Will Amazon be Blue Apron’s biggest competitor?
Amazon filed a trademark on July 6th for a service described as “We do the prep. You be the chef.” The application describes the service as akin to other meal prep services like Blue Apron, saying customers will be provided with “prepared food kits… ready for cooking.”
Last month, Amazon announced that it was acquiring supermarket chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The platform has been testing grocery delivery services since launching AmazonFresh in 2007, expanding to AmazonFresh Pickup and Amazon Go — a physical brick-and-mortar grocery Amazon is currently testing in Seattle without lines or checkout counters.
The trademark application says the meal kits will be frozen, prepared, and packaged kits that contain everything from meat to seafood to vegetables and seasonings, but will consist primarily of grains, rice, noodles, pasta, or bakery products. It also mentions a loyalty rewards program, consisting of points and coupons that can be issued to frequent users.
Blue Apron is currently the largest meal kit provider in the US, but since its initial public offering, shares have fallen; today they hit an all-time low below the $7 mark.
Groceries are one of the last hurdles in Amazon’s quest to sell us everything, and with the company’s inroads within this vertical over the past several years, meal kits are a natural evolution.