initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blue Apron (APRN) began trading on the NYSE on 29 June 2017

Blue Apron is a meal subscription service that delivers neatly packed boxes of produce and meat/poultry/fish, plus the recipes and step-by-step instructions you need to get a delicious and different meal on the table at least a couple of nights a week.

Blue Apron (APRN) made a lukewarm debut on the NYSE at $10 per share on Thursday morning, after slashing its IPO pricing by one-third the day prior.

The meal-kit delivery company, valued at $2 billion in the private market, is going public at a time when the food-delivery space has gotten increasingly crowded. This competitive environment may force companies like Blue Apron to diversify their products if they want to survive.

The two types of food-delivery companies

The space has two distinct categories: grocery delivery, which is disrupting the $782 million market; and the meal and restaurant delivery space that’s shaking up the $540 million market. Both of these categories operate in primarily urban areas and surrounding suburbs.

Blue Apron falls into the grocery delivery space, as it ships uncooked ingredients. Grocery delivery startups have been attracting increasing investor dollars year-over-year since 2013, amounting to $1.4 billion in funding last year, according to CB Insights. Instacart is a stand-out player that raised $400 million in March, boosting its valuation to $3.4 billion.

However, we haven’t seen a massive success story for a prepared-meal delivery company. In fact, we’ve seen a litany of failures — David Chang’s Maple, Spoonrocket, Sprig, Kitchit, Kitchensurfing and Dinner Lab all shut down this year.


How Much Does It Cost?
Blue Apron breaks down the cost of its meal plans by servings, and gives you a weekly total as well. The two-person plan is $10.99 per serving for either the meat/poultry/fish meal or the vegetarian option. If you go with the entry-level plan — two recipes with enough ingredients to serve two people (four meals, total), you’ll also pay $7.99 for shipping, which rings in at $51.95 total. If you bump up to three recipes a week, the shipping is free, and the weekly fee is $65.94 per week.

If you’re cooking for four people, the pricing gets a little more complicated — only because the more you buy, the less you pay per meal. For example, two weekly recipes with enough ingredients to serve four people (eight meals, total) are $9.99 per serving, or $79.92/week. Three recipes (12 meals) is $107.88/week and four recipes (16 meals) is $143.84. You always get free shipping when you commit to a four-person plan.

The Competition

  • HelloFresh relies on revamping a lot family dinner classics. You’ll see pasta dishes, meatloaf, burgers, tacos, stir fries, soups, pork chops, and more — with a twist.
  • Plated has a huge selection of recipes each week — there are 20 — and even offers a few dessert options. The ideas are innovative without being too over the top.
  • Home Chef lets you cook up to six meals per week for up to six people, which is far more than any of the other meal subscriptions boxes.

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