Why Blue Apron Can Deliver Ingredients for Less Than 60% of What Your Grocery Store Charges

We’ve heard from our customers that when they recreate Blue Apron meals on their own, they’ve been surprised by the high cost of buying the individual ingredients compared to receiving a Blue Apron delivery.  We were curious to see the price difference ourselves, so we headed out to stores around the country.

Our shoppers were tasked with re-creating three meals from one Blue Apron delivery: Chicken Potstickers with Baby Tatsoi, Center-Cut Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions & Blue Cheese Grits, and Kumquat-Glazed Tilapia with Brussels Sprouts & Almond Freekah.

As ever, the original cost of these three dinners for Blue Apron customers was $59.94, the standard price for a Blue Apron delivery of three recipes, two servings each. But for our shoppers who were aiming to follow the exact same recipes and produce dinners in the exact same portions—while doing their own shopping – the grocery bill was on average more than 60% higher. The highest price paid, at a Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia, was $146, almost two-and-half times what Blue Apron home cooks spent.

Bar Graph

At store after store – from neighborhood green grocers to large, national grocery chains – our shoppers found that buying ingredients on their own cost more than getting a Blue Apron delivery.

In addition to the higher cost, our shoppers found the experience frustrating. Many of the stores didn’t carry everything they needed to make Blue Apron meals so delicious.  That meant trips to multiple markets to hunt for ingredients, with additional time and money spent getting from store to store.  In most cases, shoppers found fewer than 75% of the ingredients they needed to recreate the original Blue Apron meal at any one store.

Bar Graph

So, how is it that we’re able to deliver recipes with farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients while keeping our meal prices lower than grocery stores?

Our Blue Apron sourcing team buys directly from hundreds of farms and family-run purveyors, supporting local communities while saving dollars and cents on every ingredient we buy, and passing on those savings to our customers.  So whether the shopping list for a particular meal includes offbeat entries like kumquats, dumpling wrappers, and lemongrass or easier-to-locate soy sauce, limes, and onions, we’re able to deliver the best ingredients to our customers at the best price.

Plus, since supermarkets need to have full inventory at all times, some of it’s bound to go bad.  At Blue Apron, we buy only the seasonal ingredients we need for each recipe because we don’t have a storefront where we have to keep all sorts of things in stock.  This means no food waste and lower costs.

And, when you shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or a local supermarket, you’re almost always taking home more than what you need.  With the perfectly pre-proportioned ingredients in a Blue Apron box, you’re never investing in an entire bunch of parsley, or a full jar of hoisin—an “investment” that would likely, let’s admit it—wind up in the garbage can.

And that’s the win-win: A serious emphasis on the best in-season ingredients and an obsession with not wasting food saves you an awful lot of money.

Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

Five-Ingredient Peach & Champagne Granita

Here’s the thing about granitas: you might recognize them as slushies or slurpees or shave ice. The nuances are small, but the most important thing to know about the granitas we make is not that they’re slushy or bright but that they make use of the freshest ingredients–in this case, delightfully ripe summer peaches. Read more »

Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Roasted Baby Zebra Eggplants & Fennel Salad

#BAlive–The Blue Apron and Gramercy Tavern Edition

Last Wednesday night, we teamed up with Gramercy Tavern and gave you an in-the-kitchen look at how we prepared the Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Baby Zebra Eggplants at home, sharing tips and tricks straight from our chefs! Many of you tuned in a prepared the recipe along with us, and it was a big success. Check out the recipe recap featuring all of the fun take-aways from our experience cooking together. Read more »

how to tie a blue apron

How to Tie a Blue Apron

Professional chefs are known for working neatly. But that doesn’t mean they skip the apron. In fact, you’ll rarely see a professional chef without one. Aprons not only protect your clothing, they also provide a place to stick a dish towel or wipe your hands. Here’s how to tie an apron like a pro. Read more »

Pork with Peaches

Here’s How: Satisfy and Impress Your Gluten-Free Friends

Imagine that you’re not gluten-intolerant, and thus not deeply briefed in the ins and outs of what the gluten-avoiding crowd can and cannot eat. And yet, you’ve invited over some friends who are. What should you make for your dinner party guests? Read more »

Edible Centerpieces | Blue Apron

Summer Centerpieces You Can Eat After Admiring

Centerpieces help add flair to a table setting, but can sometimes be costly or wasteful. Instead of opting for flowers or candles this summer, try one of these edible options for your next soiree. The season is ripe with colorful produce that makes for beautiful decorations and guests can nibble on the centerpieces as an appetizer, use them to season their dishes, or devour them for dessert. Read more »

Frittata8

A Recipe for the Classic Breakfast Frittata

The frittata serves a whole lot of purposes. First and foremost, the baked egg skillet counts as an excellent breakfast. But secondarily, here are some things that the frittata might become to you: lunch; a way to use up extra veggies from the farmers’ market; a brunch centerpiece for friends; an excellent vessel for getting your daily dose of bacon; dinner; a way to eat more summer tomatoes; and your favorite meal to customize to your tastes. Read more »

FarmersWeb Radishes

How FarmersWeb Matches Vegetables with Diners

Grilled cheese and tomato. Summer rolls and dipping sauce. Steak and potatoes. There are a whole lot of meant-to-be culinary matches in this delicious, delicious world. But sometimes, even the most perfect pairing needs some help getting together. For steak and potatoes, the matchmaker is a hot frying pan that sears each individually before melding their flavors together. For us, it’s an online produce matchmaker called FarmersWeb that connects farmers to buyers.
Read more »

Peel Veggies Without Making a Mess3

Peel Veggies Without Making a Mess

In the latest edition of Home Chef, Lori demonstrates how to prep vegetables without turning your countertop into a ridiculous mess. It’s easy! Read more »

Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Roasted Baby Zebra Eggplants & Fennel Salad

How We Created a Blue Apron Recipe with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony

In two weeks–the week of August 11th–you’ll have the chance to cook with Gramercy Tavern’s chef, Michael Anthony (a longtime friend of Blue Apron). Sure, his beloved, award-winning 20-year-old restaurant is located New York City–but you get to travel there without ever leaving your kitchen. (Sign up by August 6th to be sure you get a delivery!) On the menu: Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Roasted Baby Zebra Eggplants & Fennel Salad. Read all about the dish. Read more »

As seen in

© Blue Apron, Inc. 2014 Privacy Terms