Earlier this week, Walmart’s e-commerce company, Jet.com, announced a partnership with Blue Apron to sell a select number of meal kits online. The partnership between Blue Apron and Jet.com comes after a year of lackluster meal kit sales. Jet.com, too, has been struggling to compete in this arena with Amazon, who purchased Whole Foods last year, and has begun launching one-hour home deliveries and drive through stations across the country.
The partnership, as solidified on Monday, October 29, 2018. In a press release, Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson said, This new on-demand product is a complement to our core offering, giving consumer — for the first time — the option to have a Blue Apron meal delivered to their doorstep in less than an hour,” The announcement resulted in a 26 percent increase in sales on Monday – the largest increase since Blue Apron went public in 2017. Blue Apron and Jet can schedule same-day or next-day delivery of meal kits for the cost of food and the $6 scheduling fee to Jet’s City Grocery delivery service.
Companies like Blue Apron prove useful for busy families who want fresh, healthy meals but are lacking the time necessary to do the shopping and prep work it takes to make a meal from scratch. Meal kits are not a novel idea as several weight management programs offer meal kits and prepackaged foods to help people stay disciplined on their weight loss journey. Blue Apron different in that it is not a meal plan, nor do they offer prepackaged meals. All ingredients are fresh and measured precisely, leaving room for few mistakes – even for those who cannot cook – and detailed instructions on how to prepare and plate the final product.
Blue Apron’s meal kits offerings are limited, initially, to four selections that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Crafted by Blue Apron’s culinary team and include pasta, pan-seared steaks, a Middle Eastern inspired beef dish and popcorn chicken. Blue Apron plans to rotate meal kits every six weeks and expand their offerings. The cost of meals ranges from $16 to $40 and can feed up to four people.
Blue Apron’s partnership with Jet allows customers a more convenient way of ordering meal kits than going through the Blue Apron site alone. Meal kits are delivered in three-hour windows. Customers can also order necessities for the home on Jet’s City Grocery platform in the same order for a total shopping experience.
Blue Apron has its competition with companies like Hello Fresh, Plated and Fresh Direct, but with the support of Jet.com, it is possible Blue Apron can pull ahead of the competition on affordability alone, much in the same way Jet’s parent company Walmart has pulled in front of its competitors.
Blue Apron’s delivery through Jet does have some limitations. Currently, they are only offered to New York City, Hoboken, and Jersey City and then only during dinner hours, between 4:00-8:45pm. CEO Dickerson says there are plans to expand Blue Apron’s offerings, locations and delivery times via Jet as consumer interest grows. “This exciting launch is another step forward in our channel expansion strategy and reflects the strengths of the capabilities we are developing to readily support a variety of opportunities to broaden our access to customers.”
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, and co-host and producer of “All Our Own” radio show and podcast and co-host of “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been featured on MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!