It may be some time before we see Amazon-branded meal kits online, but the competition is already feeling the heat.
Blue Apron Holdings Inc. dropped as much as 12 percent after Amazon.com Inc. filed a trademark application for prepared food kits, the latest sign that investors are concerned about newly public Blue Apron's prospects. "You be the chef".
The meal-kit market is small but expanding, and it may be hard for companies like Blue Apron to compete in a world where Amazon and other grocery giants offer their own prepackaged, ready-to-cook ingredient boxes.
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In early Monday trades, Blue Apron shares plunged as low as $6.51, off more than 11 percent from Friday's close and almost 33 percent below their June 29 IPO price of $10 on the New York Stock Exchange. Blue Apron is structured as a subscription service in which users get a set number of meal kit boxes per week, whereas meal kits on Amazon Fresh appear to be one-off purchases.
Representatives from Amazon and Blue Apron didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Blue Apron's current price, however, looks downright bullish compared with the $2-a-share price target it received from Northcoast Research, the first Wall Street firm to weigh in on the company. The stock opened for trading at $10 per share on June 29.
On Monday morning, Blue Apron's stock was falling more than 7 percent, hitting an all-time-low and dropping below the $7 mark. Amazon already offers meal kits, such as one from Sequential Brands Group Inc.'s Martha Stewart brand.
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