If there is an industry that’s growing fast, it’s definitely the meal kit industry. There are new companies and brands entering the market all the time, but in this review, we are going to compare two of the largest meal kit delivery services in the US today: Home Chef and Plated. They have a lot of similarities but there are significant differences too. So let’s get stuck into our comparison!
How many plans do they offer?
Home Chef offers total flexibility, with delivery plans for 2, 4 or 6 people. There is a minimum requirement of 2 dishes each week, yet there is no maximum limit.
On the other hand, Plated has 3 meal plan options, for 2, 3 or 4 people. Each of these plans has a selection option of 2, 3 or 4 recipes each week.
What variety of dishes do they provide?
Plated offers an impressive range of 20, for any plan you choose. The meals variety includes options for low calories, low carb, gluten free friendly, stovetop only, grill and even two deserts every week.
In contrast, Home Chef is not far behind with 17 dishes each week to choose from. This includes 14 classic-style dinners, and another 3 no-cooking-required lunch dishes that take just 5 minutes to prepare. Among the Home Chef meals, you will be able to find vegetarian options, low calories, low carb meals, express meals and more. Home Chef also offers a “Customize It” feature to most of their meals – a unique feature that gives you the option to change, double or upgrades the protein in those meals.
Both companies have a nicely diverse range in the cuisines available, such as meat, pork, poultry, fish, seafood and vegetable-based dishes.
How tasty are they?
All dishes we tested from Home Chef and Plated were truly delicious. Classic meals are the name of the game with Home Chef, yet they always add an interesting twist. The dishes are usually simple to prepare, and they also often give an option to add extra veggies, which is a nice, healthy bonus.
When it comes to Plated, the recipes are a tad more sophisticated, which is great for people who have more experience in the kitchen.
How is the quality of the ingredients?
‘High quality’ is a fitting descriptor for Home Chef and Plated. Farm fresh products are selected on a seasonal basis, and this sometimes includes organic ingredients. Home Chef is renowned for working with top quality farms that provide the freshest ingredients, such as Paysan Breton Butter, vegetables and herbs from ‘World Wide Farms’, and sustainably sourced seafood from ‘Sea to Table’.
Returning to Plated, the company claims to deliver meats that are 100% free of antibiotics, hormone-free beef, and seafood and fish that is sourced sustainably in every possible instance.
What about the packaging?
Home Chef and Plated are on equal, and excellent, footing when it comes to the packaging of deliveries. Meals arrive in purpose-designed carton boxes that are well labeled. The meal kits are organized and properly arranged, with every dish packaged individually. This makes it much easier for you as you won’t need to do any sorting – it has all been done already. Both services package their meats and refrigerated proteins at the base of the box with sufficient ice. This way, the box can wait on your doorstep safely for a few hours, which means more convenience for you.
How about the app and website?
The app and website of both Home Chef and Plated are easy to use, logical and well organized. You can do everything you need to manage your account and activity online, including initial registering of your account, selecting or adjusting your meal plan, choosing your dietary preferences, or editing your payment details and method.
What are the terms & conditions of the plans?
Home Chef and Plated both operate on a subscription only basis, and there is no option for a one-time order. Both companies let you skip weeks, so there is some flexibility. You also have a certain amount of flexibility for choosing your best delivery day. Plated makes it easier to cancel your account, and it can be done online too on the website or app. In contrast, with Home Chef, you can freeze your account, but you’ll need to access your account page on the website to do it.
What add ons do they offer?
There’s a great range of add-ons with Home Chef, such as:
- No-cooking lunch meals that take 5 minutes to prepare, at only $4.95 per serving.
- Smoothies with a different flavor available every week, for $4.95 per smoothie.
- Basket of seasonal fruit at $4.95 per basket.
- Kitchenware items, such as pots, pans, knives and other utensils.
In contrast, Plated has 2 dessert options every week, with different recipes each time. A delicious extra option at $8 each.
So, what’s the final verdict?
Although they appeal to different customer types, both Home Chef and Plated are terrific meal kit services for everyday dinners. Home Chef is ideal for those who love classic, traditional recipes yet with a twist, and of course, not too difficult to prepare. Plated, on the other hand, is great for ‘foodies’ who love to cook, and want to expand their repertoire with more challenging experiences in the kitchen.
At the end of the day, we prefer Home Chef! The meals just delicious and fun, and much easier to cook then the Plated alternative. Moreover, the cost of each meal is more attractive.