Amazon files meal-kits trademark, treading on Blue Apron's turf

Amazon files meal-kits trademark, treading on Blue Apron's turf

While the news that Amazon has filed a trademark for meal kits is an (obvious) punch in the gut for Blue Apron, experts say it's likely to wound traditional grocers as well.

Amazon's planned service is identical to the one offered by Blue Apron, one of the largest meal-kit delivery services in the United States.

On July 6, about a week after Blue Apron priced its IPO, Amazon applied to register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the slogan "We do the prep".




Amazon has registered a trademark in the USA for a service described as: "We do the prep". The service will provide customers "prepared food kits. ready for cooking and assembly as a meal", according to the trademark application. This includes fruit salads, vegetable salads and soups. "You be the chef", suggesting the e-commerce giant's plans to launch its own prepared meal kit service. While it's unclear if Amazon Fresh will take over Whole Foods' existing grocery delivery service, there's a good chance that any meal kits offered by Amazon could also be prepared and delivered via Whole Foods locations. And while you may be lamenting Blue Apron's current status as a brand new competitor of Amazon, remember: it could happen to absolutely anybody and there's nothing you can do about it. While tech companies routinely file trademark applications and don't act on them, Amazon's move indicates it may directly compete with Blue Apron in the future.

Blue Apron delivers boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and instructions to cook meals at home. That marks a 35 percent decline from its $10 a share offering price and an even steeper discount to the $15-to-$17 a share IPO it had initially hoped for. It seems only logical that Amazon would be watching an area like this very closely, and buy buying Whole Foods, may see an opportunity to pick off that now-low hanging fruit.

As Ruth points out, meal-kit subscription services endure a lot of customer drop-off.

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