Shares of Blue Apron APRN fell 9% in morning trading on Monday after news broke that Amazon.com AMZN has registered a trademark in the U.S. for a meal-kit business.
Amazon has registered for a service described as, “We do the prep. You be the chef.” The service will provide “prepared food kits… ready for cooking and assembly as a meal,” according to Amazon’s trademark application, which was filed on July 6.
The food kits will contain “frozen, prepared, and packaged meals,” with “meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal.”
Amazon already offers meal-kits from third-party vendors, such as Tyson Foods’ TSN Tyson Tastemakers and Sequential Brands Group Inc.’s SQBG Martha Stewart brand, Marley Spoon. Amazon has also experimented with food delivery through AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service offered to Prime members for a monthly fee of $14.99.
This new venture by Amazon to sell their own brand of meal-kits could threaten Blue Apron’s place as the largest meal-kit provider in the U.S. The biggest complaint among meal-kit subscribers is the high price, which Amazon could potentially solve.
Blue Apron stock has been consistently threatened by Amazon since its IPO last month because of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods WFM. The start-up’s issue price was $10 on June 29th, valuing the company at $1.9 billion, which was down considerably from its original estimation of $3 billion.
Since its IPO, Blue Apron stock has fallen nearly 30%. Investors have worried about its ability to generate a profit. Today, the stock seems to be headed to a new all-time low.
APRN remains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), with a Value and Growth score of ‘D.’ The company is set to release its next quarterly earnings on August 10 before market open.
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