Blue Apron is a farm-to-table meal delivery service that simplifies preparing a home-cooked meal by shipping pre-portioned, fresh ingredients sourced from small sustainable farms to its customers.
Blue Apron is one company in the category of meal delivery services that deliver the ingredients to prepare a meal to one’s house. This company is unique in the category due to its partnership with over 150 local farms and can be considered a farm-to-table meal subscription service. Customers sign up online and can choose from a variety of menus, including vegetarian. Each week, Blue Apron mails the pre-portioned ingredients and the recipes for its 2-person or family plans in an insulated box with ice packs. The subscriber prepares the meals, some of which require over 30 minutes of preparation, according to the recipe included in the shipment. Blue Apron offers the opportunity to try new flavors and to cook with new ingredients. It also offers “farm-fresh, seasonal produce; meat with no added hormones; [and] sustainably sourced seafood.” Blue Apron does not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Shipping fee for delivery service
|$7.99 on small orders|
How easy is cancellation?
How flexible is this service about dietary restrictions?
|Below average options|
Nutritional information meets Federal guidelines
Taste of prepared meals
Ease of meal preparation
|Average ease; requires chopping ingredients|
How responsive is this company to consumers?
Average price per portion
Cost of each portion
Variety of meal options
Number of recipes to choose from each week
This service is ideal for healthy seniors who love to cook but do not have the time or energy to go to the grocery store to buy a long list of ingredients. However, advancing age can affect the ‘friendliness’ of this service to seniors due to the meal preparation work required – chopping, assembling and cooking ingredients – which may pose a challenge. (Other meal preparation delivery services do offer ingredients that are already chopped and simply require cooking.) Also, the fact that the meal delivery service is controlled via a website can pose a challenge for older seniors who are not computer-savvy. The cancellation process for Blue Apron has also been described as complicated and requiring several steps by reviewers of this service.
An advancing health condition makes this service much less useful. Blue Apron sends shipments of ingredients to one’s house. That means that frequent hospital visits or trips to be with family can cause the senior to miss the delivery shipment and the food to spoil. Because this service requires seniors to cook from a recipe, seniors with serious cognitive decline may find the sequencing of actions to be a challenge, and cooking on a stovetop may even pose a hazard for these seniors.
Blue Apron is one of the meal delivery subscription services which seek to simplify food preparation by mailing you all of the ingredients to cook at home. Blue Apron stands out for small-farm sourcing its ingredients: all meals contain non-GMO ingredients, seafood is ethically sourced and meat is free of added hormones. For a monthly fee, seniors can opt to receive anywhere from two to four meals/week that yield two or four servings each. The service offers a simple way to try new recipes without having to shop for long lists of ingredients at the grocery store. While Blue Apron does not allow a subscriber to change individual ingredients in the recipes, ingredients can be omitted during preparation (such as salt for someone with high blood pressure). However, for individuals with dexterity issues, the chopping requirements may not make this the best option. Blue Apron is fairly priced considering its emphasis on higher-quality ingredients. Blue Apron’s sustainable seafood practices have earned it a recommendation from Seafood Watch, and company CEO/Co-Founder Matt Salzberg was included in Fortune’s 2016 list of “40 Under 40.” For seniors who enjoy cooking, can chop ingredients easily and are comfortable going online, Blue Apron may be a convenient way to eat healthfully.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you offer a mobile app?
Yes, Blue Apron offers a mobile app for iPhone only, available on the Apple iTunes App Store.
What happens if I am not home for my shipment?
Blue Apron delivers the box to your doorstep on the specified delivery day. The frozen gel used to insulate the box will keep it fresh for a few hours until you get home.
Do you have nutrition information available for your meals?
Blue Apron provides comprehensive nutritional labels, including information about calories, sugars and total fat. Blue Apron also provides information regarding eight major U.S. food allergens, although the service is not recommended for people with severe allergies due to the potential for cross-contamination at its production facility.
Overview: Blue Apron offers several meal delivery plans, which can feed a family of two or four people, two to four times a week. Examples of meals include “Summer Vegetable and Red Rice Salad with Goat Cheese,” “Pork Chops and Rosemary Potatoes” and “Heirloom Tomato Lamb and Beef Burgers.”
Package Details: Blue Apron offers variations of two plans: the “Two-Person Plan” and the “Family Plan,” which serves four people. Both plans include a wide variety of meals containing meat, poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables. The 2-person plan is also available as a vegetarian option. A shipping fee may apply on the smaller package.
The Two-Person Plan runs $9.99/serving. It can feed two people, two times a week for $47.95/week, which includes a $7.99 shipping fee. Two people can eat three times a week for $59.94/week with free shipping. This plan can be made vegetarian-friendly.
The Family Plan, which feeds four people, runs $8.99/serving. It is available in packages of either two, three or four meals/week. The Family Plan can serve four people twice a week for $71.92/week, three times a week for $107.88/week or four times a week for $143.84/week. Shipping is always free in the Family Plan.
Meal plans can be changed at any time as long as the changes are made at least six days before the next scheduled delivery. Meal plans can also be paused – temporarily halted, for example, due to travel – or canceled.
Optional Accessories or Add-on Services: Blue Apron has an online market where it sells culinary accessories, cookbooks and other items.
Contract Details: Besides the weekly subscription fee for the meal delivery service (and any applicable shipping fees, although shipping is free for most subscriptions), there are no additional fees. The cancellation procedure involves e-mailing the company and following additional e-mailed instructions on how to complete the cancellation. Orders can be skipped up to five weeks in advance by signing into the user’s account on the Blue Apron website. Orders can be modified up to six days before the scheduled delivery date.
Warranty: Blue Apron’s terms state that if a subscriber is dissatisfied with a meal or ingredient for any reason, they can email the company within seven days of the date they received the meal. At the company's discretion, it will decide whether it will replace an ingredient or meal, or provide a partial or full refund or credit.
Accreditations: Although Blue Apron has not obtained accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, it has an A- rating on the BBB website.
Company Details: Blue Apron was founded in 2012 by Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas and Matt Wadiak, who packed and shipped the first 30 orders themselves in a commercial kitchen in New York. Today, the company is a $2 billion "powerhouse,” as described by Fortune, and Salzberg was recently named to Fortune’s “40 under 40” list. Blue Apron is guided by the philosophy that foods should be grown sustainably.
Blue Apron, LLC
5 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10013