Blue Apron will start selling meal kits in stores in an attempt to bolster its lagging business, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Blue Apron was one of the first meal kit delivery companies on the market, but with increasing competition, it now seems to acknowledge that relying on a subscription-based model isn’t enough.
As of last month, Blue Apron had 750,000 subscribers, a hefty dip from its peak of over 1 million subscribers last year. Its stock has also plummeted, and it’s currently trading at about one-fifth of its debut price of $10.
Independent surveys have pinpointed the loss of interest on the expense and commitment of a subscription, but an increase in shelf-ready meal kits at supermarkets is also a factor. Walmart introduced meal kits from third-party brands last year and is now producing its own, priced between $8 and $15 for two servings. Additionally, Amazon is selling pre-portioned meal kits via AmazonFresh. Both options do not require a subscription. By contrast, Blue Apron’s subscription kits start at $9 per person.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Blue Apron executives are declining to specify how much the in-store meal kits will cost, but a company representative says, “We are in active conversations with a variety of retailers and plan to have product in stores in 2018.”