5 NYC meal kit delivery startups making dinnertime easier

by Fergal Gallagher
June 1, 2016

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Photo: Blue Apron

In an on-demand economy where more and more services are just a tap away, NYC is getting back to basics when it comes to on-demand food. And, strangely, in a city where kitchens can often be a luxury, it’s the startups where customers need to roll up their sleeves and do the cooking themselves that are the ones to watch. We've rounded up the top five meal kit delivery startups in NYC.


Customers receive a weekly box of ingredients that are seasonal and fresh, all meat is raised without antibiotics and seafood is sustainable. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous in the kitchen, Plated offer an option to takes things up a notch and order from the Chef’s table. The high-end ingredients mean a two-person plan for three days costs $72.


Blue Apron is just three years old, but has already announced it’s delivering over one million meals per month and is valued at more than $2 billion. It delivers the raw ingredients and instructions to cook complete meals in less than 35 mins to cook. Each meal should contain 500 - 700 calories and you can choose a weekly two-person plan or a family plan (four servings). They promise fresh, seasonal ingredients from family-run businesses. A two-person plan for three days costs $59.99 ($9.99 per meal). A value-add that many of its competitors don’t have is a wine pairing program.


Customers can choose from a classic box or a veggie box and advertised recipes take up to 45 mins to cook. The startup has an in-house dietician and their meals have clear nutritional values listed including fat, carbohydrates and protein values as well as the standard calorie count.


Quinciple delivers a box of food weekly with recipes, but the key difference is that the ingredients are not pre-portioned, and there’s multiple options for how you use your ingredients. It’s the farmer’s market delivered to your door, so high quality, seasonal and sustainable is key. A subscription for a weekly delivery is $49.90 per box.


 If the cooking seems too much for you but you like the idea of a farm-to-table approach to your meals, then Portable Chef may be more your style. Customers fill in their food preferences, dietary goals and likes and dislikes (i.e. vegetarian looking to lose weight who likes root vegetables but dislikes mushrooms) to customize their meals. At $32 for a serving of lunch or dinner, and a $22 delivery charge for Manhattan and Brooklyn, this might not be an option for every night of the week.


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