Variety of Fruits in a bowl

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

It can be a bit difficult to compare Daily Harvest to other meal delivery services just because it operates on a slightly different concept. Most other companies, like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, aim to create an experience of cooking at home with inventive recipes and fresh, healthy ingredients possible and accessible in a time-crunched world.

Daily Harvest does provide a similar setup, but it's not quite the same. The emphasis on smoothies offers more of a breakfast or snack option than a complete dinner dish. This setup means that Daily Harvest ultimately appeals to a different type of audience: namely, people who want to have these sorts of foods around but don't have the know-how to make delicious and nutritious servings.

Even with Daily Harvest's expansion into other types of foods, like their soup and dessert cups, you won't find a comprehensive way to upgrade your meal plan. Aside from the lack of sheer variety in meal options (as you'd see with other meal kit services), the portions on those more solid foods don't quite have the same filling effect as a full meal.

If you want a service that will give you dinner options then, you'll have no trouble finding another opportunity elsewhere. However, for people that aren't seeking a way to prepare dinner at home and instead still want a convenient way to eat healthy without a lot of time (and while on the go if necessary), then Daily Harvest is an option that will give you just that.

In terms of the other aspects of their service, Daily Harvest checks off the boxes that customers often look for in a food delivery service: the company provides a selection that is entirely vegan-friendly, they have plenty of variety in their smoothie section, ingredients are all natural and GMO-friendly, and a team of nutritionists is responsible for their recipes.

Daily Harvest also has an edge amongst the competition in that, though you won't need to get hands-on in the kitchen to make their products, everything this service offers has a prep time you can complete in a few minutes. The use of the cup as a way to transport your food is also a nice touch. While in a completely different way, Daily Harvest does enable healthy eating with convenience.

Even so, eaters who want a bit of meat in their lives may lose a bit of convenience if they're going to prepare extra items to fill out a meal. The individual cups, while saving dishwashing time, also create a substantial amount of waste that isn't as immediately recyclable as the packaging from other companies, which may not be worth it to some, no matter how easy it can make storage.

In terms of pausing or canceling your count, Daily Harvest is just as straightforward as most other services; it outstrips some other meal kit services that require you to jump through several hoops to cancel your subscription.

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Pricing

Strawberry smoothie in a glass

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

The pricing you pay for Daily Harvest ultimately depends on the plan you choose. Naturally, more cups over time will cost you more, but the unit price can fluctuate depending on your order size. For example, the monthly plan of twenty-four cups per month will cost you $6.99 per cup, which is one of the better values available.

If you select one of the weekly plans, you'll have a slightly different cost per cup value. With Daily Harvest's available options, the price comes out to:

  • Nine cups per week: $7.75 per cup
  • 12 cups per week: $7.49 per cup
  • 24 cups per week: $6.99 per cup

Naturally, the more you order, the better value you'll get. Since all of Daily Harvest's cups can stay frozen until you're ready to make them, it's not a waste to receive a large number of cups if you don't eat them right away. After you add up the total price of your order, additional tax costs will apply on top, affecting your final payment amount.

When looking at other meal and food prep delivery services, the price per cup from Daily Harvest is less than the serving cost of many other companies. Some cups, like the lattes, come with packets for multiple servings, too, increasing the value. Still, this difference comes into play because Daily Harvest is ultimately offering a different type of food, and it's difficult to say which is the better value.

Daily Harvest's soup cups may cost less than an order from Blue Apron, but you may not feel as full from that soup as you would from a complete dinner. What's a better overall value does depend on what you value in your meals and what you're looking to get out of your food delivery in the long run.

Instead, with price comparison, it's ultimately more productive to look at Daily Harvest for what it does, rather than group it into the same categories as a meal kit company. With Daily Harvest's starting product in smoothies, what you pay for a cup is easily comparable to going to a smoothie store and ordering from there. The difference is that you can keep Daily Harvest in the freezer.

The other cup dishes are a bit trickier to compare, but overall we think the most significant value in Daily Harvest is the nutritional one, with healthy recipes that (even with their sometimes strange seeming ingredients) do taste delicious overall. Yes, they're closer to snack cups, but some parfaits and desserts can become two separate servings depending on your appetite.

Yes, if you went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients yourself, you could probably come out cheaper in the end. However, it can be challenging to find a recipe that's healthy and tastes good; even if you do, the portions of ingredients can be strange and trying to keep fresh long enough to drink them several times in a row.

Daily Harvest's flash freezing technique does help eliminate this waste issue while still allowing you to have a variety of smoothie flavors, plus it gives you a rapid prep time along with on-the-go convenience. If those benefits seem worth it to you, then the cost easily fits into that factor and makes for a great value.

