Blue Box vs Red Box; a boxed food Showdown
City living is the land of instant gratification in regards to nourishment. There are so many things that can be delivered. We have Fresh Direct for our groceries, we have Seamless for our take-out, and we even have Postmates for every other food craving in between.
So in a world where the struggle has been taken out of every food related problem, where do we go from there?
Welcome the new hybrid of feeding services that is equal parts healthy and educational, while still catering to those lazy bones who would like to keep their meals thought- free and in home.
If you haven't seen them, I would be surprised. The Red Box (Plated) or The Blue Box (Blue Apron) have been all I see lately in my apres work elevator rides. 2 services: slightly different in pricing and format, same end goal; make it yourself.
Intrigued by both, I decided to enter into my own little meal challenge. 3 days of meals from each. Who came up on top?
Both Blue Apron and Plated are meal delivery services where x amount of portions of food are provided with the recipe and all of the ingredients needed to create a healthy, home cooked meal from scratch. Both pride themselves on only using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, being environmentally conscious, and offering flexible reasonably priced meal plans. That, however is where the similarities end
Blue Apron was a little less moolah, but you are not given the option to choose your meals. You select your likes and then it is a surprise as to what shows up at your door. The first available option for delivery was 2 weeks out, so it wasn't instant gratification
Plated was a little bit more cashish, but you can choose the meals that you want. Each dish was created by a gourmet chef and it tells you a bit about their background. With Plated, I had almost instantaneous delivery (ordered on a Friday and got delivered on a Monday).
Both tell you the calorie count (keep it down, id rather not know), what was included, and what you would need (water for boiling, utencils you need, etc).
From Plated, I noticed the portions were a touch larger, all the ingredients I needed were included, (with the exception of salt, pepper, and water). Directions were also a little easier to follow. I made Fish Tacos, Chicken Paillard, and Skirt Steak. All recipes tasted delicious. Only strike against Plated was that the quinoa didn't cook right. I boiled for about 45 minutes and it was still hard as a rock.
As far as Blue Apron goes, they were good, but not good enough. All the recipes called for garlic, and none of them had it provided. I had to go out to the store- defeating the whole purpose of this service; Strike 1. Strike 2 was that things weren't clearly labeled as to which dish they were for, i.e. " Parsley for Hanger Steak". Last strike was their containers. They didn't put the honey in an appropriate container, and when I opened the bag of seasonings, it was all over everything. I was not only out of honey, but sticky all over.
I don't want to be all negative towards Blue Apron. You gave it the old College try. The recipes are amazing! I will for sure recreate the Kung Pao Chicken Tacos, and the Drum over Cheese Grits. YUM. I just am hoping this acts as constructive criticism. I know that they are more widely used, so I think they should take some tips from Plated. They may be minor league compared to you now, but they are coming to get you!
Congrats Plated- you are the winner of this blog that may reach 15 people!
Below are some links for discounts off your first orders :o)