Blue Apron ($APRN) earnings are on the way Tuesday August 6 - that is, if investors can stomach any more.

Meal delivery startups have given agita to nearly everyone from the venture capital backers that can't get them onto public markets, to the shareholders who wound up underwater after Blue Apron's market debut. 

The company executed a painful 1-for-15 reverse stock split a little more than a month ago just to extend its viability as a public company. But alternative data creates the impression that the meal delivery company is facing trends that are tough to tread against, and at a time when delivery wars are bringing food from virtually every restaurant in the world to each consumers' smartphone. 

Our first chart tracks Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count or how often popular (and, not-so-popular) brands garner mentions on the social network. For a while now, Blue Apron's Talking About Count has been on a downward trajectory. 

Additionally the company's LinkedIn Employee Headcount - which had fallen continuously for more than six months - continued to slip further in the most recent completed quarter. The good news to take away from the following graph, is that attrition appears to have leveled off for now. 

Our next chart reflects a 35% drop in job postings for Blue Apron across the second quarter of 2019 - and because, we can tell from its LinkedIn Headcount, that it doesn't appear to be adding new employees, it makes for another negative trend. Eliminating job postings as headcount rises may be an indicator that a company is simply filling empty jobs - but the combination of these trends means that Blue Apron is still playing it conservative, and likely not growing. 

Shares are down 47% year-to-date, and down 68% in the last 12 months. Analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are looking for EPS -$1.08 when Blue Apron reports earnings. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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