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Public Perception

Though Daily Harvest doesn't appeal to the same crowd as meal kit delivery services, that doesn't mean that the company doesn't have its own set of fans. Online Daily Harvest reviews from customers are overall positive, with many people agreeing that the service's smoothies and other cups have made a significant change in their diets, providing healthy, delicious, and convenient food options for on-the-go.

The organic and whole foods ingredients approach to the available recipes is also a big hit, and many people feel impressed by how delicious the recipes are. The Chaga + Chocolate latter option, which includes mushrooms, is a standard pick for customers expressing how the unusual ingredients taste like a high-quality latte with a healthy twist to it.

There are some negative Daily Harvest reviews, which for the most part focus on botched delivery times or shoddy customer service. Customers that have experienced these issues seem to be in the minority, but they do exist—while other reviewers have indicated nothing but helpful customer service representatives that quickly resolved their issues and gave store credit as reimbursement.

Some other customers do wish that the more food-based cups were a bit more filling, but they still appreciated the taste and convenience of the overall product. With all these factors in mind, Daily Harvest has attracted a positive public perception amongst its community.

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What We Think

Variety of fruit smoothie in a glass

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

While Daily Harvest isn't a complete meal kit delivery service, that's not what this company was aiming to be in the first place. Daily Harvest's smoothie and other on-the-go cup options provide a different approach to healthy eating that recognizes that not only people who can make the time to cook for themselves at dinnertime want to eat healthily without navigating meal planning and shopping.

With that in mind, we fully recognize that Daily Harvest isn't going to be for everyone. Smoothies do make an excellent breakfast substitution, but they aren't entirely appealing to all. The oatmeal, soup, latte, and other cups allow for some nice variety in your choices, and just the overall setup of food that takes only a few minutes of prep-time while still being healthy all give Daily Harvest points in our books.

So, yes, we do recommend Daily Harvest—if this service sounds like something you'd want to try. People who have time-crunched lives will likely benefit the most, especially if they've been searching for a service that uses wholly organic and non-GMO foods. The fact that all options are vegan-friendly does open up possibilities for people on many diets to make use of this service.

Organic food is the best for you, and I'm eating the best, a lot of fresh vegetables. I also keep myself hydrated. It's all made a big difference to my performance in the gym.

-Amir Khan

Considering that Daily Harvest started as a smoothie service, we're primarily recommending it for people who want to have ready to go smoothies without needing to struggle with the challenges that come from keeping fresh ingredients and preparation issues. The other types of cups, though not having as wide as a selection, do increase your options to try new things.

And though it's not a requirement, we think that ability to give you new food options and flavors is a sign of a strong meal delivery service, and Daily Harvest does deliver on that front (would you ever think to prepare your coffee with mushrooms involved on your own?). You won't be disappointed with the options you'll find.

There are a few flaws in the equation thanks to the cup system, such as creating a large amount of waste and storage concerns, and we'd like to see what innovations Daily Harvest will implement in the future to be more conscious of these issues. We're also looking forward to seeing how they expand their other offerings to be on par with the smoothie selection.

But for now, as Daily Harvest is, we would recommend this service for anyone looking for quickly prepared meals that are healthy, organic, and easy to eat while on the go.

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Deals

Daily Harvest routinely offers deals for new customers to try out their services at a discounted price, which is the perfect opportunity to see if this service is right for you. Get started with your new account, and then select the "Get Free Cups" option at the bottom of the webpage for more information.

Featured Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Plated Vs. Blue Apron

Plated and Blue Apron are among the most noteworthy meal delivery kits available today

image source: Pixabay

Think these two meal kit subscription services are the same? Check out our comparison for the key differences between Plated and Blue Apron.

Plated and Blue Apron are among the most noteworthy meal delivery kits available today.

That's probably because both services have a strong customer base, significant media presence, and deliver meal kits to thousands of subscribers each week.

At first glance, most meal kit subscription services appear quite similar, or even identical.

The similarities between these services can make it difficult to know which best suits your lifestyle, schedule, and dietary restrictions.

All meal delivery kits subscriptions promise to deliver fresh ingredients, organic produce, and handcrafted entrees to your door.

While today's meal delivery kits are indeed similar, several distinctions among the most highly rated services exist, and differences in various rating criteria impact the performance of each.

Read on for our comprehensive point by point analysis and comparison of two leading meal subscription services: Plated and Blue Apron.

Plated Vs. Blue Apron: What Do They Have In Common?

With an endless variety of meal subscription services available, it's safe to say that most meal delivery kits share more similarities than differences.

Among the top ranking subscription services, you can expect consistent features like fresh ingredients, easy to follow recipes, diverse menu variety, and convenient delivery.

As two of the top-rated subscription kits, both Plated and Blue Apron deliver on these criteria, with both slight and significant differences that ultimately come down to personal preference when choosing between the two services.

