Amazon Meal Kit Plans Deal Further Blow to Blue Apron

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Amazon Meal Kit Plans Deal Further Blow to Blue Apron

07/18/2017

Revelations that Amazon.com is taking a major dive into prepared food kits drove stock value down further for meal kit delivery company Blue Apron Holdings Inc., which went public late last month and has already face its share of setbacks, Bloomberg reported.

Starting at $10 upon Blue Apron's June 28 debut, shares sank as low as $6.51, a 35 percent drop since the IPO, upon reports of the Seattle-based company’s intended entrance, the news outlet said. The Amazon Technologies Inc. subsidiary filed March 6 to trademark a “Dinner for 2 in About 30 Minutes” logo, with a descriptor of “prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables, and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal.”

This isn’t the first time since its still-recent IPO that Blue Apron has suffered a blow: Its stock value already dropped 29 percent during its first nine trading days. Seattle-based Amazon’s June 16 offer of $13.7 billion to purchase Austin, Texas-based natural grocer Whole Foods Market almost certainly contributed to the setback.

Meal kits are big business and only becoming bigger: Market research firm Packaged Facts just revealed this week that kit-delivery services have rocketed to $5 billion in sales, proving their status as “a specialized sector but widely disruptive force in the food industry.” And although it appears like it’s finally making a big splash here, Amazon already has partnered with others for meal kits, including Tyson Foods for Tyson Tastemakers ready-to-cook meals, and Martha Stewart for her own meal kits, prepared by meal-delivery service Marley Spoon.

A number of other grocers sure to heat up competition against Amazon have recently entered the meal-kit space: In May, for instance, Cincinnati-based Kroger introduced its Prep+Pared line of 20-minute meals for two, while Lakeland, Fla-based Publix launched Aprons Meal Kits, which feed two to four people each.