Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – A Detailed Comparison
May 18, 2022
Services such as Purple Carrot and Blue Apron keep your meals versatile and exciting, allowing you to select from a wide variety of recipes from chef-recommended to weight loss-friendly dishes. These also include snacks, desserts, salads, and main course meals.
Choosing your first meal kit delivery service is not going to be easy. However, you do have the option to narrow down your choices based on what you prefer to eat on most days of the week.
Between Purple Carrot and Blue Apron, the choice is simple. Purple Carrot offers its customers complete plant-based meals with step-by-step instructions and ingredients that have already been measured to suit their serving needs. On the other hand, Blue Apron serves both vegetarian and nonvegetarian meals with pre-measured ingredients and cooking instructions.
The serving sizes, variety of recipes, nutrient requirements, and time of cooking are similar between Purple Carrot and Blue Apron. I’ll get to that bit in a minute. Just because Purple Carrot is plant-based, that doesn’t make it insufficient to satisfy your appetite. But there’s a lot more you need to know about both meal kit services.
Benefits of Opting for Meal Kits
What are meal kit delivery services?
A meal kit delivery service offers a variety of dishes per week – all delivered right to your doorstep with the proper pre-measured ingredients. You don’t need to buy anything from the supermarket for your recipes. The meal includes everything from vegetables, sauces, and spices to a whole lot more.
All you have to do is prepare these dishes yourself which shouldn’t take more than 30 to 40 minutes. Each meal kit also includes a booklet for step-by-step cooking instructions. In fact, some even let you watch the cooking video on their phone app or website.
With meals that come preprepared, you can cook them even on a busy weeknight! You can even stick to meal planning and cooking all your meals for the week on the weekend before. Meal kit delivery services are becoming very popular among people who have little to no time to prepare their own meals at home but are sick of takeout food nevertheless.
A good mix of recipes, easy preparation, and flexible scheduling – these are just a few of the pros of opting for a meal kit delivery service like Purple Carrot or Blue Apron.
Here are some more pros (and a few cons) of opting for a meal kit delivery service right now!
- All meals are premeasured to avoid excess.
- You can opt for preprepared meals in larger servings.
- Every week, you have a new menu.
- Little to no food leftovers to avoid food wastage.
- No confusion about what to cook since all the meals are decided already.
- Simple and clear cooking instructions.
- Flexible scheduling via app and/or website.
- A healthy alternative to takeout food with nutritious meals.
- You can opt for special diet plants for allergies, etc.
- It is pricier than cooking your own food.
- Regular delivery can be a hassle if you’re not home.
- Most of their packaging is plastic.
- Not the most appealing choice for picky eaters.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – How Much Does It Cost?
Both may be popular choices for health-conscious people, but allow me to save some of your time by determining the cost and shipping expenses.
First, both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron offer a variety of options for meal selection but with varying prices depending on how much you order.
If you don’t have time to get into the details, let me tell you which is the more affordable choice: Blue Apron it is since their “per 4 servings” meal plan is cheaper than what Purple Carrot offers.
However, Purple Carrot costs less when you order a “per 2 serving” meal kit because it does not charge shipping. Blue Apron charges a shipping fee for a minimum per 2 servings order which makes it more expensive than Purple Carrot.
With Purple Carrot
You can order a dinner meal, for example, with 2 servings that will cost you $11.99 per serving. Make it 4 servings (instead of 2) and you pay less as it costs $9.99 per serving. The minimum order for dinners is either 2 or 4 servings.
To sum up the meal plan for dinners:
- For 2 servings – $11.99 per serving
- For 4 servings – $9.99 per serving
Purple Carrot also features breakfast and lunch meal plans with snacks. Breakfasts cost around $4.49 per serving with a minimum order of 4 servings. Lunches cost $8.99 per serving with a 2-serving plan on each order.
The Dinners at Purple Carrot offer a bold and versatile menu than their Breakfast and Lunch menu. You’d also be surprised (read – impressed) to know that Purple Carrot does not charge any shipping cost even if you order the least amount required – something Blue Apron does not offer – though you can get free shipping above 3+ meals weekly.
The delivery structure of Purple Carrot is 12 dishes per week including 2 Breakfast meals, 2 Lunch meals, and 8 Dinner meals. You can opt for snacks as well, but it’ll cost you some more money.
With Blue Apron
Rather than differentiate by meal type, Blue Apron has divided the meals based on health benefits:
- The “Signature” meal plan includes a blend of meat, fish, plant-based meat, and diabetic-friendly recipes.
- The “Wellness” plan includes meals that are low on carbs and high on holistic and healthy eating.
