What is Blue Apron?
When you think about food, perhaps you feel like there’s no big philosophy involved. In the past, the process was rather simple: you decide what would you want to eat, visit the market, buy the necessary ingredients, and prepare a meal. The food was usually grown locally, and in the majority of cases, only seasonal products were available. However, in the modern world, things have become a bit more complicated. The expansion of hypermarkets and the advancement in food technology have significantly increased.
When you pay a visit to the market in the modern world, or even more likely a supermarket, you have an endless choice of products from all over the globe. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter, summer, fall, or spring--you can find your favorite fruits and vegetables regardless of its natural season growth status. But there is another side to this story--you no longer have an idea where the food were grown, in what conditions, and what chemicals were used to make a better and richer harvest. All these factors significantly matter if you want to have a proper and healthy diet. In addition, once you come home with your hands full of paper bags, there were many times when you stared at the wall thinking, "What should I cook for today?"
Fortunately, there is something else new in the modern world. Today, we have a choice to make informed decisions about our dietary plans. To make things easier for us, there are many companies whose businesses help us in reaching our dietary goals, and among them is Blue Apron.
"Behind every successful business, there is an excellent idea." This line seems like the most convenient introduction to Blue Apron. In 2012, three regular guys, Ilia Papas, Matt Salzberg, and Matt Wadiak, thought of an excellent idea: to create a start-up fresh foods and designed recipes delivery. Several years later, their sales went up to 1 billion dollars according to Fortune. The gradual but steady growth of their company was acquired by implementing more than business strategies into their annual plans. Their mission statement identifies the major problems in the modern world food system and offers solutions to such problems. The company’s management sees that the link among farmers, high-quality ingredients, as well as better food distribution and delivery to the customer is crucial. They show dedication to building a better food system by following these four principles:
- Creating better standards
- Regenerating our land
- Eliminating the middleman
- Reducing food waste
Hence, no wonder that the idea got to take off. Redefining the mission and manner of business to fit the needs of a modern society by paying equal attention to the customer as an individual and to a community, and contributing to make an ideal and better world, Blue Apron was meant to succeed.
Is Blue Apron healthy?
To answer this question, first, we have to take a deeper look at their business strategy. Blue Apron works on a zero level, which means that they are partnering with local farmers to have direct access to food creation process. It is their way to control the quality of food they are buying, which includes a strict adherence policy to Non-GMO ingredients and exclusively buying meat products with no added hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. In addition, by requesting these types of food, they are changing the farmers’ habits and slowly introducing better standards. One of the best features of this strategy is respecting the principles of sustainability. Blue Apron buys seasonal products, encourages responsible farming, and waste reduction.
To get back to answering your question, if you choose to use this service, you will get fresh and safe products, with no preservatives, artificial ingredients, free of hormones, and antibiotics. Our modest opinion is that it fits into the category of healthy.
Blue Apron meals
When it comes to Blue Apron’s meal choices, their offer is generous. You can make a selection from various meal plans in accordance with your current needs. For example, if you chose the two-people weekly plan, you will get recipes and fresh ingredients for three meals a week. The family plan gets you meals for four people, and you also get the chance to choose between two or four meals per week. The food arrives on your preferred day and time, safely packed. Every packaging contains everything that you need for preparing a delicious meal. Since their company policy is firm on environmental issues, all the materials inside the packaging are recyclable. Moreover, you can find more detailed instructions on their website. On top of everything else, you get unique recipes every week accustomed to your taste preferences. And not only that, with their app, you can track and trace the delivery of your meal choice and make changes if recipes don’t appeal to you.
According to customers, the size of the portion is considerably large. You don’t have to worry about getting extra weight because food portions usually vary between 500-700 calories. Recipes are detailed, well-described, and easy to follow. Even if you are a complete newbie when it comes to cooking, if you check the videos and instructions, which you can also find on the app, you will be able to make a delicious meal in no time. These recipes give you an opportunity to be exposed to different types of foods and techniques you wouldn’t know if you only rely on the internet when looking for an idea for your next meal.
Is Blue Apron gluten-free?
Blue Apron states that currently, they are not offering specific dietary plans except vegetarian. It means that if you are in a gluten-free diet, your options with Blue Apron are limited. In addition to not preparing gluten-free meals, they also stress the fact that many ingredients may contain traces of gluten.
