Can serving the meatless Beyond Burger help the meal kit service regain some momentum?

By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 16, 2019
Credit: Blue Apron

What a difference two years makes. Back in the summer of 2017, Blue Apron helped put meal kit services on the map with a highly-touted IPO. Despite the hype, however, Blue Apron’s stock has been in a steady decline ever since — taking some of the wind out of the meal kit industry’s sails with it. Beyond Meat has a similar story, but with an opposite trajectory: Since its IPO in May, Beyond Meat has seen its stock price pop, currently selling for nearly seven times what it launched at — only amplifying the fervor surrounding plant-based meats. So how does the former king of meal kits pick itself up? Hitching a ride on Beyond Meat’s bandwagon seems like as good of an idea as any.

Today, Blue Apron announced that, starting this summer, the service will begin offering Beyond Meat’s plant-based proteins in its meal kits. These Blue Apron x Beyond Meat recipes will be added to Blue Apron’s “Signature Two-Serving Plan” in August beginning with “summer burgers” designed by the Blue Apron Culinary Team to highlight the Beyond Burger. “Recipes include Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Beyond Burgers with Garlic Green Beans the week of August 19 and Jalapeno & Goat Cheese Beyond Burgers with Corn on the Cob the week of August 26,” Blue Apron explains, before adding that the brand “will continue to feature Beyond Meat products on future menus.”

“We love delighting our customers with distinct flavor combinations and new ingredients to make home cooking memorable and fun,” John Adler, Blue Apron’s VP Culinary, said in the announcement. “Our first two Blue Apron x Beyond Meat recipes were inspired by our most popular burgers, using the Beyond Burger as well as seasonings, sauces, and produce that put an interesting twist on this classic summer meal.”

Beyond Meat Founder & CEO Ethan Brown explained how working with Blue Apron helps fulfill their mission. “We’re thrilled to partner with Blue Apron to empower consumers to prepare and enjoy delicious Beyond Burgers at home,” he said.

Meanwhile, Blue Apron CEO Linda Kozlowski framed the launch as an opportunity for meal kit customers. “Blue Apron recipes are designed to evoke a sense of discovery and, as a meal kit partner, we have a unique opportunity to teach our customers how to cook a wide variety of cuisines with plant-based protein,” she said.

Though the burger won’t launch until next month, Blue Apron says customers can already begin placing orders for those weeks now through Blue Apron’s website and mobile app.

Of course, I’m not Jim Cramer, but for the record, Wall Street seems to like Blue Apron’s plan. The company’s stock is currently up around 75 percent on the day — though the service still has a long way to go to reach the dizzying highs of where it started.