I have been testing meal kit delivery services for four months now, and it’s a good time to do a roundup of the three services I’ve tried so far. So which service rated best? Let’s find out the ratings of Blue Apron vs. Home Chef vs. HelloFresh right now.
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Over the last 16 weeks, Gail and I have rated each meal based on 4 factors:
- Flavor (5 = best)
- Prep Time (5 = short and easy)
- Difficulty Level (5 = easiest)
- Cleanup (5 = quickest)
Even if a meal tasted great, it’s overall rating would suffer if it was difficult to make or cleanup was awful. I’ve tracked all the ratings in a spreadsheet, and created a chart to help us visualize how well each meal kit service rated for each of the categories. Here they are.
The first thing I should note is that all three meal kit services are good. The difference between winners and losers is slim. And of course, our ratings are completely subjective. I think it’s fair to say though that all three services are worth trying, and your own tastes will determine which you like best.
The Overall Winner
For our household though, even though the numbers are fairly close, HelloFresh is still the consistent winner, in every category. The dishes were more flavorful, more appealing, easier to prepare, and required the least cleanup – in general – than either Blue Apron or Home Chef. The one factor that isn’t shown in this chart is the one that guarantees I’ll use HelloFresh more often. HelloFresh meals make me feel more like a real chef than the other services do. Again, that’s totally subjective, but it’s an important part of my personal journey through this process.
Blue Apron comes in at a strong second, mostly based on its much higher Flavor rating than that of Home Chef. Prep Time was the only category where Home Chef bested Blue Apron, but that’s not enough to move it out of last place.
Of the three services, I found HelloFresh recipe cards the easiest to read and follow. Home Chef gets points in that area though for having hole-punched cards and a free binder to store them in. Blue Chef’s recipe cards were the most difficult for me to read and follow, as the text and images just seem too “scrunched together”.
Each service is equally adept at shipping ingredients in well-insulated packaging, but HelloFresh actually wins at the organizational aspect of its shipped ingredients.
HelloFresh includes each meal’s non-meat ingredients in separate paper bags. This makes it quick and simple to grab all the ingredients or a meal. In addition, the large paper bag then serves as an easy “trash bag” to throw containers and chopped bits of vegetables into as the meal is prepared. At the end of preparation, there is just one bag of trash that can be easily disposed of.
Neither Home Chef nor Blue Apron packages all of the ingredients for each meal into separate containers. Oddly, “some” of each meal’s ingredients may be in separate bags, but others are just thrown in the box. Finding the right ingredients for a particular meal simply adds to the time and aggravation, and is completely unnecessary.
Throughout our tests, HelloFresh is the clear winner in every category. Blue Apron comes in at second place, and Home Chef stumbles in at last place.
Honestly, each family will have their own subjective taste preferences, and may end up with different winners. I think I can safely say, though, that all three services provide good meals, with fresh ingredients, and all are enjoyable.
So What’s Next?
We’re not done testing! There are other meal kit services to try, and in fact, today we’ll be starting with a new service called EveryPlate! This particular service is appealing because of its price! At nearly half the price of other services, I’m anxious to see if it will be anywhere close to as good as the three I just tried. After I try EveryPlate, I’ll move on to both Plated and Dinnerly, not necessarily in that order. Of course, I’ll let you know how all of those turn out, so stay tuned!