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Arielle Caronna

Eric Bagaoisan

Jenni Cosio Arellano

Lesly Mendoza

Serena Liu
Ingredients &
Great Recipes
As a group, we decided to study Blue Apron because of the immense
amounts of potential it has. Being a relatively new and somewhat small company,
there is a lot of room for growth. After analyzing the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats, we narrowed down our focus and goals. The first
point of action was redefining the target market to something much more clear
and concise so that it could effectively be targeted. Currently, Blue Apron, even
after a downsize to its marketing budget, spends a lot of money on not very
effective advertising. We studied the market we wanted to reach and decided
to do more in less places to gain attention. With this, we will be hitting social
media hard and relying on “word of mouth” via a revamped referral program.
The short term goal for 2018 is to break even but we believe that our ideas will
shoot Blue Apron’s net income into the green numbers come the end of fiscal
year 2019.
Making cooking 

Fun &

SWOT Analysis
7 nt
10 en
How do they market?
13 ts
Target Market
New Advertising
Competitor Advertising
Integrated Communications

Final Advertising proposals

Promotional Tools
Plan Costs

Public Relations


What's Inside The Blue
Apron Box
Blue Apron is exclusive customers ranging from
to the United States by recent college-graduates,
creating a lifestyle that adds young couples, and families
to the essence of an big and small. Their standards
individual’s needs through the of ingredients is important as
cooking experiences that they
it is with their customers by
provide. It was first founded
providing non-GMO
in 2012 as a startup, and their
(genetically modified
headquarters are located in
New York. Their core product organism) ingredients and
is a prepped nutritious meal to collaborating with organic
help customers make their producers. Many of the items
own dinner. Getting involved that are included are not
in this experience may lead to available in other locations.
learning more about different They focus on expanding
recipes, ingredients, and these exclusive dishes and
culinary techniques. Blue partnerships.
Apron prides itself by
developing their own original
recipes and sending the exact
ingredients directly to their
customers. All of their recipes
are packed and come with
printed instructions as well as
a background on where the
ingredients come from.
Alongside foods, they sell
different types of wine that
correlates to the meals as well
as different tools and utensils
to use according to Blue
Apron’s cooking experts. Blue
Apron has a diverse span of
Because Blue Apron is -Alphapoint Technology which
still a young brand they have is valued for collaborating
over 1800 employees and with other technological
hundreds of thousands of service companies that want
customers (Kosoff, 2015) to grow in the public market.
Although they have been This exemplifies that Home
making a reasonable profit for Bistro is making the
a startup company, it competition with Blue Apron,
exemplifies that this company more challenging.
is an active player in the meal
kit industry. Yet, Blue apron is
currently facing a significant
amount of competition. The
top three competitors are Sun
Basket, Home Chef, and
Home Bistro. Sun Basket is
also an American-based meal
kit company established in
2014 from San Francisco and
is a relatively strong
competitor by giving Blue
Apron a run for its money.
Home Chef is another
company located in Chicago,
Illinois with 1000 employees
who help operate the
business. This company sends
out 3 million meals every
month, which makes it a
strong competitor in this
industry. Next up, is Home
Bistro which is a company that
established in 1999 and
located in Plattsburgh, New
York. In July 2017, Home
Bistro was obtained by-
One of Blue Apron’s strengths is that it provides easy step-by-step meal
preparation instructions for customers, including images of each step. By
providing easy cooking instructions and images, customers are less likely to
make any mistakes while cooking. This also leads to an increase in customer’s
confidence with their ability to cook. Additionally, people who are not the best
cooks can prepare a meal with no issues. Another strength of Blue Apron is
their ability to proportion their meals. They carefully proportion every meal they
package by grouping together ingredients. This way, the cook can use every
single ingredient provided, resulting in zero food waste. Adding to their
strengths, Blue Apron also offers a variety of ethnic cuisines. Through the use
of ethnic cuisines, customers are able to enjoy and experiment with different
meals from different places. Some of the ethnic cuisines includes Mexican,
Asian, Indian, and Italian meals.

