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Blue Apron’s Stock Market Debut Was Pretty Depressing

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The meal kit juggernaut’s first day on Wall Street ended with more of a whimper than a bang

Blue Apron/Facebook

After many long months of anticipation, Blue Apron began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, making it the first meal kit company to go public. But despite high hopes on Wall Street, the first-day performance for APRN was pretty lackluster: After debuting at $10.00 — about a third lower than originally expected — shares closed out the day at $10.0018, meaning the stock price rose less than one cent.

For comparison’s sake, when Shake Shack went public in January 2015, shares began trading at $21 and reached nearly $46 by the time the market closed that first day. A dismal start doesn’t necessarily dictate long-term performance, though: CNBC notes that when Facebook went public back in 2012, its stock rose less than 1 percent the first day.

But the meal kit company certainly has a lot of work ahead of it to become profitable for investors: Despite counting more than a million customers as of the first quarter of this year, Blue Apron has successively lost more money every year that it’s been in operation. It’s also got plenty of competition, thanks to everyone from Martha Stewart to Ayesha Curry to the New York Times jumping into the meal kit arena.

Additionally, Amazon scooping up Whole Foods could create a potentially game-changing food delivery giant, and that merger on the horizon was likely a major contributing factor in Blue Apron’s less-than-stellar first-day stock market performance.

How Amazon’s Plan to Buy Whole Foods Is Affecting Blue Apron [E]
Blue Apron Is Going Public. Here’s What We Learned From Its IPO [E]