The meal-kit industry is a rapidly growing and evolving industry. New competitors are constantly emerging while existing companies are regularly upgrading their services, menus, and offerings. When there are so many options available, choosing the best company for you can be a confusing process. This is why we have created a series of comparisons between different meal kit services. Our comparisons can make your decision all the easier to make!
The companies that we are comparing today are two of the most well-established meal kit companies in the US, so this is a real battle of the giants! These two companies are Sun Basket and Blue Apron. Both companies offer a meal kits service, but there are some major and important differences between the two, so let’s get started!
So here it is – Sun Basket vs Blue Apron – which company will win the battle?
Sunbasket vs Blue Apron – available plans
Sun Basket offers many plan options, with a major focus on plans that cater to dietary and lifestyle needs. Some of the requirements they cater to include vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, Mediterranean, quick and easy, diabetes, paleo and more. It is important to note that their menu is very flexible, so you can choose the basic classic plan but still mix and match meals as you wish.
The classic menu provides 2 to 4 recipes per week for 2 or 4 people. Sun Basket also offers a family-friendly plan, with meals that are a little cheaper and are well suited to both kids and grownups in the family. This plan includes 6 recipe choices from which you can order 2 to 4 meals per week for 4 people.
Blue Apron offers four different plan options:
- The classic signature plan for 2 people: provides either 2 or 3 dishes per week.
- The family signature plan for 4 people: provides 2 to 4 dishes per week.
- Freestyle weight watchers plan for 2 people: provides either 2 or 3 dishes per week.
- Vegetarian meat-free plan for 2 people: provides either 2 or 3 dishes per week.
Sun Basket vs Blue Apron variety of meals
When it comes to variety, Sun Basket has the upper hand in this battle with an amazing number of 18 dishes to select from in their weekly menu. These dishes include options to satisfy people with special dietary requirements such as vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, pescatarian, gluten-free and more. Additionally, Sun Basket offers many add-on options to their customers. These extra choices can be added to your box to enhance your healthy Sun Basket experience throughout the week. Some add-ons include healthy shakes, farm-fresh snacks, protein packs, amazing fresh pasta and more.
Alternatively, customers of Blue Apron can select from eight dishes per week in the two-person signature plan, which also includes vegetarian meal options. Then there are six dishes in the family plan and six dishes in the weight loss plan. Many of the meal options are offered in more than one plan during that same week.
Sun Basket vs Blue Apron – style and complexity of dishes
We are happy to say that after cooking and tasting several meals from both Sun Basket and Blue Apron, most dishes tasted delicious and were truly satisfying! We certainly received the impression that Sun Basket is more focused on creating recipes with shorter cooking times.
Sun Basket states that most of their meals take only 30 minutes to prepare, using easy-to-follow recipes. In addition to its regular menu, the company offers a selection of speedy meals, designed to be ready within 20 minutes. Sun Basket appears to be focused on bringing healthy dinners to the table, whereas the offerings from Blue Apron include more classic dishes with lovely chef touches.
Both companies keep their menus as varied as possible, with the meal style ranging from American classics to Mexican, Italian, Asian cuisines and more.
Sun Basket vs Blue Apron popular meals
To tempt your tastebuds, here are some of the best recipes from the Sun Basket and Blue Apron menus:
- Huli Huli chicken with pineapple-celery slaw
- Stuffed bell peppers with turkey and black beans
- Mediterranean garlic shrimp with Spanish rice
- Chicken Milanese with pizzeria salad
- Creamy tomato pasta with mushrooms, sweet peppers & parmesan cheese
- Korean-style beef bowls with Yu Choy & Gochujang mayo
Sun Basket vs Blue Apron special menu features
Sun Basket raises the banner for healthy eating, with a menu selection that has been created to cater to many dietary needs including paleo, vegan, gluten-free, Meditteranean and even diabetes. The list is endless. Almost any existing diet can be catered to beautifully with the Sun Basket menu. Sun Basket only uses organic ingredients, so you know your food is healthy and as eco-friendly as can be! Sun Basket offers many menu add-ons that can be included in your delivery box, including fresh pasta, signature sauces, healthy veggie snacks and more.
In comparison, Blue Apron offers an impressive selection of wines that you can order as a separate subscription. This service even provides wine and food pairing recommendations for each dish, which is a lovely feature! They have a retail service that provides cookware and a range of kitchen supplies.
Sun Basket vs Blue Apron quality of ingredients
The ingredients used by both Sun Basket and Blue Apron are of exceedingly high quality. Sun Basket is a proudly certified organic handler which makes them unique in the industry. This means that you will only receive the best organic produce, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats, and sustainably sourced seafood. This is a promise that we love!