Healthy services like Blue Apron
Food and meal delivery services are a fast growing industry, and naming all of them is already a challenging task. Instead, we will focus on presenting only those rivaling to Blue Apron in terms of quality and business strategies.
"Get Cooking" is Hello Fresh’s slogan, which promises a fun experience. Their offer includes three meal plans: classic, veggie, and family.
Like Blue Apron, they only source ingredients from local farmers and artisans for best quality. In addition, they claim that you don’t even have to be at home to accept a delivery since it contains insulating liners and ice packs. Thus, your food will safely wait for you until you come home. The point where they differ from Blue Apron is the meal selection. If you don’t manually change the settings in your account, when you choose a certain plan, you will not know what you'll be cooking until you receive the food package. Hence, to have an option to swap between meals, you have to make a minor effort. It isn’t a big deal, except it would be nice to have this option to be automatically included because sometimes you may forget and be surprised when you receive something else than you expected.
Plated follows the template of providing quality ingredients for your chosen meals on your doorstep at your preferred time. Trained chefs carefully choose 11 different recipes each week, making your diet balanced. Even though their food plans are a bit more expensive than their competitors, it is good enough to make up for this fact.
The PeachDish’s working plan is different compared with other meal delivery companies. You are not required to subscribe and you can choose as many meals as you want including a number of servings. They only require that you order a minimum of two portions per meal. The choices are also decent. You get to swap 8 different meals and the food is, according to customer reviews, very delicious. With every packaging, you will receive all of its nutritional information. The food they use is regionally sourced in Georgia, and on their website, you can find relevant information about their suppliers. Their price is also higher if we compare it to Blue Apron and HelloFresh meal plans.
4) Green Chef
If you want your dinner to be good for you and your environment, then you should learn more about Green Chef. They advertise organic and sustainable ingredients that are picked up from local suppliers. Their advantage lies in offering many designated dietary plans such as Paleo, gluten-free, omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, and family style. With an offer this rich, you don’t have to worry about the diversity of your diet. Moreover, the rest of their services are not much different from their competitors. They also have weekly plans, doorstep delivery, eco-friendly packaging, and an option to skip weeks selectively. Also, their website provides detailed information on every supplier, making you feel like you are buying foods from a farmer in the local market.
5) Purple Carrot
In addition to the standard 1-2 person and 3-4 person weekly meal plans, Purple Carrot offers an interesting option of choosing performance meals for 1-2 person, which is perfect for people requiring a protein-rich diet. Moreover, they are always gluten-free. Their recipes are 100 percent plant-based, so if you are a vegan, Purple Carrot is a great meal delivery service for you. However, what lacks is the possibility to directly choose a meal. Instead, you will get a box of the curated meal, which usually comes as a surprise.
Is Blue Apron worth it?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. Firstly, how deep is your pocket? Even though Blue Apron isn’t as expensive as some of the meal delivery services, a considerable amount of money will be deducted for your weekly menu. To make their services more available to the broader population, they offer a significant discount for your first-week plan. Moreover, if you are a regular customer, you can get free meals from time to time. If money isn’t an issue for you, then don’t think twice before you decide to give them a try.
Second, what is your work–free time balance? Are you working for long hours? Do you always feel exhausted on your way home and just reach for some fast food instead of a healthy meal? If your answer to these questions is affirmative, then Blue Apron is a good choice for you. You don’t have to waste those precious few moments of free time thinking about food shopping and standing in line to pay. A healthy diet is one of the crucial factors that leads to a healthier life, and since your health is already compromised due to your working habits, try helping yourself by making clever dietary choices.
Third, when it comes to the kitchen, do you like experimenting? If you are someone who likes to try out new things but lack ideas and techniques, Blue Apron is a way to go. With their detailed instructions and a variety of different recipes every week, you will get to discover new cuisines as well as introduce some healthy fruits and vegetables into your meals.
Finally, they have a truly valuable mission. Creating better standards, encouraging responsible farming, recycling, and creating interesting and diverse meal plans make a good impression. If they would consider introducing specific and custom-designed meal plans to meet specific health needs, their success would be even bigger.