If you’re a double-income household with no children or a with young children, you statistically find food subscription companies like Plated or Blue Apron very appealing. These two start-ups have the biggest market share of this rapidly growing “curated food” segment, and their business model is a simple one: the convenient delivery of boxes of fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and restaurant-quality recipes to your doorstep. What’s not to love?
As far as fresh ingredient and recipe delivery services in the U.S. go, Blue Apron is the biggest, delivering over 800,000 meals per month to 85 percent of the country. It’s easy to sign up online for weekly boxes packed with just enough ingredients and step-by-step recipes for three meals for two, four, or six people. Including shipping, each meal is $9.99 per person per meal.
Some members of our Charlotte marketing agency prefer Plated, though. You can choose which meals you’ll receive in your box, and the food is very inventive and somewhat regionally sourced (Nello’s pasta sauce from Raleigh, for example). As you might expect, Plated costs more ($15 per person, per meal, including shipping), but if you buy a monthly membership, the price drops to $12 per person, per meal.
Another point of difference between these two companies is their approach to content marketing.
Both have “food” blogs which, like the gazillion other food blogs out there in the stream, are chock full of beautifully shot and styled food. Blue Apron’s blog, interestingly enough, is a little light on actual instruction and heavy on inspiration – which makes sense since you do have to pay for their recipes.
Plated’s The Dish follows more closely to the basic tenets of good content marketing. The content is less about “our product” and more about “your problem.” A lot more recipes are featured, in addition to mouthwatering descriptions and full-color food porn.
In what looks like a classic David/Goliath match up, it will be interesting to see what kind of inroads these two food-delivery startups will have against brick-and-mortar grocery stores AND the growing food delivery businesses of Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Google Shopping Express. If I were a venture capitalist, I wouldn’t overlook the fact that with 31 million foodies in the US (source: Packaged Facts), consumer demand for a easy, convenient, and yummy home cooking experience will only continue to grow.