In 2014, Christina Bognet, Daniel Nelson, and Stedman Blake Hood founded a food delivery company called PlateJoy. The goal then was to provide customers with good eating options without resorting to fast food or take-out. But now, the company is undergoing a shift in direction to help people with their health and weight loss goals.
The new PlateJoy still is all about healthy food, but it’s going to be more personalized for the user’s dietary preferences. It’s still a delivery platform, but as Bognet described it, it will be “more sophisticated with food.” She told VentureBeat that her team noticed that while the goal was to get people cooking, there were those who simply came to PlateJoy because “they wanted to lose weight and stick to a specific diet.”
Starting today, it’s all about a directional focus towards weight loss and health. Users can log in and fill out an online questionnaire to receive personalized deliveries. It’s going to ask what your goals are, if you have any specific diet you’re undertaking, is there a specific weight you’re targeting, and more. Then, you decide when you want the ingredients delivered.
Are you looking for food that’s low in carbohydrates? Perhaps gluten free? Vegan? Kid friendly? All of these options and more are catered to by PlateJoy.
The packages delivered by the company will have fresh ingredients, delivered locally from Whole Foods, and with just enough packaging to ensure that there’s no waste.
PlateJoy also uses a waste-reduction algorithm that will analyze ingredients across all the order’s recipes in order to prevent ordering more than needed for all your meals. There’s also a digital pantry that will let you know what you have in the kitchen, how much, and whether or not it’s still good.
Lastly, if you have a food allergy or just absolutely cannot stand a particular ingredient, PlateJoy now has a feature that will let you exclude it from your meal.
Bognet and her cofounders sought to redirect PlateJoy in order to better address their target user: the modern person who monitors what they put into their body.
Typically users will pay for the ingredients plus an $8 fee, but Bognet says the exact amount will vary according to the dietary plan that is chosen. Prior to delivery, the company will provide an estimate on what you could wind up paying.
Existing PlateJoy users have already been enrolled in the new option. You’ll have to complete the personalization quiz to receive the proper meals. There is no monthly subscription cost: You just pay for the groceries and the $8 fee per delivery.
Backed by Y Combinator, PlateJoy is hoping to rival the likes of incumbents Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. Although they are giants in the space, Bognet discounts them, saying that the current market leaders aren’t able to tap into behaviors of the modern consumer.
Prior to this pivot, the company had raised at least $1.7 million in funding from SherpaCapital, Vayner/RSE, Foundation Capital, Basset Investment Group, 500 Startups, and others. It also was a part of the 500 Startups accelerator in 2014.