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Plated vs Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh: Dinner Kit Delivery Services Compared

There are companies that will sell and deliver to you steaks, pork chops, fish, and cooked meals. The following three companies have a new concept of delivering food to your home. They will sell and deliver to you, a dinner kit. This article will look at three dinner kit delivery services, the cost and how they differ from each other.
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Plated overview on Knoji
Plated — Best Features
You do not have to have a membership or subscription.
Most of their meat and protein foods are organic, range free, antibiotic and hormone free.
Best for: Those who want to try new recipes without having to subscribe to a dinner kit service.
Blue Apron — Best Features
Has the best vegetarian choices.
Has the lowest prices for their meals.
Best for: People who want to try new recipes at a good price.
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— Best Features
Provides meals with the lowest caloric choices.
They have nutritionist working with their chefs.
Best for: People that want to use a meal delivery service with lower caloric foods.
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What is a Dinner Kit Delivery Service?

A dinner kit delivery service is a rather new and interesting idea. A dinner kit delivery service will send you a chef-designed recipe and the pre-measured ingredients to cook your own gourmet dinner.

The Advantages of a Dinner Kit Delivery Service

A dinner kit delivery service is great if you want to try new recipes and not have to go to the store to buy all of the ingredients. You can make a gourmet dinner with all of the pre-measured ingredients in front you. One of the problems of trying new recipes is that you have to buy much more of a needed ingredient than you might ever have need for, which can be a waste. Another advantage with a dinner kit delivery service is that you still get to cook your own meals.

Plated

Founded in 2012 by Harvard Business School graduates Nick Taranto and Josh Hix, Plated is a dinner kit delivery service. Even though they are located in New York City, they supply fresh and locally grown food for the recipes in their dinner kits. Plated gets almost all of their food from sources that are within 250 miles of New York City and most of their meat and protein foods are organic, range free, antibiotic and hormone free. You can call their customer service at 1-917-525-2399.

Plated Dinner Menus

The dinner menus at Plated change each week, a new dinner menu will be posted on Monday at noon Eastern time and you will see exactly how much time is left before the current menu expires. When you look at each dinner on the current menu, you will see the dish, calories, preparation time, difficulty level and the ingredients for one meal. You will also see the chef's name and background information about that chef.

As I write this, their current dinner menu includes the following dinner kits,

  • Shrimp and grits with tomato-bacon gravy have 588 calories, preparation time is 20-30 minutes and difficulty is easy.
  • Asian beef kebabs with coconut-edamame rice. This meal has 635 calories with a prep time of 20-30 minutes and the difficulty level is easy.
  • Herb and mustard roasted salmon with summer vegetable salad contains 441 calories, prep time is 20-30 minutes with a difficult level of easy.
  • Crispy parmesan chicken with heirloom cherry tomato pasta has 902 calories, prep time is 20-30 minutes and the difficulty level is medium.
  • Barbecued chicken burgers with zucchini fries has 700 calories, prep time is 30-40 minutes and the difficulty level is medium.

Ingredients

When you look at each dinner, you will see recipe details. The recipe details shows the exact ingredients in each dinner kit. You will see the word pantry next to a few ingredients. These pantry ingredients are what most people have in their pantry and you will not receive that ingredient in your Plated dinner kit. For example, the herb and mustard roasted salmon dinner kit will not contain the following ingredients,

  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil

All other ingredients, including the salmon, are included in your dinner kit. Other ingredients that are usually assumed to be in your pantry and not sent with your dinner kits are milk, eggs, butter, and vegetable oil.

The day before your dinner kit arrives, Plated will send you an email with the exact ingredients you will need to have on hand. 

Past Dinner Menus

A look at some of the past dinner menus will give you an idea of what kind of dinner kits you can expect from Plated.

  • Tilapia fish tacos with corn-tomato salsa and avocado
  • Grilled flank steak with horseradish crema and potatoes with mint pesto
  • Chilled buckwheat noodles with salmon and toasted nori
  • Southwestern shrimp and grits with leeks and asparagus
  • London broil with blue cheese and sautéed spinach
  • Spice-rubbed steak with roasted baby carrots and Israeli couscous

Plated Membership

Plated has a membership you can buy for discounted dinner kit prices, but you do not have to be a member in order to buy their dinners. A Plated membership cost $10 per month and you can cancel at any time. As a member of plated, you will also get the following:

  • Plated will automatically send you dinners based on your previous orders.
  • You can always select your dinners or change your dinner menu any time.
  • You can also skip a week easily.
  • There are no monthly minimums and no commitments.

If you are not a member, you can still order as little or as many dinners as you would like.

Plated Dinner Kit Prices

Member dinner prices:

  • 4 dinner plates cost $12 per plate.
  • 6 dinners or more cost $10 per plate.

Non-member dinner prices:

  • 4 dinner plates cost $15 per plate.
  • 6 plus dinners or more cost $14 per plate.

You can also get a free dinner kit when you refer friends using your Plated referral number.

Minimum Orders

Each dinner plate is a meal for one person. As a minimum, you can order 4 plates of one meal or 2 plates of two meals. There is no maximum to how many plates or recipes you can order.

