Instead of home-cooked meals delivered to your door, the new thing these days is ingredients for a gourmet meal delivered to your doorstep. It’s a brilliant idea—nothing is more infuriating that buying all of the ingredients for a deluxe gourmet meal and getting home, getting your Gordon Ramsay on, and realizing that you FORGOT THAT ONE THING. The thing that makes the whole damn dish.
GOD I HATE THAT. Now I’m getting all worked up just thinking about how many times I’ve done that…
Now, there’s a new food delivery service designed to give you everything you need to make gourmet meals at home in 10-30 minutes. PlateJoy launched Monday as the latest contender in the ingredients-direct-to-you wave of startups that have taken grocery delivery to a new level.
But unlike services like Blue Apron or Plated, PlateJoy doesn’t go through the hassle of individually measuring each ingredient into single servings just for you. Rather, it partners with local grocery stores to deliver the unmeasured ingredients to your doorstep.
PlateJoy has partnered with SafeWay, Whole Foods, and Peapod to aggregate and deliver the groceries, along with a printed version of the recipe you want. In terms of PlateJoy’s business strategy, not getting its hands dirty with measuring and packaging foods will definitely save on costs. But in terms of customer satisfaction, it seems like it would be more time consuming than simply taking everything out of a box and throwing it in a pan. It also means there’s bound to be food leftover that goes to waste because what are you going to do with a leftover lemon half?
Not to mention the fact that sooner or later, I’d probably just go ahead and order my own groceries straight from Whole Foods rather than going through PlateJoy.
PlateJoy also differentiates itself by offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, while most other delivery services only offer dinner. It also specializes in personalization—which is my biggest issue with other services.
While Blue Apron sources fresh, sustainable ingredients (according to its website), it only offers two meal plans: meat and fish, or vegetarian. PlateJoy, on the other hand, offers gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, no-red-meat, and paleo options. Paleo!
Naturally, that means PlateJoy is a little pricier than its counterparts. While you can subscribe to three two-person meals a week through Blue Apron for $60 a week, PlateJoy’s minimum order is $79.
That’s still a pretty decent price to break out of the dinner rut.
It’s hard to say how these grocery delivery services will fare over the next few years. Pop-Up Pantry, a subscription service for chef-prepared gourmet food that launched last year, recently closed down operations. And FreshDish, a subscription service for premeasured ingredients that launched last year, recently pivoted to an online ordering service for an actual chef.
Will Blue Apron, Plated, and PlateJoy find long-term success?
PlateJoy currently operates in San Francisco and Boston.