- The “Vegetarian” plan contains meat-free ingredients and organic certified seasonal produce.
Whether you pick the Signature, Wellness, or Vegetarian option for a quick dinner or lunch meal or even find any one of them delicious enough for a brunch or breakfast, it’s totally up to you!
The pricing structure of Blue Apron is noticeably different but not with a significant gap in the actual cost per serving between Purple Carrot.
The minimum order of Blue Apron for 2 meals per week and 2 servings costs $11.99 per serving + $9.99 shipping cost.
If you increase the number of servings on the same order – make it 2 meals per week and 4 servings – you get a discounted price (per serving) which is $9.49 per serving.
To sum up the average meal plan:
- For 2 servings – $11.99 per serving + shipping cost
- For 3 or more servings – $7.99 to $9.49 per serving + free shipping
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Anything for First-Time Customers?
Since we’re on the subject of price, here’s something for newbies to the world of meal kit delivery services like Purple Carrot and Blue Apron.
Most of the time, you just need a push to get you to try something new, right? And for a lot of people, that “push” is a good discount offer on the first order.
Purple Carrot had previously restricted its discount offer to students, but now it’s open and available for everyone! On your first order, Purple Carrot gives a $20 off. Just enter the coupon code during checkout.
Blue Apron offers a more rewarding discount coupon where you get a total of $110 off on your first 5 meal boxes. Plus, on your first order, Blue Apron makes the shipping free!
That’s a lot more money saved than Purple Carrot, which only reduces $25 on your first order.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Are They Diet-Friendly?
Blue Apron is a lot more versatile than Purple Carrot in the way it combines different ingredients for health-conscious eaters. Here are some of the most common ones:
Purple Carrot: YES
Blue Apron: YES
Vegetarian restricts all meat and chicken products. Any and all other animal-based food is not a part of the vegetarian diet, but you can still eat eggs, dairy, and honey.
Purple Carrot: YES
Blue Apron: NO
Vegan is a strict vegetarian diet. It not only eliminates all meat and chicken, but it also excludes animal-based products including eggs, dairy, and honey.
So why does one call this diet “vegan”? The philosophy behind veganism includes environmental and ethical reasons. Vegans believe that eating meat or any meat product is not a sustainable and compassionate practice in the long run.
Plant-based food does not cause any suffering, and it does not harm the environment in production.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are the most common and popular types of diet.
Purple Carrot: NO
Blue Apron: YES
The Mediterranean diet comes from South Europe. It focuses on plant foods and moderate amounts of meat. Plant foods consist of beans, nuts and seeds, grains, olive oil, and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
In a Mediterranean diet, you can eat fish or chicken 1-2 times per week, including eggs and very minimal quantities of red meat.
The nutritional breakdown of a Mediterranean diet is one-third of fat and low-calorie meals. This is the ideal choice for someone who wants to lose weight without giving up on chicken or fish altogether.
It also protects against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Since the diet consists of beans, it’s rich in fiber and also good for keeping you full for longer (so you don’t overeat).
Purple Carrot: YES
Blue Apron: YES
A gluten-free diet is dense in foods such as fruits and veggies, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, eggs, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products.
The foods that are not allowed, which are free of gluten, are wheat, barley, rye, some kinds of oats, and a hybrid of wheat and rye (triticale).
Lots of processed foods also contain gluten that you are not aware of. Here are a few examples:
- French fries
- Salad dressings
- Cooking sauces (most soy-based as they contain wheat)
- Packaged instant foods such as soups, noodles, and rice mixes
People opt for a gluten-free diet for lots of reasons, including weight loss, gastrointestinal health, allergies, and increasing stamina. People on a gluten-free diet usually read the product labels before buying as most products contain wheat-based ingredients. So, if you’re sensitive to gluten, I would recommend going for Purple Carrot as their plant-based diet includes foods that are gluten-free.
These are the primary types of diet that you can learn more about before opting for either Purple Carrot or Blue Apron. Here’s a simple table that compares every diet plan side-by-side.
|PURPLE CARROT||BLUE APRON|
|Low-Calorie and Carb-Conscious||No||Yes|
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – What’s on the Menu?
You can swap ingredients on Blue Apron’s meal kits. Unfortunately, Purple Carrot doesn’t let you do that because since it’s a plant-based meal kit, you’re already working with limited ingredients.
On Blue Apron’s menu, for example, you can swap a recipe that has tofu with chicken breast (Chipotle-Roasted Tofu Lettuce Cups) or a recipe that has ground turkey meat with ground beef like the Shawarma Turkey & Vegetable Bowl recipe. There are a few more dishes on every week’s menu where you can upgrade the ingredients for burgers, salads, pasta, and grilled recipes.