If you're new to the world of meal delivery kits, factors like ease of ordering and convenient delivery are likely among your primary considerations.

For more seasoned subscribers, we've provided a break down of the unique distinctions between Plated and Blue Apron, that will factor into your ultimate decision between the two services.

How Do Plated And Blue Apron Differ?

Like most meal delivery kits, Plated and Blue Apron differ in price, menu, subscription terms, and customer service.

While the two services perform similarly in several important criteria, they are not identical, and each service presents noteworthy differences that are further explained by each of our rating criteria.

Is there a clear winner between plated and Blue Apron?

The answer depends on personal preference, dietary restrictions, food allergies, and cost.

The distinctions between Plated and Blue Apron are most easily analyzed by comparing and contrasting the two popular services, and the kit that you choose will ultimately depend on which of these factors are most relevant to you.


Pricing And Meal Plans


food in the table

image source: Pixabay

For most subscribers, pricing and meal plan options are among the primary considerations when choosing a meal kit delivery service, and for a good reason.

Cost can vary considerably among services, and features like free shipping are not necessarily applicable.

The good news is that both services are free of any sneaky, hidden costs or surcharges, and offer relatively straightforward subscription plans.

With Plated, subscribers may choose to order based on serving size and between two, three, or four nights per week plans.

Plated's serving size feeds one adult or two children, with two-person meal plans starting at around $50 per week, and at an introductory price of $35 weekly.

While Plated doesn't offer a dedicated family plan, the per serving charge factors in children's meals, and all servings range between $9.95 to $11.95.

Blue Apron offers individual and family pricing plans and inexpensive pricing plans, but less customization where servings are concerned.

Blue Apron subscribers may choose between the Classic Family Plan, or best-selling Signature plan, serving two people at around $59 per week(with an introductory rate of about $40).

Blue Apron's Family Plan serves four people, and subscribers may choose between two, three, and four recipes per week.

The Family Plan starts at around $71 per week, with an introductory rate of just $51.

Where the two services differ is in shipping charges, free of charge for Blue Apron subscribers. While the price difference is slim, Blue Apron wins as the cheaper option between the two.

Winner: Blue Apron


Flexibility ​And Subscription Terms


sandwiches

image source: Pexels

Flexibility is an important factor when deciding on a meal delivery service.

After all, most subscribers depend on services like Plated and Blue Apron to make their lives easier—not more complicated.

To get the most out of a meal kit service, look for flexible subscription terms that allow customers to personalize meal plans by skipping weeks, customizing delivery schedules, and offer responsive customer service.

The good news in this rating category is that between Plated and Blue Apron, both services offer flexible subscription plans.

In addition, both services allow subscribers the choice to skip a week or two at their convenience, an invaluable option for vacations or times that you may be away from home unexpectedly.

As well as the option to change plans or skip weeks, each service offers no commitment sign up, with easy cancellation at any time.

Both Plated and Blue Apron offer sign-on bonuses and introductory offers, and these offers and bonus prices vary throughout the year.

Subscribers can generally expect to save between $20-$30 on their first three boxes depending on current sign up bonuses with Blue Apron, and as much as $159 for the first four weeks with Plated.

While both services run neck and neck in terms of subscription convenience and flexibility, Plated takes the lead for more responsive customer service and chat hours, an essential factor in personalizing your subscription.

In addition to more responsive customer service and customer support extended hours, subscribers can cancel their Plated service at any time by visiting the Plated app or website.

To cancel a Blue Apron's service, subscribers must call the Blue Apron's toll-free customer service number during business hours.

Winner: Plated


Menu Variety And Diversity ​Of Ingredients


ingredients

image source: Pixabay

One reason many families and working adults consider a meal delivery plan is not merely for the convenience, but access to a wide variety of ingredients and entrees.

With the right meal kit, subscribers have instant access to unique menu options, fresh ingredients, and food choices that many shoppers lack time to create.

Along with unique menu options, subscription services offer exposure to a number of ingredients customers lack access to at local grocery store and supermarket chains.

Between Plated and Blue Apron, Plated is the clear winner where menu variety is concerned.

While Blue Apron focuses on classic, good tasting recipes, the service offers a limited number of weekly menu options, between six and eight meals to choose from (depending on which plan you select).

Plated offers a range of exotic ingredients shoppers may not have access to, as well as creative entrees that focus on these unique components.

Meal plan options with Plated include 20 selections each week to choose from, regardless of dietary restrictions and food allergies.

Winner: Plated


Customization ​And Dietary Restrictions


salad in a bowl

image source: Pexels

The option to customize your meals when using a subscription service is essential for a number of reasons—dietary restrictions and food allergies chief among them.

Plated allows subscribers to filter their weekly selections by dietary restrictions and preferences, including gluten-free and low carb plans.

