Amazon or Blue Apron? Tech giant could soon deliver meal-kits — GeekWire

Amazon's possible entry into the meal-preparation kit market took a bite out of Blue Apron shares Monday

Amazon's possible entry into the meal-preparation kit market took a bite out of Blue Apron shares Monday

Amazon has sought to expand its food delivery business, AmazonFresh.

The Seattle-based company wants to trademark the logo "We do the prep. You be the chef".

The application, according to Justia, is for "prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal; Frozen, prepared and packaged meals consisting of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables; fruit salads and vegetable salads; soups and preparations for making soups".

Traditional grocers have already tapped into the meal-kit trend, opting to swim with the rising tide rather than against it.

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Last week, the top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives' antitrust subcommittee, David Cicilline, voiced concerns about Amazon's plan to buy Whole Foods, pushing for a hearing to look into the deal's impact on consumers.

But the flexibility and desire to innovate may not be enough to boost traditional grocers that will now compete with a legendary disruptor. Amazon has developed a reputation for doing just that with a variety of brands.

NPD says that with about 31 million households with Prime membership or access to one, "it makes sense that 52%of online grocery shoppers are Amazon Prime members". That said, with Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), it's hard for investors to simply shrug this trademark off.

Amazon, which has ventured beyond its original specialization in book to broader retail, has recently turned its attention to groceries and food.

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Brick-and-mortar grocers aren't the only entities in the cross hairs.

Amazon.com (AMZN) may be planning a service that rivals Blue Apron (APRN), sending shares of the popular meal kit provider to new lows. "This is a relatively small market at $4 billion, and a total addressable market of $36 billion annually by 2026, so there isn't a lot of money to go around for different providers", he continued, adding that the total USA grocery market now stands at $750 billion per year. Amazon's interest in meal kits directly undermines that pitch. That's going to be even more critical now, as keeping that stock price up helps fend off activists that may try to agitate change in its business and keep talent around with robust compensation packages.

Blue Apron holds the title as the largest meal-kit provider in the USA, followed by German-based HelloFresh.

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