Although Blue Apron provides simple cooking instructions, the amount of
time it takes to cook a meal can be a problem for some. Most of Blue Apron’s
meals take around twenty to forty-five minutes to cook (Blue Apron, n.d.). This
is a weakness because some of their customers may not have enough time to
cook that certain meal. For example, after a long day of work most people are
looking forward to eating something quick, but realize it will take a long time to
cook their Blue Apron meal. In this case, they will opt for a take-out meal
instead. Another weakness of theirs is limited creativity with meals. Since they
already provide customers with the exact ingredients they will use for meals,
customers have very little room to be creative with their dishes. Someone may
want to experiment and add more ingredients to the meal, but will not be
possible unless they buy the ingredients themselves. Lastly, the amount of
packaging that Blue Apron uses is harming the environment. Many customers
complain about the amount of package waste their Blue Apron meal leaves
behind due to individual ingredient packaging. Although they do have a
returns program and most of it is recyclable, it does not dismiss the harm they
are contributing to the environment by delivering 5 million meals per month
(O’Mara, 2017).
The rise in “digital technology” and how it “is reshaping the market”
(Hirschberg, Carsten, et al., 2016) contributes to Blue Apron’s strength. Blue
Apron has the ability to increase business sales due to more people placing
online orders. People tend to place orders online because of sheer convenience
and efficiency. Digital technology can also increase Blue Apron's brand
recognition on social media. Americans becoming more conscious of their health
is another opportunity for the company. More people, especially young adults,
are becoming proactive in regard to their health and “can influence and
redefine the existing food culture” (Gustafson, 2017). This can benefit Blue
Apron because they can target this market given that they sell easy, healthy,
and accessible meals. Additionally, Blue Apron can expand their recipes to cater
to people’s health interests. Another opportunity for Blue Apron is their ability to
be positioned for family togetherness. Family togetherness expands on the idea
of making and having dinner as a family. This can also attract people who like to
host dinner parties with friends and still give that “family” element.

Competition is always a threat to any company. There are a lot of other
meal kit delivery companies, but Blue Apron’s top competitor is Sun Basket.
Although Blue Apron provides fresh ingredients, Sun Basket goes above and
beyond by offering organic produce and most importantly, options for special
dietary needs (“Clean, Sustainable..”, n.d.). Sun Basket has a great advantage
since they are more inclusive towards the vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and lean
and clean communities. The rise in restaurant delivery services is also a threat
for Blue Apron. DoorDash, UberEats, and Postmates are among the most popular
food delivery services and are hassle free. They are more efficient and require
zero effort from customers, since they only place their order through the app
and get their restaurant food delivered to their door in minutes. Compared to
Blue Apron, these restaurant delivery services are convenient for customers
since they are not left with a messy kitchen and dishes to wash after eating.
After Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market, Blue Apron’s shares plumetted
85% (Garber, 2018). This acquisition provides more opportunities for Amazon to
grow their online business and attract more customers. Amazon's subsidiary,
AmazonFresh, is an example of said opportunity because it delivers groceries to
people's homes, which can potentially leave Blue Apron in the dust.
Annual Sales 
 Annual budget for marketing
Annual SG&A
Blue Apron can be found on the NASDAQ stock market as APRN, where
they become the first meal-kit company to go public only a little over a year
ago. On June 28th of 2017, Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. announced that they
would be releasing
30,000 shares at the public price of $10 per share in the beginning of July.
Today, their stock is trading at the significantly lower price of $1.7087 per
share. During 2017, there was a loss of twenty cents per share which while it
is a loss, is lower than the thirty-nine cents per share loss seen during 2016.
Therefore, at the end of the day this was seen as a small success by both the
company and its investors.
Overall revenue for 2017 was $881.19 million, during the the fourth quarter
of it was $187.8 million, which, while it was lower than previous quarters, was
also reportedly higher than most investors were expecting. This was partly
due to a very conscious decision made by Blue Apron’s CEO in regards to
marketing. “The company spent $25.2 million, or 13.4 percent of revenue, on
marketing in the fourth quarter. In the same period last year, Blue Apron
spent $37.1 million on marketing, or 17.2 percent of its revenue” (Whitten,
2018). This large difference, as one might guess, did result in a lower number
of new customers. However, interestingly enough, the amount of money
spent by each customer improved.
Blue Apron’s decisions to
divert more focus to the loyal
customers they already had by
better marketing all the available
options paid off. The amount spent
per customer increased from $246
to $248 (Whitten, 2018). Another
interesting, but not surprising, note
about Blue Apron financials is their
selling, general, and administrative
expenses (SG&A). For 2017, their
annual SG&A was $402.44 million,
which is about $100 million more than
this amount from 2016
(MarketScreener,2018). The growth
is shown below from 2014 to the
most recent complete fiscal year
(2017). While the $100 million
increase between 2016 and 2017
may seem extreme, it correlates with
the growth the company has seen.

