Subscription-based meal kit company Blue Apron said it will make its kits available in supermarkets by year-end, according to reports, as the company continues to struggle to make a profit through its delivery model.
The New York-based company has not disclosed which supermarkets it might partner with on the service, but has been in talks with multiple food retailers, including some that already sell their own meal kits in stores, Blue Apron executives told the Wall Street Journal.
“The access to consumers is much broader in this avenue than the avenue we’ve been operating in the past,” Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson told the newspaper.
Blue Apron could not be reached for comment for this article.
Some sources speculated that Minneapolis-based Target Corp. might be a good fit as a distribution partner for Blue Apron, given the retailer’s network of urban locations and its propensity to partner with name brands that have a strong consumer reputation.
By moving to distribute in stores rather than
simply through online subscription-based deliveries, Blue Apron would be joining meal kit providers such as Plated, which was acquired by Albertsons last year and is being rolled out to that company’s stores, and Purple Carrot, which has made its meal kits available in select Whole Foods stores.
The move also comes as Walmart recently said it would roll out meal kits, which it will assemble in-store, to 2,000 of its deli departments this year. Several other retailers, including Kroger Co. and Publix Super Markets, have already rolled out their own brands of meal kits in stores.
In a recent report, research firm Nielsen said that although the majority of meal kits are currently purchased online, in-store meal kit sales grew rapidly in the past year — up 26.5%, to $154.6 million.
Nielsen said that for consumers, in-store meal kits offer unique advantages over…