Freshly vs. Blue Apron: A Head-To-Head Comparison Of Two Popular (But Different) Meal Kits

When it comes to Freshly vs. Blue Apron, there’s one big decision you’ll have to make. Would you prefer to receive already prepared meals that simply need to be heated or do you want fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to whip up a meal yourself? If you’re on the fence choosing between the two, we have all the details to help you make the right decision for your meal kit needs!

Variety of Food & Meal Plans

One of the biggest benefits of going with a meal delivery service is the fact that they offer different food options—ones you might not find at your local grocery store.

Freshly

There aren’t any dedicated meal plans with Freshly, but there is a large assortment of available meals you can choose from each week. For entrees, you’re going to see 27 options, which is pretty impressive and ideal for even the pickiest of eaters.

Some of those dishes include: Steak Peppercorn with Sautéed Carrots & French Green Beans, Baked Penne Marinara with Italian Sausage, Grilled Chicken Risotto with Spring Peas, Pork Carnitas with Spanish Rice & Beans, and Turkey Meatballs with Butternut Spirals.

Blue Apron

Although Blue Apron’s weekly menu isn’t quite as extensive, they do still provide their customers with some great options. Each week, you can expect to see eight new two-person recipes to choose from, which still gives you some variety. If you’re in need of four-person recipes, you’ll have four new recipes each week, so the selection is narrowed down even more.

When ordering with Blue Apron, you’re going to find dishes like: Sheet Pan Curry Chicken & Vegetables with Creamy Coconut Rice, BBQ Chicken Tacos with Cabbage Slaw & Roasted Sweet Potatoes, White Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Balsamic-Glazed Onion & Roasted Potatoes, and Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Carrot-Celery Salad.

Winner: Freshly

Portion Sizes

Do you have a big family to feed or only cooking for one? Portion size and the ability to control it when you’re ordering is an important factor to consider when choosing the right meal delivery service.

Freshly

With Freshly’s meals, you are only receiving single-serving dishes that are meant for one person. This is a little tricky for those who have a family to feed, but you can still make it work for you. Freshly says you can order multiple subscriptions on one account, which will allow you to mix and match plans to suit your family’s needs.

Although it’s technically possible to work around their limitations by having multiple subscriptions, it’s easier to order meals from Freshly if you’re just feeding yourself.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron provides two different options in terms of portion sizes. When placing your order, you can choose to get two-person recipes, which is suitable for two adults. Or you can opt from their four-person recipes. The four-person recipes are great for two adults and two children or three adults and one child. It can also come in handy for two adults who just love having leftovers the next day.

Winner: Blue Apron

Are Ingredients Pre-Portioned?

Pre-portioned ingredients means less time prepping/cooking and more time eating.

Freshly

With Freshly, you aren’t receiving pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards sent to your doorstep. You’re actually getting meals that have already been prepared and cooked by their chefs. The meals are then delivered fresh to you and are never frozen. That means, you’ll be getting full meals in your box each week, as opposed to ingredients you have to put together into a complete dish. Depending on your needs, this might be the way to go if you don’t want to cook or feel you don’t have enough time to do so.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron, on the other hand, is providing you with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients. Each order will contain all the ingredients you need to cook your chosen dishes. You’ll have exactly the right amount, so you won’t have to worry about any food going to waste. Everything will get used in your dish.

They’ll provide you with all the essentials your meal requires, but you’ll want to have a few kitchen staples on hand. Things like olive oil, salt, and pepper should be on hand in your kitchen.

Winner: Freshly

Recipe Cards & Cooking

One of the main reasons why people choose to use a meal delivery service is because it makes their lives easier by cutting out the need to go grocery shopping and search for recipes. You’re not just paying for the food, you’re paying for the ease of the cooking experience.

Freshly

There are no recipe cards required with Freshly’s meals, as they’re prepared and cooked for you by their chefs beforehand. This means, all you need to do is heat up the dishes when you’re ready to eat. It really doesn’t get any easier.

The heating instructions are located on the back of each meal. Typically, each one will take about three minutes to heat, depending on your microwave. You can always start cooking them for two minutes and then continue heating in 30-second increments to ensure you get the temperature just right and even.

Blue Apron

With Blue Apron’s meals, a little more work is going to be required. Since you’re receiving fresh, uncooked ingredients at your doorstep, it’s up to you to whip them up into your complete meal. But there’s no need to fret, as you’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions that you can follow. Everything will be outlined in a way that’s easy to understand, plus there will be photos, which makes it even simpler for you.

You can also see the recipe instructions before ordering your meals. So, if you’d like to see what each dish requires before adding it to your weekly menu, you can easily do so. But the good news is, they shouldn’t take long to prepare at all. These Blue Apron dishes are typically ready in about 35-45 minutes total.

Winner: Freshly

Delivery & Shipping Options

When it comes to meal kits, there can be no issues with delivery. Just one delay can mean spoiled food. Taking delivery and shipping into consideration with your final choice is very important.