Due to Plated's rather extensive menu selection, plenty of options are available when dietary restrictions and other specifications are included, making Plated a more convenient choice for subscribers with food allergies and gluten-free customers.

In comparison, Blue Apron offers some unique advantages not found with other services, including Weight Watchers meals as well as an optional wine club subscription.

Blue Apron does not, however, allow subscribers to filter meal plan options when it comes to food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Blue Apron customers may choose from a list of meals each week that exclude potential allergens but must consult nutrition and allergy information rather than simply opting out of these meals altogether.

On that note, gluten-free menu options with Blue Apron are limited, and catering to food allergies with the service is no easy task.

When it comes to convenience, Plated reigns supreme for subscribers with dietary restrictions.

Plated also caters to dietary restrictions and food allergies by including all nutrition and allergy information on recipe cards, an example Blue Apron may want to consider following.

Overall, Plated offers more practical options to customize your weekly menu choices, while Blue Apron offers bonus features that customers following the Weight Watchers program may especially appreciate.

Winner: Plated


Quality ​And Presentation


sushi and maki

image source: Pixabay

When it comes to quality ingredients, both Plated and Blue Apron offer sustainably sourced seafood, organic seasonal produce, as well as hormone and antibiotic free meat options.

As both services are among the top ranking meal kit subscription plans available, the overall quality of the meals is not a significant factor when considering either service and not a detractor when choosing between the two.

Overall, subscribers will find more exotic entrees and handcrafted, chef inspired meal options with Plated.

Blue Apron subscribers prefer the service for classic, fresh tasting ingredients and repeating menu favorites.

We give Plated presentation points for the artisan, chef-inspired appearance of its meals.

For subscribers who prefer more advanced entrees, Plated also offers slightly more sophisticated menu options over Blue Apron (as well as simplified options for the remedial home chef).

Winner: Plated


Freshness ​Of Ingredients


vegetables

image source: Pixabay

While any top rated meal delivery service offers quality ingredients, responsibly sourced meats, and organic seasonal produce, the freshness of ingredients between meal kits varies significantly as a result of numerous factors.

First and foremost, both Plated and Blue Apron strive to offer quality, fresh ingredients and organic produce.

The difference that many subscribers find in the freshness of these meal kit delivery services is a result of shipping and packaging techniques.

While we'd love to say that each service we review delivers fresh, non-spoiled ingredients 100 percent of the time, spoiled and otherwise expired food items are an unfortunate reality when opting for a meal delivery kit.

Between Plated and Blue Apron, we give freshness points to Plated, hands down. Plated delivers carefully packaged, sealed boxes that rarely contain spoiled, expired, or leaking items.

The service also focuses on environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly packaging that is 100 percent recyclable.

Winner: Plated


Cooking Skill (And Time) Required


food in the plates

image source: Pixabay

Another reason that meal subscription services are so popular these days is access to simplified, easy to follow recipes that are generally prepared in under one hour.

In addition to quick, simplified meals, most subscription services feature entrees that require minimal skill and kitchen experience to prepare (beyond following basic instructions and recipes).

On the other hand, some subscribers enjoy the process of cooking and may even appreciate a more detailed recipe to follow when preparing their weekly menu items.

Plated certainly delivers on this front, as a few of the recipes advance beyond remedial kitchen know-how.

Plated also offers low skill, easy meals that are prepared in under 30 minutes.

In contrast, Blue Apron's recipes are classic but generally geared toward the intermediate chef who has attained at least minimum skill level in the kitchen.

Blue Apron's boxes also arrive with all ingredients packaged together, disorganized, and not individually labeled.

For most subscribers, Blue Apron's recipes are easy to follow, but knowing exactly which ingredients go where and which entree they are correspondent to requires a little kitchen experience.

Winner: Plated


Ease ​Of Ordering ​And Mobile Apps


gadgets

image source: Pixabay

Let's be honest. Not many of us want to deal with a meal delivery service that doesn't feature a smooth, seamless ordering process.

As one of the many reasons subscribers opt for a meal kit service, convenience is key.

Most subscription services offer the convenience of relatively streamlined online orders, customer service, and allow subscribers to manage account features online efficiently.

Between Blue Apron and Plated, both services offer a user-friendly web platform and mobile app that allows customers to manage their accounts and personalize their service from the convenience of their home computer or mobile device.

While the difference in mobile apps and website navigation are slim, we give Plated the win for more interactive customer service overall.

Winner: Plated


Customer Service


women with headhones

image source: Pixabay

Along with ease of use when it comes to placing orders, changing your service, and managing account features, customer service is a key factor in deciding on the right subscription service for you.

Fortunately, both Plated and Blue Apron feature satisfactory customer service overall.

As previously mentioned, flexibility in subscription plans and easy cancellation are available with both services.

