Meal Delivery Comparison: Plated vs Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh

blue apron ingredients

I’ll be honest, cooking is not something I enjoy doing all that often.  But as someone that is really into eating healthy, cooking my own meals is the best way to control what is being put into the food I eat.

However, going grocery shopping and the thought of having to wait in long lines can be quite annoying for me.  Especially being someone that struggles with being patient.  

So with me lacking patience and also time, it can be tough to find time to cook a healthy meal at home. Therefore the only option at times is to eat out at a local diner or restaurant.   

But we all know there are a couple of issues with eating out.  One being you have no control over what is being put into your food, and the other the cost. 

I’m a personal trainer and the first time I ever heard about meal delivery services was from another trainer. She mentioned services like blue apron and how they deliver fresh ingredients to your home to cook.  

She said she tried it as a way to meal prep for the week. So I thought about giving it a try to see if it was something I would enjoy.  

You would think that a service like this would be a bit expensive, but you’ll be surprised how inexpensive a service like this really is, depending on your eating habits.

Growing Popularity of Meal Delivery Services

If you are someone that is familiar with meal delivery services, then you know there are quite a few to choose from.  They all seem to be similar in how they deliver food to you, but what makes them all different. With so many people struggling to find time to enjoy a nice healthy meal at home, there has been a growing trend of meal delivery services popping up.  

Whether you are a couple or a family of four, meal delivery services could be the help you’re looking for when it comes to satisfying your meal prepping needs.  Do keep in my that this service may not be for everyone.

Especially if you are someone that has time to go grocery shopping and cook your own meals.  But if you are someone that just doesn’t have the time, and are not a fan of the fast food life, then meal delivery services could be a great alternative to that.

Plated Review

Plated understands how time consuming it can be to decide what to make for dinner, much less go shopping for it.  This can take up a lot of time especially when you have so many other things going on throughout the day.  

With plated, they make it easy for you by letting you pick your own recipes from week to week without any limitations.  You get to choose from 12 new recipes every week where dessert is optional.

However they are priced a bit higher than other meal delivery services.

How much does Plated cost?

All meals are $12 per serving and you get to choose how many nights per week you would like your meals delivered.  Your choices are 2,4,6 nights per week.  

Plated Deals:  Get your first plated night FREE

Blue Apron Review

It’s hard to get through the day without hearing or seeing some type of promotion about blue apron, and for very good reason.  They are a very popular meal delivery service and you will see how later.  

The first thing you can expect to do when signing up online is to choose your meal plan.  You get your choice of 2-5 meals  that can serve between 2-4 people based on the plan you choose.  Upon checkout, after you have filled in all the necessary details like name and address, you will be given the option to choose your delivery date.  You are also given tracking info so you have an idea of when it will arrive.

Blue apron lets you select from a weekly menu the meals they are preparing for the upcoming weeks.  I will admit that I tend to be very particular with the foods I eat, so I found myself a little disappointed with some of their selections.  

Not to say you will be, but I found myself skipping through weeks to find meals I thought I would enjoy.  Let me not forget to mention, blue apron lets you skip a week of meal delivery if you plan on being on vacation or if you don’t like their selections for that particular week.

They also let you choose you dietary preferences before selecting a meal so that they are able to show you the best available choices.  So if you are someone that prefers not to have pork or beef, you can check off the boxes, and they will only show you meals that do not contain pork or beef.

When receiving your meal package, you will be provided with all the necessary ingredients, along with step by step instructions on how to prepare your meals.  Your are even given the expected time frame for which it will take to prepare each meal.  I have to say that I was really excited to open the box and see the creation I was about to make.

blue apron instructions

Not being the amazing cook I wish I could be, it did take me a bit longer to prepare and cook the meal than what was suggested on the sheet.  But i’m sure that is due to me lacking patience when it comes to cooking.  If you are someone that loves to cook or is at least decent when it comes to cooking, i’m sure you could get it done in less than an hour.

Every week there is new meal to choose from their weekly menu, and they make this very simple with just a click of the button.  Unlike how most ingredients are delivered before they reach your home, blue apron is cutting out the middleman.  

So when ingredients are ready to be picked up from farm producers, blue apron delivers them straight to your front door.  Thus making sure you get fresh quality ingredients.

What’s the cost?

