That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it costs money to build a business, and Blue Apron has done a great job of finding customers and building out its infrastructure—the company says it can now serve 98 percent of the United States population.
is the cost of goods sold (COGS), which includes the labor and materials to create the meal kits, but not marketing and administrative expenses. Think of it this way: If Blue Apron’s COGS in 2016 were 50 percent of revenue instead of 67 percent, the company wouldn’t have lost million; it would have made an million profit, even after its high marketing costs and the money it invested in building infrastructure. A fundamental part of the Blue Apron sales proposition is that you don’t pay more for a kit than you’d have paid to assemble the ingredients yourself. That sounds dangerous, too, in an increasingly competitive market.When he shifts somewhat uncomfortably at that, I know we’re in for a more-than-slightly torturous tete-a-tete.All things said (too many things, some might say) and done, he pretended to be okay with it, but I’m pretty sure he never was. The first two months were magical/wonderful/easy/full of I love you’s (him), meeting parents (us), and pick-ups from the local jail (me)(more on that [much] later in another, still-to-be-written post).That’s up 40 percent from first quarter last year, and though Blue Apron says that Q1 tends to be its strongest quarter for revenue, there seems every chance that revenue this year will top a billion dollars. Here’s the bad news: Blue Apron has had just one profitable quarter in its history—Q1 of 2016, when it made about million.The rest of the time the company has lost money: million in 2014, million in 2015, million in 2016, and a daunting million just in Q1 of 2017.It’s the document where a company that’s been allowed to keep its business to itself finally has to open up a bit and let the rest of the world know what’s going on. Over the next two years, sales grew by 338 percent and 133 percent respectively, bringing total revenue to 5.4 million.First thing to notice: Blue Apron has been growing like a house afire. For the first quarter of 2017, sales were 4,843,000, and the company delivered 4.3 million orders (each typically consisting of multiple meals) to more than a million customers.I’m sure this list could go on for days, but I’ll leave it right here because the pros greatly outweigh the cons, and I think that’s a fairly accurate assessment. I absolutely recommend a less manic version – unless you’re a totally manic person, in which case, please – follow in my delicate, generally pointy-toed, shoe steps.3.*Not his real name**I hate the phrase ‘intimate dinner’, but this one really was that cheesy/lovely/may as well have been the cover of Montecito Magazine.***Those of you who know me might be like, “But wait, I thought making out was one of your favorite hobbies? Only I prefer mine to be with a stranger I just met in the very real corner of a very dirty bar I’m so embarrassed to be at I won’t even bother pocketing a matchbook.There’s nothing like peeking into the paperwork for an IPO.There goes that heroin habit idea.) To sum it all up, we covered a lot of emotional ground very early on/internally combusted a few days before Christmas.Unfortunately, the super cute inside joke gifts I had purchased for him were non-refundable.