Plated takes the customer service lead by offering online chat beyond normal business hours and on weekends, a convenient feature that subscribers may take for granted in the digital age.

Winner: Plated


Drinks, Desserts & Add-On Items


wine bottles in the cellar

image source: Pixabay

The availability of add on items including desserts, optional wine club subscriptions, and even cookware varies significantly among meal kit services.

If you are a dessert lover, Plated is the clear choice— with a menu that offers two alternating dessert options each week at a cost of $8 each.

Wile Blue Apron doesn't offer an especially noteworthy dessert menu; the service does feature an impressive wine club, with an array of wines to suit each entree offered with your weekly menu plan.

Blue Apron also offers subscribers access to a small online retail store that carries various household items, including kitchenware.

Between Plated and Blue Apron, we recommend opting for Blue Apron's add on items and wine club.

Winner: Blue Apron


The Box: Packaging, Labeling, ​And Shipping


food in lunch box

image source: Pexels

Packaging methods vary among delivery services, and not all boxes are created equal.

When it comes to the battle between Plated and Blue Apron, the lower quality of packing and organization present among Blue Apron's boxes pulls Plated solidly into the lead.

It's important to mention that shipping charges are often a significant factor in the quality of packaging you can expect when subscribing to a meal delivery service.

As Blue Apron shipping costs are free of charge, it makes sense to expect better packaging techniques from Plated. However, careful packaging methods are not simply a luxury advantage in terms of meal delivery.

Although Blue Apron offers free shipping, the service utilizes lackluster and sometimes careless shipping and packaging techniques that frequently result in spoiled, damaged, and leaking food items.

Safe, thorough packaging procedures prevent leaks and help food retain freshness, making this a significant factor contributing to food safety as well as convenience.

For the free shipping charges, Blue Apron subscribers receive a weekly box containing all ingredients necessary to prepare meals, and included recipe cards.

In contrast, Plated subscribers received a weekly box with organized, tightly sealed double packed meals clearly separated with their correspondent recipe and nutrition information.

While achieving the perfect packaging methods can be tough for any meal delivery service, Plated takes the win for food safety, convenience, and far fewer leaks and spoiled items over Blue Apron.

Winner: Plated

What Makes Each Service Unique?

When it comes to the final decision between Plated and Blue Apron, the two services share much in common and perform equally in a number of our rating criteria.

Many customers appreciate the unique benefits of subscribing to one service over the other, and this preference varies based on a number of factors.

Still not sure which meal kit you're sure to prefer in the long run?

Take a look at some of the key advantages of each service and their unique subscription benefits.

You're sure to love Plated if you prefer:

  • Exotic ingredients not found at your local grocery store
  • Diverse menu selection with 20 meal choices per week
  • Accommodation of dietary restrictions and food allergies
  • Complete nutrition and allergy information displayed on each recipe card
  • Artisan-inspired menu items and sophisticated meal presentation
  • Simplified, easy to follow recipes with minimal cooking times.

Plated is the ideal choice for busy students, working parents, and subscribers with dietary restrictions.

Plated focuses on simplifying your experience and delivering the freshest ingredients possible to your door.

In contrast, Blue Apron subscribers most appreciate the service for its:

  • Classic, tasty ingredients and menu favorites
  • Unique membership add-ons including wine club and retail store
  • Weight Watchers meals
  • Lower price point

Blue Apron is one of the first meal kit delivery services and retains a customer base who appreciate its hearty, classic menu options and unique membership benefits.

Plated ​Vs. Blue Apron: Who Wins?

Hopefully, our comparison has made your decision a bit easier when it comes to choosing between Plated and Blue Apron.

Both services offer a baseline of quality ingredients, satisfactory customer support, flexibility, and convenience.

Ultimately, a clear winner between the two subscription services will depend on several factors, including lifestyle and dietary restrictions.

For our part, we choose Plated as the most comprehensive meal delivery kit service, with the most responsive customer service and personalization options.


Why We Chose Plated


To be sure, the significance of Plated's careful packaging techniques, as well as easy filtering options for dietary and food restrictions are key factors that make Plated the better meal delivery service for the average subscriber.

Gluten-free customers will prefer Plated for its easy menu filtering options, as well as its extensive menu selection.

Although Blue Apron offers a vegetarian and pescatarian menu, recipes are limited, and gluten-free dishes are scarce to be found.

We love Plated's exotic ingredients and artisan-inspired entrees—a key benefit of subscribing to a meal delivery kit.

Once you've made the decision to opt for a subscription service, the ease of access to ingredients that aren't available at your local grocery store is an additional benefit many customers prefer.

After all, a meal delivery service isn't just a meal replacement service.

The ideal meal delivery service should provide a convenient way to access organic produce, responsibly sourced meats, and the freshest seasonal ingredients possible.

