Blue Apron vs. Hello Fresh: Which Meal Delivery Service Is Better?

blue apron vs hello fresh

Organic meal delivery services offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal kits that you can prepare at home. Most meals can be made in 30 minutes, but gourmet dishes may take as much as an hour to prepare. Meal delivery services focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients, but some services have more organic options.  

Best Organic Meal Delivery

The USDA estimates that 75% of food waste occurs in the kitchen during and after food preparation and that 31 percent of the food in the U.S. is thrown away by users.  Boxed meal kits help prevent waste because only exactly what is needed for a meal is included in the kits. 

Much of the conversation about meal delivery services centers around Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh, the two most popular companies offering meal kits. There are dozens of other companies that offer similar services. 

All meal delivery services we researched offer, organic (or mostly organic), fresh and sustainable ingredients. Some offered a variety of meal types, while others focused only on vegan, ethnic or vegetarian meals. 

Certain services offer gourmet meals with exotic or hard-to-find ingredients, while others specialize in locally sourced fruits and vegetables.  

How We Chose Our Ratings

The meal kit delivery field is quite crowded, and all services offer healthy ingredients in their meal kits. There are many other variables to look for when deciding which service to use. We base our ratings on a combination of these factors. 

  • Cost
  • Variety of meals available
  • Is the preparation time for each meal under 30 minutes?
  • Are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available?
  • Quick, efficient delivery
  • Are meals available for more than two people?
  • Gift cards
  • Wine or drink options
  • Can you cancel one or more weekly deliveries?
  • Does the service deliver food to a wide or limited area?
  • Are desserts or snacks included?
  • Online and expert reviews
  • How long has the company been in business? 

Meal and meal kit delivery companies may be national or local, and some are new to the market with limited advertising. Talk to other people who’ve used the service to get a first-hand recommendation. Online reviews will give you a good idea of what services are right for you but check both expert and customer reviews.  

food organized in four containers

Top 15 Best Organic Meal Delivery Services 

If you’re wondering whether to choose Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh, the two most publicized meal kit delivery services, as your go-to service, think again. There are dozens of meal kit companies cropping up, and some of them are quite good and give the industry leaders a run for their money. 

Here’s our list of the 15 best meal kit delivery services for organic and healthy meals in the U.S.

Blue Apron

blue apron website

Blue Apron offers simple meal kits for people with little to no cooking ability. They were one of the first meal delivery kit services, and remain the most well-known, along with HelloFresh. 

The meals take less than 45 minutes to make, and all ingredients are sustainably sourced. The weekly options include vegetarian meals. There are several weekly plans. The Signature feeds two people and offers two or three meal kits a week. The Signature Plan for four people can be delivered two, three or four times a week. 

The Freestyle plan offers meal kits in conjunction with Weight Watchers, and you can choose two or three meals a week. Each meal serves two people. The Vegetarian plan offers two or three meat-free meals a week for two people. Food packaging is 100% recyclable. 

There’s a wine subscription service with personalized wine delivery every month. The selections are geared for two people. 

Blue Apron may not be the fanciest or most plant-centric meal delivery` service out there, but the offer simple, healthy meals and ingredients that are easy to cook. The company has excellent customer service and offers reliable delivery. Meal kits are available in all of the U.S. 

You may skip deliveries each week without incurring an extra charge. 

Blue Apron prints weekly menus on their website a week in advance. Choices include turkey chili, three-cheese and lemon pasta with Brussels sprouts, Seared Salmon with Zucchini, Dates and Pepper Farro, (Freestyle) and Smoky Vegetable Enchiladas (vegetarian). 

You can print electronic gift cards at home or email them to recipients. Gift cards are available for meal kits or wine for certain amounts.

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HelloFresh

hello fresh website homepage

You’ve probably seen lots of HelloFresh advertising online lately, as the company is primed to challenge Blue Apron for dominance in the meal delivery market. 

HelloFresh offers quality ingredients from local farms and suppliers. Since they concentrate on local supplies, your food has traveled less and is fresher, firmer and better-tasting. You select the meals you want from the HelloFresh website, which has options for two people or four people.    

The Family, or four-person, plan, can be delivered two or three times a week. The Classic Plan, for two people, is available for delivery two three or four times a week. The Veggie Plan is available for two or people and delivered three times a week. 

