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Blue Apron vs Harry & David

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BLUE APRON

With headquarters in New York City, Blue Apron aims "to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone." Their approach to meal delivery is quite different from the reheat-at-home, precooked foods you might see with competitor services. Instead, Blue Apron ships refrigerated boxes of fresh-from-the-farm ingredients so that aspiring home cooks can not only bring healthier, more flavorful food to the table, but also add more recipes and skills to their own repertoires. Given that Blue Apron sends out more than 8 million meals per month, across the nation, they're definitely doing something right.

Right from the start, you'll be able to indicate your dietary preference. Omnivore? Pescatarian? Vegetarian? No problem. All of the meals in your delivery will fit those criteria. You also have the ability to specify if there's a particular meat - lamb, pork, poultry, beef, shellfish, or fish - that you don't want included in your recipes. You'll never get the same recipe twice in a calendar year, and all of Blue Apron's ingredients come to you pre-measured, from the spices to the shallots. This service does focus on lunch- or dinner-type entrees, so you won't find breakfasts, desserts, or sides.

There are two less-than-customizable aspects to Blue Apron's meal delivery: the recipes and the number of servings. Unlike most of their competitors, this service does not allow you to select what recipes you'll receive, so whether you absolutely love or hate a particular meal, you may or may not see it in your delivery. Also, since all of Blue Apron's plans consist of either 2- or 4-serving configurations, you could wind up with a lot of leftovers if your family is small - or not enough to go around if yours is large.

One of the most common complaints about Blue Apron used to be their prices - so we were happy to see that, over the past year, they've worked hard to make their meals more affordable:

  • Two-Serving Plan: you can get two ($47.95) or three ($59.94) 2-serving recipes per week. Both prices include shipping.
  • Four-Serving Plan: you can opt for two ($71.92), three ($95.88), or four ($119.84) 4-serving recipes per week. Those prices also include shipping.

You may also find savings offered via pop-ups; when we visited the Blue Apron site and browsed for a while, we eventually got a discount offer of "$50 off, spread over [our] next two orders, if we ordered within the next 30 minutes.

All of Blue Apron's meal delivery plans are commitment-free: skip any weeks you choose (like when you go on vacation) and cancel your plan at any time. You can also choose the delivery date that works best for you; with all shipping boxes coming with cold packs, you don't even need to be home when your delivery comes.

Blue Apron has some definite positives. When we received our meal delivery, we were impressed with the quality of the ingredients - absolutely nothing generic or cut-rate, from the fresh vegetables to the canned beans. This company emphasizes recipes that use in-season ingredients, making for a fresher, healthier eating experience. Every recipe we received was simple to prepare, with clearly-labeled ingredients and well-written instructions. And, the final products were all winners; we wanted to keep every recipe for future use.

But, for customers who are looking for premade convenience or who don't have access to a traditional kitchen, Blue Apron isn't the right fit. It's definitely a service for people who want to cook, but need some help in the inspiration department without the hassle of selecting recipes and shopping for the ingredients.

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HARRY & DAVID

Have you ever been invited to a work party, community potluck, or even hosted an event where making an impression matters? Did you draw a blank on what you could bring, or even feel some anxiety over what recipe in your repertoire could live up to the expectations? The next time you find yourself in that predicament, you should consider letting Harry & David do the work.

You may already know of this business because of their long reputation for helping people with their gift-giving needs: gourmet foods, gift baskets, chocolates and more. Harry & David also has good selection of reheat (if necessary) and serve, delectable appetizers, entrees, and other choices, whether you want to be the hero of your office party or just take the stress out of planning a special-occasion dinner in your own home.

Although their selection isn't as broad as some of the meal delivery services we reviewed - just under 40 selections to choose from - you can still find a good assortment that ranges from appetizers like an Antipasto Wine Pairing Collection to mouth-watering main courses like Salmon Wellington or a Steak and Lobster Feast. Most of the choices for meal delivery have customer reviews in their descriptions, to help you know what to expect when your food comes. Harry & David's best-seller, with more than five dozen reviews and a 4.5/5-star average, is the Sliced Ham and Turkey, priced at $64.99.

Harry & David has a superb reputation for customer satisfaction. Should you get a meal delivery that doesn't meet your expectations (or your party guests'), you should have no problem getting a refund or replacement. Another reason customers like using Harry & David is their Celebrations Passport membership. For an annual fee of $29.99, you get a year of free shipping across a group of brands that includes Simply Chocolate, The Popcorn Factory, and 1-800-Flowers. Even if you only plan on ordering a few times within a year, the savings could be significant; shipping costs on a single item at Harry & David's can be as much as $11.99, so the Passport would pay for itself quickly over two or three gift-giving or dining occasions.

If you need a special-occasion meal for yourself or for an event, Harry & David is a solid choice. But, for many people who are looking for meal delivery services, this provider's options are pretty limited to once-in-a-while treats, not every day reheat-and-eat dinners or fresh-and-healthy meals to nourish them at the end of the working day.

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Best Meal Delivery

To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Blue Apron and Harry & David.

Who is the best Meal Delivery company? Are you looking for a way to simplify dinner after a long day at work? Using a meal delivery service has become an easy way of getting nourishing, flavorful food on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping.

Of course, the most popular reason for using a meal delivery company is the convenience. Customers love being able to order their favorite entrees, side dishes, or even appetizers and desserts, and to choose how much cooking they'd like to do. Some meal delivery services are reheat-and-eat, while others provide you with all of the ingredients you need to create a restaurant-quality meal in your own kitchen.

As these services have grown in popularity, the types of meals and plans has expanded as well. Has your doctor recently put you on a special diet, and you're not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Whether you're adapting to a diet that's low in carbs, diabetic-friendly, or even gluten-free, you'll find a meal delivery program that can help.

Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian but unfamiliar with how to create a balanced meal? Once again, there's a meal delivery service for that - use it for a few weeks to get ideas of lunches and dinners that you can recreate, or for as long as you like as you adapt to your clean, green way of eating.

As you consider which meal delivery service is best for you, you'll quickly see that they vary greatly when it comes to price, preparation, and types of food offered. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which company fits your needs:

  • Reputation. What do past and current customers have to say about the meals they received and the overall experience, from ordering to delivery?
  • Cost. What will you spend for the meal delivery plan you choose, whether you opt for a la carte entrees or regularly-scheduled weekly or monthly shipments?
  • Variety. Does the meal delivery provider have an appetizing range of flavors and cuisines to choose from? Will you be able to select meals that you'll actually want to eat?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with the service, the quality of the food, or the condition of the meals at the time of delivery, can you get a refund or a replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best meal delivery services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the service that puts the food that you're craving on the table right away!



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