Amazon signals that it wants in the meal-kits business

Ivan Schwartz
July 17, 2017

The growing meal kit business has attracted some major players, including Martha Stewart, whose Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired meal kit company, Marley Spoon, a year ago and renamed it Martha & Marley Spoon. TheStreet.com is reporting that Amazon filed a trademark application earlier this month for a rival meal-kit business.

The meal-kit market is small but expanding, and it may be hard for companies like Blue Apron to compete in a world where Amazon and other grocery giants offer their own prepackaged, ready-to-cook ingredient boxes.

The Seattle-based Internet giant is trying to trademark the slogan, "We do the prep. You be the chef".

Amazon's July 6 trademark application calls for the delivery of "prepared food kits. ready for cooking and assembly as a meal".

A German Blue Apron competitor, HelloFresh, is also reportedly mulling an IPO.

What you're seeing hhere is the market hearing about Amazon's trademark, digesting the meaning of it, some quants trading the dip and then the sheer "fucked-ness" of Blue Apron overcoming that false bump.

Meal Delivery Service Blue Apron
Meal Delivery Service Blue Apron

Amazon might as well have legally named this idea "Death to Blue Apron™" and cackled maniacally as it was filed.

Any Amazon meal kits to come in the future will likely be sold through Amazon Fresh, the company's online grocery ordering and delivery service. Blue Apron's stock closed Friday at $7.36 per share, down almost 10 percent for the week.

It may be some time before we see Amazon-branded meal kits online, but the competition is already feeling the heat. Last week, Marley Spoon said it will soon begin selling a more cost-conscious box of ingredients aimed at helping families cook up an cheap, but quality dinner.

Amazon's stock was climbing slightly higher Monday morning.

"If Amazon wants to do meal kits, Amazon will do meal kits", Mark Bittman, who's served as a consultant to activist investor Jana Partners on Whole Foods, recently told CNBC.

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