Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Amazon Trademark Filing Puts Target On Blue Apron, Meal Delivery

Amazon Trademark Filing Puts Target On Blue Apron, Meal Delivery

Today, news of e-commerce juggernaut Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) filing for a prepared food kit trademark application was enough to send shares of Blue Apron down 10% as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. It describes prepared food kits "composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal".

If that isn't sufficient evidence that Amazon is preparing to enter the space, the product's tagline reads: "We do the prep". Throw in a well-established logistics and delivery systems and Amazon is poised to be a real meal-kits player.

Amazon is clobbering Blue Apron's stock again.

Blue Apron delivers boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and instructions to cook meals at home. "You be the chef". That said, with Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), it's hard for investors to simply shrug this trademark off.

Just 5 percent of households use meal kits, according to NPD Group, but the group says the number will grow as online grocers get into the game.

But it's clear that some Blue Apron investors aren't waiting around to see what Amazon does next.

Blue Apron initially aimed to go public with a valuation of as much as $3.2 billion, but investors weren't willing to pay up as concerns about competition from a combined Amazon-Whole Foods seeped into the market. Now Blue Apron stock has now plunged even below that trimmed IPO Price of $10, crashing as low as $6.51 on Monday. Just twelve trading days later, the company is worth less than $1.3 billion.

Blue Apron's IPO paperwork seemed to foreshadow a threat from well-heeled rivals like Amazon.

In another possible allusion to discounting giant Amazon, Blue Apron said some competitors may "adopt more aggressive pricing policies" that could allow them to quickly amass customers.

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