Blue Apron IPO (APRN): The World’s Worst Idea

So a few weeks ago I registered to something called Miss Fresh. It’s like Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN) (who’s about to do an IPO), except… Actually, it’s pretty much like Blue Apron, so let’s talk about this for now.

So a few weeks ago, I tried Miss Fresh, the home delivery service. Like, you pay them and they deliver you food. Unprepared. You have to prepare it yourself. Clean vegetables, peel them, slice them, cook them and so on. And clean the dishes and all that. So you might as well take 15 mins to walk to the grocery store, but… I guess not. Anyway, let’s move on, because if I spend 30 more seconds explaining the concept, I’ll think I’ll just repeat how stupid it is and end the article there.

I had a “trial” coupon for 50% off and even despite this coupon, it was way too fucking expensive. I’m not kidding: eating at McDonald’s is actually cheaper, even after using the 50% off coupon. And Miss Fresh’s portions were so small I was still hungry even after eating two portions – supposedly for 2 people. $25 and it was as if I ate pure air. I suppose Miss Fresh is a good plan to lose weight because I have no idea how I could afford to eat if I was a regular subscriber.

My favorite meal at my favorite restaurant costs $9.99. With taxes and tips, I get done with $13. I don’t have to clean, prepare it or whatever. For the same price, I can get half the portion from Miss Fresh and have the honor and privilege of wasting one hour to prepare it. I guess overall I just don’t get the point of those home-delivery food. If I really wanted groceries delivered to me, then I’d get my groceries delivered to me.

But anyway, before I go home, let me explain everything that’s wrong with Blue Apron / Miss Fresh:

  1. I’ve said it before, but it’s horribly expensive. At first, I thought there was a mistake but the prices are about ten times too high. Just look at that:

This is the cheapest plan I’ve been able to find on all those “home delivery” plans.  I don’t even pay $240 per month for ALL my groceries. This would barely sustain me five days, if that.

Oh yeah, and I have to prepare it myself. Fabulous. Could you imagine going to a restaurant and having to cook it yourself? People order food specifically because they don’t want or can’t cook. If I pay $7.99 for a meal, you can bet your ass I’m not spending two hours preparing it. If you can take the hour it takes to cook a meal, then you can take the half-hour it takes to go to the grocery store and buy the stuff yourself for half the price

  1. Terrible waste of plastic. My Miss Fresh box came in a giant cardboard box with some stupid silver/aluminum lining. The meat came in bag and every ingredient was in a plastic bottle, then all wrapped together in a bag. There was over a kilogram of plastic in it, PLUS there were those stupid packages to keep it all cold. Just look at all this crap:

https://klling.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/wp-1479438126115.jpg?w=640&h=360

Some of the items there are wrapped not one, not two, but three times. And you don’t see the cute bottles they put every single liquid topping in. Everything measured, meaning you maximize the ecological waste. Nice.

  1. Horrible portions. I could eat the two “portions” and still go hungry. What, you mean 381kcal for a meal is not enough:

There are three meals in a day. You’re supposed to eat 2,000 kcal a day. I don’t know what universe you’re in, but there is no way 3*381=2,000, period.

This means your “2 portions” quickly become “1 portion,” believe me. So in the example above, 5 meals times 6 portions, you actually have fifteen meals, not thirty. Five days of food, or $48 per day to eat. At minimum wages, this means you must work 5 hours every day just to pay for your food. And you’re still going hungry.

I won’t discuss how little meat you get in each of your “meal,” but trust me, it’s not a lot. 90% of the bag usually consist of lettuce, carrots or potatatoes – you know, the stuff you can get in bulk for a few dollars.

  1. A stupid waste of labour. Every  ingredient is wrapped, then labelled, then put in a box. I would be curious to check what MissFresh’s center looks like. I can just imagine people spending their days measuring toppings, labeling plastic bags and assembling each box, making sure not a single item is missing, then shipping it. This must take hours and all this for what? What a waste of time. They’re not just wasting my time, they’re wasting theirs too I guess.
  2. Too long to prepare. They say each meals takes “at most” 30 minutes

but I believe “at least” 30 minutes would be more accurate. Just look at this recipe and tell me you could finish it in 30 minutes:

https://www.missfresh.com/en/recipe/119-coconut-and-butter-tofu

 

Unless you have a time machine, there is no way you are doing all this in 30 mins. By the way, it took me well over an hour to prepare all this. And this is nowhere near the most complicated recipe. I mean, just look at this one:

https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/bulgogi-beef-soba-noodle-stir-fry-with-marinated-vegetables

The fuck is that shit? It would take half an hour just to read that stuff. At what point do you give up and just order take out? I couldn’t even start to comprehend what I am supposed to do with that recipe.

  1. Don’t think you pay enough taxes? Then order through Miss Fresh, that way, the same fruits/meat/dairy you buy tax-free at the grocery store will now be taxable! Because MissFresh is a service, everything they touch magically becomes taxable! $9.95? More like $11.45, am I right?

Clearly, Miss Fresh / Blue Apron / GoodFood want to attract people who want to cook. But if you love to cook, then you love to select your own food at the grocery store. Overall, Blue Apron is just a really stupid idea. I got a week’s worth at half price and still felt I got ripped off. I can’t see anybody staying with them for more than a month unless they have some kind of phobia of grocery stores or a very, very low IQ.

If I really had so much money that I could afford Blue Apron, I’d just donate it to food banks. There is absolutely no reason for this terribly, terribly ineffective company to even exist. It’s completely unneeded and has zero economic benefits. I can get my own groceries delivered for $4.00 if I really wanted to and even if I didn’t buy a single thing on sale, it would be much, much cheaper than anything Blue Apron or whatever has to offer.

By the way, Miss Fresh doesn’t even send you all the ingredients, so you have to do your groceries anyway, making this even more pointless. One recipe called for eggs, but of course they won’t ship eggs because… because it’s too fragile, I guess, so if you don’t have eggs, you have to go to the grocery store anyway. Might as well grab the rest of the stuff.

“But but but you already have the recipe!” That would be very practical if the internet didn’t exist with thousands of cooking websites and millions of different recipes. And you know what else is fantastic with the internet? You can actually read the reviews from people who made the recipe so you know ahead of time. And if you’re desperate for MissFresh’s food, then know that all their recipes are online anyway. “But but but you already have everything measured!” That would be very useful if measuring ingredients was incredibly hard. It is not.

By the way, you don’t get to choose what you eat with MissFresh or BlueApron. They just ship you the recipes and if you don’t like them, too bad for you. I said earlier it was like going to a restaurant, paying the full price and being forced to cook and clean yourself, but a more accurate comparison would be like going to the restaurant, doing everything and not even choosing what you eat.

So what is there to say about Blue Apron? It’s a garbage, overpriced, worthless company that I cannot wait to short. Is the $3B valuation serious? Honestly, I don’t even think $3M is serious. This company is a joke. I wouldn’t even take it for free. I can’t believe it made it that far. And I can’t believe people are actually investing in it. The only thing worse than ordering from Blue Apron is investing in it.

Who keeps coming with all those stupid IPOs anyway?  What’s next, a Juicero IPO?

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