Food is better...
When you start from 


Blue Apron uses a both digital and traditional advertising to attract

customers. With the use of social media, Blue Apron does a good job with
getting their name out there by partnering/sponsoring celebrities as well as
social media influencers. They also maintain a sufficient following on all
platforms with their frequent posts.

In May of 2018, Blue Apron teamed up with model

and author Chrissy Teigen to showcased some of her best-
loved recipes to customers nationwide. This gave viewers a
chance to re-create recipes that they would not normally
try in any regular cookbook/recipe. This gives customers a
little insight on how different celebrities may prepare
different dishes



8,967 Subscribers


As a food subscription service, Blue Apron also partners with popular

television series like Bob's Burgers and Master Chef. With Bob's Burgers, it gives
the at home chef an opportunity to try out famous dishes in the television series.
Customers also gets a chance to recreate recipes inspired by the winning dishes
from different seasons.


"Why We Eat What We Eat" is a podcast

partnered with Gimlet Creative to discuss
about the decisions a consumer make about
the food they choose to eat, what makes
someone a selective eater, and how food
brings everyone together.
Blue Apron caters to American
households since it is exclusively based in
the United States. Blue Apron delivers
boxes of fresh ingredients prepped to be
ready to cook to families who have
children, college graduates, and young
and old couples. They have made their
brand more appealing to people by
branching out and offering vegetarian
and pescatarian meal kit options. They
also give customers the ability to
personalize their meal kit menu based on
their food preferences ( Blue Apron,
2018). The generation that uses Blue
Apron the most are millennials from the
ages of 18-29 and they account for 29%
of users who have tried using their
service. Only 26% of Generation X, aged
30-44, reported they’ve tried the Blue
Apron meal kits. People over the age of
45 account for 12% of those who put the
Blue Apron meal kits to the test (Kosoff,
Blue Apron’s primary target market are millennials. Twenty nine percent of
millennials have reported to have used Blue Apron for its convenience and and
delicious gourmet meals (Kosoff, 2015). On Blue Aprons website they have two
base meal kit options for their customers to choose from. Their customers can either
choose from a two-person plan which serves two people or their family plan which
serves four people. After choosing the meal kit, customers can personally
customize their kit and choose their specific food preferences. Blue Apron focuses
on providing quick and easy to cook meals for people, such as millennials, who do
not have enough time in their day to go grocery shopping due to work and other
responsibilities. With such busy lifestyles, millennials benefit from these meal kits
which have the ingredients prepped and ready to cook so they can enjoy their
quick gourmet meal. This saves them the time they would need from having to prep
their meals.
In order for Blue Apron to successfully compete with their competitors
and see a significant revenue increase, their target market needs to become
more concise. Currently, Blue Apron is targeting millennials, and the baby
boomers (Luck,2018). In theory, it is possible to be successful by casting a big
net. However, it is clear in Blue Apron’s financials that their wide net is not
working in their favor. Because of this, it would be in Blue Apron’s favor to
direct their focus on to the middle class, working, health conscious, millennial.
The ideal customer is a millennial who is part of the very present health craze
but maybe doesn’t have the time or transportation available to grocery shop
every week. Blue apron offers the opportunity to choose a plan for more than
one person which is perfect for the 30% of under 35 year olds who are living
with roommates (Mercado, 2018). As the rate of college graduates increases,
the amount of people with income to spend towards products like meal kit
services are increasing. These factors make millenials an excellent demographic
to target with growth in mind.
In order to increase