To that end, Plated also outperforms Blue Apron in overall freshness, and freshness is no small consideration when it comes to a meal kit.

We recommend Plated for its fresh ingredients, sustainable packaging, and no fuss filtering options for subscribers with dietary restrictions and preferences.

In addition to fresh ingredients and more convenient personalization, we also love Plated for its comprehensive customer support, diversity of entrees, and artisan-inspired presentation of weekly menu items.

Home Chef Vs. Blue Apron

adult-casual-chef

images source: pexels

Meal kit services are no longer a novelty. There are a plethora of companies out there, ready to provide you with multiple menu options, ship the required ingredients and instructions to your door, and help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle than merely going out to eat or ordering in regularly. Since food serves as the cornerstone of our energy, there's no doubt these meal kits can be a benefit.

While selecting a meal kit plan can ultimately save you the time of dinner planning and grocery shopping by bringing fresh ingredients straight to your home, the multitude of available services means that you still need to exert a little energy into determining which one is best for you. Two of the top contenders—Home Chef and Blue Apron—are a close competition for each other.

Blue Apron was one of the first meal kit services to appear back then these subscription companies were getting their start, and it's almost synonymous with the idea of delivered ingredients to your home. The company focuses on providing restaurant quality meals that even beginner chefs can cook on their own—and the whole dinner table will enjoy.

Home Chef got its start a bit later than Blue Apron, but the company is no less a winner for it. Just like Blue Apron, Home Chef focuses on saving its customers time by delivering quality ingredients for home-cooked meals straight to their doors. However, Home Chef prioritizes homestyle dishes that are sure to appeal to a variety of pallets, no matter how picky an eater some people may be.

Both meal kit subscriptions have their benefits attached to them, which isn't surprising considering the numerous satisfied customers that each business provides. So in a challenge of Home Chef vs. Blue Apron, which one comes out on top? Our comparison is here to help you find the best pick for you.

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Signing Up

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image source: pexels

Before you can even take advantage of either meal kit subscription's services, you'll first need to sign up. With Home Chef, you start with your shipping and billing information before moving onto your meal preferences. You can select low-carb and low-calorie options, as well as put in any ingredients you want to avoid because of allergies. Home Chef will let you choose your start date for deliveries.

Blue Apron has a similar signup process, which also includes a quiz on your dietary preferences. Note that, unlike Home Chef, Blue Apron does not let you filter your meal options based on allergies, though it does provide you with allergy information in each recipe. Even so, it's not a comprehensive system, and some meals ultimately involve some tweaking at home to have low-carb options.

While you may need to tweak certain elements a bit to meet your dietary needs, both Home Chef and Blue Apron make it easy to sign up and start receiving your meal kits.

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Plan Option

plated foods

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Once you've gotten your food preferences listed, it's time to choose your plans. Some homes need multiple meals a week for large amounts of people, while others only want a few evenings where they're not wholly responsible for shopping for dinner. Both Home Chef and Blue Apron answer those needs by providing a variety of plan options.

Home Chef has some of the most extensive variety, allowing to receive two meals a week all the way up to six. In terms of servings, you can order two, four, or six portions of food per meal you order. While this even-number of dishes means that you can't order accurately for households with an uneven amount of mouths to feed, you can have leftovers to enjoy later.

Blue Apron has a similar variety, with three main options. On the Classic and Vegetarian Plans, you will receive enough portions to serve two people, and you can order two or three meals per week. On the Family Plan, you'll get enough food for four servings, and you can order two, three, or four meals per week.

Overall, these plans will cover most meal needs out there, though those who have a larger dinner table to feed may need to look into other meal kit services that do just that. However, Home Chef does offer a bit more meals and servings per week, so it has a bit of an edge in this category.

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Meal Choices

healthy food

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While having enough portions of food per meal is essential, what's even better is knowing what types of food will be available. When comparing Home Chef vs. Blue Apron, you'll find that this is where the two starts to differ; and while both options are great, one will likely appeal to you more than the other.

Let's start first with the types of foods these companies have to offer. As its name suggests, Home Chef wants to provide you with home-style cooking. This decision means that meals will be grounded in the basics, with choices like enchiladas and pork chops to offer an almost sort of comfort food. Since there isn't anything too adventurous on the menu, you can serve picky eaters with confidence.

On the other hand, Blue Apron is a bit more inventive in its recipe choices in that this service wants you to prepare dishes you've never tried before. If you're ready to try new meals, this service is the one for you, especially since Blue Apron never repeats a recipe within a year. Of course, there are more classic-style recipes, too, but the option to explore new avenues is excellent.

Another thing to consider is just what types of meals these companies provide. At Home Chef, you'll find options for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Low Calorie
  • Low Carb
  • Gluten-Free

Blue Apron has choices for Vegetarian eaters, but only on the Classic Plan and not the Family One. They also lack in low carb and no sugar options. Notably, both services don't have a reliable selection of meals for vegan eaters, with only a few choices a week. For people with these dietary restrictions, Purple Carrot is the go-to meal kit service.