Plated Delivery Areas

At this time, Plated only delivers in the Northeast U.S. as far south as Washington, D.C. and they also deliver to all of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan and major cities including Chicago, St. Louis and Cleveland. To find out if they deliver in your area, enter in your zip code. Plated has plans to expand their delivery area throughout the United States.  Plated ships your dinner kits via Periship, which is the perishable division of FedEx.

Plated Shipping Rates

Plated does not charge shipping fees for their meals. All shipping costs are priced into the meal costs. 

Plated Press and Customer Comments

Plated has been written about in major publications including The New York Times, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. You can read these articles from their press page.

A couple of customer comments from Influenster.com include:

  • "I have tried this service via a gift from a friend - I cannot recommend this service enough. Plated is more than a grocery delivery - They curate a gourmet experience so that you actually feel like you're learning while you're cooking. Fresh ingredients - Was a little worried about delivery, as I am not in a doorman building, but it was there waiting on my doorstep in a cold box!"
  • "My aunt told me about this a while ago & invited me over to have dinner with her, It was the best dinner I ever had, The steak was fantastic, very juicy. The veggies were very very fresh. The next day we had chicken, very tender, awesome taste! I would def. give this to someone as a gift & I can't wait to get my food as well."

Plated chef Elana Karp

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a company that will send you the recipes and the ingredients in the exact portions you will need once per week. They were founded in 2012 by Ilia Papas, Matt Salzberg, and Matthew Wadiak. They are located in Brooklyn, New York and you can contact them at contact@blueaprom.com.

How Blue Apron Works

Blue Apron is a once a week subscription service that will send you enough food and pre-measured ingredients for three meals per week. Blue Apron's subscriptions works the following way,

  • You select which subscription plan you want and for how many people.
  • There is no commitment and you can cancel at any time before the weekly cutoff.
  • Their food is of high quality and usually from local suppliers.
  • Blue Apron delivery is free and they deliver your food on the same day each week.

Blue Apron will supply you with detailed recipes and most of the raw ingredients you will need to cook your meals. The only foods they will not send are ingredients that are found in most homes such as salt, pepper, and olive oil.

All of Blue Apron's recipe preparation time should be 35 minutes or less. One meal is a serving size and has between 500 and 700 calories. 

Blue Apron Subscription and Prices

Blue Apron has two subscriptions, a meat and fish subscription and a vegetarian subscription. Their two person subscription includes,

  • Everything you need to cook 3 meals per week for 2 people.
  • Cost per meal is $9.99. There is no tax and no delivery costs.
  • The weekly cost is $59.94 per week.
  • You can cancel your subscription at any time with 6 days notice.

The Blue Apron subscription cost for 4 people is $119.88 and the cost for 6 people is $179.82.

Blue Apron Recipes and Meals

Their chefs design gourmet recipes for you to cook and enjoy in your home. Some of their meat and fish recipes include,

  • Salmon burgers and corn on the cob with basil butter
  • Grilled shrimp cocktail with asparagus and eggplant
  • Pulled chicken sliders with homemade pickles and Mexican style corn
  • Poached salmon with sautéed shitake mushrooms, sugar snap peas and red rice

Vegetarian recipes include,

  • Fresh pasta primavera
  • Rigatoni alla Norma
  • Quinoa stuffed poblanos with mole sauce and green beans
  • Fresh pea and ricotta ravioli with lemon brown butter

Blue Apron Delivery Area

Blue Apron delivers to most areas east of the Mississippi River and parts of Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. 

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh will send you the recipes and all of the ingredients you will need to cook your own meals. Hello Fresh has chefs to create great recipes and nutritionists that help with creating healthy meals. You can call Hello Fresh at 1-800-733-2414, Monday - Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

How Hello Fresh Works

Hello Fresh is also a subscription service that will supply you with the recipes and fresh ingredients for 3 meals per week. You can choose from 5 different recipes per week. The ingredients that Hello Fresh sends you are pre-measured and fresh.

The only ingredients Hello Fresh will not send are the food products most people have at home like butter, salt, pepper, sugar, and olive oil. Each meal's preparation time is approximately 30 minutes and the calories range from 400 to 800 calories per meal. 

Hello Fresh Subscription and Prices

Hello Fresh offers two different subscriptions, the classic box and the vegetarian box. You can choose three meals out of their 5 recipes each week. At this time, Hello Fresh cannot offer choices with their vegetarian subscription. A classic box subscription starts at $69 per week for two people and the vegetarian subscription starts at $59 per week for two people and the shipping is always free.

Hello Fresh subscription prices are as follows:

  • 3 Classic Meal Box for two people - $69
  • 3 Classic Meal Box for four people - $129
  • 3 Classic Meal Box for six people - $179
  • 3 Vegetarian Meal Box for two people - $59
  • 3 Vegetarian Meal Box for four people - $109
  • 3 Vegetarian Meal Box for six people - $149

Hello Fresh Meals and Recipes

Some of the recipes and meals you can choose from in the Classic Box include,

Recipes and meals in the Vegetarian Box include,

Hello Fresh Delivery Areas

Hello Fresh delivers to most areas east of the Mississippi River and portions of Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. 

Additional Information
Plated
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Blue Apron
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