A better
revenue and profits, the next
market that Blue Apron could

way to cook...
focus on would be the baby
boomers. At this point their
children have hopefully
already spoken about the meal
kits so when they see
advertisements it will not be
their first reference. For the
baby boomers who have adult
children, the opportunity to
receive a meal kit service
makes weekday meals fun.
Even though there is not the
entire family aspect their once
was, a couple still has the
chance to cook together and
enjoy a pain-free home cooked
meal. Currently, Blue Apron’s
retention rate is low, losing
more than half of their
customers after only three
months of subscription. The
baby boomer market provides
habit lifestyles, offering a level
of stability for Blue Apron
(Luck, 2018).
The next target market that Blue Apron could market to is generation
Z. At the point Blue Apron begins to target this demographic of those born in
the 2000’s, many will still be too young to cook. However, generation Z
accounts for 25.9% of the US population and because of their status as
children within a family hold about $200 billion in buying power (Sehl, 2018). As
word of mouth, in person and on social media, becomes a more powerful
resource, generation Z has the potential to influence the other generations. By
marketing to generation Z, Blue Apron would gain support from the youngest
relevant generation. In hand they would talk to their parents about it and
encourage them to purchase it or ask to continue using the product.
Generation Z is the generation of being “in”, making the active social media
users a viable target market (Sehl, 2018).
Blue Apron’s top two competitors,
a s previously mentioned, are Sun
Basket and Home Chef. Sun Basket’s
main target market is millennials.
Specifically, members of the “DINK”
(Dual Income No Kids) demographic,
this group find’s Sun Baskets thirty
minute meals to be a top selling point.
For busy people who are working full
time, eating out every night and weekly
grocery shopping is sometimes not an
option. Sun Basket’s promise of a
healthy meal in thirty minutes makes
weekday dinners enjoyable and stress
free for the busy and health conscious
This factor makes Sun Basket stand out
to the ever busy generations. Home
Chef’s main selling point is the fact that
they offer the most variety. Their target
market is millenials and baby boomers
who are not only health conscious but
have multiple dietary restrictions. The
ability to say you don't want meat or
fish or prefer low calorie or low carb
options makes Home Chef stand out
those with certain restrictions (Ranj,
2017). The target market is then
specified to those who are extra
conscious of their weight and/or those
who are extra cautious of the foods in
their diets.
Blue Apron plans to increase -own TV show on the food channel is
their partnerships with Youtubers definitely something we plan to
and other social media influencers to incorporate in the future. Since many
help promote its brand. By increasing millenials have a high usage of social
social media, it will reach a larger media platforms we also plan on
amount of viewers to get exposed to incorporating social media advertising
what Blue Apron is all about. With to apps such as Instagram and Twitter.
social media advertisements, we plan The exposure will have more people
to have a pulsating schedule where aware of Blue Apron meal kits.
during certain holidays we will
advertise more and offer specials. A channel that will be used for
For example, during Valentine's Day an ad targeting millennials will be
we will push towards meals for through YouTube. This will depict a
couples that offer wine pairing with Valentine dinner where a young man in
the meals. With YouTube, we are his early 20’s is preparing a fancy
aiming to start a segment where dinner for his girlfriend. The YouTube
children will cook some of the meals. ad will show him cooking the meal and
With this, it will show people how taking the ingredients and wine out of
easy it is to make and how fun it is to the Blue Apron box. Our message with
do with the whole family. We also this ad is that a simple Blue Apron meal
plan on partnering with grocery kit can be made into a fancy dinner for
stores to advertise and provide pre- two for an affordable price.
packaged recipes you can get at
your local grocery store. Blue Apron
already has partnerships with
popular television series but
increasing partnerships with other
series and possibly even creating
An increase in social media -consumer makes a purchase, they
advertising will help strengthen and must do research about the product
support brand management by and will either purchase it because of
reaching a broader audience. By their personal values,may have a need
partnering with more social media for the product, or they may simply just
influencers, it will grow Blue Apron’s like the product. Companies are always
popularity along with brand integrity. looking for new targets to attract and
By having a pulsating schedule for our advertising is a way of communicating
advertisements, it will draw the with both old and new customers. By
customers attention because of the having strong advertisements, it will
different offers and promotions they cover all basis of the decision making
may be getting that they would not on process including recognition,
a regular basis. We can incorporate information search, and evaluation of
the pulsating schedule within holiday alternatives. Advertising plays an
television commercials and YouTube integral role in recognition. Creating
pre-roll ads to gain more attention and ads that will stand out will help
draw the customers in to our product. customers retain the information about
the product. Ways to make ads
Advertising supports the memorable are through repetitive ads,
consumer decision making process memorable jingles, etc.
because advertising plays a role in the
search for information. Before any-
The meal kit delivery
service industry has grown
over the years. Blue Apron is
the top meal kit delivery
service among its competitors.
Its top two competitors
include Sun Basket and Home
Chef. All three companies
have a wide presence on
social media, with Blue Apron
being the most followed meal
kit account among the three.
All of them use almost the
same strategies to reach their
target market, from television
commercials to alternative
advertisements. Their
advertising strategies and
social media numbers are
provided below.