The Veggie Plan features Garden Quesadillas, a Greens Farro Bowl with Roasted Zucchini and Asparagus, Pear and Balsamic Onion Flatbreads and other meat-free meals. The Classic Plan has weekly selections including Monterey Jack Burgers, Maple, and Rosemary-Glazed Pork Cutlets and Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas. 

The Family Plan has Creamy Dill Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans, Pork Bulgogi Meatballs with Zucchini and Carrots over Rice, and Chicken Sausage Orzotto. 

HelloFresh also has three monthly wine plans. Choose from a selection of white, red or

mixed wines if you are 21 or older. Six bottles will be delivered to your door monthly with each plan. 

Most meals take 20-35 minutes to prepare.  Some Family Plan recipes take up to 45 minutes. HelloFresh ships to the contiguous 48 states.   

According to Consumer Affairs.com, HelloFresh has an overall four-star rating from customers. The only complaints concerned postponed shipping or missing ingredients.

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Plated

Plated website homepage

Plated meal kits help you make entrees that look good as well as taste good. There are 20 new meal options every week, and you can sign up for vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals. Plated also offers dessert options, like Grapefruit-Lemon Cream Tarts.  Cooking time ranges from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the meal. 

Choose plans with two, three or four servings. After you've chosen a plan, you can select from 20 meal kits every week. Entrees include Indian Spiced Chicken, Flounder Tostadas, Fontina Stuffed Chicken, Soy-Lime Shiitakes and Sweet Potatoes, Leek and Potato Soup and Orange Beef. 

Ingredients are responsibly sourced and packed in insulated boxes. Meal kits have hormone-free beef and antibiotic-free meat.   

Plated delivers across the continental U.S. Shipping is free if your order is over a specific amount. Gift plans are available-you choose the number of servings and weeks instead of a set dollar amount. 

The large menu and flexible menu plan make Plated a great choice, and the addition of dessert is a big plus.  

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Takeout Kit

takeout kit website homepage

Takeout Kit is perfect if you like foreign cuisine. Meals include Indian Butter Chicken and Basmati Rice, Peruvian Yellow Pepper Chicken, Argentinian Empanadas and Korean Kimchi Tofu Stew. Meal kits usually include enough food for four people. Choose from Easy-Medium to Advanced meal kits. 

You can choose the country of origin, cooking time, price, spice level, and dietary preference when ordering. 

Some of the advanced meal kits may take as much as 60 minutes for preparation and cooking time. Drink kits are offered, too, as add-ons for some meals. Thai Iced Tea, Pisco Sours, Vietnamese Coffee, and Moroccan Mint Tea are the featured drink kits. 

Takeout Kits are sold throughout the U.S., and shipping is included. Gift cards and corporate gifts are available. Some Takeout Kit Meals can be ordered through Amazon.com. You can even find them on Walmart.com! 

Reviews from customers are mostly positive. People love the wide selection of global food and how easy it is to prepare them. A few customers commented that the food wasn’t tasty, but they are in the minority.

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Terra’s Kitchen

terras kitchen website homepage

This service is an excellent choice if you save food scraps and like to make new meals with them. 

Terra’s Kitchen meal kits include pre-chopped foods, so you can skip most preparation and start cooking immediately. Each kit also comes with smoothies or snacks. The recipes run the gamut from gluten-free and Paleo to vegetarian and non-vegetarian. 

Featured meals include Southwestern Skirt Steak and Sweet Potato Bowl, Kung Pao Chicken, Vegetable Korma and Thai Salmon Curry Bowls. The recipes include generous portions and are pretty inventive, with original touches like avocado goat cheese sauce.   

Meal ingredients include sustainable seafood, antibiotic-free protein, and farm-fresh vegetables. You have the option to order one meal at a time instead of full meal plans, unlike many other delivery services. 

The meal kits come in reusable containers, and the delivery person picks them up, so you won’t need to worry about recycling the containers.   

Terra's Kitchen delivers in the continental U.S. Shipping is $5 per meal.  Terra's Kitchen offers electronic and physical gift cards for $25 to $300, plus an option to customize the card in any amount you want.   

Online reviews for Terra’s Kitchen rate the company as excellent or great. Most people like the food, but customers are divided about shipping and customer service.

