What went wrong with Blue Apron? (+3 Blue Apron features)

This blogpost will explain what went wrong with Blue Apron. We will also be checking out some of the unique features that are present in Blue Apron, that still portray it as a very popular meal-kit delivery service today. Finally, we will be listing the best alternatives to Blue Apron that exist in the market today.

What went wrong with Blue Apron?

Blue Apron saw an increase in customers in the first quarter of 2021 and was hoping to make a big profit. However, in the second quarter, Blue Apron lost thousands of customers and thus became a big disaster. Some of the reasons why Blue Apron is seen as a company under loss, rather than a profitable one, have been named in the following section:

 The effects of the pandemic

In 2021, the world was still reeling for the first after-shocks of the coronavirus pandemic. Even when the lockdowns were slowly being taken down, customers were still reluctant to go to restaurants and even grocery stores and thus tilted towards meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron. Meal kit companies gleaned a rather sizable profit during that time.

However, after vaccines started becoming easily available for everyone, restrictions were lifted for the public and thus everyone started going out again. This is when the profit of meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Gobble and many more, slowly declined in the year 2021.

The increase in competitors

Blue Apron is definitely not the only meal-kit delivery service in town today. There are plenty of other meal kit services offering similar features, with much better pricing. And thus, customers are bound to flock to these instead. As more and more competitors enter the market, the customer population of Blue Apron slowly dwindles in size.

The increase in food delivery apps

Competitors for Blue Apron not only exist in the form of meal-kit delivery services, but even other On-Demand food delivery apps. Apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmate bring the customer their desired dish in a matter of minutes, without them having to even lift a finger. The rise of these apps also has led to the decline of Blue Apron.

The effort from the customer

The biggest disadvantage of these meal kits is that the customer needs to cook them from scratch, which means a lot of effort and involvement is required from the customer’s side for these. While this may seem okay to many, those who are juggling a very busy schedule might not like meal kits for this factor.

 The lack of special-diet recipes

Blue Apron definitely has a lot of variety when it comes to recipes. However, customers who are on special diets like keto, paleo or Whole30 cannot find what they are looking for here. At the same time, many of Blue Apron’s competitors are thriving because of their ability to cater to those who have special diet needs.

The high cost of new customers

Blue Apron tends to spend a lot on acquiring new customers for its business. While its ad placements are certainly great, Blue Apron tends to get more customers through referrals. This means that the customer gets freebies if they refer others to their meal-kit delivery service. This tends to be pricey for customers and can actually lead to a loss.

The lack of challenging recipes

Blue Apron positions itself as a meal kit delivery service aimed at making everyone a better chef. And thus, there are special recipes that teach customers new cooking skills and techniques that they might be unfamiliar with. However, customers who are already great home cooks have found that the recipes in Blue Apron are too simple and unchallenging.

Unique features of Blue Apron

While it definitely does have its limitations, Blue Apron still is pretty popular today, mainly due to the large number of unique features, such as,

  • Blue Apron has Heat and Eat options which do not require any cooking at all. These meals are pre-cooked and arrive in a frozen state. They only need to be heated for a bit in the microwave.
  • There is a market section in Blue Apron, where the customer can purchase kitchenware, spices, seasonings and even electrical appliances.
  • Blue Apron has a wine delivery service that aims to teach customers about wines and the recipes that they can be best paired with.

Alternatives to Blue Apron

Blue Apron has a number of alternatives that can be splendid options as well. The best of these are:

  • HelloFresh: HelloFresh offers a large variety of options, and also has meal kits that can be cooked within a short span of time with very little effort.
  • Sunbasket: Sunbasket is simply great for anyone who has special dietary needs as this meal kit delivery service has tons of options for keto diets, paleo diets and even diabetic diets. Allergen free meal kits are also present.
  • Gobble: Gobble is simply fantastic as these meal kits can be cooked within 15 minutes or so and thus can be fantastic for anyone who is too lazy to do too much in the kitchen.

Conclusion

This blogpost has explained what went wrong with Blue Apron. We have also checked out some of the unique features that are present in Blue Apron, that still portray it as a very popular meal-kit delivery service today. Finally, we have listed the best alternatives to Blue Apron that exist in the market today.

If you like this blogpost, please leave your comments and questions below.

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Apron

https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/55279-54

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/blue-apron

https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2021/08/03/Blue-Apron-loses-21-000-customers-in-Q2-2021-while-setting-record-level-average-order-value

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/08/02/killing-blue-apron-can-anything-save-the-iconic-meal-kit-company/

https://www.grubstreet.com/2020/02/whats-going-on-with-blue-apron.html

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.