Blue Apron's Latest Earnings Call Proves It Can Handle Inflation

Even if you're an enthusiastic cook, there are just some nights when creating a from-scratch dinner from start to finish is simply too much effort. That's where meal kits — with their neatly packaged ingredients and detailed instructions — can come in. Meal kits debuted on the American market in the early 2000s, first with the country's largest meal kit company (via Bloomberg Second Measure), HelloFresh, starting U.S. deliveries in 2012 (via Vator News), and then with Home Chef, the country's second-largest meal kit company, in 2013 (via Supermarket News).

If you've ever put together a meal kit in your own kitchen, then you know that these recipes typically come together with much less effort and time than a fully homemade meal. And, for home cooks looking not only for convenience but also to pinch pennies in this era of record-high inflation, meal kits might currently be an intriguing option, as many of the major makers offer tempting incentives for new subscribers — such as deep-discount introduction rates, cashback services, and even airline miles (via The Points Guy). Blue Apron, another popular meal kit maker, offers up to 13 free meals across various shipments for new customers, for example (via Rakuten). And, that value might be why on the company's most recent earnings call, Blue Apron reported its third consecutive quarter of revenue growth.

Blue Apron reports three consecutive quarters of revenue growth

Even if you like meal kits, you may have been hesitant to commit to any expenses over the last few months as record inflation has caused food prices to skyrocket. In March, The Washington Post reported that after brisk pandemic sales, meal kit companies were facing a decline as people continued to return to work as well as to dining out — leaving less time (and space in the budget) for meal kits. In spite of that, Blue Apron has fared well recently, according to figures from the second quarter of 2022 that the company shared on its earnings call on August 8, 2022.

In a press release, Blue Apron reported an increase in net revenue last quarter: $124.2 million, a 6% increase from $117.8 million in Q1 this year, and a slight increase from $124.0 million in Q2 last year. The company also noted that the average value of a customer's order increased last quarter, to $328 as compared to $321 in Q1.

The news wasn't all sunny, though: Blue Apron's losses were greater than had been predicted, as reported by MarketWatch. The company's net loss was valued at $23.1 million last quarter, as opposed to a more desirable loss of $18.6 million in Q2 last year. As a result of "persistent inflationary pressures which are impacting consumer demand," Blue Apron noted in its press release that it lowered its 2022 revenue growth target to 7%-13% compared with 2021.