How Does Blue Apron Work
This is a meal kit delivery service company, so to be clear they do not send you meals already pre-made. You will be sent the ingredients in a well insulated box as well as a recipe card so that you know how to create the meal. Unlike other meal kit companies, they only have two different plans to choose from: Two Person Plan or the Family Plan that serves 4 people and each serving is $7.49-$8.99. Of course, there are always first timer deals on the site such as $60 off your first order etc.
There are also not any special dietary plans to choose from, but the company does offer a vegetarian option if you need it but only for the two person plan. Once you decide you want to invest your hard earned dollar with Blue Apron it will take you through a set of steps such as putting in your e-mail and creating an account which will be the hub for your future orders and information. Simply choose the plan you want, and then add in your e-mail.
You will let the company know your dietary preferences and then from there they will personalize the menus you will receive each week. The meals can be paused or cancelled at anytime, but you cannot pick the exact recipes you want each week. Some examples of the recipes are: Summer Vegetable Gnocchi, Garlic Shrimp & Spanish Style Potatoes, Pork Lettuce Cups, Sweet and Spicy Udon Noodles, Seared Steaks and Mashed potatoes, and Chicken Enchiladas Verde.
The Bottom Line
back to menu
Save Your Favorite Recipes
Not because Blue Apron changes its menu every week, you no longer be able to cook the meal you have ordered again. The app allows you to save all your favorite recipes so you can go back to them when youre craving for a certain meal. You can also print out the step-by-step instructions for a particular recipe from your computer.
Getting Started With Blue Apron
Getting started with Blue Apron is a breeze! All you need to do is sign up for the Blue Apron service via their website or app.; For newbies to this service, we have some great coupons for beginners here. After you have signed up, you simply need to choose your plan and select your meals from their weekly menu. Some of these meals can include low carb, diabetes-friendly, low calories, vegetarian, quick cooking time, and more.
Once you have chosen your desired meals, it is merely a matter of waiting for the delivery!; A few days later, you will receive a labeled box that contains all the ingredients for your meals and very detailed step-by-step recipes pages. The final thing to do is to follow the recipes and then eat a perfect dinner! Bon-Appetit!
It is important to note that with Blue Apron, you have full flexibility to skip weeks whenever it is needed.; You can choose and swap recipes, which is very handy when planning a few weeks ahead. You can also cancel your subscription at any time. These account management tools mean that you only order what you want and when you want it, with no huge commitment involved.
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Do Blue Apron Meals Need To Be Cooked Within A Day Or Two
Assuming you plan on making these meal deliveries a regular thing if youre not on the four-meal plan, you only have two recipes to make within those 7 days before the next box comes.
That being said, if youre like me and had other meals planned for the week already , you need to work Blue Apron in.
I chose to supplement our two meals on the days I either didnt want to, or couldnt, cook outside.
With that, we chose to push the freshness guaranteed envelope a bit and saved the steak recipe for Day 7.
I brought the recipe and ingredients to my in-laws house, where we would be feeding 5 adults and our 4 children.
I never assumed it would be enough food to feed everybody, but enough for everyone to taste. Which is what I wanted.
Again, it turned out to be a beautiful grilling day, so I decided to throw two ¼ lb. burgers and a package of 8 hot dogs on the grill.
Let the games begin!
Captain’s Log: Sunday afternoon, May 6th: Seared Steaks and Maple Brussel Sprouts with Creamy Rosemary Polenta
The kids are sent outside to play, while the men watch them. My mother-in-law reads over the instructions with me.
Unlike with the chicken recipe, I did no prepping ahead of time with the steak dish ingredients.;
Immediately, mom offers some minor alterations to the Blue Apron recipe card.
I bow to her.
Shes a 60-something Polish woman and a phenomenal cook. Shes been at this family dinner thing for a while.
She makes her own pierogies.
Shes got this.
Her suggestions were as such:
Is Blue Apron Convenient
Blue Apron is extremely convenient. When you receive meals from Blue Apron, youll save time meal planning and grocery shopping, and picking meals from an online selection helps streamline the weeknight dinner process. If you ever struggle to plan a menu for the week, feel like you need new recipe inspiration, or dont feel like hitting up the grocery store, Blue Apron will most certainly add convenience to your routine. Without a doubt, Blue Apron is convenient.
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Best For Cooking Beginners
HelloFresh is not a frozen dinner. The service has several customizable plans to choose from: Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Quick & Easy and a Calorie Smart option. You’re not locked into your original meal plan and can change it later if it doesn’t seem like the best fit. From there, you can select two people or four people, and how many recipes you want per week . A two-person box ranges from about $50 for two recipes to $115 for six recipes. This ends up being anywhere from $8-$11 per serving, plus $8 per box for shipping.
On the HelloFresh website, you can see a menu of meal kit options for each plan for the next six weeks, with about 20 recipe choices to select from . The three meals I chose were the Balsamic Fig Chicken, the Southwest Chicken Sausage and Rice Skillet and Teriyaki Pork Chops.
