Jana Partners Sells its 2 Percent Stake in Blue Apron
NEW YORK, NY - Well, it’s not quite a new year, but it is looking like Jana Partners is already thinking of new beginnings. The company sold its 2 percent stake in the meal kit delivery company Blue Apron, valued at about $3 million.
News of Jana's departure from its partnership with Blue Apron is not entirely surprising. The convenience offered with Blue Apron’s meal kits has not been a continued, steady success, as the company reportedly lost 6 percent of its customer base since last year and 9 percent since the previous quarter. While this might seem alarming, its marketing costs fell 32 percent and the consumers who stayed true blue to the delivery service are reportedly spending more than the months before.
What money-making signal does this offer the meal kit team? FoodDive expressed that Blue Apron's loss in marketing expenses seemingly equated to its loss in continued customer demands. In other words, when the company diminished its exposure, it was met with loss in loyalty from both customers and investors, as can be seen in a report from Earnest Research, which shows the company’s market shares fell from 57 percent last year to 43 percent this year.
FoodDive reports that many people are likening the impact of Jana’s investment in the meal kit company, which was reportedly worth $3 million, to the company’s $794.5 million stake it bought into at Whole Foods this year. In light of Blue Apron's 300-employee lay-off, or 6 percent of its workforce, and after its temporary hiring freeze, the company’s shares fell 21 percent this month. Trailing this string of blows, CEO Matthew Salzberg reportedly said its Linden, New Jersey fulfillment center was not bringing in enough profit to offset its costs.
How is Blue Apron fairing in the face of its competitors during its trying time? The trending meal kit business plan seems to be generally thought of as a growth opportunity yet. Albertsons’ purchase of Plated, HelloFresh’s plans to go public, and up-and-coming businesses joining the specialized industry geared toward convenience are proof positive that the innovations for meal kits have not hit their peak yet. We have more meal kit businesses to meet and much growth to witness in the persevering delivery industry.
What unique offers and plans are in store for these dedicated businesses, and how will they continue to push convenience forward in stand-out ways? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on the fluctuations seen in the ever-evolving meal kit delivery services.