Monday, December 2, 2019

Mourning the Loss of My Favorite Meal Delivery Kit Service


Last night, my husband and I made our last meal from Plated, our favorite home meal delivery kit merchant.  (As readers may recall, I have been a meal kit delivery fan for quite a while.  See here, here, and here.)  Plated announced that it would cease producing meal kits for home delivery last month.  The message I received from Plated, which arrived a full week after pubic announcement had been made of the closure of the home delivery business, was simple.

To our loyal customer,

Just in case you haven’t heard, Plated will be closing its subscription business. Our last boxes will be shipped on November 26, just in time for Thanksgiving. Please log into your account to manage your subscription at any time before that, or contact us if you have any questions.

Plated is part of the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including many of your favorite grocery store brands across the country, like Safeway, Vons, Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco and more.

Over the next year, Albertsons Companies will be moving Plated's chef-inspired dinners, brunches and other delicious recipes to its family of stores.

You might not live near one of the stores that offers Plated, but that may change in the future. Please know we have enjoyed serving you for the past 7 years.

Forever grateful,
The Plated team

A true "loyal customer" (and I have been one) should receive notice of a business closure roughly simultaneously with any public announcement as a matter of courtesy (at the least).  But I will leave discussion of that for another day.

It seems significant to note from Plated's message to me (and its public disclosures) that Plated meal kits are not, apparently, going the way of the dodo.  They will continue to exist, but not for home delivery.  Of course, home delivery has been an important part of the draw of this service for me and my husband.  We do not have an Albertsons Companies store anywhere near us.

The press on this business closure has covered a range of related issues, including (as one might predict) prognostications on the overall sustained profitability of meal delivery kit businesses.  One online outlet reports that "in recent months, it seems the tide has turned against meal kits, with countless headlines saying they’ve 'fizzled,' or worse, are 'doomed to fail' or already 'DOA.'"  Another observes that "[t]he bloom is definitely off the rose for mail order meal kits. Blue Apron, a pioneer in the business, continues to limp along with dismal results. A report earlier this year from Nielsen said that sales of meal kits grew with in-store retail being the engine for meal kit growth."  I certainly hope that reports of the industry's death are premature (if not, as Mark Twain once said, "greatly exaggerated").  But I understand it has been hard to make the business model sustainable.

In any event, in honor of our years of great service (and super recipes) from Plated, I am posting a picture of the meal we made last night (Chicken-Avocado Burgers with Lemon Aioli and Sautéed Haricots Verts).  It was delicious.  And we had fun making and eating it together.

Farewell, dear Plated.  Alas, we knew you well and enjoyed our time with you.  I hope others continue to enjoy your recipes and convenience by purchasing your kits in supermarkets.

Food and Drink, Joan Heminway | Permalink


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