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Which Food Subscription Service Is Worth The Cost?

Which Food Subscription Service Is Worth The Cost?

Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh are some of the more popular food subscription services available today. These services compete with each other trying to win the customers over. You will want to choose the service that offers the most value and quality for the best price possible. This article will compare these three food subscription services, which will help you decide which one is worth the cost.

Food Subscription Services

First we need to know how these food subscription services work. Blue Apron, Plated and Hello Fresh all work similarly. They prepare fresh ingredients for recipes and ship them directly to your house. Basically the service does all your grocery shopping for you. You can order meats, fruits, vegetables, spices, sauce, and a whole lot more.

All three of these services deliver to anywhere in the U.S. and the packaging used keeps the ingredients fresh 24 hours after delivery, in case you are not home when they are delivered. Each of the services have different subscription options, however all three allow up to 4 weekly meals shipped with enough food for 2 to 4 people.

Below is a detailed description off all three services and how they compare to each other:

Blue Apron Review

Blue Apron is growing quickly, according to Forbes, Blue Apron delivers 5 million meals per month, up from delivering 500 000 meals per month 18 months ago. As you can see they are a very popular service growing at a rapid pace.

Blue Apron features two pricing plans. You can choose between a two person plan or a family plan, which provides meals for four people. Under the two person plan, you can get 3 recipes per week for just under $60. For the Family plan you can choose between two and four recipes per week, with the two recipe plan costing $70,and the four person plan coming to under under $140.

The one downside with Blue Apron is that you can’t choose which meals you will be receiving in your box. However you can still choose between dietary preferences so you aren’t stuck with ingredients you will not eat. The meals do change every week so you’re not stuck always eating the same meal every week.

Blue Apron offers free shipping on all boxes, and allows you to skip a week if you are out of town. You are not locked in with a subscription as you can cancel anytime. This is important to many people as they do not want to be locked in to a subscription for a long period of time.

Blue Apron is known for high quality ingredients with their meats raised on antibiotic and hormone free diets.

Blue Apron has a very user friendly website, as you can browse through all the meals and ingredients easily with pictures of all the ingredients.

Plated Review

Plated is similar to Apron however with Plated you can choose between a wide assortment of customizable boxes, while with Apron you can’t choose your meals. The weekly prices will depend on number of recipes you choose and the number of people will be eating.

Pricing starts at $12 per plate however since the boxes are customizable, your weekly prices can change based on how many recipes you have chosen. Plated has a wide variety of pricing. The full pricing structure from plated is shown below:

  • 2 dinner per week for 2 people $48 per week
  • 3 dinners per week for 2 people $72 per week
  • 4 dinners per week for 2 people $96 per week
  • 5 dinners per week for 2 people $120 per week
  • 6 dinners per week for 2 people $144 per week
  • 7 dinners per week for 2 people $168 per week
  • add a desert for any extra $4

There is free shipping on all orders above $50. The ingredients arrive in a refrigerated box that will keep the ingredients fresh until midnight on the day it is delivered. Plated has a very flexible subscription service that allows you to plan your deliveries weeks in advanced based on your schedule.

Plated also  has a very user friendly web site, allowing you to browse through the 7 meals that are made available each week. Plated features 9 different recipes on their website each week that include both vegetarian, meat, and seafood options.

Hello Fresh Review

Hello Fresh is another reputable food subscription service that allows you to customize your meals similarly to Plated.

Hello Fresh features competitive pricing with Plated probably and is a bit more expensive then Blue Apron. Meals start at $8.75 per person under the family plan. Hello Fresh has three categories, classic box, veggie box and family box. The prices all include shipping. For the classic box can get:

  • 3 meals per week for 2 people for $69
  • 3 meals per week for 4 people for $129
  • 4 meals per week for 2 people for $84
  • 5 meals per week for 2 people for $99

The subscription packages are very flexible as there is no minimum subscription length. You can also pause your subscription anytime you want, which can come in handy if you are going on a vacation.

Hello Fresh uses farm fresh ingredients, with small farmers and butchers to ensure their users get the freshest ingredients. Hello Fresh uses experienced chefs along with dieticians to ensure the meals are of high nutritional value. The recipes come with detailed step by step instructions on recipe cards to ensure help you learn as you cook. Hello Fresh even has an app available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store which allows you to browse through recipes and update and manage your subscription.

Which one Is Worth The Cost?

Pricing

Overall, all three subscription services have a good combination of high quality, good service, and good value. Blue Apron gets the award for the cheapest overall pricing, however you cannot chose your meals like you can with the others, which is a huge negative.

Food Quality

All three services really focus on providing fresh, high quality ingredients. It is really difficult to pick one of the services, so with regards to quality you can’t go wrong with any of them. The Hello Fresh recipes are quite basic, while Blue Apron seemed to have more flavourful recipes.  Lastly Plated definitely had a lot of zest and flavour to their recipes.

Variety

If you want customization then you would be better off with Plated. Although the Plated prices are more expensive then Blue Apron’s prices, Plated offers the most choice and variety, as you have nine meals to choose from. Hello Fresh isn’t far behind, as you can choose between three out of five meal choices per week, with the ability to combine items from the different choices.

The Verdict: Which Food Subscription Service is the Best?

There is no overall best — the best between the three main services Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh depends on what feature you desire more. If PRICE is your main concern, then Blue Apron is the cheapest food subscription. As for food quality, all three offer good quality with the difference coming down to flavor profiles (Hello Fresh offers the most basic while the others stand out with more complex recipes). For variety and customization, Plated is the best choice.

So choose the one the best suits what you need most — cheaper price, taste, or variety.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

1 Comment

  1. Bill W

    WE use the Blue Apron service for 2 people with 3 meals per week. We have some choice over the meals. Each week on my plan, there are 6 meals of which I can choose 3 from. We enjoy the variety and exposure to many food choices which were not in our typical diet before using the service.

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