HelloFresh can benefit from Blue Apron’s problems

How about a recipe for humble pie? Preferably delivered, with pre- portioned ingredients, to the doorstep. That is being served up to the sceptics by meal kit company HelloFresh. As it edges towards the black, the Berlin-based company’s shares tripled in 2019. Now it is to be promoted to the mid-cap MDAX index. That pushed its value up 4 per cent yesterday to €4.3 billion. This success will bemuse those who think the meal kit concept is flawed. Why would people too busy to shop for dinner want to spend time cooking it from scratch?… Sceptics can point to the travails of Blue Apron of the US. Since a 2017 IPO, the shares have lost nearly all their value. Now, worth just $36 million, it is looking at options including a sale. But some of its woes are company-specific… HelloFresh can benefit from Blue Apron’s problems. Inflated expectations about the sector’s worth have subsided with the hype. The meal kit market — estimated at $9 billion in 2025 — is probably too small to attract much attention from big players such as Amazon. That would leave a lucrative niche for HelloFresh, serving the time-pressed and novelty-starved.