Blue Apron Inc.: Success and Challenges
Case Code: BSTR535
Case Length: 12 Pages
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Organization: Blue Apron Inc.
Industry: Meal Kit Delivery Service
Themes: Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts
Blue Apron, a pioneer in the meal kit industry in the US, was co-founded by Matthew B. Salzberg (Salzberg), Ilia Papas (Papas), and Matthew Wadiak (Wadiak). In 2011, Salzberg, an associate at Bessemer Venture Partners , and his friend Papas, a technical architect at Optaros , had a hectic lifestyle. They both loved to cook and experiment with new flavors but because of their work schedule they had no time to search for new recipes or purchase food ingredients. The difficulties they faced in fulfilling their desire for a self- cooked meal at home led them to come up with the idea of starting a meal kit delivery service in 2012. Neither Salzberg nor Papas had had any experience in the food industry, so Salzberg called up his family friend Wadiak to join in their endeavors. Wadiak, who had trained at the Culinary Institute of America , was a wholesaler of truffles and avocados. Once Wadiak joined, he was designated as the Chief Operating Officer, Papas as the Chief Technical Officer, and Salzberg as the Chief Executive Officer. The founders named their company “Blue Apron” as trainee chefs wore a blue colored apron while they learnt to cook. The founders aimed to offer new easy recipe menus to subscribers each week. They also built up a relationship with local farmers to create the menus based on the seasonality and availability of food ingredients...
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