Blue apron offers a 2-person family plan which costs $9.99 per meal per person, and a family plan that will cost $8.99 per meal per person.  You can select between 2-5 meals per week and there looks to be shipping costs of $7.99 for any selection under 3 meals.

When dealing with a service like this, I first wanted to analyze the cost and see if it was even worth it.  Then as I thought about the cost of eating out, and the convenience of not having to go grocery shopping, it made sense.  Plus the discount you get for being a first time customer was a big motivator for at least trying it out.

Blue Apron Deals:  Get $30 off your first order with Blue Apron

Hello Fresh Review

If you’re not much of a meat eater, then hellofresh may be what you’re looking for.  Although they do offer meal plans that include meat, not many meal delivery services have a meal plan specifically for vegetarians like hello fresh.  

This makes finding something you like very convenient as fars as meal delivery services go.  Not only are you getting convenience, but also fresh quality ingredients delivered straight to your front door.

Hello Fresh Prices

Both the Classic and Veggie plan cost $9.99 per meal, and the Family Plan costs $8.74.

Comparison Chart: Plated vs Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh


Blue Apron

Hello Fresh

Price Per Serving


$8.99 or $9.99

$8.74 or $9.99

Delivery Cost

Free for orders over$50 and

$6 for orders under $50



Vegetarian Plan


Yes 2-Person Plan Only


Long Term Contract




Free Online Account




Learn More

Try Plated» Try Blue Apron»

Try Hello Fresh»

What’s Trending

Plated    Blue Apron    HelloFresh

google trends chart

As you can see from the charts, each delivery service is highly searched.  With more and more people not being able to find time to cook at home, meal delivery services helping make eating in simpler.

Although looking the chart below can make choosing a little more difficult, the great thing about these services is the fact you can try them risk free.


Hopefully you have a better idea of what you are looking for when choosing the best meal delivery service for you.  

As you can see, they all claim to deliver fresh quality ingredients, but if you factor in price, Plated comes in a bit higher than both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.  

All three services offer some type of vegetarian plan which is a big plus.  So when making a choice for which service is best for you, all it really comes down to is preference.  

So please don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and experience below with any of these services

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 34 comments
Jamie Clay - June 6, 2017

Planning meals for a family can be challenging but technology has made it so much easier. One thing I despise is grocery shopping. However, it has to get done. I appreciate the information here as it allows me the opportunity to make a wise decision on the best option for me. I would probably go with Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Thanks for making this decision easier to choose from the best.

    Ralph - June 6, 2017

    You’re welcome Jamie!  I struggle with the whole shopping thing as well, but the body must be fed.  Especially if you are someone that is looking to lose weight.  Meal planning can be very helpful in making sure you are eating the right meals at the right time.  Thanks for your comment Jamie.

Cindy - June 5, 2017

Oh hellooooo awesome solutions!! I am an admitted nightmare in the kitchen! I avoid cooking as much as possible! However, eating out all the time is too expensive, and take-out usually just offers unhealthy choices. I love the options you have presented and the comparison chart with all 3! And wow, so nice to see how affordable it is to use these services!! There is no reason now to not be able to enjoy healthy food and not have to do much to prepare or cook! Love it!

    Ralph - June 5, 2017

    Hey Cindy! You and me both! Cooking can be such a headache at times for me so it helps to have easy to follow instructions which these services provide. Also, I try to eat as healthy as I can, so I love how fresh the ingredients are with these meals. Thanks for your comment Cindy!

Katia - June 5, 2017

This is a great comprehensive guide which I would definitely use to narrow my search for a meal delivery service! I enjoy cooking myself but feel the preparation can be tedious after a long day at work, this would certainly be a good solution. The comparison chart is helpful in getting the facts about these services 🙂

    Ralph - June 5, 2017

    Hey Katia! I’m glad you found this article helpful. I agree with the preparation after a long day at work. But I must admit that it did make it easier to know that when I get home, I have all my ingredients ready to prepare compared to having to go grocery shopping. I really hate waiting in the lines of grocery stores. Thanks for your comment!

Mark - June 4, 2017

Thanks for all the good information. I wonder if meal delivery services are available near where I live. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like spending a lot of time shopping in a grocery store. It takes too long. I would rather pay a little bit more and have some more time for profitable things that I can invest in my business. The variety available is also interesting.

