Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which wants to become everything store, is planning to disrupt the food retailing world. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant last month struck a deal to acquire Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) to penetrate deeper into the physical retail market and now is preparing to make waves in the meal kit market currently dominated by Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE:APRN), Forbes reported.
In a trademark application filed on July 16, Amazon disclosed plans to sell its own prepared food kits. The online retailer filed a trademark for the phrase: “We do the prep. You be the chef.” According to the filing, which was first reported by The Times, Amazon’s prepared food kits will compose of “meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and [sic] vegetables…ready for cooking and assembly as a meal.”
The filing was made in about a week after Blue Apron held its initial public offering. The ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service provider offered 30 million shares of class A common stock at $10 per share to the public. Blue Apron is exclusively serving customers in the United States. Following the reports of Amazon’s possible entry into meal kits business on Monday, shares of Blue Apron fell to an all-time low of $6.45 within the trading day. At time of writing, the company’s stock was trading down 4.25% to $6.31.
Meal kits provide recipes and ingredients for consumers to prepare themselves. Such prepared products are becoming among time-starved eaters who are looking to eat more fresh foods.
Amazon Bet on Meal Kits
Josh Chadd a Seattle resident, confirmed to GeekWire that the online retailer is selling its meal kits in the city to select Amazon Fresh customers.
Describing his experience, Chadd said that Amazon’s meal kit includes food for two, ranging from $16 to $20 per kit. The company is said to be offering 17 meals, including “Steak Au Poivre,” “Tacos al Pastor with Pork,” and “Roasted Cod with Cannellini Bean Ragout & Pesto.”
AmazonFresh delivers groceries to customers in Seattle, New York, Boston and D.C., as well as in London, Tokyo, and Berlin.
So, Amazon’s plans are very clear. The online retailer is looking to become a top player in the food retailing. Last month, Amazon announced a deal to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion.
The merger, which is subject to regularity approvals, is being criticized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, a labor union representing approximately 1.3 million retail workers in the United States and Canada. The union believes that the deal would have a big impact on the jobs market and many retail workers could lose their jobs. The organization requested the Federal Trade Commission to carefully scrutinize the deal.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are also concerned about the merger. Last week, Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) requested a hearing on the deal. He said in a letter that a “panel should explore how such a move would affect the future of grocery stores and prices,” according to a report from The Washington Post.