Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods means the company will soon have access to top-notch food sourcing and distribution, which will undoubtedly make it easy to compete with Blue Apron in the meal-kit market. Amazon filed for the trademark on July 6, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This includes fruit salads, vegetable salads and soups. Described in the application as "We do the prep, you be the chef", it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together; Amazon is moving in on Blue Apron's territory.
The application, reported by the Times this weekend, sent Blue Apron's stock tumbling 11.8 percent to $6.49 a share Monday. The company went public June 29 with an IPO that priced at $10 a share, less than the company initially expected, and its stock has fallen further since then.
The kits will primarily consist of grains, rice, noodles, pasta or bakery products, Amazon said.
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As Ruth points out, meal-kit subscription services endure a lot of customer drop-off. Amazon already sells meal kits from third party companies like Tyson and the Martha Stewart-Marley Spoon collaboration, and delivers them through Amazon Fresh.
Representatives from Amazon and Blue Apron didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. "You cook" and "No-line meal kits" were also applied for trademark by Amazon, according to TechCrunch.
Last week, the top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives' antitrust subcommittee, David Cicilline, voiced concerns about Amazon's plan to buy Whole Foods, pushing for a hearing to look into the deal's impact on consumers. But the industry still remains small, with only about 5 percent of USA households using the kits, according to market research firm The NPD Group. Morningstar estimates that Amazon will generate $9 billion in sales from AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery service, and other grocery sales this year, and more than double that business to $20 billion by 2021.