May 16, 2023 NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blue Apron today announced plans for a long-term operations and logistics relationship with FreshRealm, a leading provider of fresh meals to top retailers nationwide, that would see the business shift to an asset-light model.
The companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent for up to $50 million payable to Blue Apron for the transfer of its operational infrastructure, as well as when transition, efficiency and product milestones are met.
Blue Apron plans to continue to drive its core direct-to-consumer business, including the creation and marketing of its product, customer data, customer support and consumer technology. The company does not expect changes to its existing revenue streams as a result of this relationship.
By shifting to this asset-light model, Blue Apron plans to focus on further growing its strong brand and delivering the high-quality products its customers have come to expect. The company also plans to add new convenience product options for a broader consumer base in the future.
Upon closing, and together with additional streamlining efforts Blue Apron plans to make, the transaction is expected to enhance the company’s balance sheet and drive additional corporate product, technology, general and administrative efficiencies alongside the asset-light model to support the company’s goal of profitability.
“Over a decade ago, Blue Apron pioneered the U.S. meal kit industry and remains a leader in offering delicious, chef-curated meals to thousands of customers every week. As we continue to evolve, we believe there is an opportunity to simplify our direct role in the fulfillment of our product, allowing us to focus on growing our brand, our customer base and revenue in the long-term,” said Linda Findley, Blue Apron’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We expect that this will allow us to focus all our efforts on providing even greater innovation and convenience to our customers as we remain at the forefront of culinary trends. We are confident that we can continue to deliver the same product our customers know and love, while increasing efficiency and accelerating our path to profitability.”
The proposed transaction builds on Blue Apron’s current relationship with FreshRealm, which is the manufacturer of the company’s popular line of Heat & Eat meals. Once the transaction closes, Blue Apron expects to be able to accelerate product innovation with faster development and commercialization. Blue Apron also expects to be able to leverage FreshRealm’s expertise, along with their full product capabilities of ready-to-heat and ready-to-cook meals, and other offerings. Over time, this relationship is also expected to open additional sales channels.
FreshRealm’s Founder and CEO, Michael Lippold, added, “Today’s meal industry is focused on profitability and expanded product offerings. From the beginning, FreshRealm has believed this is best achieved through organizations staying within their core competencies. This announcement positions Blue Apron to focus on the customer experience; while FreshRealm continues on the path to be the leading platform to support retailers across multiple channels with a broad and efficient solutions offering.”
At the closing of the transaction, Blue Apron would transfer its operational infrastructure to FreshRealm, including fulfillment centers, equipment, know-how and personnel. In consideration of the transaction, Blue Apron expects to issue to FreshRealm warrants in an amount equal to 19.9% of the company’s then-outstanding common stock with an exercise price of $.01 per share on the closing date of the transaction.
The parties intend to sign definitive agreements and close the transaction on or about June 9, 2023.
About Blue Apron
Blue Apron’s vision is Better Living Through Better Food™. Launched in 2012, Blue Apron offers fresh, chef-designed meals that empower home cooks to embrace their culinary curiosity, challenge their abilities in the kitchen and see what a difference cooking quality food can make in their lives. Blue Apron is focused on bringing incredible recipes to its customers, deepening its commitment to its employees, continuing to reduce food and packaging waste, and addressing its carbon impact. Visit blueapron.com to learn more.