- Best for those who like options
- Dessert available
- Lots of meals to choose from each week
- Exotic global cuisine
- Flexibility in meal number and frequency
- Not best for people who don’t like cooking
- Only delivers to 95% of the US.
- Minimal information on the source of ingredients
November 2022 update: Plated is no longer in business. This meal kit service was designed to connect people with gourmet-level dishes from famous chefs while providing the ingredients for a “simple assembly” at your doorstep. You may be familiar with their Shark Tank appearance where they put together a deal with none other than Mark Cuban in exchange for 5.6% of their company for $500,000. Nonetheless, between negotiation issues after the show, a buyout from Albertson, and supply chain issues, Plated stopped delivery services in 2019 but now offers certain meal kits in Albertson grocery stores as of 2020.
Don’t be afraid, if you are still looking for high-quality delicious meal kits that can be delivered straight to your door then we recommend reading our review on Blue Apron.
New York-based Plated has been dishing up “the perfect cooking experience” since 2012 with their fresh meal kit delivery service. Promising food you’ll love and the flexibility you crave, this little start-up has made it to the big time. It’s now one of the more well-recognized meal kit options on the market, holding its own with brands like HelloFresh and Blue Apron.
So what makes Plated different from the other guys and should you give it a taste? We take an in-depth look at the Plated meal kit to find out how it works and if it’s worth trying out:
Recipe Quality and Taste
When you order a meal kit, you have some standard expectations. You want to make dinner more simple and enjoyable. A big part of that is having a tasty meal to show for your hard-earned dollars. So how does Plated measure up to the quality and tastiness test?
How Tasty Are Plated Meal Kits?
Plated stands out as a meal kit company that really focuses on providing exotic global cuisine choices for their customers. Despite the novelty and variety of the menu, they make choosing your meals for the week super simple. There are options for special dietary considerations (more on this later) and featured popular recipes from past week’s’ menus. WIth Plated, you don’t have to guess what’s best.
Quality of Ingredients
Overall, we have to say the ingredients are of moderate quality. While Plated boasts to provide organic, locally sourced, sustainable ingredients “whenever possible,” there’s evidence to the contrary. Disappointments like wilted leaves were pretty common. There’s also rarely any information about the source of the produce and proteins, leading us to believe it’s probably nothing special.
Easy To Prepare
We’re throwing around “exotic” and “cuisine” but while these are gourmet meals, the clear, step-by-step instructions make avoiding a NAILED IT mishap very doable. The cooking times and difficulty ratings are pretty accurate, so if you’re looking for quick-and-easy, you can choose meals to make that happen.
Plated is touted as one of the most flexible meal kit options out there. So what options do you actually have?
Variety of Flavours
Every week you can choose from a large variety of seriously tasty meals, each from different ethnicities and with vastly different flavours. There are always 20 meals to choose from, including 2 desserts. That means tons of options each week and always new things to try.
We love their themed options, which focus around holidays. These help you make meals even more special with options like Crispy Flounder Po’Boys with Buttermilk Remoulade for Mardi Gras, and Classic Shepards Pie for St. Patrick’s Day.
Choose Your Servings and Frequency.
Your plan options are straightforward. On your first order, choose whether you would like to have 2, 3, or 4 servings per night for and if you would like enough delivered for 2, 3 or 4 nights of the week. The plans range from $9.95 to $11.95 per serving.
You can update the number of servings or number of meals you’d like each week to cater to your mood and schedule (with six day’s notice). You’re also able to select from 20 recipes including different protein and diet options.
Available Diet Plans
Plated has the following diet options available:
You can filter the 20 meal options to show choices that fit one of the above dietary concerns or filter for other preferences like:
- Protein type
- Popular past recipes
- New weekly recipes
- Stove-top only
The selection and filtering options make choosing your week’s menu very simple and dare we say…fun? With a single click, you can see the quick facts about each available meal option, including calories and cook time. You can also pull up more information about each meal including:
- A written description of the meal
- A rating of how hard/easy it is to prepare
- A list of what’s included
- A summary of what you’ll need at home
- Allergen details
- Macronutrients details per serve (fat, carbs, protein)
These details help you know exactly what you’re getting before it arrives. You’ll not only feel prepared but excited for the culinary experience.
