Blue Apron's kitchen nightmare: Amazon reportedly in the house

18 July, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • An Amazon Fresh Pickup location in Seattle. Amazon Technologies an Amazon subsidiary filed a July 6 trademark

Amazon.com (AMZN) may be planning a service that rivals Blue Apron (APRN), sending shares of the popular meal kit provider to new lows.

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Blue Apron already faces competition from similar startups as well as grocery delivery services now offered by Amazon's Prime service and Whole Foods' partnership with Instacart Inc. "You be the chef", according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This includes fruit salads, vegetable salads and soups. The service will provide "prepared food kits... ready for cooking and assembly as a meal", according to Amazon's trademark application, which was filed on July 6.

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Shares of the newly-public meat kit company dived again Monday morning following news that Amazon had applied to trademark the phrase, "We do the prep". Amazon's interest in meal kits directly undermines that pitch. "The application also mentions "...frozen, prepared and packaged meals and food kits consisting primarily of grains, rice noodles, pasta or bakery products..." It seems like the next logical step for Amazon's grocery ambitions, and this all points to the fact that Blue Apron doesn't own a competitive advantage in an industry with low barriers to entry - not something investors are looking for. In fact, just days after Amazon filed the trademarks, Blue Apron's stocks plummeted, falling by at least 10 percent (though any correlation is purely speculative). A request for comment to Amazon wasn't immediately returned. But the industry still remains small, with only about 5 percent of USA households using the kits, according to market research firm The NPD Group. And while you may be lamenting Blue Apron's current status as a brand new competitor of Amazon, remember: it could happen to absolutely anybody and there's nothing you can do about it. Amazon has also experimented with food delivery through AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service offered to Prime members for a monthly fee of $14.99.

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