When I opened the box, I found each meal’s fresh ingredients neatly packed into brown paper bags , with the meat tucked under an ice pack. The whole box is structured to keep things cold if you’re not home when it shows up, which had been one of my concerns. Everything fit nicely into the fridge .
Each dish took about 30 to 45 minutes to make, give or take some prep time . On average, each dish required at least one pan, one pot, a baking sheet, a chopping board and knife, and maybe a bowl to mix ingredients in. A peeler and a meat thermometer were also handy to have around.
Packaging: Almost Excessive But Effective
Blue Apron’s weekly box is roughly the size of a case of wine. A silver insulating bubble bag lines the inside. Two large cold packs on the bottom keep the contents cool. In one of our boxes, the cold packs were filled with a drainable gel made by Enviro Ice. The gel doubles as a nitrogen-based plant food. It’s safe for your drain and good for your garden, but ours spontaneously leaked on the carpet while awaiting both. The cold packs in the second box were filled with a drain-friendly, water-based gel. Both effectively kept the contents of the boxes cold.
Most of the ingredients were packaged in plastic bags. Only especially robust vegetables like peppers, radishes, onions, and heads of garlic arrived al fresco. Proteins were packaged in a manner consistent with a typical supermarket, although sometimes with an additional layer of plastic. A package of ground beef, for instance, was sealed inside another small plastic bag, presumably as extra insurance against leaks.
Blue Apron takes pains to highlight the recyclability of its packaging. The website and app have a section titled “How to Recycle” that spells out the possibilities for every class of packaging material. We recommend you review this before signing up, as it will give you a reasonably clear picture of the waste management situation. On the site, you can find the guide in the account dropdown on the upper right. In the app, it’s in the “More” section on the lower right.
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Blue Apron For Families
I was gifted two family meals from Blue Apron.; A family meal is meant to feed 4 adults.
My husband and I have four small children, ages 3-7. Since each child typically eats about half of what we do 4 kids = 2 adult meals.
So for us, the family meal seemed perfect.
Once I received the invitation to select my meals, I logged on and was brought to a dietary selections page. Here, I was able to eliminate any foods we didnt want to be included in our box.
I, for example, chose to eliminate shellfish.
Its important to note two things about the dietary selections:
So basically, if you or your child has a peanut allergy, for example, Blue Apron is likely not the choice for you.
Instead, you may be better off doing some meal planning on your own, based on recipes catering to your specific needs.
That being said, once I had chosen my dietary selections, I was brought to the weekly recipe selection page.
Acquisition: How Do You Get Customers To Try Your Product For The First Time
As weve outlined throughout this article, Blue Apron has customer acquisition on lockdown. It represents the bulk of its marketing strategies.
Whether its $30 off your first order, two free meals, or a free box from a friend, Blue Apron pulls out all the stops to get users to try its service for the first time. The company also sends offers to those who start the signup process but dont end up checking out.
When Blue Apron focuses on acquisition, it does yield more customers. When marketing spending went from $51 million in 2015 to $144 million in 2016, this resulted in twice as many customers by the end of 2016.
But for Blue Apron, acquisition doesnt mean profit. The company admitted that during 2016, 92% of net revenue was generated from Repeat Orders. Rarely does a customers first order drive any substantial revenue, as its likely the result of a hefty discount.
Acquisition is important for a product that is still relatively new, and that asks for a recurring financial commitment. While Blue Apron shouldnt drop its acquisition efforts, well explain how its worth spreading its marketing budget amongst retention and revenue optimization if it wants to see a profit.
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Subscription Plans And Pricing
All subscription plans are fully customizable. You can select recipes that you are interested in trying out, pick a delivery time that suits you best, order an extra box when you have guests coming over, and skip weeks when you wont be needing meals.
Blue Apron can even help you with weight loss. You can choose from ever-changing mixes of fish and meat that are Weight Watchers approved. Healthier options and meals that fit for people with diabetes are also available on all plans.
Blue Apron provides 3 different plans: 2-serving Signature, 4-serving Signature for Four, and a Vegetarian Plan for 2.
This plan includes 2, 3, or 4 recipes and ingredients in a weekly delivery. Each Blue Apron recipe is perfectly portioned to serve two people. Customers can either select recipes from the options created by Blue Aprons culinary team, or they can let the service pick selections based on the dietary preferences set in their profiles.
The weekly pricing for the 2-serving Signature plan is as follows:
- 2 meals and recipes $47.95 includes $7.99 shipping fee
- 3 meals and recipes $59.94 FREE shipping
- 4 meals and recipes $79.92 FREE shipping
4-Serving Signature for Four
Home chef reviews on the meals in the 4-serving Signature plan were above expectations. Perfect for families of four, the 4-serving Signature plan is perfectly designed to serve four people.
The weekly pricing for the 4-serving Signature plan is as follows:
How To Download Blue Apron For Ios And Android
Blue Apron has an app you can download for easy access. The app is available on iOS and Android platforms. Heres a guide on how you can download it to your smartphone.
