Blue Apron shares hit as Amazon files for meal-kit trademark

Marco Green
July 17, 2017

Amazon Fresh already sells meal kits from partners including Tyson Foods and Martha Stewart, so any newly branded Amazon meal kits won't be the only prepared ingredient boxes available through the service.

Blue Apron's stock is likely to struggle once Amazon enters the meal-kit delivery market, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday.

This fresh ambition by Amazon will no doubt threaten meal-kits provider Blue Apron, which just recently listed on the public market. Underwriters were hoping to price the new offering between $15 and $17 until Amazon made a $13.7 billion deal to gobble up Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM).

Amazon registered a trademark in the USA for a service described as: "We do the prep. You be the chef".

A subsidiary of Amazon, Amazon Technologies Inc., signaled in a trademark application on July 6 that it may soon sell "prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and [sic] vegetables.ready for cooking and assembly as a meal", TheStreet reported. Blue Apron shares are down 21.2% for the month to date while Amazon shares are up 3.5% for the period.

Blue Apron holds the title as the largest meal-kit provider in the USA, followed by German-based HelloFresh.

Underwriters had to slash Blue Apron's IPO price on fears of Amazon doing exactly what it appears to be doing.

It may be some time before we see Amazon-branded meal kits online, but the competition is already feeling the heat. The stock has gone on to plunge 26% in its first 11 trading days, and the trademark news is sending the shares even lower on Monday. Last week, Marley Spoon said it will soon begin selling a more cost-conscious box of ingredients aimed at helping families cook up an affordable, but quality dinner. In addition to this development, an analyst from UBS issued a note saying shares could climb 60 percent higher, to $1,600 apiece, to rival Apple's size.

Amazon is entering the meal kit business.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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