Legacy Companies Are Not Stupid

Comes now one of my least favorite companies: Blue Apron. I have been a critic of Blue Apron for an extended period of time. Today, we talk disruption and its push back implications.

We have spoken of them thrice before:

Blue Apron Stormy Waters Ahead

Blue Apron And The Meal Kit Delivery Genie

Blue Apron V Red Apron

I will not whip up on Blue Apron as I have before. Today, I will use it for another purpose.

I assert that when you come to “disrupt” understand that the legacy companies will not sit idly by and allow you to steal their business, nor are they above simply copying the best aspects of your disruption and weaving  it into their own product offering.

The meal kit delivery business is actually up 36% for 2019. I am not absolutely certain I believe that number, but I have seen it several places and it is consistent.

At the same time, Blue Apron, a pioneer in the meal kit delivery business, is wallowing in hospice waiting for a chance to die an honorable death. More than two years ago (as noted above), I predicted this would happen. Now, we are watching the printing of the death notices.

Why, Big Red Car?

Dear reader, the legacy companies who provide food — grocery stores — are not going to sit idly by and allow a disruptor to steal their business. They are going to fight back.

Do you know what is baked into those numbers? Amazon (Whole Foods) and Kroger — there are many others — which are legacy grocery stores, simply got into the “monkey see, monkey do” meal kit business and are offering the same products as Blue Apron on an immediate gratification, on-the-way-home, at a better price (no delivery cost baked into the meal) basis.

This is the lesson for today in FinTech (Zelle), in meal kit delivery (Amazon, Kroger, et al) — every disrupted business will fight back. Period.

Remember this when you decide to disrupt a big, hairy, well funded legacy business. They are going to fight back. Fiercely.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and I had a meal kit delivery meal last night. It was yummy.