With a Home Chef recipe, you'll be able to see the ingredients list, full prep time, and instructions when you look at the listing online. Blue Apron gives you the information on what tools you'll need, ingredients, and cooking tips and techniques.

Overall, both companies offer an excellent variety in meals, though Home Chef has an edge in terms of appealing to different dietary restrictions. Ultimately, it'll be up to your tastes whether you prefer the familiar feeling of Home Chef or the potential adventure at the dinner table that comes with Blue Apron.

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Extras

Meal kits may be the focus of these companies, but they also offer some extras you can add to your orders. At Home Chef, you can upgrade certain meals to "premium" status, breakfast choices, smoothie offerings, and seasonal fruit baskets. These items come at an extra cost and will deliver with the rest of your order.

Blue Apron has an additional wine service that helps you easily pair up drinks with your meals. The bottles aren't as large as a standard offering of wine, but you'll receive six a month. The wine guides will help you tell which drinks should go with which food offerings, adding another layer of convenience to your meal planning life.

beef and wine

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Both companies also offer an additional online market that has cooking tools available, such as pots, pans, and more. These services help ensure that you'll always have the right appliances ready in your kitchen so that you can prepare all the meals Home Chef and Blue Apron have to offer.

Each Blue Apron and Home Chef have different options ready for them. While you don't have to use any of the extra services if you're not interested in them, they are readily there if you want to try something new during your subscription.

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Delivery And Shipping

Since the whole convenience of a meal kit delivery subscription rests in having pre-portioned ingredients dropped off right at your door, you want to have a service that's reliable on that front. Both Home Chef and Blue Apron allow you the convenience of selecting which days you want to receive your meal kits on as part of your sign-up process.

At Home Chef, you have the options of any day between Tuesdays and Fridays. Blue Apron goes a bit farther than that and offers delivery on all days of the week, giving you more options for fitting it into your schedule. However, depending on the state you live in, you'll find that will impact the days available to you. Both services allow you to change your delivery day as necessary.

When it comes to shipping itself, almost all plans provide free shipping with very few exceptions. Both Home Chef and Blue Apron only have one option where you won't have to pay a shipping cost: their two meals with two servings per week. In the case of Home Chef, if you add on a bonus from their store (like a seasonal fruit basket), you'll pass the free shipping cost threshold.

Delivery locations are also important to consider. Blue Apron wins in this regard since they serve all fifty US states. Home Chef does not have the same service area, and, while they cover many different locations, some areas are out of the picture.

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Packaging

heart design in the box

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In a meal kit subscription, the packaging is critical for several reasons. Not only do you want the box to keep all your ingredients cold, but you also want everything to be easy to identify and easy to clean up after. Both companies place an emphasis on environmentally friendly and recyclable materials, which does help a bit with the concern of how many boxes you'll receive through your use of the service.

When it comes to keeping ingredients cold, you'll find that Blue Apron has a bit of an edge. Yes, each company has included insulation and ice packs (with additional cooling materials for the meats), but Blue Apron will keep your ingredients cooler for longer. With Home Chef, you'll want to be home to immediately receive your box and store everything inside before the outside temperatures take effect.

Other than that, both companies take due care to ensure that your ingredients arrive safely—even Home Chef's seasonal fruit baskets show up at your door carefully packed and without bruising. In terms of sorting out your components, Home Chef makes it easy to distinguish everything with their individual, see-through bags, including portions of meat.

While Blue Apron does provide your pre-portioned ingredients, you'll find that all the parts for every meal you've received for the week come in one big box, without any dividers to separate them easily. Still, since the packaging is either transparent or easily labeled, you'll be able to tell what each item is when you start to cook.

We're a bigger fan of how Home Chef organizes their boxes, but we admit that Blue Apron is better at keeping everything fresh, with a smaller risk of ingredients going bad. For those reasons, we consider this category a tie.

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Food Prep And Recipes

food in tupperware

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Another critical aspect to have in a meal kit subscription service is the food prep process. No matter what your cooking level is, you'll be able to prepare the meals from both Blue Apron and Home Chef with ease—even if you're just a beginner.

With Home Chef, you receive a straightforward and easy to read recipe card for each meal. With your first order, Home Chef will also give you a binder to collect your instruction in, so you can easily keep track of them without adding any extra clutter to your kitchen.

As for the cards themselves, Home Chef includes tips for both pre-preparation and the cooking process itself. The colored photos make it so that you can see what every step of the way looks like, which can help if you're not familiar with a particular cooking technique. Aside from images of the prep process, Home Chef recipe cards also provide a plating guide to have a perfectly picturesque meal.

