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HomeBusinessBlue Apron acquired by Wonder Group in $103 million deal.

Blue Apron acquired by Wonder Group in $103 million deal.

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Meal kit company Blue Apron has agreed to be sold to food and restaurant company Wonder Group for $103m. The sale comes after Blue Apron, which was once a leader in at-home meal delivery, underwent a transition to become a more asset-light business. As part of this transformation, the company sold its operational infrastructure to FreshRealm for $50m and implemented significant layoffs. Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley reassured customers that the brand and products will remain the same following the acquisition, with opportunities for future product expansion.

Blue Apron initially found success by offering a convenient way for working professionals in large cities to prepare home-cooked meals. However, increased competition from other meal kit businesses, such as HelloFresh and Home Chef, caused Blue Apron to lose market share. The company went public in 2017 but struggled to turn a profit, reporting losses totaling $210m in 2017. Blue Apron’s shares dipped below $1 per share by December 2018, jeopardizing its standing on the New York Stock Exchange. The Covid-19 pandemic briefly revitalized the company, but demand for at-home meals declined once lockdown measures were lifted. Blue Apron focused on forming partnerships with third-party retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, to attract new customers.

Wonder Group, founded by entrepreneur Marc Lore, plans to continue operating Blue Apron under its current brand. By acquiring Blue Apron, Wonder aims to strengthen its strategic position in the meal kit industry and expand opportunities for at-home meals. Wonder, which initially operated faceless vans in New Jersey to deliver fine dining options, later transitioned to a food hall restaurant concept. The company partners with established restaurants to prepare their foods in Wonder locations. Wonder raised $350m at a $3.5bn valuation in 2022. Blue Apron’s acquisition is expected to provide synergies between consumer-facing apps and delivery logistics for both companies.

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