that are made

Sun Basket is another meal kit delivery service that focuses on providing vegan,
gluten-free, paleo, and lean and clean meals to their consumers. One of their
advertisements aired on television in 2017 for 30 seconds and was last aired January 21,
2018 (“Sun Basket TV Commercial, 'Healthy Recipes to My Door'.”). It highlights the joy
that is brought to consumers when they prepare their meals. They mainly target millenials
since couples and people who are in their 20’s and early 30’s are featured in this
advertisement called ‘Healthy Recipes to My Door’. Sun Basket offers a promotion at the
end of the advertisement to engage consumers and encourage them to purchase their
meal kits. It is evident that they chose this particular advertisement to air on television
because their target market still relies on getting information via broadcasting besides
social media. Sun Basket also uses alternative advertising methods, such as social media.
Sun Basket’s Instagram presence is fairly large. They recently had a collaboration with the
film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, in which they offered official Mediterranean dishes
inspired by the film. Customers were given a chance to win tickets to watch the film if their
meal was chosen. This advertisement was promoted on each of the company’s social media
platforms to reach as many people as possible.
Home Chef executes almost the same advertising tactics as Sun Basket. They also
use traditional advertising as well as alternative advertising. For one their commercials
called ‘Making Things Happen,’ it states that their meal kit delivery service is perfect for
those with busy lifestyles (“Home Chef TV Commercial, 'Making Things Happen'.”). Like Sun
Basket, they are marketing towards Millennials but also Baby Boomers because they are
the people that are the busiest with work. In the advertisement, the Sun Basket app is also
shown, drawing the consumer’s attention to the fact that they can order their meals
through it. Like Blue Apron and Sun Basket, a promotion is offered at the end of the
advertisement. This commercial aired on television in 2016 for 30 seconds and was last
aired on November 5, 2017. Besides traditional advertising, Home Chef mainly focuses on
social media advertising campaigns that involves their consumers. They host kitchenware
giveaways called Home Chef’s Meal Makeover Cook & Win!. Customers are able to cook
their Home Chef meals and post them on Instagram with a certain hashtag to win. This is a
great tactic that gets consumers involved with their meal kits. It encourages people to cook
their best meal and share their post for other people to see and join the giveaway.
Social Media
Blue Facebook: 2,073,712 likes (1st)
Twitter: 59.9K followers (1st)
Apron Instagram: 312K followers (1st)

Facebook: 450,882 likes (2nd)

Twitter: 10.7K followers (2nd)
Instagram: 70K followers (3rd)

Sun Facebook: 249,741 likes (3rd)

Twitter: 3,813 followers (3rd)

Basket Instagram: 149K followers (2nd)



"experience the
magic of cooking
recipes that our chefs
create with your
family’s tastes in
mind. .."
Blue Aprons advertising follows the Hierarchy of Effects model by first
beginning with the cognitive strategy which incorporates the awareness and
knowledge steps. With Blue Aprons advertising, consumers go through the
awareness stage when they are exposed to the brand through advertising. As the
consumers process the new information in the ad about the types of meals Blue
Apron provides and how the service works they go through the knowledge stage.
The customers are taking in this information and interpreting it. The affective
strategy is then incorporated which begins with the liking step. In our advertising,
the children in the ad take part in cooking the meal kits delivered to their home with
their parents. This plays with parents emotions by showing them that they can have
quality family bonding time when cooking with Blue Apron. Having this family
togetherness image in the ad will have them take a liking to the product. After
learning more about Blue Apron, consumers develop a preference for the brand
among other type of meal kit options from other companies. Thereafter, consumers
have to juggle with the decisions of whether a Blue Apron box is worth the buy and
if the benefits outweigh the costs. This process is known as conviction (Clow and
Baack, 2017). The last step in the Hierarchy of Effects model takes on a conative
strategy which is the purchase stage. The consumer then visits the Blue Apron
website and chooses which meal plan they would prefer and choose what type of
meal they want to order. Once they finish that process they go ahead and place
their order and soon after they receive their Blue Apron box at their doorstep.