Unfortunately, the disappointing thing about Purple Carrot is that they do not give more than a single plant-based alternative meat option. If there’s an ingredient in one of the recipes for the week that you don’t like or are allergic to, you can swap that ingredient with something else. What a bummer!
But do not let this discourage you from trying the curries, sauces, and other savory spices that Purple Carrot makes. It’s definitely a refreshing approach to eating more hearty and delicious vegetarian recipes at home.
One thing that Purple Carrot has that Blue Apron doesn’t is a Breakfast and Snack menu! On Blue Apron’s menu, the recipes include salads, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and pan-grilled recipes. Some of these recipes are ones you can have for breakfast, like the Miso Mushroom Grilled Cheese sandwich.
But snacks – that’s one thing Blue Apron does not include at all. No recipe on their menu makes sense as a snack you could enjoy in the evening.
Purple Carrot includes appetizing breakfast dishes and snacks. You can select all your breakfast dishes by filtering the dish type. Their breakfast menu includes hearty and delicious recipes like overnight oats, blueberry pancakes, and cherry-berry jam.
For snacks, popcorn, roasted nuts, and fried green tomatoes are available to make crunchy chips. It doesn’t get snack-ier than this – and that’s just one week’s menu! Previously, Purple Carrot has served tofu tenders, chocolate chip cookies, pesto, peach salsa, meringue pie, and lots more on their snack menu.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Any Discounts on the First Order?
There’s one thing everyone raves about Purple Carrot – their “Prepared Meals” menu. It’s a special category on Purple Carrot where time is given more importance than anything else.
If you don’t have time to cut or dice or marinate the ingredients available in the meal kit, you can skip that step with Purple Carrot. Just select a prepared meal on their website for $12.99 per serving. Yes, these meals cost more, but they also save way more time which is what you’re paying for.
Purple Carrot offers versatile dishes that have already been prepared. All you have to do is heat them up and enjoy. Each recipe takes literally 2-3 minutes to heat and serve.
Blue Apron, on the other hand, does feature a few recipes that are “Heat & Eat,” but it’s very limited. You won’t find as many recipes on Blue Apron’s menu as on Purple Carrot. I found that mostly, the recipes you can just heat up and eat on Blue Apron are rice dishes, pasta dishes, or noodles – recipes that don’t require lots of prepping in the first place.
But with Purple Carrot, their “Prepared Meals” are versatile and delicious, and some of them can be very time-consuming to make from scratch.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Where Do They Deliver?
Both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron ship everywhere to the continental US, so this excludes Alaska and Hawaii.
Both websites offer flexible scheduling for time and day. While Blue Apron delivers all weekdays and weekends, Purple Carrot delivers only on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays of every week. Once the week starts, you cannot customize the delivery day on any other day of the week with Purple Carrot.
The “Upcoming” section on their websites displays all the important information for the delivery. Purple Carrot updates the status of your delivery, any upcoming holidays, and delays at least 2 weeks in advance. Blue Apron lets you stay up to date with deliveries 5 weeks in advance.
This allows you to skip and customize your delivery days for the order easily. Blue Apron’s window for flexible scheduling and skipping an order is a lot more convenient than Purple Carrot.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – How Is It Packed?
Both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron feature a Recycle webpage. On Purple Carrot, you’ll find a quick and effective breakdown of all the packaging materials and how to recycle them. According to their instructions, you can tear down the box all your ingredients come in.
Moving forward, the liners are recyclable, but you might have to check with your community garbage disposal to make sure such materials are recycled or not. All the packaging material that is recycled is labeled in numbers starting with “#” so you can accurately store and divide the recyclable material. This includes the bubble liner and plastics.
People also prefer reusing plastic containers, jars, and bottles that are often found in Purple Carrot’s meal kits. The plastics have a secure lid that makes the perfect storage solution for small condiments, chopped vegetables and fruits, etc.
If the recipe consists of a few cold ingredients that are stored alongside ice packs, the cooler bags can be recycled, while the ice packs are reused at home itself. They are also biodegradable if you have no use for them at home.
Moving on to Blue Apron, 85% of the packaging material is recyclable. Blue Apron collaborates with How2Recycle for more efficient and convenient eco-friendly practices.
Just like with Purple Carrot, the plastics that Blue Apron uses come with labels for recycling – plastic bottles, trays, cups, and other containers. The cardboard boxes, molded fiber inserts/wraps, plastic liners, seal bags, films, and ice packs are also recyclable. Just read the labels on them, and refer to this page to know how exactly you’re supposed to recycle the materials.
