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Mail-order food comparison: Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh

Meal subscription food companies deliver boxes filled with pre-packaged ingredients and chef-inspired recipes to improve cooking timeliness. How do the companies Blue Apron and HelloFresh stack up?

According to ReviewChatter.com, “The first Meal Kit delivery service started in 2007 in Europe. The concept quickly exploded and in less than 15 years, it is estimated that the industry will be worth between $3 and $5 billion.” These companies claim to provide customers with healthier food options, while making cooking more convenient for different lifestyles.

HelloFresh made its debut in 2011. According to their website, their mission is to “provide each and every household in its nine markets with the opportunity to enjoy wholesome home cooked meals with no planning, no shopping and no hassle required.”

They offer three plans: a classic plan offered for two to four people, a family plan for four people and a veggie plan for vegetarians, which serves two to four people.

Chemical engineering senior Cameron Riffle said HelloFresh offers profound convenience in cooking.

“You don’t have to go the store and buy all these ingredients and somewhat in bulk and try to use them before they go bad… All the ingredients are in a bag and if you need one pepper, it comes with it, or if you only need an ounce of seasoning, then that’s all that comes with it, and you don’t have to go to the grocery store. It’s delivered right to your door and the correct portions that you need, so it’s really convenient,” he said.

Blue Apron was founded in 2012. According to their website, their mission is “to create a system that delivers ingredients at a better value and by investing in the things that matter most – our environment and our communities.” They offer two plan options: a two-person plan and a family plan. The two-person plan has two or three recipes portioned for two people, while the family plan has two to four recipes for a family of four. Depending on the plan, customers have the ability to choose from different recipe options created each week.

Broadcast journalism junior Michelle Miller said Blue Apron was something she was curious about.

“I’ve always been interested in trying Blue Apron, but it’s just too overpriced for me as a broke college student. I decided to try it out when this girl I follow on Instagram posted that she had a discount code available, so I used that and got $20 off the first two weeks. I ended up canceling my membership after that two week trial, but I really ended up liking it! I’ve never looked into HelloFresh though,” she said.

It is important to analyze the differences each company offers customers, as well as their similarities. Blue Apron strives to provide sustainable high-quality ingredients, while HelloFresh offers locally sourced ingredients.

As for similarities, both offer chef-designed recipes, the ability for customers to cancel anytime and include step-by-step recipes and color photos.

Although both companies provide several options for customers, it is important to question how both companies prepare the ingredients they package and send out to customers. Professor and Chair of the Public and Allied Health department Dawn Anderson said there is no indication that these companies have malicious intent.

“From what I read on their website, they do come in dry ice or refrigerator cartons. I get Omaha steaks often, which can be a similar type of thing, and it is compacted with dry ice and stay pretty frozen. Maybe these items would be refrigerated, because if they were frozen, they would damage the quality,” she said.

Both companies provide customers with various choices for buying their product, but which company should consumers buy from? That depends on which meets their closest needs for their families and lifestyles.

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