Plated Vs. Blue Apron

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

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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

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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

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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

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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


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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