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10 JUL. 2019

Going Deeper Than the Buzz: Wear Your Blue Apron

Elaine Weng

Corporate Branding Team, Shanghai

For a while, Blue Apron was everywhere. Whenever you listen to a podcast or YouTube video, you’d be sure notice a sponsored ad by Blue Apron, encouraging users to subscribe to the meal-in-a-box subscription company for an easy, nutritious, and most importantly, homecooked meal. But with a combination of internal and external factors such as its inability to retain customers as well as an abundance of competitors which Blue Apron helped spurred including the likes of Hello Fresh and Plated, the company has been struggling to recreate its moments of excellence ever since 2015.

But it is planning a comeback. Most recently, the company has appointed Linda Kozlowski as it’s new CEO to help rejuvenate its business. With new branding and marketing strategies in the works, let’s first understand who Blue Apron is and what it stands for as a brand by using the 4 Facets of Brand Positioning.

Truth: Saving on Time, Energy and Cost

At the core, Blue Apron is a meal-in-a-box subscription in which users receive quality ingredients of healthy chef-designed recipes, but in exact proportions intended for one person. The recipes are nutritious, easy-to-follow, and can even be customized according to your dietary preferences. Additionally, by anticipating the exact proportions one needs, a Blue Apron meal uses all the ingredients delivered with no waste produced. This solves one of the pain points of home cooking, the concern that one will over-buy what is necessary to cook a meal. By having all the ingredients delivered to your doorstep also saves significant time and energy for those who want a simple homecooked meal without the hassle. In fact, the appeal of these factors is what is driving the growth of the meal-kit industry. In the United States, the market is expected to grow to roughly $11.6 billion by 2022, and it was found that 25% of consumers were considering trying a meal-kit in the next 6 months. 

Source: Blue Apron Official Website

Vision: Building a Better Food System

Despite its obvious benefits to consumers, Blue Apron’s vision goes beyond that. Founded on the belief that our modern-day food system has grown far too complicated to make good food choices, Blue Apron is set out to offer a better, more transparent alternative. Blue Apron grows food differently by partnering with farmers and sustainability experts to raise the highest quality ingredients and creating better standards for growing food and raising cattle. Then instead of shipping the produce that would’ve spent weeks in transit or sat on supermarkets shelves until they go to waste, Blue Apron delivers ripe ingredients ready to be cooked right at your doorstep. Altogether, the company aims to build a food system that is better for both the environment and the farming communities. 

Universe: The Organic Farm Life

Source: Unsplash

Blue Apron is reverting back to basics. As the global population grows, the mass production of food and the introduction of artificial products had only become more mainstream. To bring back things back to its most organic form, Blue Apron has built a more transparent system for both farmers and consumers in order to reintroduce fresh meals with high-quality ingredients. In a way, the universe that Blue Apron wants to export its audience to is that of the organic farming life. People’s lifestyle is simple and quaint, which therein also lies the beauty. From a distance, the farms are so quiet that they seem inconsequential, but also picturesque with the sun shining above the hills. In this world, cattle and produce are raised by farmers who care about them, free of the otherwise frequently added pesticides and preservatives, and consumed by people who know about the origin of their foods. With this old-fashioned way of doing things, Blue Apron offers its consumers a taste of a world with a charming undertone where everything is built, grown and consumed from scratch. 

Personality: The Chirpy Peddler

Source: Blue Apron Official Website

A peddler is someone who is a traveling vendor of goods. And it is apt to describe Blue Apron as the chirpy peddler who goes around selling fresh and ripe produce to isolated individuals. Blue Apron stays small and local, and is nothing compared to the big grocery chains. But the one big advantage is that the peddler truly knows and understands where his produce is sourced. He’s friendly and more than happy to converse with you. He would tell you stories about where he got his produce and which foods are in season to purchase. Through him, you’re able to get the ripest and the freshest ingredients. And once you get to know him, you build a personal relationship with him. Eventually, you find it hard to revert back to buying your food from supermarkets and continually buy your produce from the peddler, who you’ve grown accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. As a brand, Blue Apron carries that bright personality and local expertise to make him the chirpy peddler that not only provides you with food, but someone who you’d call a friend.

Conclusion: Back to Basics

What Blue Apron offers to its subscribers, essentially, is the feeling of reverting back to the old ways. With the complicated food system that has overhauled the joy of growing and knowing your own produce, Blue Apron is bringing the feeling back with its services. With our busy and connected lives, it is often difficult to find the time to go grocery shopping and prepare a homecooked meal. With Blue Apron’s convenient delivery with precise proportions so you won’t produce any waste or leftovers, the company is determined to build a better food system through innovations in its supply and distribution system. As the company narrates in one of their videos, “Food is better when you start from scratch.”

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