Amazon files for meal kit trademark

Posted July 18, 2017

The decline came as investors were concerned about its future and the impact of Amazon's planned $13.7 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc WFM.N amid a fast-expanding meal-kit industry. The trademark application was filed by Amazon Technologies, an Amazon subsidiary. "You be the chef", according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. The application for the registration explains that the service is going to provide "prepared food kits" which will be ready for assembly as a meal.

While the effort could boost Amazon's grocery business and challenge Blue Apron, it could also hamper Martha Stewart's Amazon-affiliated service.

Amazon has registered for a service described as, "We do the prep". (AMZN) may be planning a service that rivals Blue Apron (APRN), sending shares of the popular meal kit provider to new lows.

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

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Meal kit delivery services have been rising in popularity over the last several years as more consumers demand home-cooked meals made with the convenience of pre-measured ingredients and the aid of detailed recipes.

As Ruth pointed out, Blue Apron's customer acquisition costs are already out of control: "Blue Apron's marketing department is spending an exorbitant $94 per customer to get people to sign up for its service-and in the previous year, its customer growth rate has actually slowed".

On June 29, 2017, Blue Apron sold 30 million shares of stock in its initial public stock offering (the "IPO"), raising $300.0 million in new capital.

Up until now, though, Amazon's testing of meal kits has carried no official label, slogan nor branding.

On Monday morning, Blue Apron's stock was falling more than 7 percent, hitting an all-time-low and dropping below the $7 mark. But the industry still remains small, with only about 5 percent of US households using the kits, according to market research firm The NPD Group.