    Ralph - June 5, 2017

    HI Mark! Not sure if you live in another country, but I know that services like blue apron deliver pretty much everywhere in the U.S. You can check on their website to see if they deliver in your area. But yes, for many that are interested in these types of services, convenience is definitely a factor for trying it out.

Arta - June 4, 2017

Hi Ralph

Thank you for the detailed article. I enjoyed reading it and it convinced me to try out these meal delivery services. They do seem as convenient services to make my life easier. But did I get it correct that Plated delivers ready meal while the other two deliver ingredients for making the meal? And is it possible to get just one serving in one delivery?

    Ralph - June 4, 2017

    Hi Arta! I ‘m glad you found this article helpful in your decision making process. Unfortunately plated does not deliver already made meals. They deliver the ingredients like other services so that you can prepare the meals. The minimum amount of servings is 2.

Karden - June 4, 2017

We have always wanted to try Blue Apron or Hello Fresh just to see how it all works. We haven’t heard of Plated but will have to check it out.

It sure would be nice to have easy to prepare and portion size meals for 2 people. Planning and shopping for meals are not highlights of our week.

Thanks for taking the time to compare several online meal delivery services. Now it will be easier to figure out which one will be best for us.

Great article.

    Ralph - June 4, 2017

    You’re welcome Karden! I’m glad the article was able to give you a better view all three meal delivery services. Also, I agree, shopping for meal is not something I enjoy much either, so these services definitely help when it comes to my meal eating needs. Let me know how it goes!

Dave M. - June 3, 2017

I love to learn about new services that I can use to make my life easier and more convenient. Your article certainly showed me something that I did not know about.I love the idea of blue apronand in the morning I am going to go to their site and see what I want to choose to give them a try. I don’t like to talk but if someone provides all the ingredients that I am going to do it.

    Ralph - June 4, 2017

    I’m glad you found this article helpful Dave. Let me know how you like it if you don’t mind. Thanks for your comment.

MilanK1 - May 29, 2017

The comparison of these three food companies is well done, but what concerns me is this? How can one be sure that these meals are not the same as an airplane food? That these ingredients and not GMO? Did anyone tried to leave some of the meals ordered from these companies out in the open for like more than 12 hours or so to see if they will start to spoil? Because if they don’t, they are not organic…

    Ralph - May 29, 2017

    Hi Milan and thank you for your comment! I definitely understand your concern when it comes to the quality of the food we eat. As with a lot of the food we consume, we never really know how good they are. We can only go with what others have said when trying it, and so far many have good things to say in terms of quality. As with anything, there are some that may not like these services and rather cook their own meals, but for those that like to try, many enjoy it . Also to be clear, meals are not delivered already cooked. You are given ingredients to prepare the meals. I hope I was able to clear some things up for you.

James Harvey - May 27, 2017

I have heard so much about these three companies over the years. But I couldn’t ever find a well written article on the three with them all included in it until now. The chart really helped me gain a better understanding of each. I will be sure to share this post with others.

    Ralph - May 28, 2017

    You’re welcome James! I’m glad you were able to find this article helpful.

Desal - May 25, 2017

Hi Ralph – Nice comparisons! I like the way you presented your article. Such information will be very useful if I decide to order a meal delivery. For the most part, I prefer a good home-cooked meal because I can have control over how much salt to add, what kind of oil to use, which spices to add and so on.

    Ralph - May 26, 2017

    Hi Desal! I’m glad you were able to find my article helpful. I agree that having control over what is being put into your food is important. Which is a big reason I kind of shy away from restaurant food if possible.

Mallory - May 23, 2017

I have always wondered about these services! I love the comparison chart that shows each of them side by side. Really helpful when looking into what I might do in the future. I also appreciate the links to your reviews for each service since I was not too familiar with Hello Fresh. I like that none of them have a long term contract, make its a little more enticing to sign up!

    Ralph - May 23, 2017

    I’m glad you found it helpful Mallory. I hope I was able to give you enough information to help make choosing a bit more simpler. Let me know how you like any of the services if you decide to try.

Charles - May 20, 2017

Getting meals delivered is definitely worth it if you want to save some time. It would also save you a trip or two to the grocery store. I think this is a fantastic idea that would be something that I would like to look into. I have never gotten any meals delivered to me, but I have ordered food that was delivered to me. I think getting meals delivered would be convenient.

