If you love the idea of picking up a meal kit on your way home instead of going through the hassle of a subscribing to a service (and all the packaging that comes with each delivery), the new partnership between Blue Apron and Costco might just be the thing you're looking for.
Each kit feeds four people at a cost of $24.99 (or two people with leftovers) which breaks down to about $6.25 per serving. That's not a bad deal for Costco members considering that Blue Apron subscription plans will run you between $9 and $11, depending on which plan you get. The kits sold at Costco are basically a 30 percent discount over what you would get ordering straight from Blue Apron.
Right now, the kits are available at only 17 stores in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay area, though if it succeeds, it's likely the initial pilot program will expand to other Costco stores.
Right now, there are only two recipes available for sell as a kit at Costco: one-pan beef stir-fry and Southwestern chicken tacos. Blue Apron plans to rotate the meal recipe selections monthly.
It's really a different model for Blue Apron, not just because the kits are available for pick up instead of delivery. The company is going after the more casual cook, who is focused on getting dinner on the table, not learning to cook different things.
Tim Smith, Blue Apron senior vice president and manager of consumer products, told Business Insider that the Costco kits will be less complex and require less time to prepare than the delivered kits. "We're certainly thinking about different lifestyles, specifically for Costco. I think on the average they will have a few less ingredients," Smith said.
It's not the first foray into meal kit territory for Costco; some of the chain's stores sell kits from the company Chef'd. Costco is also selling Blue Apron gift cards good for the subscription based service.
It is the first time Blue Apron meal kits have been offered without the subscription service via delivery; the question is whether a move to a brick and mortar model will help the company regain its momentum as grocery stores like Walmart and Albertsons offer in-store meal kits.
Business Insider also reported that Blue Apron CEO Brad Dickerson told analysts, "We have only scratched the surface" with the Costco program, which seems to suggest we'll be seeing more of Blue Apron in stores and perhaps less in boxes at front doors.
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