The best way to celebrate the holidays is with some delicious food. Rachel Hollis

Blue Apron likewise has a similar approach to their recipes, with large cards that are easy to read and straightforward instructions. Pictures accompany each step, and they're especially helpful for knowing the sizes when chopping up ingredients.

Aside from the recipe cards themselves, Blue Apron also offers an excellent form of chef support in the way of their mobile app. This resource is a terrific boon for learning chefs since it includes numerous instructional videos at the ready, that not only show cooking techniques but also information on individual ingredients to increase your culinary knowledge.

Both services happen to provide very informative and easy to follow instruction cards. By a thin margin, we feel that Blue Apron has the edge in that the directions are overall clearer to follow, plus the mobile app can readily answer whatever questions you have. But make no mistake—Home Chef's recipe cards are just as accessible, and the included booklet is a nice touch for those that collect recipes.

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Pausing And Canceling Service

gadgets and papers

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No matter how much use you get out of a meal kit delivery service, there will ultimately be some weeks where getting boxes at your home won't be necessary. Maybe you'll be out on vacation, or your schedule won't be accommodating. No matter the case, you'll want to easily be able to pause your service when the time comes.

Blue Apron and Home Chef both handle this aspect reasonably well. With Home Chef, you merely need to log into your account, then select the pause option. This function can work for a short amount of time, or even as a "permanent" cancelation. Home Chef will send you occasional emails to come back, but it's not excessive. You can also resume service at any time without jumping through any complicated hoops.

When it comes to pausing with Blue Apron, you can select the weeks you want to skip in advance, and the meal options don't even need to be online for you to do this. However, cancelation is a bit more complicated, requiring you to email customer service, which will then give you the complete instructions to cancel, which is rather inconvenient.

If you see yourself planning to pause in the future, both companies will do you well. However, if you don't want to deal with the hassle if you choose to cancel your subscription, Home Chef takes the edge.

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Pricing

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No matter which meal kit subscription service you choose, you'll ultimately end up paying far more than you would if you shopped for ingredients on your own. Even so, that cost is, in the end, reflecting the convenience you're receiving for not needing to research recipes, head to the grocery store, and pick out fresh produce on your own. In the realm of meal kit companies, these two come close.

Starting with Home Chef, you'll pay a cost of $9.95 per serving, no matter what plan you select. If you want to upgrade your meal to a premium option, naturally that cost will increase. If you want a smoothie or seasonal fruit basket, it'll be $4.95 a piece, and breakfast options are also $9.95 per serving. With a two meal, two servings plan, you're looking at $40 per week.

The costs of Blue Apron are a bit more varied. On the Classic and Vegetarian plans, you'll have a price of $9.99 per serving. On the family plan, things start to vary a bit: two recipes per week come out to $8.99 per serving, three meals cost $7.99 per serving, and four dishes comes out to $7.49 per serving. For two meals on the classic plan, the cost will also come out to $40 per week—before factoring in shipping.

Eating good food is my favourite thing in the whole world. Nothing is more blissful. Justine Larbalestier

As mentioned, both Blue Apron and Home Chef offer free shipping, but only after a certain threshold. If you don't need more than two servings, two times a week, you likely won't want to order much more food than that. With Home Chef, the shipping cost is $10, and Blue Apron charges $7.99.

While Blue Apron ultimately charges less when it comes to shipping, it's rather easy to receive free shipping on the two meal-two servings plans with Home Chef: merely add any of their extras, like a fruit basket or smoothie, to pass the free shipping threshold. Blue Apron offers fewer chances to do this.

Ultimately, it's a matter of how you want to spend your money. Even so, if you choose any of the more extensive plans, you'll have no issue receiving free shipping, so the cost becomes far less of a concern.

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Wrapping Up

When you put these two companies side by side, it's evident that there's no easy answer to who wins in the battle of Home Chef vs. Blue Apron. Both services have put their years of experience in the meal kit industry to good use, and they provide excellent products. It becomes tricky to offer a definitive answer, as food preferences can be so subjective.

However, we can give you some guidance on which may be better for you based on a few factors.

If you need to attend to allergy or other special dietary needs, have picky eaters to appeal to, want some extra options, need a hassle-free way to cancel your subscription, and you live in one of the states where they provide service, consider Home Fresh.

If you want more exotic meal options, don't need to worry about allergies, are interested in the wine service, and want access to additional online and app cooking services, then Blue Apron is likely your better bet.

No matter which you choose, both Home Chef and Blue Apron provide a variety of meals, multiple plan options to accommodate for different homes, hearty portion sizes, and recipes suitable for chefs at any level with well-packed boxes, fresh ingredients, and environmentally friendly packaging. Both companies even offer deals for first-time users, so it's the perfect opportunity to see which is best for your home.