PlateJoy: The Company That Makes Healthy Eating EASY
Although important, eating healthy is easier said than done. Using meal delivery services, like Freshly or Blue Apron, can be expensive, and preparing tasty, nutritious meals at home requires research, careful planning, and successful execution in the kitchen. There hasn’t been a solution that is both cost-effective and convenient…until now.
Founded in 2013 by Christina Bognet, PlateJoy is a San Francisco-based meal planning service that makes healthy eating easy for everyone. The company uses an online platform to recommend personalized meal plans for users based on their unique preferences and dietary restrictions. PlateJoy continues to grow in popularity and has a bright future ahead as a result of its strategic partnerships and broad appeal.
“Feel Great, Eat Better” – PlateJoy
PlateJoy makes healthy eating easier and less intimidating by providing carefully curated meal plans for users of all kinds. Using a “lifestyle quiz,” the platform collects more than 50 data points from customers to better understand their health goals and household needs. Through the quiz, users share personal information such as food allergies, preferred diets (e.g. Paleo, Whole 30, etc.), and how much time they have available to prepare meals at home. The platform then suggests a number of meals that all meet the user’s conditions. Customers choose which of the dishes they actually want to have that week and can also add their own recipes to the schedule.
After the meal plan is finalized, PlateJoy organizes a list of all of the ingredients that the user will need. This list can be sent directly to a local food delivery company or to a grocery store that offers curbside pick-up services. PlateJoy users also gain on-demand access to a nutrition coach and receive the nutritional information of every meal they are eating that week. On top of all of this, the platform remembers what ingredients have already been bought for past meals so that it doesn’t recommend any purchases before they are needed! This feature helps users avoid duplicative purchases and encourages resourceful grocery shopping. The platform costs $8/mo for unlimited meal plans or $19/mo for meal recommendations designed to tackle specific challenges, such as weight loss or diabetes prevention.
Growth Via Strategic Partnerships & Investor Funding
PlateJoy was founded in 2013 by Christina Bognet, an MIT graduate who worked as a healthcare consultant before deciding to go full-time with PlateJoy. The company is now based in San Francisco and has raised a total of $1.8M over 4 funding rounds from 16 investors. PlateJoy also participated in Y Combinator’s 2015 summer program, an experience that helped the startup build its value proposition around highly customized meal plans.
PlateJoy integrates with several other platforms to enhance the overall user experience and promote healthy living more broadly. In the 35 markets where InstaCart exists, PlateJoy users can opt to have their groceries delivered same-day right to their front doors. These short-term deliveries prevent InstaCart from having to use wasteful packaging that is common with other meal delivery services. PlateJoy also syncs with Fitbits so that healthy eating can be tracked alongside physical activity, a partnership that has helped the platform build its user base and reputation in the healthy living industry.
Keeping It Simple
This Untold story reminds us that operational models don’t have to be complex to be successful. At a time when meal delivery services are cropping up everywhere, PlateJoy is intentionally choosing to keep it simple. Rather than mimicking the more complicated businesses of your competitors, try offering a simpler solution that addresses a piece of the overall customer experience in a differentiated way. This may be enough to convince users to convert to your service or product!
Rather than preparing meals in advance and managing the challenging logistics of sending boxes of refrigerated ingredients, the platform only suggests meals and then helps users get what they need so that they can prepare it themselves. PlateJoy is really just providing information in a way that is radically simple, organized, and personalized. For those of you who have had a hard time eating well or holding steady to a healthy eating plan, give PlateJoy a try!