By Natt Garun, theverge.com
As Amazon’s empire continues to expand, competitors are partnering up against the retail giant’s efforts. Today, Blue Apron meal kits will now be sold through the Walmart-owned Jet.com, and its own menu offerings will be exclusive to Jet customers.
Earlier this year, Blue Apron began selling its kits through third-party vendors, including Grubhub and Costco stores. Through Jet, customers will be able to take advantage of the site’s economy of scale discount, which lowers the cost per unit when you buy multiples of the same item. (A Blue Apron kit priced at $18.99 drops to $18.68 when you buy two.) The companies say the meal offerings will be refreshed every six weeks, with four selections on offer at any given time. Since the kits need to be delivered fresh, customers will have to also pay an additional $5.95 to schedule a three-hour window for their preferred delivery time. Jet only offers free deliveries for orders above $35.
Jet’s Blue Apron offering is only available in the New York City area at launch. Compared to purchasing the meal kits direct from Blue Apron or through Costco and Grubhub, Jet’s avenue seems the most expensive if you plan to only order one kit at a time. Meanwhile, Amazon announced it will soon open a New York location for its cashier-less Amazon Go store, where the retailer’s own meal kits will also be available to purchase.
Blue Apron went public in June 2017, and its subscribers have been consistently declining since. In its latest earning reports this past August, the company announced that it had 717,000 customers, a 9 percent drop from the first quarter. Before going public, Blue Apron had more than one million subscribers. Concurrently, competitor HelloFresh has seen sales that are growing five times faster than Blue Apron’s. As of March, HelloFresh claimed it has 1.5 million subscribers globally, though this number includes those who received free trial boxes.