In May, the meal kit delivery service launched the service — offering its beef stir-fry and chicken tacos — at 17 West Coast Costco locations. The goal was to give customers a taste of what Blue Apron has to offer. And the hope, of course, was that once their palates were wetted, Costco shoppers would be inspired to not only buy their meal kits from Costco, but also subscribe to Blue Apron to enjoy more of their offerings. The Blue Apron meal kits for sale in Costco cost less than the meals sent to consumer’s doorsteps by the company.
The end of the program was just one of the announcements Blue Apron made during its earnings report last week, including plans to restructure the business and cut about 100 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce.
“As the holiday period approaches, our presence in Costco locations has paused due to the seasonal cadence of their business,” said Bradley Dickerson, chief executive of Blue Apron, on the third-quarter earnings call, according to Marketwatch. “As we enter 2019, we are targeting to resume in Costco as well as expand into new retailers leveraging lessons learned from our pilot and evolving our product offerings to complement this environment.”
The partnership with Costco was one way Blue Apron has tried to boost business. Last month the company announced that a rotating selection of meals will be available on-demand to customers in select areas in New York City on the Grubhub and Seamless online and mobile platforms.
Blue Apron shares have lost almost 70 percent of their value since the company went public last year, and the company was down more than 22 percent this year as of May. Analysts have suggested that Blue Apron’s best hope would be to be acquired, with one analyst suggesting that Walmart might be the best suitor.