Both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron ensure smooth and effortless eco-friendly practices. Along with no leftovers or food wastage with the help of meal kits, you don’t have to worry about increasing plastic usage because all of the plastic that goes into packing the meals and ingredients can go back to being processed for recycling.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Vegetarian Meal Plans
A plant-based diet, as we all know, is good for managing diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and boosting overall health and stamina levels. Being clear about what a plant-based diet consists of is important because “plant-based” does not mean low calorie or low carb.
Lots of vegetables you consume in a plant-based diet consisting of more carbs that might actually not be good for carb-conscious eaters.
But thankfully, on Purple Carrot’s menu, lots of their vegetarian recipes are nutritionally balanced and wholesome. In comparison, Blue Apron does not offer as many vegetarian recipes on its menu. In their menu, I found 3-4 vegetarian recipes per week, but Purple Carrot offers over 8!
Purple Carrot wants you to switch from nonveg to veg. Just look at the way their recipes are designed to imitate meat-focused dishes such as burgers, steaks, and pan-roasted recipes, but mind you, they’re all made from meat-free and non-GMO ingredients.
If the idea of switching to a complete veg diet does not appeal to you, you can opt for 2 meals per week with Purple Carrot which is their minimum order anyway.
With Blue Apron, however, you can swap the main protein with other protein-rich alternatives. But this is not for all their recipes. Only with a select few can you switch from meat to plant-based ingredients.
These recipes include the Chipotle-Roasted Tofu or the Smoked Gouda Burgers. There are a few more, but these I’ve selected at random to give you a good example of switching from meat to a plant-based diet.
Purple Carrot vs Blue Apron – Protein Sources
Please note: Here, I’ve provided you with 2 recipes from Purple Carrot and 2 recipes from Blue Apron to show you a side-by-side comparison of their vegetarian meals.
You will surely find more plant-based recipes on Purple Carrot for their upcoming weekly menu. However, Blue Apron does not have as many vegetarian recipes as Purple Carrot, but there are a few more on their menu to pick from.
|PURPLE CARROT||BLUE APRON|
|Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches||Smoked Gouda Burgers|
|Main Ingredient||Jackfruit||Plant-based patties|
|Calories||510 calories||780 calories|
|Serving size||2 servings||2 servings|
2. Tofu-Based Recipe
|PURPLE CARROT||BLUE APRON|
|General Tso’s Tofu||Chipotle-Roasted Tofu Lettuce Cups|
|Main Ingredient||Tofu and quinoa||Tofu and brown rice|
|Calories||630 calories||690 calories|
|Serving size||2 servings||2 servings|
Purple Carrot does not serve any nonvegetarian recipe as it is a 100% plant-based meal kit delivery service. Below are 3 recipes with 3 sources of proteins (chicken, beef, and seafood) of Blue Apron.
The recipes selected are just a small part of the bigger Blue Apron’s menu.
|Southern-Style Chicken & Creamy Relish||Egg Noodles & Beef Meatballs||Yuzu-Orange Glazed Trout|
|Calories||760 calories||540 calories||560 calories|
|Serving size||2 servings||1 serving||2 servings|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Are Purple Carrot and Blue Apron Customizable for Food Allergies?
Purple Carrot’s meal kits, unfortunately, are not customizable. But in all fairness, they do list down all the ingredients in each recipe before you sign up. There is also information about common allergy-causing foods such as peanuts, eggs, nuts, etc.
Blue Apron offers some customization of ingredients. You can swap the protein in select recipes – from tofu to chicken to beef or pork and seafood. Just like Purple Carrot, Blue Apron is clear and straightforward about all the allergy information and nutritional profile.
You should know that 100% of all Purple Carrot meals are vegan. But contrary to what you think, vegan does not mean allergy-friendly. Most vegan or vegetarian recipes contain common pantry ingredients such as nuts, grains, gluten, etc.
Both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron are clear about the ingredients that are in each recipe. If you read the Nutrition Label of any one of their recipes – I read the Pan Roasted Asparagus recipe for Purple Carrot and the Mango Chutney-Glazed Yellowtail recipe for Blue Apron – you will see a separate section where they mention the ingredients that may trigger an allergy.
Both Purple Carrot and Blue Apron process and pack all their recipes using the same tools and in the same facility. There is no division between the utensils used for nuts, soy, or wheat from the rest of the ingredients.
