Blue Apron mixing up meal-kit market after billion-dollar dip

Blue Apron CEO talks meal-kit company turnaround

Blue Apron CEO Linda Kozlowski discusses the challenges faced by her company and the future.

The meal-kit industry has grown in popularity and demand in recent years, with more families embracing the ease and intimacy of cooking at home.

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Blue Apron went public in June 2017, valued at nearly $2 billion. Almost three years later, in February 2020, the company's valuation shrank to $58 million.

Blue Apron CEO Linda Kozlowski told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday that the company plans to bounce back from the decline by learning from early challenges.

“There were a lot of challenges as the pioneer in the space,” Kozlowski said. “We saw a lot of the early challenges in the meal-kit space.”

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But Kozlowski said being an early player in the industry allowed the company to overcome obstacles, see future opportunities and “improve the products [and] improve development.” Blue Apron announced in its fourth-quarter earnings report that the company may be considering a sale to save itself.

“Now we just see opportunity ahead as we look towards the future,” she said. “And that's part of the reason we announced that we're looking at strategic alternatives is to figure out how to fuel that future.”

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The Blue Apron logo is pictured ahead of the company’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

The company, according to Kozlowski, isn’t looking to sell to one particular buyer but seeks to invest in a “broad range of strategic alternatives” in partnership with private banking company Centerview Partners.

“It's more about how do we think about what are all the various ways that we can add value to Blue Apron shareholders,” she said. “And there's a multitude of opportunities there.”

Meanwhile, Kozlowski also discussed the impact the new coronavirus could have on the business. Before the outbreak of the virus, Kozlowski said trends showed more people were staying home and choosing to cook and entertain guests instead of dining out. Now that the public is more concentrated on cleanliness and staying healthy, she said Blue Apron is at an advantage since the company has “full visibility” of its supply chain from “end to end.”

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“We know exactly where everything is coming from, exactly where it's going to and we're able to really manage that,” she said. “And we do see people finding that important in what they bring into their homes … this is food. This is intimate. This is a part of their family. So we want to make sure that we're always thinking about safety there.”

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