Behind Blue Apron’s Strategic Path Forward

Meal kit company has future plans to diversify its offerings
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
a person holding a sign
Blue Apron's forward-looking goals focus on sustainable growth and profitability.

From its distribution center in Linden, N.J., Blue Apron executives hosted the company’s inaugural Investor Day on May 10 and shared its plans to achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability in 2023 as well as its new Next Course strategy. 

Blue Apron’s strategy outlines a path to sustainable growth, profitability and shareholder return with a focus on curated food experiences and an expansion beyond traditional meal kit subscriptions. The company is also aiming to optimize tech and operational infrastructure to deliver a scalable e-commerce experience while also executing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives that prioritize customers, employees and shareholders. 

The company will also foster consumer growth through targeted marketing spend, product innovation, add-ons and non-subscription offerings.

“This is an exciting time for Blue Apron as we step into the next phase of our turnaround,” said Linda Findley, president and CEO of New York-based Blue Apron. “With the customer at the center of everything we do, we are moving beyond the three pillar strategy that we introduced shortly after I joined Blue Apron in 2019.

“The next phase of our strategy, which we have titled The Next Course, will be focused on delivering long-term sustainable growth, and sets our sights on profitability at the adjusted EBITDA level in 2023,” Findley continued. “It also positions our ESG programs as an enabler of our long-term ambitions, simultaneously driving accountability to the environment, customer growth and employee engagement.”

CFO Randy Greben shared information about Blue Apron’s financial outlook over the next two years, including adjusted EBITDA profitability in fiscal year 2023, 500,000 customers in 2024 and positive operating cash flow in 2024.

“Our strengthened balance sheet positions us to execute against the next evolution of our strategic plan with targeted marketing spend, continued investment in product innovation, and the build out of other revenue streams via partnerships, add-ons and marketplace offerings,” Greben said. “We believe we can not only make meaningful progress on our path to profitability, but can do so while staying true to our guiding principles to serve all of our stakeholders.”

On May 9, Blue Apron shared its Q1 financial report, posting a 9% decline in year-over-year net revenue. The loss was greater than the company expected and was attributed to fewer orders and customers over the past 12 months, as well as higher food prices and labor costs.

The company’s leadership team was optimistic about the outlook for the rest of 2022, though, thanks to reaching its carbon neutrality goal and a fresh $70.5 million capital infusion at the end of the quarter and other aspects of its business.

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