Kroger Meal Kits are Cheaper Than Blue Apron, But are They Really Worth It?
America’s favorite grocery store is looking to give Blue Apron a run for its money.
Kroger is rolling out a meal kit program that will give customers pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards to make dinnertime more convenient, according to Business Insider.
While Kroger’s Prep + Pared kits still require a trip to the grocery store, unlike Blue Apron, there are still some clear reasons why the Kroger kits might be worth your while.
How Does Kroger Compare to Blue Apron
Here are four things to consider when comparing Kroger’s Prep + Pared kits to Blue Apron.
1. The Food
Kroger has been selling dinner ingredients longer, but Blue Apron is the veteran when it comes to meal kits. And when it comes to variety, Blue Apron’s got it.
Blue Apron offers six new options to choose from each week, and there’s no need to worry about repeats. Only the most popular recipes get repeated, and Blue Apron will wait at least a year before repeating a recipe. This means dining with Blue Apron will never get dull.
Kroger will add more options as its Prep + Pared kits catch on, but for now, there are only five meal options, according to Cincinnati local news station WLWT.
The options are a Japanese-inspired beef bowl, a chimichurri steak, Moroccan-inspired spring vegetables, creamy chicken and bacon Alfredo, and chicken enchiladas rojas.
2. Cost and Commitment
At $14 for each two-serving kit, Kroger’s Prep + Pared kits are cheaper than Blue Apron, which will set you back about $20 for a two-serving kit.
Blue Apron also sells its meals in packages. So that means you pay about $60 a week for three kits instead of buying one kit at a time from Kroger.
However, if you sign up for Blue Apron through this link, you can get $30 off your first order.
3. Cook Time and Convenience
Both Blue Apron and Kroger kits aim to limit food waste. Both give you only the exact amount of each ingredient you need to make two servings. But there is a big difference. Blue Apron’s ingredients come whole. Any chopping, peeling or other prep work is your job. With Kroger, all your food comes ready for your skillet or oven.
The ready-to-cook Kroger option means faster cook times.
You should also note that all Blue Apron recipes are available on its website. So if you lose track of your recipe card, you’ve got a backup plan. With the Prep + Pared kits, you’ll need to hold on to the card if you’re not confident enough to wing it.
Of course, Blue Apron is a subscription service. That means the food is delivered to your door, so you can skip the after-work grocery run on Blue Apron nights. Unlike Kroger’s service, Blue Apron’s delivery service does not require you to be near a store.
Kroger’s meal kits are still in the testing phase. So for now, they are only available in select stores, and you have to make a trip there to pick one up. But if this program is a success, Kroger expects the boxes to become more widely available next year. Delivery may also be in the cards.
Don’t Live Near a Kroger? No problem
Several other grocery stores are testing similar programs at different price points. Closer to our office in Florida, Publix and Fresh Market also offer meal kits.
Even if none of the grocery stores near you offer meal kits just yet, Blue Apron is not your only option. We tested four food box services to see how they all stacked up. If you’re on the fence about giving it a try, we suggest starting there.
Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. There’s no Kroger here in St. Petersburg, Florida, but she has big plans to try out a Publix meal kit.