Blue Apron Stock Falls

A months ago, Blue Apron became the first meal kit service in the U.S. industry to go public. Unfortunately, it was bad timing on the part of the company. Instead of riding the so-called “pop” from the excitement of the stock offering, shares have been declining since they hit the market.

Blue Apron was originally going to offer its stock at $15-$17 per share when the IPO was made, but because the demand wasn’t as high as they expected, they dropped it to only $10. Most recently, the stock price closed even lower at $7.08 per share, but analysts have predicted it will drop even further. In fact, as website GrubStreet points out: “Wall Street is so pessimistic about Blue Apron right now that one firm, Northcoast Research, believes the $7 share price is not low enough.” Analysts there said that their valuation is at about $2 per share because of “severe cost challenges as well as a competitive set that is broadening and intensifying.”

Munchies Meal Kits

Vice, a media company known for its investigative reporting and progressive-leaning news, is now venturing outside the box for potential lucrative revenue streams. They might have found it in the meal kit services industry.

Vice is now offering customers its own meal kit service, dubbed Munchies, and joining a crowded but growing market alongside popular brands like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. The service launched in June.

Employing a star chef for its launch is an important ingredient for Munchies, as well as a branding tie-in to its parent media company. Munchies is partnering with acclaimed Toronto chef Matty Matheson, who hosts the Vice website's "how to" series and stars in the Viceland special Dead Set on Life​. According to Inc Magazine, “Matheson designed the first five recipes, though the company plans to collaborate with additional talent after launch.”

Blue Apron IPO Lukewarm

Blue Apron made headlines when they first announced their plans for an IPO. The company (trading as APRN.N on the NYSE) made its stock market debut the last week of June, and was the first company to go public in the meal kit industry in the United States. It’s a fast-growing market, and other meal kit services have expressed interest in going public, too. But expectations for Blue Apron fell short.

According to Reuters, the high reached $11 before settling back to trading at $10.12, lower than expected.

This may not have been the best time for a meal kit service to initiate an IPO, as it turns out. Online retail giant Amazon just announced its deal to buy Whole Foods Grocery, creating more uncertainty in an already competitive market. Amazon currently provides a grocery delivery service, making it easy for people to skip the hassle of shopping – a key benefit to ordering from meal kit service providers.

Ancestry files for IPO

Ancestry, a leading company in the growing industry of at-home genetics testing, has filed for a confidential initial public offering (IPO), according to a recent article in Fortune Magazine.

The Utah-based company submitted a draft registration statement on their proposed IPO to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in late June. They didn’t disclose the number of shares to be offered or the price range. The company is valued at about $2.6 billion, according to Fortune.

The at-home genetics testing business is booming these days, and companies like Ancestry and 23andMe are reaping the benefits. Consumers are eager to learn about their genetic history, including their health tendencies, thanks to the ease at which they can obtain reports.

Control of Ancestry DNA data? is incredibly popular right now, thanks in large part to their handy at-home DNA testing kit for curious customers eager to know their genetic makeup. But many customers have overlooked Ancestry’s terms of service agreement, which allows the company the right to sell DNA information to third parties.

More people than ever are curious to find their genetic heritage, and the tests are very simple and accessible to the average consumer. Ancestry and competitor 23andMe each sell reports for under $100. The tests require the customer send a saliva sample for testing, and just a few weeks later, they have access to their individual genetic report.

Lately however, Ancestry has had some problems in defending their brand to consumers worried about privacy. In its Terms of Service agreement, Ancestry requires that you license your DNA to them, which means they can sell it to third parties.

Blue Apron Files for IPO

The meal kit industry is a booming business, and leading the charge is longtime contender Blue Apron. Blue Apron Holdings Inc., filed for an IPO in June, and is the first in this new industry to go public.

Blue Apron filed for an IPO for up to $100 million, and is being underwritten by finance giants Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Barclays. The company plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol APRN.

Sun Basket, a competitor of Blue Apron that focuses on delivering organic ingredients as part of its meal kits, has hired banks for an IPO that could take place later this year, according to Reuters.