Blue Apron shares tumble after Amazon files for meal-kit trademark

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 18, 2017

The food industry is the latest market that Amazon is aggressively targeting.

The Amazon trademark, filed on 6 July, covers "prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables ... ready for cooking and assembly as a meal".

Based just on trademark filings and reported plans, Amazon's potential entry into the prepared meal kit market has had a significant impact on freshly-IPO'd Blue Apron's stock price. "The trademark application mentions "... customer loyalty rewards program for shoppers, namely, providing incentive award programs for customers through the issuance and processing of loyalty points and loyalty coupons for frequent use of participating company's goods and services..." and services related to the loyalty program. Chadd compared them favorably to other similar offerings from Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Sun Basket and Home Chef.

On Monday morning, Blue Apron's stock was falling more than 10 per cent, hitting an all-time-low below the $7 mark. Blue Apron holds the title as the largest meal-kit provider in the U.S., followed by Germany-based HelloFresh.

Amazon's already listing Meal Kits on its site.

But why would a grocery chain be a competitor to a meal-kit service?

Amazon's planned service is identical to the one offered by Blue Apron, one of the largest meal-kit delivery services in the United States. Turns out, not only were those rumors accurate, but Amazon is reportedly already selling its new Meal Kits to select Amazon Fresh customers. The ecommerce giant often spins up a business in a limited market first, as it has done with grocery pick up and delivery service and AmazonFresh prior to this, as well as its cashier-less retail shopping experience.

Given Amazon's intent to acquire Whole Foods, this move is wholly unsurprising.

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