It feels as though mealtime, throughout history, has been a source of tension. Whether that’s ensuring you have the right ingredients, finding a recipe the whole family can love, or even taking the time out of your busy schedule to cook, it can truly be an undertaking. Blue Apron, a leading meal kit delivery company, came to fruition to solve these everyday problems.
Though it’s been nearly ten years since Blue Apron first came to be, what started off as a simple local meal service has expanded exponentially in the past decade. From expanding its distribution centers to finding more environmentally-friendly practices, Blue Apron has altered the landscape significantly since its inception.
So, how exactly did Blue Apron change the dinner game? Let’s discuss what disruptive strategy breakthroughs it made and how the brand differentiated itself from top competitors over the years.
The Endless Quest for Dinner
In a time before Blue Apron, meal prep relied mostly on the person doing the cooking. Finding a recipe, grocery shopping for ingredients, washing the necessary utensils and cookware, etc. These were all part of the process which made even the simplest recipes take much more time. In a day and age that requires more streamlined operations, the brand hoped to ease the burden on its subscribers by doing a majority of the work for them.
Though Blue Apron had humble beginnings in New York, distributing meal kits in smaller batches to local customers, soon it expanded to other distribution centers across the country. The company even broadened its inventory by offering kitchen tools and cookware through its Blue Apron Market in 2014.
In 2015, just three years after its inception, Blue Apron was shipping all over the United States. During this year, the company also began to offer a wine delivery program to complement meals. Blue Apron continues to find innovative ways to serve its audience while guaranteeing quality.
Shipping Meals Right to Your Door
How Blue Apron intended to make life easier was by providing step-by-step instructions for delicious recipes, responsibly-sourced ingredients in perfect portions, and even recyclable packaging. The company took away all the guesswork and extra steps for its customers, providing a service to make mealtime much more enjoyable.
Though cooking the ingredients is still part of the business model, Blue Apron sets itself apart from the ready-made meal services that don’t always pledge freshness in quite the same way.
Plus, subscribers can choose recipes based on family size, dietary preferences, and budget.
Blue Apron is partnered with farms that limit agricultural chemicals and promote soil health through crop rotation to grow specialty crops for the company, focusing on eco-friendly practices and a positive focus on the environmental impact. With so many subscribers, having a “green” company is a major perk, which has only helped secure Blue Apron’s loyal consumer base.
The company was also one of the first to utilize podcast marketing campaigns to its advantage, in addition to strategic offline marketing such as mail-ins. Blue Apron also relied on its unique referral program to boost subscriptions to its service by offering free meals to attract more subscribers.
Changing the Food Landscape
While other meal services have cropped up in recent years, Blue Apron continues to remain a worthy competitor. Through its services, the brand has managed to help solve the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” With chef-designed recipes and a brand focus on community and quality, it has raised the stakes for other companies to follow suit.
The company even saw an increase in subscribers during the early part of the pandemic, due to people staying at home and finding new, healthier hobbies. Blue Apron has taken every opportunity to utilize situations to its advantage, while not compromising on its mission. Blue Apron has over one million subscribers and has sold over ten million meal kits.
While there have been changes over the years in management, this company remains focused on the quality and service it can provide. Blue Apron changed the game and disrupted the food industry by pioneering delicious and convenient meal kit services.
With a surge of customers and meal service brands, capitalizing on the momentum has been crucial for Blue Apron. By answering a common problem for many households, it created a wave of ingredient-and-recipe kits while still making a name for itself. Blue Apron’s credibility as a brand has seen it through challenges, of course, but also through moments of innovation and strategic digital marketing.
It’s time to shake up your industry! Schedule a consultation with Mavericks Marketing today to get started on your own disruptive strategy.