NEW YORK — Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. has announced plans to begin selling prepared meal kits at retail. It will be the meal delivery company’s first foray beyond its subscription model.
“This new multi-channel offering is part of our strategy to leverage the strength of our brand and the quality of our product to expand to new channels and new consumer segments,” the company said. “We continue to focus on our core product, where our innovation is guided by customer insights —our recent partnership with Whole30 and the launch of our Mediterranean Diet recipes are examples of how we're evolving our core product to address a variety of customer preferences and attitudes.”
With its announcement, Blue Apron is entering a crowded marketplace. Walmart, Inc., Bentonville, Ark., announced earlier this month to expand its prepared meal kits program from 250 stores to 2,000 by the end of the year. Walmart’s meal kits are made and assembled in-store daily, according to the company. Options include pre-portioned cooking kits, kits to accompany Walmart rotisserie chicken and kits that may be heated and served in less than 15 minutes.
This past December, Kroger Co., Cincinnati, expanded its Prep+Pared Meal Kits line to four divisions in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. The meal kits feature fresh, seasonal, prepped and measured ingredients and feed two adults. Prices range from $14 to $20.
And in July 2017, Amazon filed a trademark application for meal kits. The kits will be composed of “meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal…” The application also mentions “frozen, prepared and packaged meals and food kits consisting primarily of grains, rice noodles, pasta or bakery products…”
The tagline is, “We do the prep. You be the chef.”
“This new multichannel offering, which will make our brand more accessible to homes across the country, will provide the unique and consistent product experience that our customers have come to know and expect from us, including high-quality ingredients and chef-driven recipes,” Blue Apron said.