Freshly

At this time, Freshly does not have the ability to deliver everywhere in the contiguous United States. They can deliver to specific zip codes in the following states: California, Texas, Illinois, Washington, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Oregon, Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma, Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Arkansas, Kansas, South Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, Iowa, Idaho, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

There are certain zip codes within those states that Freshly is unable to reach within their 48-hour delivery window. If you’re unsure if they deliver to your area, they do have a tool on their website that will allow you to check. If they don’t, they can notify you if they start shipping to your location.

If you are within Freshly’s delivery area and you place an order, you never have to pay any shipping fees. It’s always free of charge for their customers, which is a definite plus.

Blue Apron

If you aren’t able to get meals from Freshly, Blue Apron is likely to have you covered. They deliver to all of the contiguous United States. And when you place your order, you’ll be able to choose your delivery date based on the options that are available to your zip code. This will ensure you always know which day of the week your ingredients will arrive, so you can plan accordingly.

Winner: Blue Apron

Packaging

Packaging is extremely important when it comes to meal kits. This is for two reasons. First, you want your meals to be packed in a way that keeps them fresh and cold in transit. Second, you want the packaging to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Freshly

Freshly’s packaging is a little different from most meal delivery services. They use special modified atmospheric packaging. This works by modifying the composition of the internal atmosphere of the package, which helps improve its shelf life by 200% or more when compared to packaging in air.

This process is safe, so there’s no need to worry about that. They also use recycled denim insulation and non-toxic ice packs to keep everything cool. This will keep your meals safe and able to withstand 60 hours of travel time.

The boxes, plastic meal containers, and cardboard meal sleeves are all recyclable. The recycled denim is mostly biodegradable. And the ice packs can be reused or you can drain them and recycle the plastic.

Blue Apron

To keep food fresh, Blue Apron uses insulated thermal liners and refrigerants to keep food cold while it makes its way to your home. Depending on the season, weather condition, box contents, and delivery destination, Blue Apron will alter the packaging as needed. That means they may use more or less refrigerants or thermal liners to protect your food.

To encourage recycling, there’s a dedicated recycling page located within your Blue Apron account. This will give you plenty of information on how to recycle packaging and will help you locate nearby recycling facilities.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Money Back Guarantee

Ordering anything online poses a small risk. Are you really going to get what you ordered? What happens if it gets damaged while being shipped? Having a money back guarantee or satisfaction guarantee goes a long way in the meal delivery kit industry.

Freshly

If you’re not satisfied with a meal you receive from Freshly, you’ll need to contact their customer service team within five days of the meal being delivered. It’s up to Freshly to decide if you’ll receive a full or partial credit or refund of the purchase price for the delivery. In some cases, they may require photo documentation before awarding any credits or refunds.

Blue Apron

For Blue Apron customers, they have a “Freshness Guarantee.” If any ingredient in your oder is missing or not in an acceptable cooking condition, get in touch with Blue Apron to let them know. They require customers to contact them within seven days of receiving their order, so you’ll want to look over everything carefully once it arrives. They’ll make the situation right, whether they provide a refund or credit.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Customer Service

Good customer service is important when it comes to meal kits. There are often questions that need to be answered and having someone there to help when you need them can make or break your meal kit experience.

Freshly

If for any reason you need to get in touch with Freshly about an order, you can reach them by calling or even texting them during their hours of operation. You can also send an email or start a live chat with one of their agents.

Blue Apron

For Blue Apron, you’ll want to get in touch with them via telephone, email, or you can send a request via the contact form on their website.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Miscellaneous

What extra things do each include that you might benefit from?

Freshly

One of the things that makes Freshly different from many other meal delivery services is that they provide breakfast options. The breakfast menu includes things like the Denver Omelette, BLT Omelette, Homestyle Breakfast Platter with Potato Hash & Sausage Patty, Green Chile & Sausage Frittata, and Berry Porridge with Chocolate-Coconut Muffin.

Blue Apron

If you need a nice wine to pair with your dinner, Blue Apron has you covered with their monthly wine deliveries. That’s a huge plus for anyone who loves to try new wines, as it’s an opportunity to discover your next favorite drink.

Final Thoughts

Both Blue Apron and Freshly are two of the best meal delivery services around. I’m a big fan of each but for different reasons.

Blue Apron didn’t become the worlds biggest meal kit service by accident. When you order from them you’re getting high quality meals. On the other hand, Freshly also offers high quality meals but they’re already prepared. The only downside of Freshly is the fact that they don’t deliver everywhere yet.

Have a question about either? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll answer it asap!

Dan Scalco

As someone who is considered an "average" cook, I have looked far and wide for meal delivery services that will help save me time and money while still ending up with a tasty meal. In my quest, I have tested and reviewed tons of different food delivery services. I am using this site to share all of my findings with you!

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