How Blue Apron Became a Massive $2 Billion Disaster -

Flaming Carrot
I can see there might be a market for this, but I'd think it would be small; someone interested in learning how to cook, but reluctant to experiment. I'm not too surprised it failed; how many people like that wouldn't just download a recipe?
I was in that exact demographic about five years ago. I did Blue Apron for a while, and the food was fine, but eventually I just stopped and started cooking my own things. The quality was fine, but it was just too pricy to keep doing. I'm not surprised they're on the verge of going under.


True & Honest Fan
I glanced over their prospectus for some nuggets. It's not nearly as batshit as WeWork and Casper, and just comes across as somewhat naive.
These two charts should not surprise anybody:


They believe in the power of their brand connection:
Powerful and emotional brand connection
Many of our customers cook Blue Apron meals, drink Blue Apron wine, use tools from Blue Apron Market, and share these cooking experiences with their families and loved ones multiple times each week. We believe that we have developed a powerful and emotional connection with our customers through the frequency of these touchpoints and the experiential nature of our products. Our customers trust us to create new, delicious recipes each week, choose their ingredients for them, and provide transparency into where their food comes from. They share their culinary triumphs through email, social media, blogs, and phone calls, telling us how Blue Apron has given them the confidence to cook, brought them closer with their families and friends, and changed their lives.
There's also this,


Notice the 6-month periods? As I've mentioned before, I don't think the customers became profitable until the 3rd or 4th box. But by that time, everyone had gone through their free trial and figured out they could cook on their own, or hated cooking, or whatever.

This, which everyone in the thread already correctly identified as the problem, doesn't really get a lot of attention in the prospectus. They talk about how it COULD be a problem if the costs to acquire customers outweigh the value of the customer... perhaps this was not as much of a problem in 2017?

Maybe early on, they had decent customer retention that looked like there could be something to this. Maybe the early customers were excited at the novel concept and would purchase for a year or more. But as they spent more on marketing, they pretty much reached media saturation at some point... who hasn't heard of Blue Apron? Every Millenial who wanted to try Blue Apron in the last few years has tried it. With all the promotional deals, there's no reason not to, and unless you live in a cave, you're aware of what it is and does. As they grew bigger, they began acquiring more unprofitable customers. People who thought "I guess I'll try this Blue Apron thing, there's a deal for it", but weren't really invested in the concept, and didn't find it life-changing. So they cancelled before becoming a profitable customer. Needing to make up for the new, unprofitable customers, they marketed more and more to acquire more new customers, who had the same problem, except worse, they were even less invested int he concept, even less profitable. Now everyone has tried it who wanted to. There's no more customers, just burned money.

This company probably could have been run as a successful multilevel marketing scheme - instead, it just kind of looks like one, but without the "people at the top making a lot of money" part.


Judge Holden

Explorer in the further regions of autism
True & Honest Fan
Allow me to repeat what I said bout this shit a year ago
On the subject of restaurant trends we hate said:
Not really a restaurant thing but shit like Blue Apron and every youtube nigger that shills for it

Just.....fucking wow. You cant be fucking arsed to google a half decent recipe and buy some basic ingredients/get them delivered to your house so you throw money at some shitty company that charges you 10x the value of the shit you get?

All the more reason for me to despise the hipster class.
Seriously, the whole concept just fucking baffled me in the same way that juicero shit did. You pay stupid amounts of money for shit you can just pick up at any basic grocery store and a crappy recipe you can just google? Is the five seconds needed to search "how to make fucking pasta salad" really worth however much the subscription fee is?

Hell if you dont want to go grocery shopping just fucking order shit for delivery


True & Honest Fan
I’d contend that the total failure of the Blue Apron IPO was the death knell for the entire industry. There was never any way for this to ultimately be a profitable business. The VC would eventually dry up while meal kit companies continued to hemorrhage cash with high marketing and operating costs. The ultimate exit strategy to recoup investment costs for every single one of these companies was to either have an IPO or get acquired by a grocery store or food conglomerate. The fact that Blue Apron had one of the 5 worst IPOs in the past decade completely closed off that avenue.

That just leaves getting acquired by another company. Plated pulled that off by getting purchased by Albertsons. Those guys made off like bandits. But there just aren’t that many grocery chains of the size at Albertsons out there to snap up these companies. The big boys like WalMart and Amazon can easily replicate this in store on their own and don’t need to buy the IP of another company - their own brands are strong enough. The fact that Blue Apron is trying to get acquired by a food manufacturer is laughable. Even if they found a buyer, they’d get it at a fire sale price and all of their investors will still ultimately be hosed.

