Amazon meal kits? Trademark filing sends Blue Apron's stock to new lows

Posted July 18, 2017

Note: This report pertains to Amazon Fresh and meal kits in the U.S., but presumably the United Kingdom would be next in line if Amazon made a decision to go down this route.

Shares of Blue Apron (APRN - Free Report) fell 9% in morning trading on Monday after news broke that Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) has registered a trademark in the US for a meal-kit business. Today, Blue Apron stocks hit an intraday low of $6.51 a share, down almost 10 percent. Over the years, it has launched services like AmazonFresh and Pantry.

The Times of London was first to report on the trademark filing.

News of a possible mail-order meal service from Amazon comes one month after the company agreed to buy upscale grocery chain Whole Foods (WFM) for $13.4 billion.

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"We live to eat", the tagline for its already-in-circulation line of snack foods called Wickedly Prime.

Last month, Fast Company's Ruth Reader asked whether Blue Apron would even exist in five years.

After The Sunday Times uncovered a new Amazon trademark that signals the company's interest in its own meal-kit service, Blue Apron shares sunk more than 11 percent on Monday.

Representatives from Amazon and Blue Apron didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Blue Apron is the largest meal kit provider in the United States, followed by HelloFresh, and this is the second hit the company has taken recently. In the middle of Blue Apron's road show to investors ahead of the IPO, Amazon announced it would make a big bid for Whole Foods, basically stealing Blue Apron's thunder and giving it a massive question mark for its future.

Online grocery shopping still accounts for just about 7% of all grocery orders, although observers expect adoption in the U.S.to increase dramatically: Nielsen expects that share to rise to 20% by 2025. Shares declined to $6.51 which is a 35 percent drop since its initial public offering.

Amazon rallied 1.1% to $1,012.95 in recent trading.

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