Battle Of The Titans: Blue Apron vs. Sun Basket vs. HelloFresh

Last Updated : February 23, 2024


Didn’t you want to know about subscribing to meal kit delivering companies? If so, then this write-up will delve into the details without dilly-dallying any further. Today, the three more popular ones are Blue Apron, Sun Basket, and HelloFresh.

However, just because they’re trending, you should never expect that they will be able to provide you the best of everything. Besides, becoming popular doesn’t seem too challenging these days, thanks to social media.

The more important things are meal planning, meal preparation, and cooking the dishes. In that regard, what you should seek is simplicity!

The problem with meal planning

You shouldn’t feel that you’re the only one because a lot of people hate planning their meals, and most of them can’t explain why they detest it. It’s a problem that affects even the smallest families with no picky eaters.

These people will eat whatever they lay their hands on. They will plan, stick to it, and even schedule their WFH schedules. Regardless of all their organizational capabilities, they tend to stay away from meal planning.

Maybe your partner does the grocery shopping, which means there’s one less thing for you to worry about. You handle the meal preparation tasks and cooking because you have to tend to your office tasks. If you get more time than your partner, then you can start working on preparing the meal and share the work of cleaning up afterward.

Relying on deliveries

It’s safe to say that no one wants to prepare their meals these days, let alone planning it. Why else would the meal delivery firms gain so much popularity?

Commoners often shift from one company to the other for specific reasons. For instance, you may start with Blue Apron, but you may need to turn to Sun Basket if you want your meals to be free from gluten.

Those who have been ordering meals from all these deliverers often receive questions regarding the standard of their services and products from others. Indeed, knowing the difference between two or more meal kit delivery firms can be useful.

As already mentioned earlier, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, and HelloFresh are the prime players in the field. Finding what makes one better than the other is the key to choosing the best company.

What every company does

Despite the factors that differentiate these three meal kit delivery companies, each one offers a few specific services without fail.

  • Every company will deliver the freshest ingredients locked inside a refrigerated box at your doorstep. There won’t be any wastage because every ingredient will be in the exact amount you need for a particular recipe. You won’t have to visit a grocery store, either.
  • Every company lets you recycle the packaging materials.
  • The ingredients you order will let you create mouthwatering recipes designed by chefs at home. You only have to stick to the steps given on the recipe cards.
  • You will be able to explore various options depending on your requirements. For instance, you can choose between a plan for two people and one for a family of four members. The main difference is that Sun Basket will give you more than three meals every week. In fact, they will let you have as many meals as you need, along with a few other kitchen items and breakfast choices. You can add them if you want to.
  • All these companies change the recipes every week. They keep adding new delicacies and recipes, and so you don’t have to eat the same thing every time. In that regard, Sun Basket does it best. Then again, a few people say that the other two are better.

Nobody has to commit to anything regarding the services. You just sign up for a weekly plan, and you have the power to cancel, pause, or skip a week whenever you want and for whatever reason.

It’s one of the main reasons why traveling professionals love these three companies.

The differences

  1. Price and shipping

As you probably guessed, the main point of difference between the companies is the price quoted by each. Both HelloFresh and Blue Apron are pocket-friendly. Both of them charge $9.99 for the two-person plan. Family plans offered by Blue Apron and HelloFresh cost $8.99 and $8.74 respectively. The best thing about these two companies is that they don’t charge a dime for shipping.

HelloFresh has a few meal options that contain “premium” food items. By including one of those delicacies, you’ll add $5 more to your bill. Even a few years ago, the pricing of Blue Apron and Sun Basket was the same. Now, they brought forth their own “premium” options to keep up with their competitor. Blue Apron considers them as the fancier meal, while Sun Basket includes an extra charge based on the type of protein you want, organic or non-organic. Sun Basket lets you choose animal-based protein-rich items with vegetarian meals. However, you won’t get this facility if you rely on Blue Apron.

Sun Basket demands $11.49 for the two-person plan and $9.99 for the family plan. Customers also have to pay a delivery fee of $5.99 every week. You don’t need to calculate anything to understand that the other two companies are relatively inexpensive.

Therefore, Blue Apron and HelloFresh win the first round together when you consider everything. Since there are only a handful of premium meals, you won’t have to pay a lot, even if you select them.

  1. Delivery and packaging

Both Blue Apron and HelloFresh don’t charge anything for the deliveries. They also recycle packaging materials.

Blue Apron aims to help the community in making more eco-friendly choices. Around 85% of the packaging materials are recyclable. The company works with a recycling agency to adhere to industry standards. They recycle rigid plastic materials, metal cans, glass bottles, cardboard boxes, molded fiber, plastic bags, plastic films, food scraps, and almost everything else.

HelloFresh does the same thing. Their cardboard boxes, cool pouches, ice packs, and plastic wrappers are all recyclable.

Sun Basket, however, is the only one among the three that offers compostable containers. It means that if you have a habit of gardening, then you can use the packaging materials of Sun Basket for composting purposes.

You already know about the delivery charges – Sun Basket charges $6.99 per order, which is understandable because they use biodegradable packaging materials. HelloFresh asks for the same amount, but Blue Apron doesn’t take money for delivery.

The composting factor makes Sun Basket stand out, but when it comes to money, the all-important aspect, Blue Apron, takes the cake.

  1. Specialty diet and selecting meals

Blue Apron is quite a household name these days, but there’s one significant problem that they should solve as soon as possible. They don’t have any gluten-free choices. Sometimes, they offer gluten-free recipes, but most of the options contain wheat. They don’t label it as gluten-free either. Naturally, people with gluten issues have to look for alternatives. In that regard, Sun Basket can give you what you need.

