Blue Apron cooks up unlikely partnership
Blue Apron is launching a global cooking partnership with an unlikely partner.
The meal kit company is launching a partnership with Airbnb, a global travel community that offers end-to-end trips, called “The Best Home Cooking from Around the World,” to bring a global culinary experience to home cooks across the country. The partnership is a collaboration between Blue Apron’s culinary team and hosts from Airbnb Experiences, handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts that are bookable through Airbnb.
From April 16–May 21, Blue Apron customers can take their taste buds on a journey around the world, choosing from recipes that were inspired by local Airbnb Experiences hosts in Paris, Florence, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and Shanghai. The recipes, which include Chicken Tinga Tostadas from Alberto Estua and Jorge Fitz in Mexico City, and Steak Frites from Monia Kashmire and Nicolas Derrstroff, two hosts in Paris, were designed in collaboration with some of the most highly rated culinary experts who host an experience on Airbnb.
“At its core, every Blue Apron meal experience brings an element of discovery to customers, whether we’re introducing them to a new ingredient, teaching them a new cooking skill, or delighting them with new tastes and flavors,” said Christine Fu, head of partnerships, Blue Apron. “We are thrilled to partner with Airbnb, where we have a unique opportunity to bring their expertise in local experiences together with our core product to teach our customers how to create meals from cities that are influencing food culture around the world today.”
"Sharing culinary traditions is such a powerful form of cultural exchange. There's nothing better than people coming together in local communities, breaking bread and making friends over cooking - or eating - a meal," said Joe Zadeh, VP of Airbnb Trips. "Since launching Airbnb Experiences, food has become one of the most booked categories on our platform. Given how much these activities mean to people when they travel, it's wonderful to see Blue Apron bringing Airbnb Experience-inspired recipes back to the home!"
The recipes, which will be available on Blue Apron’s Two-Person and Family Plan offerings beginning April 16, 2018, for six weeks include:
- Week of April 16: Parisian Steak Frites with Roasted Broccoli & Lemon Aioli, from Monia Kashmire and Nicolas Derrstroff in Paris, France
- Week of April 23: Florentine Roast Pork & Salsa Verde with Sautéed Vegetables, from Massimiliano Marzi in Florence, Italy
- Week of April 30: Mexico City Chicken Tinga Tostadas with Avocado & Refried Beans, from Alberto Estua and Jorge Fitz in Mexico City, Mexico
- Week of May 7: Buenos Aires Beef Empanadas with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Creamy Zucchini, from Anahi Stratta, Adrian Stratta and Marcelo Misson in Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Week of May 14:Tokyo Beef & Rice Bowl with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Roasted Broccoli, from Yukari Matsushita in Tokyo, Japan
- Week of May 21: Shanghai Kung Pao Chicken with Stir-Fried Snow Peas & Sweet Peppers, from Cici Zhong in Shanghai, China
Earlier this month Blue Apron announced it is planning to launch its meal kits in retail stores.
CEO Brad Dickerson told The Wall Street Journal that he believes the company can find more customers for both that model and à-la-carte meals sold in stores and through its website.
“The access to consumers is much broader in this avenue than the avenue we’ve been operating in in the past,” he said in an interview with the Journal.
One of the first meal-kit companies, Blue Apron has been losing customers amid increased competition and distribution problems. The company reported 750,000 subscribers last month, down from a peak of over 1 million last year, the Journal said.
Executives wouldn’t tell the Journal how much Blue Apron will charge for the kits it hopes to have in stores by the end of this year. Blue Apron’s subscription meals start around $9 per person.
Blue Apron officials declined to specify to the Journal the retailers they are in talks with but said some currently sell their own meal kits.
“We are in active conversations with a variety of retailers and plan to have product in stores in 2018,” a company spokeswoman told the Journal.