For iOS Devices
You can also download the app from the Blue Apron website. Simply look for the App Store or Play Stores logo and click on one of them, depending on your devices OS.
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How Easy Are Blue Apron Meals To Prepare
Blue Apron meals are mostly easy to prepare and don’t require any fancy cooking training or prolonged kitchen experience. Some more involved recipes take up to 45 minutes but most are between 25 and 35 minutes from start to finish.;
I also tested Blue Apron’s Super Bowl meal kit recipes which were meant for a group and so some of those took a bit longer such as the chicken bacon ranch flatbread pizza. Others from the Super Bowl spread, including the spinach and artichoke dip and steak lettuce wraps, took less than 25 minutes to whip up.
Retention: How Do You Win Back Customers If They Have Canceled
If a customer cancels their subscription, Blue Apron sends two emails, two days apart, encouraging them to re-activate for $30 off their next order. Its not cited how effective these emails are, but the company does a good job of leveraging incentives for re-activation.
However, its Blue Aprons current cancellation policy that is sabotaging any chance of these emails being successful.
For a Blue Apron customer to cancel their subscription, they need to write and send an email to the companys customer care team, who will then provide them with a link to their cancellation page.
Customers have taken to Reddit to explain that it didnt use to be that way, but instead was done through a simple cancel button as it should be. This gives the impression that the company is desperate to extend subscriptions just a little bit longer, in the hopes that the complicated process will squeeze a few more orders out of each customer.
Not only does this impair the success of any retention efforts, but has caused past customers to take back their willingness to refer anyone to Blue Apron:
I actually recommended blue apron to several of my friends. Im going to be going to them and taking that recommendation back and, rest assured, next time a service like this comes up in conversation, Ill spread the word that your site is designed to make cancellations difficult and that peoples money is best spent elsewhere.
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Recipes Easy To Understand
I really, really love Blue Aprons recipe cards.
In comparison to other meal delivery services especially, their recipes are easy to follow.
The game-changer though is that they have BULLET POINTS!
This is awesome, because not only is each recipe well-organized and easier to pick up where you left off, but you can easily mark your progress by checking off each step as you go .
There are several actual steps within each step, so this organized presentation is such a help, especially if youre multitasking while cooking .
Especially when youre following a recipe you arent familiar with, having great recipe cards is a huge pro for Blue Apron because it makes the cooking process so much easier and less stressful .
How Good Is The Wine
These wines won’t impress discerning tasters, but they were good enough for us.
While Im no sommelier, Im confident enough in my wine knowledge to report that most bottles I sampled from these kits were thoroughly average. I would estimate each is worth about $20, and then discounted through direct partnerships. Only one bottle throughout months of winea watery, bland Zibibbo from HelloFreshwas bad enough to pour out. Each service had reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines to offer, with the ability to choose between different varietals.
Surprisingly, I was most impressed by the variety in HelloFresh and Blue Apron boxes. I was introduced to wines I had never heard of before from a wide range of regions, and with interesting, precise pairing suggestions. My boxes from Firstleaf were more bland, heavy on cabernets and Riojas, and it was hard to distinguish between them enough to keep accurate notes and rank them on the companys website.
Blue Apron and HelloFresh seemed to provide more variety of wines.
Firstleaf attempts to distinguish itself from the competition by being intuitive and responding to customers preferences to tailor their boxes, but I found myself forgetting to vote on the wines after I drank them. Even then, the options were just a yes or no. I think my initial preferences for well-known reds shaped my boxes to be very similar and forgettable.
Just want the facts? Here’s how the services we tested compare.
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Types Of Meals Blue Apron Offers
Over the many boxes weve received from Blue Apron, I can say that their meals are unique and fun without being overly out there as to alienate picky eaters. They have something for everyone from burgers to pesto cavatelli no matter your taste preferences. This is most likely due to the fact that all of the recipes are designed in-house by Blue Apron chefs and they even have a team dedicated to perfecting the recipe taste.
Here are some example meals weve had throughout the years from Blue Apron
- Creamy Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Rice & Cotija Cheese
- Smoky Chicken & Honey Butter with Corn on the Cob & Cabbage Slaw
- Shiitake & Hoisin Beef Burgers with Miso Mayo & Bok Choy
- Pork Chorizo Meatballs & Pepper Rice with Chipotle-Peanut Sauce
- Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice & Snow Peas
In addition to their regular meals, Blue Apron also offers one optional premium meal per week that can be added to your box for an additional fee. While the premium meals weve had have been tasty, I dont think they are worth the increased cost. Because of this, we rarely add it to our box. To give you an example, the premium meal for the current week were writing this review is Calabrian Shrimp & Prosciutto Crostini with Pesto Corn & Pasta Salad. It is $18.99 per serving, which means if you have their smallest 2-person plan, it would cost you $37.98 for this meal. That seems exceptionally high, even when compared to what youd pay in a restaurant.