Blue Apron offers both regular and vegetarian meal plans, but buyers can always mix and match between the two. There used to be an inexplicable restriction that prevented people from mixing their meals. After all, what’s the problem with having a juicy steak dish with another vegetarian item? They removed the restriction in 2017. Even then, you can’t combine certain vegetarian meals with non-vegetarian delicacies.

With HelloFresh, you can choose between a vegetarian and a regular plan. They didn’t have a gluten-free plan earlier, but they can probably offer it now. However, they always note the meal options that they offer every week to ascertain the ones that are devoid of gluten. Sometimes, they also give you nut and dairy-free recipes. You can mix and match whatever you like, but you have to pay more if you end up selecting something belonging to the “premium” category.

In terms of gluten-free options, HelloFresh can offer you three meals every week, but not more.

Sun Basket excels in this category. They can provide you gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian meals that you mix and match based on your preferences.

Each category has more than enough options from which you can exclude or add something, even after adhering to your gluten-free requirements.

There’s also a breakfast option offered by Sun Basket. You can check it out if you like.

  1. Recipe difficulty

Each of these companies gives you recipes acclaimed by chefs. It means that if you manage to cobble everything together, then everyone will have a smile on their faces after getting off the table.

HelloFresh is the favorite of its clients for its farm-fresh ingredients and fun-filled recipe cards. You can use them to learn how to cook the dish as you go. Preparing the delicacies offered by HelloFresh is quite easy. However, even after being popular among customers, the text on the recipe cards can be a bit challenging to follow as the font is very small.

Blue Apron is famous for its easy-to-cook recipes that allow you to lead a healthy lifestyle. With this company, you’ll receive ingredients that are usually available in every grocery store in your region. Naturally, cooking a meal shouldn’t be a problem. You should be able to bring the dishes you prepared from the kitchen to the dining table within forty-five minutes.

Sun Basket gives family-friendly menu options with suggestions on how you can bring your kids into the kitchen and cook something healthy without your support. Every meal offered by Sun Basket will take about twenty to thirty minutes for you to prepare.

  1. Dietary preferences

When it comes to dietary preferences, most people look for the gluten-free option. If you need your food to be entirely free from gluten, then Blue Apron isn’t an option. Some of their meals are suitable for you but not all.

Sun Basket, on the other hand, can give you whatever you need, including gluten-free and paleo. They also offer family-friendly options that are perfect for children.

HelloFresh can do gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free too, but not always.

When it comes to vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, you can choose whatever you prefer. It’s also possible to mix and match vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals, but you can’t mix everything, especially if you rely on Blue Apron.

  1. Organic vs. non-organic

HelloFresh, Sun Basket, and Blue Apron are pioneers at what they do, and there’s no doubt about it. Every company delivers the freshest ingredients acquired from the best suppliers and artisans in the country.

Then again, some people always after organic food. If you’re one of them, and if you don’t mind shelling out a significant sum of money for it, then Sun Basket should be your choice. They can provide you with every kind of organic food that’s available in this world. Sun Basket is currently gearing up to introduce organic protein to its customers. You can try it if you like, but it may take a chunk out of your pocket.

  1. Environmental impact

You should know by now that all these companies are doing whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint. Both Blue Apron and HelloFresh allow their clients to recycle the packaging materials in which they deliver their goods.

However, Sun Basket takes the game of sustainability a notch higher. Every packaging item used by this company is compostable. They use PET water bottles, environmentally friendly gel packs, Greenware containers, and compostable ingredients bags.

  1. Ease of ordering, pausing or canceling

Ordering on Blue Apron requires you to visit the “Blue Apron Market” section to browse for items you want. Then, you click on “Add to basket” and click on the “shop” button. Finally, you have to click on “check” to manage your shipping and billing data and finish the transaction by clicking on “place your order.” It’s possible to skip a delivery by heading to the Upcoming page. Scroll down from there until you pinpoint the “manage delivery” option. You should see a pop-window that will allow you to skip a specific delivery. Canceling the subscription, however, is a bit more arduous. You have to send an email to Blue Apron to receive cancellation instructions. Just remember that you can’t cancel something that’s already processed or shipped.

On the website of Sun Basket, you’ll find a “Get Started” option on the top. Just keep following the instructions to conclude the registration process. For meal skipping options, there should be a “schedule” page and tab on desktops and smartphones respectively. You can skip a specific day’s delivery from this option. Finally, for subscription cancellation, there should be a “cancel my subscription” option. You will receive better offers there, but if you’re hell-bent on canceling, then skip everything and hit the “cancel my subscription” button.

In HelloFresh, you can explore and order what you want after logging in to your account and selecting “my menu.” From there, you have to set the delivery days and choose the meals that you like. Everything you select will appear “in your box.” A few of the recipes may not be to your liking, or you may be away from home on a certain day. If you wish to skip a delivery, then you have to select “skip this week” from the “edit delivery” tab. In the end, if you wish to cancel your subscription, log in to your account, click on “account settings,” and select “cancel plan” from the “status” section.

Final verdict

Now that the discussion is reaching its end, you probably want to know which one should choose. Well, in that regard, here’s everything that makes each company unique in its own way.

HelloFresh gives you flexible plans with an incredible variety in terms of recipes and meals.

Blue Apron will provide you with recipes designed by bona fide chefs, along with balanced Mediterranean options combined with quick recipes that require you to use one pan only.

Sun Basket is the certified organic and sustainable meal provider among the three with seafood and meats devoid of antibiotics and hormones.

Now, everything boils down to what you want on your plate, your preferences, and how much you’re willing to spend.