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Blue Apron vs Martha & Marley Spoon

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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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MARTHA & MARLEY SPOON

If you could have delicious meal ingredients delivered, complete with award-winning recipes, for less money than you'd spend at the grocery store, would you do it? That's the question Martha & Marley Spoon wants you to answer, because they claim they can make that happen.

Your options with Martha & Marley Spoon are straightforward: do you want dinners for two or for three to four people? How many meals would you like to receive per week: 2, 3, or 4? And would you like your delivery box to only contain vegetarian meals? If you can answer those questions, you're well on your way to getting meals that come from the 18,000 recipe archive of Martha Stewart herself.

Whichever plan you pick, every meal delivery box from Martha & Marley Spoon comes with fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and the 6-steps-or-less recipes you select from the 10 options on each weekly menu. Menus are available up to four weeks in advance; typical entrees include Steak and Almond Romesco, Warm Tortelloni and Bean Salad, and Chili-Lime Shrimp.

Your delivery date depends on where you live; in our area, we could select between Mondays and Tuesdays. Your deliveries are guaranteed to be usable for at least 4 days after delivery (with the exception of fish; you'll need to cook that within 48 hours of arrival). You should also plan on having some pantry basics like sugar, eggs, oil, and salt on hand.

How does Martha & Marley Spoon stack up against similar services? Unfortunately, the answer is "not very well". We found a significant number of customers complaining that orders were delivered days later than expected - with melted ice packs, completely thawed meats, and damaged containers. Where most of the competition would immediately offer a refund or replacement, customer reviews seem to indicate that this company only offers a discount on a future shipment. Martha & Marley Spoon has no refund policy or satisfaction guarantee on their site that says otherwise. We're glad to see that their customer service department responded to the complaints we saw, but we'd like to see a better approach to keeping customers happy - one that their competitors already provide.

We also weren't impressed with the meal delivery plans: with only 10 recipes to choose from each week, and no ability to customize according to dietary needs, Martha & Marley Spoon just doesn't measure up to other services that we reviewed. So, in the end, they might be able to deliver ingredients for meals to your doorstep for less than you'd spend at the store, but your end result could be disappointing.

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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 Martha & Marley Spoon.

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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