Why Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Continue to Get Crushed

Blue Apron's Stock Is Getting Crushed Amid Reports Of Amazon Meal Kit Trademark

Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods means the company will soon have access to top-notch food sourcing and distribution, which will undoubtedly make it easy to compete with Blue Apron in the meal-kit market.

The Seattle-based Internet giant is trying to trademark the slogan, "We do the prep".

The growing meal kit business has attracted some major players, including Martha Stewart, whose Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired meal kit company, Marley Spoon, a year ago and renamed it Martha & Marley Spoon.

Amazon is clobbering Blue Apron's stock again. "You be the chef" - makes it sound an bad lot like 5-year-old Blue Apron, and similar meal-kit delivery services. That said, with Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), it's hard for investors to simply shrug this trademark off. The service will provide customers with "prepared food kits. ready for cooking and assembly as a meal", according to company's application, which was filed July 6. Amazon's long track record of disrupting traditional business with ruthless price cuts and smarter delivery technology sent a wave of panic through traditional grocery stocks. An even bigger threat is the possibility of Amazon.com, Inc. Blue Apron shares are down 21.2% for the month to date while Amazon shares are up 3.5% for the period.

But it's clear that some Blue Apron investors aren't waiting around to see what Amazon does next.

As Ruth pointed out, Blue Apron's customer acquisition costs are already out of control: "Blue Apron's marketing department is spending an exorbitant $94 per customer to get people to sign up for its service-and in the a year ago, its customer growth rate has actually slowed".

A German Blue Apron competitor, HelloFresh, is also reportedly mulling an IPO.

Thanks to the stock plunge on Monday, Blue Apron is now worth about $1.3 billion.

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