This info-rich post will be checking out three highly popular brands which are household names in the United States today. Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron all aim to reduce time in the kitchen and increase the time spent at the dinner table. While Freshly offers pre-cooked meals, HelloFresh and Blue Apron offer meal kits which need to be cooked.
In the end, we will give you our opinions on which of these three may be the better choice based on first-hand experiences.
Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
The table below will be checking out the different advantages and the main features which you can expect to find in Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron. We have also mentioned the delivery areas of these platforms and the prices of the different items here. You can choose between Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron by using the info in the table below.
|Delivery areas||98% of the United States aside from Alaska & Hawaii||98% of the United States aside from Alaska & Hawaii,UK,France,Germany,Netherlands,Belgium,Luxembourg,Austria,Switzerland,Australia,Canada,New Zealand,Denmark,Sweden||98% of the United States aside from Alaska & Hawaii|
|Price per plate||$8.49 per plate minimum||$7.49 per plate||$4.99 per plate|
|Avg. cooking time||3 minutes of heating||20 – 50 mins per meal||25 – 35 mins per meal|
|Avg. calorie count||400-500 calories per serving||500-800 calories per serving||500-700 calories per serving|
|Supporting material||Nutritional information||Recipe cards,Nutritional facts,Meal description||Recipe cards,Mobile app,Blog,Nutritional facts|
|Recipes supported||Gluten-free,Dairy-free,Plant-based,Carb-smart,Calorie-conscious||Calorie-smart,Carb-smart,Vegetarian,Pescatarian,Beef,Chicken,Beans and Legumes,Grain||Beef,Fish,Lamb,Pork,Poultry,Shellfish, Vegetarian,Carb-conscious|
|No. of choices||12 per week||30 per week||12 per week|
|Introductory deal||$100 off on first four orders||60% off on first box||$110 off on first box with free shipping|
|Avg. shelf life||5-7 days,Longer while frozen||3-5 days for meat,1-2 days for seafood||3-5 days for meat,1-2 days for seafood|
Types of Plans: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|4-5 meals per week $11.79 per portion + shipping||Meat & Veggies Meal kits containing meat and veggies||2-serving Signature 2 or 3 or 4 recipes per week,2 or 3 or 4 choices per week|
|6-7 meals per week $9.99 per portion + shipping||Vegetarian Plant-based meals,Not always vegan||4-serving Signature 2 or 3 or 4 recipes per week,7 choices per week|
|8-9 meals per week $9.49 per portion + shipping||Family Friendly Kid-approved meals||Vegetarian Plan for 2 3 vegetarian recipes every week|
|10-11 meals per week $9.29 per portion + shipping||Calorie-Smart meals 650 calories or less in each serving||Meal Prep 8 servings of ready-to-go meals with 2 types of protein per week|
|12 meals per week $9.99 per portion + shipping||Quick and Easy Meals which can be cooked within 30 minutes|
|Pescatarian Meals containing seafood proteins|
Freshly offers various meal plans which contain a different number of meals. The user can choose from among these meal plans based on how many pre-cooked meals they would require in the week. When it comes to HelloFresh, the user can choose from meal plans containing only veggies and even both meat and veggies.
HelloFresh also offers a pescatarian plan, perfect for seafood lovers. There is also a calorie-smart section in HelloFresh in which the recipes contain very few calories. Blue Apron’s plans cover all types of households. Along with meal kits, Blue Apron even offers fully cooked meals which only need to be heated.
Winner: HelloFresh wins the Types of Plans segment.
Types of Ingredients: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|Ingredient type||Freshly||HelloFresh||Blue Apron|
|Produce||US-based vendors||Farm-fresh produce||Family-run farms|
|Meat, eggs, fish||Free from fillers, chemical additives and even preservatives||Hormone-free,Antibiotic-free||Hormone-free,Subtherapeutic antibiotic-free meat and poultry,Sustainable seafood|
|Other ingredients||Seasonings,Spices||Seasonings, Spice blends||Seasonings,Sauces,Spice Blends|
One thing that all these three platforms have in common is that they all take the sourcing of their ingredients very seriously. The produce in Freshly meals, HelloFresh and Blue Apron meals kits are all sourced from local vendors and partnered-farms which are guaranteed to use only safe farming practices.
The meat used in the meals and the meal kits here come from grass-fed animals while the poultry comes from antibiotic-free birds. The seafood used is sustainably sourced. Freshly meals come with the spices and seasonings added. HelloFresh and Blue Apron provide the necessary seasonings and spices, but not the cooking essentials.
Winner: Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron win the Types of Ingredients segment.
Add-Ons: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|Proteins,Sides||Garlic bread,Yogurt dip,Garden salad,Cheesecake Mousse Parfait||Dessert,Appetizers,Sides,Extra meals,Wine delivery,Spices,Cookware|
In Freshly, the user can find many items other than main meals in the add-on menu. The add-on menu in Freshly offers healthy proteins like chicken breasts and even a selection of sides to accompany the meals. HelloFresh also has a large add-on menu. From this add-on menu, the user can add sides, appetizers and even desserts to their weekly cart.
In addition to these items, HelloFresh also has a grocery section where the user can find household essentials. Blue Apron excels in the add-on department. In this meal kit delivery service, the user can find the usual sides and desserts. Furthermore, they can also buy wines and cookware.
Winner: Blue Apron wins the Add-ons segment.
Packaging of Meal box: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|Meal box,Denim insulation,Non-toxic ice packs||Cardboard box,Kit bag,Separator,Insulator,Ice packs||Plastic cups, trays and lids,Metal cans,Glass bottles,Cardboard box,Molded fiber,Recipe cards,Ice packs,Produce bags|
|Fully recyclable||Fully recyclable||Mostly recyclable|
All these three brands are known for their effective packaging. While in some cases the packaging can be seen as excessive, it is understandable since the ingredients and food items need to be kept as fresh as possible from the distribution center to the customer’s location without any damage.