 freshness of all our
ingredients and
 in an insulated box right
to your door. .."
Blue Aprons advertising will focus on using rational appeals, sex appeals, and
emotional appeals. Our digital marketing approach with partnering up with
Youtubers will target the rational appeal. Rational appeals “rely on consumers to
actively process the information presented in the advertisement”(Clow and Baack,
2017). These youtubers will talk about Blue Apron attributes, how the service works,
and what a great product it is. This exposure helps consumers get information about
the product and the reviews will help them decide if Blue Apron is a product they will
be likely to purchase. If they have been exposed to the product before this YouTube
video it will help them be aware of more benefits of Blue Apron. For example, many
people are not aware that Blue Apron also provides the option to purchase cooking
utensils on the website. Our Valentines Day commercial will show the sexual appeal
by using sensuality. During the dinner between the couple the woman can give her
partner an alluring glance to give a subtle sexual cue (Clow and Baack, 2017). For the
emotional appeal we will be using the family cooking a meal together to bring a
nostalgic feeling of family togetherness.

Our Blue Apron ads connect to several personal values which include a
comfortable life, happiness, and personal accomplishment. Having the convenience
of having already prepped meal kits delivered right at your door connect to the
personal value of a “comfortable life”. You get a service that allows you to save time
from taking a trip to the grocery store and measuring and prepping all the
ingredients. Also being able to afford a meal kit means you have a steady income
which helps you live a comfortable life. The commercial where we have the family
cooking their dinner with their kids ties in to “happiness”. Being able to enjoy your
family’s company and having the opportunity to be together with them promotes a
sense of happiness. Not only that but the fact that Blue Apron allows people to cook
full meals in under an hour provides a sense of “personal accomplishment” for an
Final Advertising
Blue Apron’s final advertising proposals is to target solely on millennials
and generation Z. Because these two generations are very tech savvy, we
think that the use of social media to promote our brand alongside with our own
television show will be extremely beneficial. There are three main advertising
pieces we wish to focus on which is Youtube, Instagram video
advertisements/campaigns, television, and grocery stores.

For YouTube, we will sponsor popular Youtubers and in return they will
create a video of their daily life with Blue Apron as being part of their routine.
There will also be a part of the video where they can describe what Blue
Apron is and even and exclusive promo code for their viewers to use. As for
Instagram video ads, because it is mostly just pictures currently, we think that
including videos will help capture the attention of people even more. The
videos we want to put out would go according to the different holiday
reserved for each month for example Valentines Day, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, etc. Alongside with Instagram, we want to create a social media
campaign to engage our customers. With the hashtag #BAcooks, we will be
running a month long instagram contest where followers will post a picture of
their meals and tag us and include the hashtag and the top three accounts
who gets the most likes will win a 1 month free subscription to Blue Apron.
Twitter will also be another outlet to advertise because many millenials and gen
z use the platform to express themselves. Our plan with Twitter is to use it as
more of a humorous account in order to make Blue Apron more approachable.
There, we will also answer any questions or concern a customer may have.
Our next proposal is Blue Chef, which is going to be a new series on the
Food Network channel. This will give us the opportunity to reach out to people
who love watching the cooking shows/competitions and get inspiration from
the recipes there. There will be a new episode every week where a top chef
will feature different celebrity guests to recreate popular dishes from Blue
Apron. With these celebrities, it will help reach out to a larger audience
because they will be posting about it on their social media as well.

Lastly, we think that incorporating Blue Apron with local grocery stores
would allow customers to try a meal before committing to a full subscription.
Secondly, for people on the go and do not have time to prepare all the
ingredients required to make a meal but do not want to get take out, Blue
Apron will fill that problem someone may have. By having this service across
grocery stores nationwide, it will be both convenient and profitable

Pulsating schedule
throughout the year
where we will have
more advertisements
geared towards the
season. Some
examples would be:
February, October-
Weekly December: Holiday
postings postings
on Youtube

