Legacy meal kit companies can no longer play alone. National grocers have been snatching up partnerships with major players: Albertsons acquired Plated in September 2017 and Giant Food partnered with HelloFresh this past June. Celebrity affiliations have also proved beneficial, allowing German Marley Spoon to enter the US market with a Martha Stewart brand. This increased competitiveness has prompted Blue Apron to think outside the subscription box.
Individual Blue Apron meal kits are now being sold on Jet.com, a step away from Blue Apron’s subscription model, which offers two to four recipes per week. Consumers also seem to be trending this direction. Brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care have withdrawn from Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, with mid-priced ($20-$29.99) product adoption declining from 50% in 2017 to 25% in 2018. A single purchase offering might also be what Blue Apron needs to attract shoppers who have already embarked on Jet’s “city grocery” initiative.
Jet’s recent strategy of catering to “urban millennials” aligns with the meal kit industry’s consumer base. Millennials prefer to cook at home. As national grocers like Albertsons and Giant Food include meal kits in their brick-and-mortar locations, the online shelf has been an opportunity to capture millennial needs. Major e-grocers like Amazon has private label meal kits, and Kroger acquired Home Chef earlier this year. A partnership with Blue Apron could help Jet compete with its rivals in the cutthroat world of grocery.