In comparison, Blue Apron, states that all its meat products have no added hormones, all vegetables are farm fresh and where possible organic, and their seafood is sustainably sourced.
The Sun Basket and Blue Apron delivery box
Your meal kits from both companies arrive in a sturdy well-designed and labeled box. Inside the box, both companies ensure that proteins are placed on the bottom of the box with enough ice so that the box can remain outside for a few hours without immediate refrigeration. There is a difference between the two companies when it comes to how the ingredients are arranged within the box. The ingredients of Blue Apron are loose and unsorted within the box.
Very few of the ingredients have been labeled, and the ingredients of each specific meal kit are not separated. The only item that is wrapped separately is a small bag of spices and seasonings. As a result, Blue Apron customers are required to sort the ingredients of each meal kit they have ordered. Sun Basket, on the other hand, ensures that the ingredients of each dish are wrapped in separated and labeled bags.
In regards to the eco-friendly issue, Sun Basket is focused on using recyclable materials in all their packaging. The company uses 100% recyclable and compostable packaging in all its deliveries. This includes the box itself, insulating materials, plastic, and paper bags that are used for wrapping the ingredients and the ice-packs which can be recycled after emptying the non-toxic gel contents into the trash.
Blue Apron is not as open with its recycling information. You need to be an active member in order to get to their recycling recommendations for their packaging. Luckily we were Blue Apron customers so that we could complete this review and throw some light on the subject! Many of the rigid plastic cups, trays, and lids used by Blue Apron can be recycled on curbside recycling. The Blue Apron boxes and inserts are all curbside recyclable. As for plastic bags, bottles, and trays – most of them can be recycled. Look for the #1, #2, #4 and #5 symbols and make sure to check and confirm what your municipality accepts. There are some Blue Apron packaging, like the metallic bubble insulation, that could not be easily recycled at home and should be taken to the garbage.
Sun Basket and Blue Apron website and ordering process
Both companies offer appealing, well organized and easy to use websites and apps so that you can manage your account from your laptop, desktop, iPad and mobile phone. Using the website or app you can register, select your plan, choose your desired dishes for current and future weeks, define your eating preferences, change your payment methods, update your personal details and completely anything else you need to do to manage your subscription. This can all be done online in a very easy and user-friendly way.
Sun Basket and Blue Apron flexibility of a subscription
- Both companies offer their meal kit service as a subscription option. Sun Basket recently added the option for one-off ordering with no subscription needed!
- Both companies have the option to select your own meals or to allow them to choose your meal selection for you. With Sun Basket, the variety of meals per week is much larger.
- Sun Basket offers a 100% money-back guarantee on all its products. All you need to do if you are unhappy with an item is to contact their customer support within 7 days of delivery.
- Both companies offer the option of putting your account on hold if you need to skip a week. You don’t need any explanations, and there are no penalties for this service.
- In regards to canceling your account, Sun Basket offers the convenient option of canceling your subscription online and receiving an immediate approval. With Blue Apron you will need to email their customer support at [email protected], and they usually respond to confirm your cancelation on the same day.
- Both Sun Basket and Blue Apron offer some flexibility in picking your delivery day.
- Both Sun Basket and Blue Apron offer some great deals for beginners to try their service. Unfortunately, neither offers a free trial.
Blue Apron and Sun Basket customer support
Both Blue Apron and Sun Basket have a dedicated section of FAQs on their website, with answers to most of the questions you may have.
If you have an issue with your account, both companies have helpful and responsive customer support teams. Their contact details are as follows:
- Text message to +1 408-669-4101,
- Phone number – (855) 204-7597
- Sun Basket also offers a live chat that you can access by clicking the ‘Chat’ button at the bottom right of the screen of the help center section
- You can also fill out a contact form that can be found on the Help Center section on their website
- Email – [email protected]
- Phone number – (646) 891-4349
- Blue Apron also offers a live chat on their website
Blue Apron and Sun Basket delivery area
Sun Basket currently delivers to most of the continental United States, apart from AK, HI, and parts of ND, MT, and NM. Their deliveries can be scheduled from Monday to Thursday between 8am and 9pm, depending on your zip code area.
As for Blue Apron, the company delivers their meal kits to the contiguous United States. Their delivery days can vary, depending on your zip code. When you register, after entering your address, you will be able to choose from a list of available options in your area.
Bottom Line – Sun Basket or Blue Apron?
In general, we think that both Sun Basket and Blue Apron are reliable and established meal kit services, that appeal to quite different audiences. Blue Apron offers classic chef-designed dishes that usually include a tasty twist of some description.
Blue Apron is a bit more affordable, we found the offering of Blue Apron better in more than one way. First, they offer much healthier and delicious choices, with organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. Second, we feel their offering is better in terms of taste and variety of dishes per week, which includes options for many special diets.