Blue Apron's latest results hard to digest as customer base shrinks

 

By James Leggate, FOXBusiness

August 06, 2019

 

Meal-kit service Blue Apron is struggling to retain its customer base and is facing increased heat from rising competition from within the industry.

 

The company has dropped to about 449,000 customers, down from 717,000 just a year ago, it said Tuesday. The company peaked at more than 1 million customers in early 2017.

 

The number of orders also dropped by close to 30 percent, to just over 2 million made in April through June, down from more than 3.1 million in the same period last year.

 

Blue Apron has struggled this year as its customer base and stock price both slumped. The companyís board approved a reverse stock split as its price dropped below $1, threatening it with being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

 

The company is also facing competition from a growing number of sources. The market is flooded with startup options like HelloFresh, Sun Basket, Freshly and others, meaning customers can pick a cheaper option or a more child-friendly option or a service with more vegetarian meals or one that gets higher reviews for quality. Marley Spoon partnered with Martha Stewart to offer her recipes with the needed ingredients.

 

While meal kit companies have relied on freebies and discounts to lure in new customers, many have struggled to retain them. Research from Second Measure shows just 12 percent of meal kit subscribers return after a year.

 

Not long after Blue Apronís customer count peaked in 2017, warehouse issues reportedly caused customer satisfaction issues that led to people canceling their subscriptions.

 

In the meantime, HelloFresh...

 

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