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Brief Published: 2 Jul 2014

Smart Family Meal Planning

Family dining

US start-up Gathered Table aims to make meal planning for families easier. The brainchild of former Starbucks executive Mary Egan, the online platform enables users to generate a menu of weekly meals based on specific taste preferences and food intolerances.

To use the service, which costs $10-$12.50 per month, members need to input their dietary profiles and food avoidances into the Gathered Table platform, as well as the type of food they like to cook, and how much time they have. They can then clip recipes into their personal recipe library, including those from a Gathered Table favourites listing, and specify the types of ingredients they typically have to hand.

The platform then generates a custom-designed menu of weekly meals, using a patented menu-maker algorithm, drawn only from recipes the user has personally selected. "Think of the way in which your Netflix or Pandora account works for you once you've put in some initial effort to set it up," explains the Gathered Table website.

The initiative also offers home delivery of menu ingredients from a supermarket or local farm. There is also a concierge service, where for $125, a cook will visit the user's home and help plan recipes, assess their food inventory, and generally maximise their user experience.

For additional insights into evolved eating habits within the modern family, as well as the challenges faced by multi-tasking mums, see The Foodie Household, part of our Modern Family Macro Trend.

For a wider view of family dietary habits set within the context of the austerity era, read Rebranding Budget.