The meals in Freshly and the meal kits from HelloFresh and Blue Apron are packed into cardboard boxes which can be recycled curbside. These boxes are lined with eco-friendly insulation such as denim cotton. On the other hand, the individual elements are packed into BPA-free plastic which can be rinsed and then reused.
Winner: Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron win the Packaging of Meal box segment.
Customer Support: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|Availability||All days of the week||All days of the week||All days of the week|
Customer support is an important part of any such platform like Freshly, HelloFresh and Blue Apron since the user may run into inconveniences at any said point of time. In Freshly, the customer support can be reached through live chat, emails and also through phone lines. HelloFresh offers chat support and phone support for its users.
The customer support of HelloFresh can be reached on any day of the week, including weekends at limited hours. Blue Apron’s customer support also operates throughout the year, but can be only reached through emails and phone support. All these three brands are pretty active and interactive on various social media platforms.
Winner: Freshly wins the Customer Support segment.
Sample Meals: Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
|Sample 1||Name: Steak Peppercorn with Sauteed Carrots & French Green BeansCalorie count: 500Heating time: 3 minsSpice level: Mild||Name: Hearty Steak and PotatoesPreparation time: 40 minsSpice level: MildDifficulty: Easy||Name: Wonton Noodle Stir-FryPreparation time: 25 minsSpice level: MediumNo. of calories: 560 calories|
|Sample 2||Name: Sausage Baked Penne with Sauteed Zucchini & SpinachCalorie count: 470Heating time: 3 minsSpice level: Mild||Name: Winner Winner Chicken Orzo DinnerPreparation time: 30 minsSpice level: MildDifficulty: Easy||Name: Chipotle Chicken ChiliPreparation time: 45 minsSpice level: MediumNo. of calories: 640 calories|
|Sample 3||Name: Protein-Packed Chicken Parm with Mozzarella & Garlicky BroccoliCalorie count: 410Heating time: 3 minsSpice level: Mild||Name: Ginger Beef Stir-FryPreparation time: 30 minsSpice level: MediumDifficulty: Easy||Name: Seared Cod & Olive TapenadePreparation time: 40 minsSpice level: MildNo. of calories: 680 calories|
In Freshly, the user can find options from both local and international cuisines. The meals are fully cooked and therefore only need a little heating in the microwave or a conventional oven as per the user’s needs. HelloFresh’s meal kits are mostly quick-cooking, and the entire process can be completed from start to finish within about thirty minutes.
In HelloFresh, only basic cooking skills are required since most of the meals fall under the ‘easy’ category. Therefore, even amateur cooks are going to love this meal kit delivery service. In Blue Apron, there is a lot of emphasis on learning cooking. Thus, both easy and difficult recipes can be found here. Blue Apron also has a very refreshing menu full of interesting choices.
Winner: Freshly wins the Sample Meals segment.
App rating: Freshly vs HelloFresh and Blue Apron
|Google Play Store||4.4||3.4||4.2|
|Apple App Store||4.8||4.4||4.7|
Final Verdict: The winner of this battle is Freshly with its fully-cooked meals and wide variety of choices.
Freshly is a meal delivery service and not a meal-kit brand. Therefore, the user is saved from any work in the kitchen apart from heating up the meals. The meals in Freshly are indeed very fresh and also healthily designed. Freshly is the perfect choice for meal delivery for any type of household with its large variety of ingredients and options.
HelloFresh is perhaps one of the most popular meal kit delivery services in the world today since it operates in several countries. The meal kits in HelloFresh are easy to cook with and the recipes can cover any type of palate preference. Along with delicious meal kits, the user pretty much finishes their weekly grocery run through this platform.
Blue Apron is one of those few meal kit delivery services which actually place a lot of emphasis on learning cooking skills and techniques. As per its name, Blue Apron aims to make all types of home-chefs, master-chefs in their kitchen. At the same time, the meal kits are superb in taste and rich in nutrients.
Between these three platforms, Freshly takes the crown. The best advantage of using Freshly is that the meals are already cooked and therefore only need a little heating. When compared to other meal delivery services, Freshly falls under the more affordable side and therefore is easily accessible to each and every type of customer.
To bring you the best reviews of each and every meal delivery service, we spoke to testers and real life users, reviewed the information provided by each service on their respective websites, carried out primary research on social media platforms and checked out the user reviews of these platforms on various social media sites. We have also used the reviews presented by current users of these services on their respective Google and Apple apps.
We are currently conducting our own internal review and we will update this page with videos and pictures of our experiences. If they differ extensively from what our external reviewers said then we will update this post so you get both points of views and can decide which service provider is more suited to your needs based on the information above.
The main types of criteria which we have used in order to assess and evaluate these meal delivery services is the simplicity of the recipes, the variety of meals in the service, the inclusiveness of diets and cuisines and even the supporting material.
In addition to these, we have also taken into regard the sustainability and recyclability of the packaging of these services. Lastly, we have also considered the delivery services and customer services of these platforms.
Frequently asked questions: “Freshly vs HelloFresh vs Blue Apron”
Are Freshly meals frozen?
No, Freshly meals are not frozen. The meals from Freshly are delivered in a chilled state to the user and only need to be heated.
How long does HelloFresh last in the box?
HelloFresh lasts for about 24 hours in the box. The user is recommended to refrigerate the meal kits as soon as possible to prevent spoilage.
Are Blue Apron meals already cooked?
Yes, Blue Apron Heat & Eat meals are already cooked. These only need to be heated before consumption in a microwave oven.
If you like this post, please leave your comments and questions below.