The millennial consumer wants to exert as little effort as possible, as the trope goes. She values convenience, products, and services that work with her busy lifestyle.
Blue Apron ($APRN) was designed with her (or him) in mind. Founded in 2012, the meal kit delivery service provides step-by-step “gourmet” recipes and measured ingredients right to your door. But the company has been in hot water for the past few years, and it’s beginning to reach its boiling point.
When the market opened Wednesday morning February 19, Blue Apron shares fell more than 20% in early trading. Blue Apron missed on revenue and on earnings, with income sinking 33%. And, based on our alternative data, the company isn’t exactly due for an upswing.
Blue Apron’s headcount on LinkedIn ($MSFT) faced a huge drop-off toward the end of last year, losing 150 employees in just a day. Shares have fallen roughly 85% year-over-year.
Fellow meal kit delivery service HelloFresh ($PRIVATE:HELLOFRESH) lost some employees late last year as well, but they seem to be rebuilding the team. The LinkedIn headcount for the German startup dropped from 3,050 to 2,870 from late December to January, but today its back up at 3,030.
Job listings for HelloFresh have steadily grown over the years, while Blue Apron hit their postings peak in 2017 and cut it in half over time.
The same has happened with Blue Apron’s Facebook mentions, which have gone down 85% since 2018. HelloFresh hit a peak with its Facebook Talking About count at 58,700 mentions last month, up 195% from 2019. That said, HelloFresh’s mentions have gone down 185% since January.
HelloFresh might be outpacing Blue Apron right now, but as Facebook chatter quiets, the company could face a similar fate.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the 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.