Daily postings
on instagram
and twitter
Based on Blue Apron’s advertising, the most effective promotional
tools that will be used are coupons, promo codes, and contests. Groupon
will be used to promote Blue Apron deals through Instagram
advertisements. Since millennials account for 39% of Groupon users, this
promotional strategy will attract more potential customers within that age
group (Are You In The Know?, 2018).Slotting fees will also be used as a
form of coupon to promote Blue Apron in grocery stores. By having
people receive these through the mail or at a grocery store there will be a
higher chance consumers will buy Blue Apron with this exposure. Blue
Apron can also start a seven day free trial for customers through their
website. This trial is a great way to reel in new customers that want to
experience preparing a quick healthy gourmet meal at home. Since
millennials are heavy users of social media, partnering up with social
media influencers and celebrities to promote Blue Apron will be very
effective. Well-known YouTube creators can distribute personalized
promo codes to their viewers in order to get their discounted Blue Apron
meal kit. Blue Apron can partner up with a celebrity, such as Chrissy
Teigen, and host a contest through their Instagram account. People will
post a picture of their own meal on Instagram and use the hashtag
#FutureBlueApronChef to be one of the three winners to be selected to
win a free 14 day meal kit. One of the most successful selling strategies
that Blue Apron has incorporated is their referral program. By motivating
their current customers to refer their friends and family to purchase their
product, more people are exposed to the brand by word of mouth and will
be willing to purchase because of the positive reviews.

Ingredients for
Blue Apron’s advertising budget is $110
million per year. The various promotion and
advertising techniques used by Blue Apron
vary in cost. Blue Apron’s referral program
alone had an expenditure of $35 million in 2017
(Luck, 2017). Blue Apron was able to acquire
34% of new customers through the use of
these referrals. Based on this information, we
plan to spend an additional $2 million, which
will increase the cost to $37 million. Given that
this program was very successful, by
increasing the budget we will reel in more
customers. Social media is a crucial
promotional tool for Blue Apron since our
target market, millennials, heavily rely on
these platforms to increase their knowledge
on products. For social media advertising
expenses, the company $34.6 million to have
YouTubers and celebrities promote their meal
kits during the second quarter of 2018 (Luck,
2017). To increase Blue Apron customer reach,
$38 million will go towards our proposed social
media budget. This includes the instagram ads,
twitter posts, and YouTube videos. For our
television cooking series, there will be an
average of 12 episodes, each costing $2
million. Our total cost for one season will
amount to be $24 million. Another cost that
will be incurred are the slotting fees. This is
the cost of placing Blue Apron meal kits in
grocery stores. The top three grocery stores
will be Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and Whole
Foods. Slotting fees depend on the type of
product a company wants to display on
grocery shelves and which grocery stores
they want their product to sell at. The average
slotting fee is $25,000 to be displayed in aisles
that are highly visible (Barry, 2018). Therefore,
we will implement this cost across the three
grocery stores, totaling $75,000. Taking all of
these costs into account, we will have an
advertising spending of $100 million.
The stakeholders involved in our advertising proposals include shareholders,
celebrities, well-known YouTube personas, employees,competitors, and customers.
One of the advertising proposal includes YouTube sponsorships and celebrity
endorsements. Since the new target market is Millennials, Blue Apron has to carefully
select the right YouTube creator and celebrity to sponsor and endorse their meal kits.
Based on past sponsorships and celebrity endorsements, Blue Apron has chosen
reputable and well-liked people such as Chrissy Teigen and Jacksfilms on YouTube.
As long as they continue to use such people, they will attract more millennials. As for
the television cooking series, people will be attracted to it because there is food
involved and a top chef. One of the top chefs could be Gordon Ramsay, best known
for appearing on the cooking show, “Hell’s Kitchen”. There has been some humor
attached to Gordon Ramsay and his commentary on the show, which can help lure in
Ramsay fans who may then become Blue Apron customers.

Social Responsibility
It is important for Blue Apron to sponsor and endorse the right people to keep
a positive brand image. Which is why it is crucial for them to continue to use well-liked
celebrities and YouTube content creators. Incorporating Millennial celebrities and
YouTubers will attract our target market as well, which are also Millennials. Since a
potential chef for the television cooking series could be Gordon Ramsay, some people
may not be very fond of that. The commentary that Ramsay uses in the show may not
be taken lightly by some people. Thus, it is important for us to review the footage
before putting it on air to avoid any people getting offended by any commentary