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One Potato

one potato website homepage

One Potato is designed for families, not couples or individuals like most meal delivery kits. The dishes included with the kits are average family fare – burgers, fries, macaroni, and cheese, etc.  The ingredients are organic and farm-sourced, so they are healthy and preservative- free. 

Every week, you can choose from Herb-Roasted Chicken and other favorites. There are new dishes featured each week, such as Lentil Stew, Steamed Wild-Striped Bass, and Spinach and Red Pepper Croquette.   

All meals take 30 minutes or less to make, so they are perfect if you need to feed a hungry family right after work. You can order kits for two to six people, and both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available, as are nut-free and gluten-free meals. Choose two to three meals per week for each plan. 

Indicate how many kids and adults meals you need, how many total meals for the week, and choose from standard meals or special choices that change every week. Every box contains cookie dough to bake up a tasty dessert. 

Choose gift cards by selecting the plan type, number of meals per week, and the duration of the service. 

One Potato is available in California, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Utah, and Oregon.

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Green Chef

green chef website homepage

GreenChef works with local family farms to give you the best produce in your area. They use food from non-GMO, organic suppliers. All packaging materials are recyclable.  Other meal kit delivery services offer some organic ingredients, but Green Chef, along with Sun Basket offers all organic ingredients. 

Meal plans include ten two-person plans. They are Pescatarian, Gluten-Free, Lean and Clean, Vegetarian, Omnivore, Vegan, Mediterranean, Paleo, Keto and Heart Smart. The Four Person plans are Family Omnivore and Family Carnivore. 

Keto meal kits include Japanese Chicken and Fritters and an Italian Shrimp and Veggie Bowl. Vegans can select from Italian Lentil Ball Soup and other dishes, and Omnivores can select from Dill Roasted Salmon, Bavarian Pork Quinoa Bowl, and other meat-based or veggie dishes. 

The Family Plan features Chili Con Carne, Lemon-Herb Chicken, and other favorites. You can customize what ingredients or proteins you want, and it's easy to change meal plans. Shipping is extra. GreenChef ships to the contiguous U.S., with limited delivery in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  

Meal preparation takes about 30 minutes for most kits.

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Hungry Root

hungry root website homepage

If you like to eat your veggies, HungryRoot provides vegetables with every meal. Most of HungryRoot’s recipes are plant-based and take about ten minutes to make. Dishes include cherry chia maple oatmeal, pad thai fried rice and cucumber corn black bean salad. 

If you eat fish and poultry, options include spinach garlic chicken sausage and hot smoked roasted salmon. Dairy and gluten-free meals are available. Shipping costs at a low rate (as of publication time), and HungryRoot is offered across the continental U.S.   

Choose from the Small, Medium or Large weekly plan options, and you'll receive a box with several meals, snacks, and desserts. You can order ready-to-eat peanut butter coconut cookies, almond chickpea cookie dough you can eat raw or pre-heat, and black bean brownie batter you can eat raw or pre-heat in an oven. 

According to customer reviews on Hungry Root’s Facebook page, the service has a 4.6 out of 5 rating. The only poor reviews we saw were due to missing items or shipping problems. 

Choose a gift card for a small medium or large food box for one to four weeks, and HungryRoot will email the card on the date you choose.  

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Home Chef

home chef website home page

Home Chef uses ingredients from sustainable vendors and offers vegetarian, soy-free, low-carbohydrate and gluten-free meals. Food is packed in recyclable boxes. Choose the number of meals you want each week. You can skip deliveries or pause your account. 

Choose two to six meals per week, for two, four or six people. Add a fruit basket or Smoothie to your meals for a small fee. You can plan your menu for up to five weeks ahead.   

New meals appear on the website every week. Shrimp Pad Thai, Jalapeño Popper Burger, Crispy Ginger-Scallion Tofu Rice Bowl, and Citrus Chicken Salad are just a few examples. Recipes are easy to follow and include cooking tips. You can also buy pots, pans, and kitchenware from the Home Chef site. 

You’ll fill out a Taste Profile to whittle down your meal selections to exactly what you like. You can request milk-free or nut-free meals, for example.   

Premium meals cost a bit more than other Home Chef meal kits. Herbes de Provence Lamb Chops with goat cheese carrot and roasted potato coins is one such meal. It takes 45 minutes to prepare. 

