Note: I purchased the product out of my own pocket. No one paid me or asked me to write this.
I’m a fan of the Blue Apron food/recipe delivery service. Out of curiosity, I decided to try out another similar service called HelloFresh.
Pros: Prices are tailored a bit more to what you need. For a classic box of three meals which includes meat, a two person box is $69, a four person box is $129, and a six person box is $179. The vegetarian boxes are a little cheaper; a two person box is $59, a four person is $109, and a six person box is $149.
There’s also more flexibility in your food choices. One week, the classic box came with Moroccan-Style Chicken with Cumin Chickpea Pilaf, Beef Bulgogi with Brown Rice, and Grilled Shrimp Panzanella with Basil. However, if one or two of those meals were not to your liking, you could swap them for either Pork Burger with Caramelized Onions or Virtuous Vegetarian Curry with Zucchini and Cashews.
In comparison, Blue Apron is the same price with or without meat, and everything is based on feeding two people.
Cons: HelloFresh uses more packaging than Blue Apron… like way more. All of the seasonings I got from HelloFresh were in disposable packets. Blue Apron uses bottles and plastic cups that can be recycled. Then, HelloFresh also packs all the ingredients for a dish into a clear plastic bag for easy grab. That’s nice but I don’t need the double packaging. I really don’t need all those plastic bags.*
I also like the the format of the HelloFresh recipe cards less than Blue Apron. They’re a little smaller which means the font and pictures are smaller. As for the recipes themselves, I feel conflicted.
With my first box, one of the recipes was scallops with brussel sprouts, oranges, and quinoa. It was really good even though I didn’t get a sear of my scallops.
And in second box, I got a recipe for 1) cod with ramps, tomatoes, and potatoes, and 2) linguini with tomato garlic ragu. I didn’t make the cod as directed at all. And I tinkered with the linguini a bit, enough so that it doesn’t really look like the picture on the recipe card.
That’s not to say that I love all of Blue Apron’s recipe. I feel like with a box that there’s always one recipe that’s more mundane, but so far I haven’t bothered to adjust any of their recipes.
Overall, as someone who likes to cook and experiment, I am less enthusiastic about HelloFresh than Blue Apron. I think it’s a better service for someone who wants something less exotic. I could be wrong – I only have two boxes to base my conclusion on. Unfortunately, you can’t preview their recipes which would be nice to have. Blue Apron has their cookbook public and free, but Hello Fresh doesn’t seem to electronically publish their recipes. Or at least, not that I could find.
* = I wrote a note to HelloFresh when I closed my account and mentioned my concern for all the packaging. Their customer service support is pretty good, and they wrote back to me expressing that they are trying to figure out some sort of recycling program. I hope they can make it work out.
(Sorry for the ill-lit photos. Food was cooked after sun had set. And I didn’t take photos of my other meals either because it wasn’t much to look at or because I diverted from the HelloFresh recipe completely.)