Edited to add: If Blue Apron - probably the strongest brand out of every remaining meal kit company - is having difficulty getting acquired at a deep discount, it’s extremely likely that any of the other smaller players without the brand recognition will see any success getting acquired either. Blue Apron is essentially closing off the acquisition end game strategy as well.
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Well hung, and snow white tan
it’s extremely likely that any of the other smaller players without the brand recognition will see any success getting acquired either
I had a meal "subscription" for some time and just ended it because i wasnt at home enough to use it. It was from some Farmers club. fresh to the table, nice mix old oldschool and new styles of food, pretty cheap for what i got.
The whole concept only works on a local level in smaller towns.

Save the Loli
The main killer for me was that one or two free blue apron packages was enough to give us the confidence to just buy our own shit and follow a recipe.
That's the fundamental problem with this service model. Your long-term subscribers are going to get good enough at cooking that at some point they'll ask why the fuck are they paying for this overpriced shit when they could just be following a recipe and making the same food at a fraction of the price.

So they need four months to show a profit, but people tend to drop the service after two because it's made them confident enough to cook on their own?

That's kind of hilarious. Maybe they should reprice and advertise themselves as "cook for yourself in only three months!"

Local Coyote

Hey man, got any cats?
What smooth brained person thought 10 dollars per meal with no leftovers was a good idea? If you're strapped for cash cooking in bulk is much cheaper. At that point you could just live off Ubereats and be saving money and time.

On top of that someone took a picture of the meal (tiny as fuck) and a picture of all the packaging from that meal and it is absurd. One serving should not have a week's worth of trash.

I also hated how they became the Raid Shadow Legends of podcasts. That was annoying as fuck.
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Hehe xd
True & Honest Fan
I love everyone in this thread using 2020 logic for this company? If you didnt live in a major city and didnt feel like going to a grocery store in 2015 your options were either blue apron or fucking yourself. Grocery stores didnt get their shit together until 2017. Also obviously this company was for people with more money than time. Thats how it was advertised originally, that and as alternative to eating out, which is why it had small portions too. Im ashamed at all the snark in this thread for this company! Without them who would keep our favorite podcasters and youtubers from getting a real job? Raid:Shadow Legends wasnt invented back then.
If you live in a food desert you're probably too poor for Blue Apron anyway.

The whole point of being a home cook is experimentation, personalization and mass cooking to save money. Convenience and splurging? I just buy premade stuff or get takeout.

I made like $15 off of it and got a free meal by signing up through Swagbucks a few years ago. It sucked. The best part about it was that it came in a very sturdy cardboard box that was great for putting small, breakable things in when I moved.

The gambler in me is super tempted to go full HMNY with it and throw in like $10 (when it collapses further, obviously, since $2.90/share is still way too high, as I like my literal trash to be under $2.00) to see if I get a return when they inevitably try and sell to Walmart or someone like that. I can certainly think of better ways to set money on fire, and also worse ones. *yawn* :pickle:
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I only ever saw Blue Apron commercials on NBC children's programming on Saturday mornings I was watching because I was too stoned to watch anything else. It gave me the impression they were meal kits you use to help a small child learn how to cook.

After finding out what "influencers" like Brianna Wu and Christine Chandler did with it, I guess I'm right.

whatever I feel like

Flu Friendly Furby
Ahh shoot, every podcast just lost one of their main subsidizers. Also "a misunderstanding of how people exist in the world", bingo. This shit always sounded like the most unappealing thing on earth to me, glad to see we aren't quite at clown-world yet.

Coleman Francis

True & Honest Fan
How are all those braindead VCs that invest in shit like this still in business?
How did those idiots manage to get enough assets to invest in the first place?

I need to know their secret.
I thought rich people were supposed to be smart with their money and careful when it came to risks. The fact that they even got this con off the ground is baffling.
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break these cuffs

Ahh shoot, every podcast just lost one of their main subsidizers. Also "a misunderstanding of how people exist in the world", bingo. This shit always sounded like the most unappealing thing on earth to me, glad to see we aren't quite at clown-world yet.
Millennials don't even want to go to a supermarket and use a self checkout. They don't want any sort of human interaction that they cannot completely control or at least block/ban if they get upset. Unfortunately for Blue Apron not enough of them can afford their service after paying $100k for a basket weaving degree.

Stormy Daniel's Lawyer

So it goes.
In a booming economy, people tend to eat out more than stay home and stare at their mountains of cash and cook for an ungrateful family..Also, the concept of pre-packaged, portion sized meals sounds oh so delicious, is it too late to catch a ride on this money train?