2. How Quick and Efficient Is the Ordering Experience?
It’s a big letdown when placing an order is a hassle even though the menu is great. To be honest, it’s a bit discouraging then to proceed with an order. Between Purple Carrot and Blue Apron, I don’t see any difference in web experience. They both have a seamless and user-friendly interface.
You can view their entire menu before signing up, including the ingredients list, nutritional information, and cooking instructions. To give you a better idea about what to expect from their menu selection, you can also view the menu card of previous weeks on both websites.
This works in favor of Purple Carrot more than Blue Apron since the former is a 100% plant-based meal kit service. You can see how seasoned and indulgent Purple Carrot’s menu is.
To sign up on Purple Carrot, you have to pick whether you’d like to Make Your Own Meals or Heat Up Prepared Meals. Following that, they ask you a few more important questions to carefully craft and customize a personalized meal plan that’s perfectly designed for you. You can pick high-protein meals, chef’s choice, or a gluten-free diet.
Once that is done, proceed by signing up with your email address or your Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
Now, there’s a slight difference between Purple Carrot and Blue Apron. Blue Apron asks these questions after you sign up, not before. You can select which meal plan you want, serving size, and all future orders after making an account on Blue Apron (this saves a bit of time).
Additionally, you can sign up on Blue Apron using your Facebook or Apple account. It doesn’t have a Google account sign-up plugin like Purple Carrot. However, if you want a separate password for logging in, you can choose to sign up using just your email address.
3. What’s the Procedure for Skipping or Canceling a Box?
Purple Carrot features its own app that you can use directly to customize your meals. The app experience includes adding more meals to your box, changing the current meal box order, or skipping and canceling a delivery before the weekly cut-off.
You can also skip multiple weeks at a time – it’s no bother at all! You can temporarily pause all your current meals, and Purple Carrot will remember all your information, so you won’t have to sign up all over again.
Purple Carrot simplifies the process of adding, changing, skipping, and canceling orders without you having to mail them separately. It’s one of the most streamlined websites out there.
Blue Apron does something similar in that it has a phone-compatible app for Apple and Google Play. You can manage all your meal deliveries, which includes skipping and canceling orders at least 5 weeks in advance.
Unfortunately, with Purple Carrot, you can skip or cancel a meal of any given week before their weekly cutoff. A week prior, you can adjust and customize the next week’s order.
Blue Apron is more flexible when it comes to scheduling orders and skipping deliveries. For cancellations, you have to contact their customer service, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your request. You should receive a cancellation confirmation email directly to your registered email in no time.
Final Verdict on Purple Carrot
- Impressive variety of plant-based meals.
- Organic ingredients that are certified non-GMO.
- Some are low-calorie and high-protein meals.
- You can easily skip meals by logging in to your account.
- Access to up to upcoming 4 weeks’ menu.
- Wide variety of recipes including breakfast and snacks.
- Lots of choices for prepared meals.
- Packaging is recyclable with airtight seals and liners.
- Easy cutoff time for canceling upcoming meal orders.
- You cannot swap ingredients in a recipe.
- The plant-based menu gives limited food options.
- Limited options for people with dietary restrictions.
- Small serving size at a higher cost.
- You cannot skip meal deliveries weeks in advance.
Final Verdict on Blue Apron
- The affordable price range on larger orders.
- Wider variety of food options for veg and nonveg meals.
- You can swap meat recipes with tofu or plant-based chicken.
- Easy cooking instructions with recyclable/reusable packaging material.
- Flexible scheduling via app and website.
- It meets most dietary needs such as paleo, Mediterranean, low carb, weight loss, diabetic, etc.
- You can skip meals 5 weeks in advance.
- Chef-recommended meals are the most favorite.
- No breakfast or snack option like Purple Carrot.
- Limited 4-serving prepared meal kits.
- Most of the packaging is plastic (though it is recyclable).
- You have to email them for the cancellation of orders.
- None of the ingredients is preprepared.
- Relatively longer cooking time.
It’s tough to settle on a winner when it comes to selecting between Purple Carrot and Blue Apron because both are fantastic meal kit delivery services. But when I talk about dietary preferences, you can either pick one over the other based on what you want.
Purple Carrot focuses on plant-based recipes, while Blue Apron is more health-based but without being 100% plant-based like Purple Carrot. The cooking time, meal plans, and cooking instructions of both are practically similar.
Purple Carrot is designed for the vegan diet, whereas Blue Apron is a blend of delicious and healthy meat, seafood, and vegetarian recipes.
For veggie-based meals, if you don’t mind paying a little extra, Purple Carrot is the way to go. But if you have no restrictions and want to try out a refreshing and incredibly easy and affordable meal kit delivery service, Blue Apron is the best option.