Blue Apron admits defeat, looks to grocery store distribution

Blue apron delivery.
(Image credit: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Blue Apron, the meal-kit startup that at one point was shipping meals to more than 1 million monthly subscribers, will begin selling its products in brick-and-mortar grocery stores after slacking sign-ups have slowed business. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson announced the change, saying that the company wanted to access the "broader" customer base that stores can reach.

Since launching in 2012, Blue Apron had remained steadfast in its subscription-only model, even as the meal-kit market became more crowded. Amazon's acquisition of upscale grocer Whole Foods last year enabled the online giant to begin selling its own meal kits through its Amazon Fresh program, while just weeks ago Walmart announced that it too would offer proprietary food packages in its stores and online, no subscription required.

"Independent surveys have shown that some consumers are turned off by the expense and commitment of meal-kit subscriptions," the Journal explained. A Blue Apron spokeswoman said the company is considering a "variety of retailers" to stock its products. The news led to a 7 percent bump in Blue Apron's stock price Thursday, the Journal noted — a good sign for the company, which has struggled since its disappointing IPO late last year. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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