Amazon Trademark Filing Puts Target On Blue Apron, Meal Delivery

Posted July 18, 2017

While the market was quick to send shares of Blue Apron lower Monday morning, tech companies file a plethora of trademark applications that don't always lead to actual services. It has worked for over a decade on its Amazon Fresh online grocery delivery service, and last month, agreed to acquire upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in cash.

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.

We live to eat", the tagline for its already-in-circulation line of snack foods called Wickedly Prime. "You be the chef".

The Amazon service plans to focus on "ready for cooking and assembly" meals composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and vegetables, according to the paperwork. 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. Amazon didn't immediately return a request for comment. In fact, just days after Amazon filed the trademarks, Blue Apron's stocks plummeted, falling by at least 10 percent (though any correlation is purely speculative). Over the years, it has launched services like AmazonFresh and Pantry.

The kits will primarily consist of grains, rice, noodles, pasta or bakery products, Amazon said.

Shares of the meal-kit delivery company sank as low as $6.51, a 35 percent drop since its initial public offering. But for Amazon, with so many other food delivery initiatives in the works, "this is definitely an experiment, and no one expects it to be the next big thing", Smith says. And while the meal kit category is fraught with problems-including reports of high churn rates as consumers wrestle with food quality, high prices and the reality that even a meal kit requires some preparation-Amazon's announcement is an indication that it could grow beyond its tiny niche among Millennials.