The Wall Street Journal reports that Blue Apron Holdings, having just had another bad quarter - it lost $21.9 million in the fourth quarter, and its customer count was down to 351,000 from 557,000 during the same period ago - "is exploring strategic options," including as sale or merger of the company.
The story notes that while Blue Apron was an early and notable player in the meal kit space, "newer players offering cheaper or more niche meals have siphoned off customers. Rival HelloFresh SE surpassed Blue Apron as the biggest U.S. provider of meal kits in 2018. Grocers Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. expanded their own offerings of prepared foods by acquiring meal-kit companies."
While it has forged partnerships with the likes of Weight Watchers and Beyond Meat, it also has "trimmed marketing in recent quarters as it attempted to curtail losses stemming in part from operational problems at a warehouse in New Jersey built to prepare and package its kits."
This writing has been on the wall for a long time. The font is just getting bigger, and the colors more vivid.