Blue Apron has been facing hard times. It went public right after Amazon shook up the entire grocery game, and dinged the meal kit market, with its buyout of Whole Foods. Since then, the meal-kit company has been struggling to prove it has a place in a world where raw groceries show up at your door just hours after you order them. It didn’t take a genius to see a pivot coming. The new plan for Blue Apron is essentially an inverse of its original model: Putting meal kits on shelves in grocery stores.
The plan, as reported by Grub Street, is simple; instead of shipping the food to your door with cold-packs, it’ll be on the shelves. Pick a kit, buy it, and leave. It’ll be the same kit you get in the mail, with the pre-bagged ingredients, but likely more locally sourced. The main issue will be just how Blue Apron deals with competition, as competitors are building their own in-store meal kits. Whether Blue Apron will be a competing product, take over the meal kit jobs as a contractor, or fill in the gap for grocery stores, is a question its various retail partners will need to answer.
Still, it’s a chance for two struggling industries — meal kits and groceries — facing stiff competition from Amazon and Wal-Mart to have each other’s backs. And considering the $800 million grocery industry is facing some pretty harsh shocks, as delivery plans expand and margins get tighter, that moral support might be worth it on its own.
(via Grub Street)