Online meal kit purveyor Blue Apron will now sell its products IRL: Following a sales slump and major stock price woes, the company is rethinking its subscription-only model, the Wall Street Journal reports. Both full kits, which contain multiple meals, and a-la-carte cooking kits could be available on store shelves “by the end of this year,” per WSJ.
Big trouble for Blue Apron began last summer when Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods, striking fear in the hearts of grocery and food retailers everywhere. The meal kit company’s subsequent IPO debuted at a lower price than anticipated, and since then its stock price has declined by 75 percent; the WSJ notes that its subscriber base has declined by more than 250,000 customers since last year.
The move follows last week’s news that retail behemoth Walmart would begin selling its own brand of meal kits in stores; it began stocking third-party meal kits last fall. The store-brand kits are currently available in 250 Walmart stores, with plans to have them in 2,000 stores by the end of the year.
Other grocers including Kroger also offer meal kits in-store, and Amazon began selling its own meal kits via AmazonFresh last year; none require a subscription.
Blue Apron subscriptions cost approximately $60 a week for three meals for two people (or around $10 per serving). Per the WSJ, Blue Apron hasn’t revealed how much it intends to charge for the individual kits or which retailers will stock them, but perhaps Blue Apron can reel in potential impulse buyers by getting its meal kits in front of new shoppers who would never consider an online subscription.
• Blue Apron to Sell Meal Kits in Stores to Buttress Sagging Deliveries [WSJ]