Ordering a meal kit is awesome because you get to spend minimal time and energy thinking about what to make for dinner. The more that’s included in a meal kit, the easier our lives, and the happier we are.
Plated meal kits come in an insulated cardboard box, which is designed to keep contents fresh until midnight on the day of delivery. Inside that culinary cube, you’ll find pre-portioned ingredients; printed recipe cards with pictures, cooking time, and calories per serve; and frozen gel packs.
If you made good decisions when you ordered, your Plated meal kit may also include dessert! This is one of only a few meal kit companies that provides these options.
What’s Not Included
While almost everything you need is included, you’ll need to pitch in the cookware, oils, salt, pepper, and anything outside of the listed ingredients (should you want to modify the recipe). Make sure you have your knife and cutting board handy, too. Manual labour is not included. You’re still on the hook for slicing and dicing.
Luckily, your hard work will generally pay off with some leftovers. The portions are generous, with each meal being enough for two small children or one hungry adult.
Here’s where some of the downside to Plated starts to show.
Limited Service Area
Plated isn’t available in Canada and only delivers to 95% of the US. You’re out of luck if you and this meal kit in Hawaii, Alaska, or some parts of Texas.
You’ll pay additional for delivery or shipping unless your order is over $60. Is that what you’ll likely spend anyway? If you want less than six meals a week, any way you dice it, you’ll be paying extra for the “delivery” portion of the meal delivery service.
To hit this free delivery threshold, you’d need to order 2-3 servings three times a week or 4 servings twice a week. But for the first week you order, with your 25% discount, you need to up the number of meal kits to keep your free delivery. In week one, order 2 servings four times a week or 3-4 servings 3 times.
Inflexible Delivery Options
While you’re able to adjust your plan, meals, and delivery day from week to week, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Changes to a box must be made by noon, six days before that box’s scheduled delivery day.
In some areas, the kits are delivered by FedEx, others are delivered by courier. Both situations have a problematically large delivery window, extending as late as 8 pm. Sometimes kits arrive even later, occasionally never at all.
Requiring nearly a week’s notice to make changes and not getting meals until just before bedtime isn’t very convenient. But, the available Android and iPhone app might make your order management do-able.
Lacking Customer Service
We understand that things sometimes go wrong with any meal kit delivery service. Plated’s Customer Service is available by phone, 8am-12am EST, 7 days a week. You can also chat with a rep online 24/7. However, when kits are missing items, are late to show, or don’t meet expectations, keep your expectations for a timely and effective resolution low.
Plated cares about your health and the wellbeing of animals. They partner with sustainable fisheries, source pork and poultry raised without antibiotics, and choose beef that is raised with no added hormones.
Plated takes measures to protect the environment. They consistently provide seasonal meal options and consider the sustainable impact in choosing their packaging. Boxes are either lined with compostable brown jute or recycled blue denim insulation. Both materials are reusable and ethically disposable.
While they have made special considerations for sustainable packaging, there is still a lot of it in each disposable kit. It would be nice to see paper ingredient packaging instead of the oodles of plastic bags.
Value for Price
Plated meal kits start at $9.95 per serving. There is a slightly higher per-serving price for 2 servings per night (opposed to 3 or 4), at $11.95.
Plated is on-par with other meal delivery services as far as cost. If you value flexibility, choice, and have a bit of an adventurous foodie streak, this meal kit worth trying. If you’re looking for the most simple, affordable, and reliable option, this isn’t for you.
Conclusion: Is Plated Worth It?
Plated is a meal kit that lives up to the hype of offering a ton of options and reasonable flexibility. Plated may have more complicated recipes, but for the calibre of meal you get, it’s worth the effort on a couple nights per week.
The variety and tastiness of the meals will not disappoint. Although, the delivery and customer service might. You can try it out for yourself with 25% off your first 4 weeks.
Let us know what you think by leaving your own review below!