After you cook a meal, you can leave comments and rate it on the Home Chef website. 

Buy electronic gift cards in prices ranging from average to premium denominations or a custom amount. Home Chef ships to the continental U.S. You’ll need to purchase a certain amount to get free shipping. The site will let you know if you’ve met this threshold before you complete your order.

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Freshly

freshly website homepage

Freshly offers fully prepared, cooked meals, so if you don't like cooking at all, this meal service is perfect for you. All you need to do is heat the food, which only takes about three minutes. The meals are free of gluten and refined sugar. 

The Freshly service is similar to ordering takeout food, except it's healthier. You order Freshly meals via a plan, instead of a meal at a time. Choose 4, 6, 9 or 12 meals a week. You choose your meals for the week. Options are available to peruse online three weeks before shipping date.   

Entrees include Steak Peppercorn, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken and Rice Pilaf, Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, Butternut Squash Risotto, and Southwest Veggie Bowl. You may want to check out another service if you’re a vegetarian who prefers many choices, as Freshly offers a handful of vegetarian entrees each week. 

Freshly is available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. Shipping is included in the meal price. Gift cards are available for four, six, nine or 12 meals.

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Purple Carrot

purple carrot website homepage

Purple Carrot's meals are plant-based and made for vegans. All meals take 30 minutes or less to make, and may include nuts, tofu, quinoa, and other protein-dense ingredients. They offer several plans, including High-Protein, Quick and Easy, Chef's Choice and TB12 Performance Meals. There are six weekly menu options. 

TB12 Performance Meals are modeled on quarterback Tom Brady’s 12 Health and Wellness Principles. It is the priciest plan. Shipping is included with all plans. 

Meal kits include Thai chickpea curry, Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos, Pasta Ratatouille, and Portobello Fajitas. You’ll need to supply your vegetable oil, salt, and pepper.

Gluten-free options are available. You can also add extras (breakfasts and lunches) like Kale Beet Salad and Maple Ginger Overnight Oats. 

Meal boxes are made of 100% recyclable materials, with foil insulation to keep food fresh. Ingredients for each meal are packed into separate plastic bags. 

Purple Carrot is offered in the continental U.S. You can’t choose a delivery day like you can with most other meal delivery services. 

Reviews show that Purple Carrot has excellent customer service. The company doesn’t offer an app, which makes it harder to keep track of orders.

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Sun Basket

sun basket website homepage

Sun Basket has Paleo, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well as organic food. All ingredients are selected from non-GMO ingredients from farms on the West Coast. Meat is grass fed and antibiotic-free, and seafood is sustainable. All ingredients are presented in a recyclable box. 

Meals are nutritionist-approved and created by a chef from San Francisco. Choose from ten Classic Meal Plans. Chef's Choice highlights seasonal produce and quality seafood and meat. The Paleo Plan has high-protein meals with fresh veggies. Lean 'N' Clean meals have about 550 calories each and no soy, gluten or dairy. 

The Gluten-Free, Diabetes-Friendly Plans cater to people with special medical needs. Vegan, Vegetarian and Pescatarian Plans are tailor-made for people with diets geared to certain foods. The Mediterranean Plan follows the time-tested, heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet, and Quick ‘N’ Easy features simple, no-fuss recipes. 

Get two or three meals a week for a family of four with the Chef’s Choice or Vegetarian Plans. Gift cards are available in different denominations in a premium price range.

Sun Basket ships to all states in the contiguous U.S, except Kansas, Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota. You can cancel anytime, and even skip a week if you want.    

Sun Basket received overall average reviews on Yelp. Reviewers were mixed about food quality, with the complaints reserved for shipping and customer service.

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Martha and Marley Spoon

martha and marley spoon website

If you are a Martha Stewart fan, this meal delivery service is for you. You'll receive all the ingredients you need to make delicious meals, including a step by step recipe card. Kits include artisanal vinegar and other special ingredients.   

Gluten-free, vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available. Every week, ten new recipes are added to the site. Choose your recipes for the week and the delivery date. The recipes are classic but healthy, with fresh, often (but not always) organic ingredients. 

Sign up for meals that feed two, three or four people, and choose two, three or four meals per week.  Recipes are easy to follow, and all packaging is recyclable. 

