Blue Apron gets a much-needed boost with partnership

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That explains a coming-together between two startups today after announced it will give beleaguered Blue Apron a leg-up by introducing its meal kits for customers in New York.

The deal will an initially rotating selection of four meal kits from Blue Apron made available as part of Jet’s ‘City Grocery’ experience. The kits — which will rotate every six weeks — will be available for same-day or next-day order in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, as well as Jersey City and Hoboken.

Jet — which is the first e-tailer partner for Blue Apron — said the kits are designed specifically for its customers based on “extensive feedback” based around what they want to eat, how they want to make it, etc. As a part of that focus, all of the kits take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

The initial selection includes the following:

  • Seared Steaks & Peperonata with Fregola Sarda Pasta & Grana Padano Cheese (2 servings, 28 oz) – $22.99
  • Dukkah-Spiced Beef & Couscous with Tahini-Dressed Broccoli (2 servings, 41 oz.) – $20.99
  • Togarashi Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Chili Slaw & Jasmine Rice (2 servings, 32 oz.) – $18.99
  • Italian Farro Bowl with Roasted Vegetables & Mozzarella (2 servings, 32 oz.) – $16.99

“We are delighted to be the first e-retailer to offer the Blue Apron on-demand kits, kicking off in NYC,” said Jet President Simon Belsham in a statement. “Adding the on-demand kits to our newly launched City Grocery experience provides another layer of convenient services and products that helps make people’s lives easier, and it’s a great example of how Jet will continue to differentiate itself.”

That was echoed by Brad Dickerson, who become CEO late last year. Dickerson hinted that the company has more planned for its “channel expansion strategy.”

Despite going public in June, 2017 was a tough year for Blue Apron.

The company listed at $10 per share after originally hoping to go public between $15 and $17. But, more significantly, Amazon threw a spanner in the works when it purchased Whole Foods just days before Blue Apron’s debut, giving investors concerned the alliance would negatively impact the company, piling on more doubt that had surfaced around the viability of its customer retention strategy.

Things have only gotten worse for Blue Apron since then, with its shares currently valued at just $1.14 as of the close of market on Friday. But there is some positive sentiment around the Jet deal with the share price up nearly 22 percent in pre-trading, according to Yahoo Finance.