It’s hard to think back to a time before meal kits were a viable option for time-stressed consumers, but Blue Apron was there at the very dawn of the concept, and the New York-based company is now celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. One reason for its longevity in this space, according to Blue Apron President and CEO Linda Findley, is its focus on continuing education.
“We named our company Blue Apron as an homage to chefs around the world who wear blue aprons when learning to cook,” explains Findley. “A blue apron symbolizes lifelong learning, a value that permeates everything we do. We make incredible home cooking accessible by creating unique experiences built on original recipes; quality, pre-portioned ingredients; and engaging content. Along the way, as we introduce new flavors, new ingredients, new techniques, and tried-and-true cooking fundamentals, our customers keep learning.”
Other reasons for the company’s success cited by Findley are its “culinary authority,” resulting in “unique chef-curated recipes with ingredient quality that rivals any of our competitors,” and direct relationships with most of its suppliers that enable it to provide a great value for customers every week.
“We also continue to offer our customers the right blend of variety, flexibility and choice,” she notes. “Over the past two years, we’ve focused on evolving our product offerings to give them the right variety to meet their needs in the kitchen. Today, we have over 60 menu options, compared with just 17 in 2019. Not only can customers choose from a variety of recipes, they can also customize and add on select menu items. For example, they can turn a dish with meat into a vegetarian option, double the size of select Two-Serving recipes, or add a side salad, appetizer and/or dessert.”
In another smart strategy, the company expanded to other e-commerce platforms, such as Walmart.com, which allowed it to give customers the option to purchase a Blue Apron box without a subscription and expanded its product visibility to a potential pool of customers who may not have considered Blue Apron otherwise.