Amazon files meal-kits trademark, treading on Blue Apron's turf

Amazon files meal-kits trademark, treading on Blue Apron's turf

It's just the latest Amazon-fueled hit absorbed by the flailing Blue Apron, which took a cleaver to its IPO range in the week before pricing following Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods.

Amazon has registered a trademark in the USA for a service described as: "We do the prep".

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. shares were down 7.7% in Monday premarket trading after Inc. filed a trademark for a meal kit service. The service covers "prepared food kits. ready for assembly as a meal" and, according to CNBC, will primarily include dishes consisting of grains, pasta, rice, and noodles.

The Times, a British-based publication, first reported this news Sunday.

Blue Apron holds the title as the largest meal-kit provider in the US, followed by German-based HelloFresh. Today, Blue Apron stocks hit an intraday low of $6.51 a share, down almost 10 percent.

The growing meal kit business has attracted some major players, including Martha Stewart, whose Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired meal kit company, Marley Spoon, a year ago and renamed it Martha & Marley Spoon. Just last week, the stock closed at a new low after an analyst slapped Blue Apron with a $2 price target, citing difficulty with the business ever becoming profitable. Amazon's trademark application indicates that it may more directly compete with Blue Apron in the future. Blue Apron's stock closed Friday at $7.36 per share, down almost 10 percent for the week.

Up until now, though, Amazon's testing of meal kits has carried no official label, slogan nor branding.