Dishes include Loaded Veggie Stromboli, Roasted Gnocchi with Squash, Lemon Chicken Pan Roast and Spinach and Dill Turkey Burgers. Preparation time ranges from under 30 minutes to 40 minutes for most recipes. 

Before choosing a recipe, check to see what sort of cooking equipment you’ll need. Some of the recipes call for out-of-the ordinary kitchen items, like meat mallets. 

It's easy to cancel via their website if you want to skip a week. Martha and Marley Spoon Meal Delivery is available in the continental U.S. Shipping is free, but the meal kit prices are high compared to most of the services on our list. 

Customers think the food quality is good ad recipes are tasty. Most of the poor reviews deal with shipping problems, and reviews are mixed for customer service.

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Amazon Meal Kits

amazon meal kits website screenshot

You can order one meal at a time from Amazon Meal Kits. Amazon saves you the time and expense of ordering meal kits from other sites. You can do all your shopping in one place, and not worry about separate billing. Amazon Meal Kits are great if you don't want to commit to a weekly plan. Meal kits arrive two days you place your order. 

Choose from vegetarian, non-vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and organic meals using the Amazon search filter. The meals take up to an hour to prepare. Roast Chicken with Tarragon-Mushroom Sauce, Salmon Nicoise Salad with Herb Crust & Olive Aioli, and Orzo Risotto with Pork, Feta, & Ruby Chard are just a few of the meal kit choices. 

The online reviews on Amazon Meal Kit pages indicate that most dishes are delicious and easy to prepare. Amazon Meal Kits meet the same high standards as meal kits offered by other delivery services. 

Amazon meal kits are available throughout the U.S., and shipping is included. Some of the highly-rated meal kits on Amazon are listed as being out-of-stock, so you may not find the product you want when you want it.   

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Fresh Direct

fresh direct website homepage

Anyone who likes to cook occasionally, but is too busy to cook daily will like Fresh Direct. They offer meal kits and online grocery items so that you can shop for both in the same place. The meal kits take from 15 minutes to an hour to make. Chef-prepared entrees that you heat up and eat are also available. 

Choices include Broccoli-Chili Rabe, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shredded Jerk Chicken and Chicken Marsala. Ingredients in meal kits and entrees are usually organic, sustainable and 100% GMO-free. Choose from meals for one, two or more, or kids’ meals. 

Fresh Direct delivers to the Eastern U.S. only – New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. There is a delivery fee for each order. 

We like Fresh Direct because it gives you three food choices – entrees you can warm up, meal kits, and online groceries. However, some online customer reviews cite poor customer service, and the delivery area is limited. Many customers also mention that the service has deteriorated since the company moved to a new location/system. 

Poor shipping and inventory management seem to be the major complaints. There are few complaints about the food and meal kits. 

Due to its limited delivery area and spotty online reviews, we give Fresh Direct a mixed grade, but it might be worth it if you want to order groceries online from the same place as your meal kits.

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five plates with different dishes lined up horizontally

Buyer’s Guide 

We give a slight edge to Blue Apron in the ongoing Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh debate. HelloFresh received slightly better overall customer ratings than Blue Apron. The less-than-stellar reviews for Blue Apron involved mostly shipping complaints. The industry and expert reviews we read gave Blue Apron an edge.   

Which food service should you choose? All the ones we looked at offered healthy ingredients and a decent selection of meal kits. 

Cost, availability (some services operate in certain regions only), and menu flexibility are other factors you should consider. If your budget changes from month to month, choose a flexible plan that allows you to skip weeks or change the number of meals ordered easily. 

Flexibility is important if you travel a lot, too. You don’t want a box of outdated food sitting on your porch when you come back from vacation or a business trip.    

Also, be aware that the cooking estimate time may vary, according to your cooking skill and the cooking utensils you have on hand. It’s also possible that some of the services have over or under-estimated cooking times. The differences, if any, shouldn’t be enough to inconvenience you. 

You should be able to make most dishes with basic kitchenware, but if you want to try complicated recipes, or are cooking for a family, make sure you have larger pots and pans or specialized utensils. 

Regardless of the service you choose, remember that you’ll occasionally find a less than crisp piece of cilantro or other item. Call customer service or consider looking for another service if produce, meats or other food items often arrive spoiled, or if items are missing on a consistent basis.

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