NEW YORK — On June 1 Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct an initial public offering at an unspecified date. The menu planning, meal delivery company hopes to raise $100 million in capital to pay down debt, support its efforts to continue to add scale and become a leader in the nascent meal kit delivery market.
Currently, Blue Apron is a home menu planning service that delivers the ingredients consumers may cook to create meals that are perceived as gourmet. The company has positioned itself as a solutions provider for people who find the menu planning and subsequent grocery shopping required to buy the ingredients a hassle, and don’t want to eat out at restaurants all the time.
“We have reimagined the traditional grocery business model and developed an integrated ecosystem that employs technology and expertise across many disciplines,” the company said in the S.E.C. filling. “Our supply-demand coordination activities — demand planning, recipe creation, recipe merchandising and marketing — drive our end-to-end value chain.
“We gather and infer information about our customers’ tastes, food preferences and order behavior to forecast near-term and long-term demand. We also manage and influence demand, including through our content, proprietary software tools and e-commerce experience.
“For example, our flexible recipe design process allows us to adjust recipes close to the time of delivery, enabling us to coordinate customer preferences with expected ingredient supply to help mitigate supply chain risks. Because our customers select recipes instead of specific ingredients, we can make adjustments while maintaining a consistent, high-quality customer experience.”
While the company is best known for its meal delivery service, it offers two additional services. Blue Apron Wine is a direct-to-consumer wine delivery service, and Blue Apron Market is an e-commerce marketplace featuring cooking tools, utensils and pantry items.
This past March, Blue Apron entered into an agreement to acquire the BN Ranch meat company, a supplier of beef, poultry and lamb. In the filing, the company said management believes the acquisition will give Blue Apron an opportunity to leverage BN Ranch into a high-quality brand that may be sold through additional channels.
The company’s infrastructure consists of its headquarters in New York City, a customer service center in Austin, Texas, and fulfillment centers in Richmond, Calif., Jersey City, N.J., and Arlington, Texas.
“We believe that our current fulfillment center facilities are adequate to meet our immediate needs but cannot accommodate significant expansion,” the company said in the filing. “We are completing the build out of a new fulfillment center in Linden, N.J., and have entered into a lease for another new fulfillment center in Fairfield, Calif., which is currently under construction, the company said.
“Upon completion of our new fulfillment centers in Linden, N.J., and Fairfield, Calif., we anticipate that such fulfillment centers, together with our Arlington, Texas, fulfillment center, will comprise our primary fulfillment operations for the foreseeable future.”
Blue Apron is evaluating what it will do with the centers in Jersey City and Richmond.