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Amazon or Blue Apron? Tech giant could soon deliver meal-kits — GeekWire

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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. "And just as this is bad news for legacy meal kit companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, it's also bad news for legacy supermarkets".

The Seattle-based company wants to trademark the logo "We do the prep. You be the chef", according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. The trademark describes a service that provides "prepared food kits" that can be ready-made into a meal out of the box. This includes fruit salads, vegetable salads and soups.

The application, reported by the Times this weekend, sent Blue Apron's stock tumbling 11.8 percent to $6.49 a share Monday.

Amazon already offers meal-kits from third-party vendors, such as Tyson Foods' (TSN - Free Report) Tyson Tastemakers and Sequential Brands Group Inc.'s (SQBG - Free Report) Martha Stewart brand, Marley Spoon. In just the span of a few years, Blue Apron has exposed a business that generated almost $800 million in revenue in 2016 and was able to eke out a small profit in the first quarter that year. 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.

"The target customer who uses a meal kit delivery service is a busy, affluent consumer". Blue Apron's stock closed Friday at $7.36 per share, down almost 10 percent for the week. However, since the IPO, Blue Apron's stock has plummeted, in mid-day trading on July 17, 2017, the stock traded at $6.51. Morningstar estimates that Amazon will generate $9 billion in sales from AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery service, and other grocery sales this year, and more than double that business to $20 billion by 2021. A request for comment to Amazon wasn't immediately returned.

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