Social Recovery
Given that there may be some backlash on the proposed advertising for blue
Apron, having a backup plan will work in our favor. If Blue Apron were to sponsor a
creator that has been having problems or is seen as a negative influence by viewers, it
can have a negative effect on the brand’s image. To fix this potential issue, Blue Apron
can implement a feedback page on their website dedicated to improve their
sponsorships and endorsements. Customers can leave a review, or make a suggestion
that Blue Apron can cater to, including all kinds of positive or negative feedback to
keep it authentic. The same goes for our television series and the chef involved. People
can also suggest the chefs they want to see on the show to lure them in more and get
them to purchase Blue Apron meal kits as well.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of our new advertising we will be
analyzing a variety of metrics. As the majority of our campaign will be taking place on
social media, we will study impression trends and followings. Currently, Blue Apron’
Instagram page has 311k followers but is only receiving an average of about 500-600
likes per photo. Instagram recently changed the algorithm that they use when
deciding the order to show posts on users’ feeds. For many accounts, this has
contributed to less engagement on their posts. Instagram tracks how long users
engage with a post and how often they are liking certain content in order to
determine which content to continue or discontinue to show you (Forsey, 2018). The
hope is our new advertising will be more compelling, specifically the videos we create
for our Instagram page or the videos influencers create that we then share. By
receiving higher levels of engagement on our videos, it is more likely that our other
posts will show up on user feeds. Ideally, we will increase our average likes per posts
to around 1,000.

Our referral program is something else we are expecting to be very successful.

Many other companies have seen success with referrals when it comes to both
retaining and gaining users. Currently, Blue Apron only retains 15% of customers
beyond one year (Molla, 2017). A realistic goal would be to increase this number by
at least 10% to 25% by the end of 2019. Likewise, the average amount spent per
customer did recently increase but we would like to see this number continue to
grow, reaching $255 by the end of 2018(Whitten, 2018). As far as new customers,
Blue Apron currently has 786,000 customers but we would like to see that number
increase to 800,000 by the end of 2019. By meeting these goals, Blue Apron’s annual
revenue should theoretically rise. Blue Apron’s goal for 2018 is to break even on the
year after experiencing a large loss in 2017 (Rainey, 2018). Based of this, our goal for
fiscal year ending in December 2019 is to increase revenue and have a net income of
at least $50,000. Our advertising proposals require less money than what Blue Apron
is currently doing, making expenses lower and making our net income goal possible.
Advertising can have the potential of displaying a form of negative appeal
towards the company depending on how one may perceive the message. This
includes partnerships with certain celebrities, promotions of particular holidays, or
even the type of food being presented at Blue Apron. With these concerns in mind,
we propose to take action and focus on these matters. If performed ethically,
advertising can be used as an outlet to provide information for customers to make a
decision based off their own personal needs and wants.
Ethical issues within the workforce also needs to be considered and problems
occurred should not be taken lightly. Blue Apron is set to put out a code of ethics to
ensure employees are treated fairly and feel comfortable discussing any issues they
may have in the workplace. We strive to create a work environment where Blue
Apron employees can have a sense of family togetherness and actually enjoy their
time being with the team.
Final Conclusion
During IMC 1, the main focus was the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and threats (SWOT) in regards to Blue Apron. One of Blue Apron’s most significant
strengths is the low level of cooking ability needed to complete of the meals. Making
their service possible for almost anyone to use. As for weakness, Blue Apron’s
recipes are somewhat time consuming in comparison to a meal delivery service or
take-out. The amount of prep and cooking time required can be an unattractive
component to many consumers. The strongest opportunity that Blue Apron can
continue to take advantage of is the growing concosious that people have
surrounding their health, and in hand the foods that they are eating. There is a lot of
opportunity in the generations, such as millenials, who are looking for easy ways to
eat healthy. On the other hand, there are external threats as well. These threats are
dominated by the competition that Blue Apron faces from other meal kit delivery
services, such as Sun Basket and Home Chef. Sun Basket and Home Chef offer
relatively similar services, but with more variety and the option to select recipes that
take thirty minutes or less.
During IMC 2, we studied the SWOT analysis previously constructed to
narrow down a target market and determine an advertising strategy. For the target
market, we did not decide to target new people but rather focus heavily on certain
groups within the already present market. For example, Blue Apron was already
advertising towards millennials but the choice to focus much more heavily on this
group was a choice we believed would prove valuable. In addition to millennials,
generation Z shows immense possibilities, largely because of their $200 billion in
buying power and attachment to technology, including social media. In order to
correctly reach these target markets, we have decided to heavily use the power of
influencers via social media and the desire that people have to “try before buying”.
Most importantly, we have decided to leverage off significant holidays and other
milestones to create special experiences for our consumers, by creating special
themed meal kits outside of the normal box.
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