Amazon may be entering the meal-kit market, with the company showing its hand by filing a trademark for the phrase: “We do the prep. You be the chef.”
In a sign of investor attitudes to the company’s entry into a new sector, just the existence of the trademark was enough to knock the shares of one of the largest publicly traded companies in the same sector.
US-based Blue Apron shares fell 11% over the weekend, from $7.365 (£5.65) to $6.555, following the revelation of the Amazon filing on Sunday.
Europe’s largest meal kit service, HelloFresh, is still privately held but is reportedly planning to go public this autumn.
The Amazon trademark, filed on 6 July, covers “prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables … ready for cooking and assembly as a meal”.
The company has already shown significant desire to expand into food delivery, the last major retail stronghold where it has an undersized presence.
The company’s grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, is available in 13 US cities, as well as London, Tokyo and Berlin.
In Britain, the company has also partnered with supermarket Morrisons to deliver food and other goods through its Amazon Prime Now same-day delivery service
In the US, it took a much larger step into the food market in June, announcing a $13.7bn acquisition of US organic grocer Whole Foods.