Disclaimer: I do NOT get any free “Evaluation” subscription from either of these delivery services. So my review is pretty candid. And I’m as blatantly truthful as I can be about both these services.
So first, let’s talk Blue Apron.
Blue Apron – Packaging:
I signed up for this because my friend first signed up, and got a free invite to pass on. He passed it onto me. I set up a recurring delivery for every Sunday… with three meals a week. This is their most common plan. The first week was free.
When I got the first box by mail the following Sunday, I quickly skimmed through the recipes that came with it – one meat dish, one chicken, and one fish. Plenty of vegetables – corn, eggplant, purple beans, peppers etc. Seemed pretty balanced.
Delivery had too much packaging . This was a turn off for me. Nevertheless, I unboxed and stuffed the items into my refrigerator.
Blue Apron – Ease and Taste
So this is what impressed me. The recipes were super easy to make. I would totally trust my 10-year-old niece with this. And guess what else? The meals are restaurant quality, but super healthy – a good balance of Fats, Carbs, and Proteins. Did I mention it was restaurant quality? Well, I’m saying it again.
With such ease, in under 30 mins, I was whipping up dishes that I’ve previously only eaten at restaurants.
Also, the way their recipe is structured, it occupies the full 30 mins. While the potatoes are cooking, you’re battering the fish. While the fish is marinating, you’re mashing the potatoes. Well thought out, I’d say.
A month later, I started Hello Fresh.
Again, I got a free coupon for a week. Call me cheap!
So I paused Blue Apron and went for Hello Fresh. The same 3-meals a week plan.
HelloFresh – Packaging:
This won me at first sight. The packaging was much more eco-friendly. All items for a single meal was in one box. So easy to chuck it into the refrigerator, and to throw it back on the counter for prep.
So with Packaging, Hello Fresh was the clear winner. But that’s where it ended.
Hello Fresh – Ease and Taste
I just finished my first Hellofresh meal. And I feel like Rosemary.
Growing up in an Indian household, I learnt early on to use seasoning and herbs in the right proportions. So when the recipe called for adding 2 entire stems of rosemary into the mashed potatoes I was sceptical. Did it anyway, and now I regret that. The mashed potatoes were dominated by rosemary, to the point that it was almost bitter.
Next – the meat. They ask you to put it at 400C in the oven for 25-30 mins. My oven is big and more powerful than typical ovens. Yet, I gave it a good 40 mins. Still ended up with uncooked meat. Finally, I ran out of patience and had to toss it in the wok, until the internal temperature registered right for meat.
And yeah, the meat was dry.
Also, the prep time according to the recipe is 10 mins. In that 10 mins they expect me to chop garlic, chop shallots, pluck and gently chop the rosemary, chop sundried tomatoes, create a meatloaf mixture. Cook potatoes, mash em, add seasoning, … come on, are YOU KIDDING ME? I could have 4 hands, and I still wouldnt be able to pull that off.
Overall, bad experience. I feel like I just ate a dry meatloaf, and mashed rosemary.
Packaging: HelloFresh wins
Ease of Recipe: BlueApron wins
Taste: BlueApron wins by several orders of magnitude.
Oh, and did I mention? BlueApron is cheaper.
So yeah, this is my first week. And certainly my last week of HelloFresh.