Blue Apron pilots on-demand
Blue Apron advances its multi-product, multi-channel strategy to provide on-demand delivery of its pre-planned meals through its new pilot program in hopes of bouncing back from a steep second quarter decline.
Beginning the week of Oct. 1, a rotating selection of Blue Apron meals will be available as on-demand to consumers in select zip codes in New York City on the Grubhub and Seamless online and mobile platforms. According to the company, the offering, delivered in new custom packaging, includes fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to easily cook two- or four-serving a la carte meals in 30 minutes or less. In addition to Blue Apron meals, consumers can order add-on culinary products from Blue Apron premium suppliers and partners, including Vermont Creamery cheeses, Irving Farm coffee, and a selection of broths from Brodo.
“This new on-demand product is a complement to our core offering, giving consumers–for the first time–the option to have a Blue Apron meal delivered to their doorstep in less than an hour," said Brad Dickerson, CEO, Blue Apron. "We are thrilled to launch this initial pilot to expand the reach of our brand, and expect to build on this new competency with additional same day, on-demand platforms over the coming months.”
According to the company, this advancement is designed to meet a wider range of consumer needs, lifestyles, and preferences with the launch of its first on-demand delivery offering, with additional on-demand channel expansion expected in the near future.
This announcement comes shortly after the release of the companies second quarter report, where it was difficult to see any positive financial future for the company. Although company executives said that they were pleased with the company’s “bottom line performance,” the company’s net revenue decreased 25 percent year-over-year to $179.6 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the second quarter of 2017.
In addition to the decline in revenue, the company said its customer count dropped to 717,000 from 943,000 in 2017, meaning the company's customer count dropped by 24 percent year-over-year, and decreased by 9 percent quarter-over-quarter, as the company progresses through the aforementioned transition period. The company's report, however, did show that its Orders per Customer increased from 4.3 last year to 4.4, but its Average Revenue per Customer essentially flat-lined, with it being $251 in 2017 to $250 now.
“We are pleased with our bottom-line performance as we gain additional operational efficiencies and exert financial discipline across the business,” said Brad Dickerson, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. “We have an exceptional team in place, which has been further solidified by the recent hires of Tim Bensley as Chief Financial Officer and Alan Blake as Chief Supply Chain Officer, and we are confident that the approach we are taking will build a strong and sustainable business.”
Meal options for the first week of the pilot program include:
Spicy Beef & Gnocchi with Zucchini
Moroccan-Style Couscous Bowls with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, & Feta Cheese
Creamy Pesto Cavatelli with Spinach, Zucchini, & Tomatoes
Pork Chorizo Burgers with Fig Mayo & Roasted Peppers
Stir-Fried Sweet Chili Chicken with Broccoli & Rice