Blue Apron announced today that its meal kits will be made available for delivery in the New York area through a new partnership with Walmart-owned Jet.com. For Blue Apron, which has seen its stock price tumble since it went public last year, the Jet partnership marks another way the company is looking to revitalize its business through new and different retail avenues.
According to the press announcement, starting today, households across “most of” New York City, Jersey City and Hoboken can get Blue Apron meal kits delivered same or next day. The inclusion of Blue Apron’s meal kits is part of Jet.com’s recent site revamp and enhanced shopping experience for New Yorkers.
Blue Apron pretty much kicked off the mail order meal kit craze a few years back, but that particular business model is tough to sustain — for consumers, it’s not particularly convenient, it’s still a lot of work to prepare, and for companies, it’s logistically expensive. Blue Apron’s competition has pretty much all moved into grocery store aisles. Home Chef was acquired by Kroger. Plated was acquired by Albertsons. And while HelloFresh had it’s own IPO, it too is now selling through grocery stores.
For its part, Blue Apron began selling its kits in Costco earlier this year. Earlier this month, Blue Apron also started offering meal kits through food delivery service GrubHub (also only in New York). Now on Jet, Blue Apron will feature a rotating menu of two-serving recipes that range in price from $16.99 to $22.99.
With its stock price hovering at little more than a dollar, Blue Apron is able (or perhaps forced) to experiment more wildly with different approaches to moving more of its meal kits. Blue Apron’s recent moves are reminiscent of Chef’d, which we lauded here at The Spoon for its uninhibited approach to retail. Chef’d struck deals to put its meal kits in drug stores and office fridges… before it shut down. But its assets were picked up and Chef’d was re-born without the mail business to focus on retail outlets.
Along those lines, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Blue Apron announce even more partnerships across even more retail outlets before the end of the year.