Blue Apron Still Losing Customers, Revenue

Pioneering meal kit company withdraws target for fiscal 2022
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Blue Apron's number of customers fell by 7.7% in the third quarter.

Pioneering meal kit provider Blue Apron is continuing to lose customers as pandemic-related demand for its meal kits keeps cooling off.

In reporting third quarter earnings on Nov. 7, the company withdrew its previously announced revenue growth target of 7% to 13% for fiscal 2022.

[Read more: "Blue Apron Expands 3rd-Party Strategy With Amazon"]

For the period ended Sept. 30, the company said net revenue was flat year-over-year and down 11.7% sequentially to $109.7 million. Blue Apron reported a loss of $25.8 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with a loss of $27.6 million, or $1.17 a share, the prior year. 

Orders fell 12% year over year while the average order value rose 13.7% to $70.83. The average revenue per customer grew 8.6% year over year to $340. The number of customers fell by 7.7%.

The company said it remains focused on achieving adjusted EBITDA profitability in the future and will evaluate providing updated targets once the company has more certainty on its liquidity position.

"During the third quarter, we delivered record levels of Average Order Value and Average Revenue Per Customer," said Linda Findley, Blue Apron’s president and CEO. "These metrics are supported, in part, by expanded menu variety, including Ready to Cook meals along with seasonal offerings, which continue to resonate well with customers. We are working to balance the performance of our products with our response to inflation. Our focus is to provide value to our customers, while leveraging price and cost discipline to mitigate macro headwinds to target margin improvement over time.”

Blue Apron withdrew its previously announced revenue growth target as it awaits funds from major shareholder and entrepreneur Joseph Sanberg.

The company said costs of goods sold increased 90 basis points to 67.8% due to higher shipping and fulfillment packaging costs. However, the company is implementing measures to reduce costs and is evaluating financing and other alternatives to manage its liquidity.

Blue Apron in October had warned investors about missing its third-quarter revenue goal. The company reported a decline in customers and orders in the three-month period.

The underwhelming report from Blue Apron comes weeks after news broke that HelloFresh plans to close its Richmond, Calif., plant in December. 

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