Blue Apron Competitors Explore Sales to Grocers, Food Manufacturers

Blue Apron’s disappointing IPO has hurt fundraising prospects for its myriad meal-kit competitors, while Amazon.com’s acquisition of Whole Foods has sent stocks tumbling for grocers. That has given grocery chains and meal-kit startups a larger appetite to combine forces, say industry experts and tech executives.

Signs of consolidation are emerging. Executives at Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway, have recently discussed buying meal-kit startup Plated, according to two people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear whether the two sides are close to an agreement.

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“You’re seeing incredible changes in the landscape of how people buy food and the migration online,” Mr. Ransford said. “But brick and mortar is going to be significant. A lot of major retailers are interested in adding meal kits.”

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