    Ralph - May 21, 2017

    Hey Charles! It is definitely worth a try especially if you are someone that likes to order out a lot. if it is something that makes sense in you budget, then i’m sure you will have no problems enjoying the service. let me know how you like it.

Chris - May 16, 2017

Hey, This does sound like a good option. Sometimes I am struggling for time so this may be a really big help even if only a couple of nights a week.
Do you know how long ahead you have to order the meals? Do they tell you the calorie and macro content for each meal?

    Ralph - May 16, 2017

    Hi Chris! Once you select which meal plan you want, You can let choose when you want to have deliveries made to you. You can find the nutrition details when choosing your meals on blue apron’s website.

Jen - May 15, 2017

This is such a perfect post since I have heard of all of these meal delivery services and was wondering which one would be a better option for me. I definitely like the fact that none of these services make you sign up for a long term contract, that helps in trying out the different options too.

Since price is always a factor for me, Plated would be out. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh both sound like great options, and Blue Apron’s unique ability to work with family farms push me toward their service first.

Thanks for providing a great comparison of these 3 services. Blue Apron here I come!

    Ralph - May 15, 2017

    You’re welcome Jen! I think being able to try different services without being stuck in a long term contracts makes trying out all these services fun. I hope you enjoy it, and don’t be afraid to stop by and let me know how you like it.

Daniel - May 14, 2017

I can see that when choosing plated you have a choice as to how many nights a week you can use the service, but do you have the same flexibility with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh? Can you also choose to use these services one week but not the next. I see that plated seem to offer more in the way of menu options for their customers, but is there anything else about their service compared to the other two, that would suggest why their prices are higher.

    Ralph - May 14, 2017

    Hi Daniel! You are correct, there is a bit more flexibility with plated when it comes to how many times your ingredients can be delivered to you compared to blue apron and hello fresh. This would probably explain why there meal prices are a bit higher factoring in delivery costs. But when it comes to being able to skip a delivery from week to week, all services give you that options which is great for when you are on vacation. Hope this answers your questions and thanks for commenting.

Mei Scarlet - May 12, 2017

I have never heard of these services! I am very interested in HelloFresh especially, as my roommate is vegetarian; so we are always trying to figure out things we can eat together. 🙂 Plus, even though I am not vegetarian, I quite enjoy the meals still!

Just a question… are these services only available in America? I live in Canada.. though I haven’t heard of these services, so I wonder if it is not available here.

But what an alternative. Not only am I a horrible cook; I struggle to make sure I still eat healthily, so this option seems quite like something I could benefit from!

    Ralph - May 12, 2017

    Hello Mei! They are available in certain parts of Canada so you would have to check how available they are around where you live. Whether you are a beginner or expert, their easy to follow instructions make cooking very easy, so no worries about how great a cook you are. Thanks for your comment!

BingC - May 10, 2017

Wow, thank you for the information here. This is a lot to swallow, no pun intended. I have always wondered about home food delivery, but always forgot about it when I got home. Fortunately, I stumbled upon your website today and got to reading about home delivery. I didn’t realize there were several choices. It’s good to see there is also a vegetarian choice as sometimes I do eat vegetarian meals when I feel I’ve had too much meat for the week.
I do have some questions though. Is there a guarantee to the freshness of the delivered food? Also, how do I know the food as you stated is hormone free? About the cost of delivery, why is there a delivery cost for plated and none for the other options? And last, how do I know the Blue Apron Review foods come from family farms?
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon and thank you for your time.

    Ralph - May 10, 2017

    Hi Bing, and thanks for commenting! I’m glad you were able to come across my site. To answer some of your questions. When it comes to blue apron’s freshness guarantee, if for any reason you are dissatisfied the ingredients that come in the package, you can contact blue apron and they will do whatever they need to do to rectify the situation. Blue apron also makes sure the farms they work with are hormone free and ingredients are considered USDA Certified Organic. So I guess you have to take that for what it’s worth. But based on research and reputation, there hasn’t been much said to think otherwise. As for Plated cost of delivery, that’s just something they feel necessary to include in their service, so you will definitely need to factor that in compared to blue apron and hello fresh. Hope this answers all your questions.


Leave a Reply: