PlateJoy and Instacart Will Bring Nutritious Meals Straight to Your Fridge
What do you get when you mix nutrition app PlateJoy with online grocer Instacart? A match made in meal-delivery heaven.
The two companies announced Friday that they’re working together to offer same-day meal planning and delivery in Boston, beginning next week. PlateJoy, a Boston-founded site that turns users’ food goals, likes, and dislikes into personalized weekly menus, will add Instacart‘s local grocery shopping services to its portfolio. The service will cost $59 for six months, plus the cost of food and delivery fees.
“It’s like a personal shopper who magically stocks your shelves with food,” says PlateJoy founder and CEO Christina Bognet, an MIT grad. “Instacart saves users time, while we tell them exactly what to eat.”
Subscribers will start with a questionnaire that asks about their fitness and nutrition level, appetite, and family size, as well as any allergies, food preferences, or dietary restrictions. PlateJoy then churns out a custom, healthy menu, and sends it off to Instacart. Users can then open the app, summon each needed ingredient, and voilà—dinner’s on their doorstep later that day.
“On any given Tuesday night, you can say, ‘I want two breakfasts, a lunch, and three dinners for two people each,'” Bognet says. “It’s not at all restrictive on timing. It’s like On Demand.”
Bognet says that flexibility sets PlateJoy apart from other meal delivery services that typically send a week’s allotment of food—which can easily spoil when a user’s schedule changes. Bognet says her service is also more environmentally responsible, since it uses local grocers, instead of shipping through FedEx.
“All the food is fresh and won’t waste excessive amounts of packaging, since it doesn’t have to go cross-country,” she says. “We have a digital pantry algorithm that tells us how much, say, cinnamon you have. Then we’ll plan meals that strategically use cinnamon at different times before you have to go out and buy more spices.”
PlateJoy will also offer more variety than competing services, Bognet says, since it has an entire grocery store at its disposal. “Companies like HelloFresh have, say, 40 standardized ingredients that they send out to all their customers,” she says. “But we have everything at your local Whole Foods, and it’s all fresh, so there’s so much more capacity for personalization.”
For Bognet, the move is more than just a business innovation—it’s an opportunity to improve public health. She hopes the new PlateJoy will help propel Boston into America’s top five healthiest cities.
“There are a lot of statistics out there about weight, diabetes, and major health issues in the U.S.,” Bognet says. “A service like this could bring those numbers down.”