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Plated Review, Is It Worth It?

Author: Andrew Smith

Plated is a cook-at-home meal subscription company delivering weekly boxes full of fresh, carefully portioned ingredients to doorsteps across the continental United States. Known for its unique recipes, high-quality carefully d ingredients and premium meal options, Plated is a popular if slightly more expensive way to cook quality meals yourself without any of the meal planning and grocery shopping that generally come along with home cooking.

Most families should find a lot to like from the company's rotating selection of nine weekly recipe options, which always include meat and fish dishes as well as vegetarian options. Whether it's seared redfish or Greek lamb tacos, wild mushroom pappardelle or white bean and escarole soup, Plated subscribers always get to decide just what they are having for dinner. If a little help in the kitchen sounds like a good thing, and if the price fits your budget, Plated is most definitely worth trying out for yourself.

Subscription Options and Prices

The Plated subscription model is pretty straightforward. A standard meal designed for two people costs $24, with a minimum subscription of two meals per week. You can add additional two-serving meals to your subscription up to a limit of seven meals per week. A two-meal subscription comes with a $6 shipping fee; larger subscriptions ship for free. Thus, a two-meal subscription is $54, while a three-meal plan feeding two people costs $72 and a four-meal plan costs $96. You can modify your menu for the week or pause or cancel your plan any time up to six days before your next box is scheduled to arrive. There are no change fees or cancellation charges.

Plated only offers recipes designed to feed two people. However, you can feed a family of four by adding a recipe to your weekly menu twice and combining the two sets of identical ingredients into one meal for four people. Using this method, a standard six-meal subscription would feed a family of four three times per week for a total cost of $144.

After deciding on your plan, you can let Plated select your meals for you or you can opt to make your own choices from the nine options on the weekly menu. The menu always offers seven standard recipes to choose from, including three vegetarian options. You can also choose from two premium Chef's Table recipes containing special cuts of meat or premium seafood. Chef's Table recipes are more expensive, costing up to $30 per person depending on the current market prices for the ingredients. Finally, two optional desserts are also available each week for $4 each. Items from the Chef's Table and dessert menus are available beginning in your second week with the program.

Other Details

Plated meals are shipped in insulated cartons with enough ice packs to keep all of the ingredients fresh up to 24 hours beyond the expected time of delivery. When you receive your weekly carton, you transfer the individually packed ingredients to your refrigerator immediately to maximize freshness. Each carton contains glossy, illustrated instruction cards to walk you through each recipe. Eggs, salt and pepper, and olive and vegetable oil are never included in shipments, so keep these items on hand in your kitchen. Calorie counts vary between 600 and 800 calories per serving.

Other Meal Subscription Services

The meal delivery market in the United States has seen plenty of competitors come and go in recent years. Two terrific companies have emerged at the top of the market alongside Plated: HelloFresh and Blue Apron. All three companies operate on the same basic model, delivering ready-to-cook meals to front doors across the country.

Plated has positioned itself as the premium product in the market, and its prices reflect that position. Both HelloFresh and Blue Apron offer most meals at a price below $10 per serving, while Plated charges $12 per serving for standard meals. Additionally, both HelloFresh and Blue Apron offer special family-style meal services, while Plated only offers standard two-person meals.

Although both Plated and Blue Apron provide plenty of vegetarian fare, HelloFresh is the only company that offers a meal service designed specifically for vegetarian subscribers. To learn more about the differences between the companies, spend some time browsing their online recipe listings to learn more about what kind of meals you can expect from each service.

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