Wonder completed its acquisition of meal kit provider Blue Apron in a $103 million deal that will expand the Cranford-based food delivery startup’s offerings to include boxes of recipes and ingredients as well as heat-and-eat options.
Under the terms of the agreement finalized Nov. 13, Blue Apron stockholders will receive $13 per share and Wonder will continue the brand’s operations, serving customers nationwide.
Marc Lore, Wonder’s founder and chief executive officer, commented, “Our mission at Wonder is to make great food more accessible, and the integration of Blue Apron onto our Wonder platform provides a major opportunity to double-down on that promise to our customers.”
“As we continue to revolutionize the food industry through our creation of ‘Fast Fine’ dining, we’re excited to continue expanding on the ways we can offer unique and elevated dining experiences through more choice, flexibility and convenience,” said Lore.
Following the closing, service to Blue Apron customers will continue as normal and those who live within Wonder delivery zones will have their subscription boxes delivered by Wonder couriers at no extra cost.
Additionally, Wonder brick-and-mortar locations will now have a rotating offering of Blue Apron meal kits and heat-and-eat options available for delivery or pickup.
The launch menu features some of Blue Apron’s top-rated meal kit boxes, like sheet pan pesto salmon/one pan udon noodle & spicy peanut stir fry, gnocchi mac & cheese/chicken & chickpea curry and shawarma chicken & couscous bowl/salmon & avocado rice bowl.
It also includes microwaveable single-serve portions, such as lemon chicken, cheesy Mexican chicken & rice and cheesy truffle cavatappi.
The acquisition follows years of ups and downs for Blue Apron, which was once a leader in the at-home meal delivery category. In recent months, the company has transitioned to become a more asset-light business, selling its operational infrastructure to California-headquartered meal provider FreshRealm for $50 million and making layoffs.
In a statement, Blue Apron Chief Executive Officer Linda Findley said, “Empowering people to create incredible culinary experiences at home is a hallmark of Blue Apron. Now, as part of the Wonder family, we are excited to expand the ways our customers access and experience our top-rated recipes and quality ingredients. Through faster, more convenient delivery options and greater menu choice, customers have even more ways to create incredible home meal moments anytime, anywhere.”
The deal’s closing comes a few weeks after Wonder secured a $100 million investment and strategic partnership with Nestle to grow a new business-to-business offering.
Originally founded as a business based on mobile kitchens that prepared celebrity chef-designed meals outside of customers’ homes, Lore announced in January the company was rethinking its approach and would instead focus on physical locations offering options from restaurants with which Wonder has licensing deals.
Since then, the brand has opened three eateries in New York City (Upper West Side, Chelsea and Brooklyn) and two in New Jersey (Westfield and Hoboken) where customers can order from multiple restaurants at once for delivery, pick-up or dining in.
Its newest outpost – 219 Morris Ave. in Springfield – is scheduled to officially open Nov. 18 following an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In Springfield, Wonder’s network of partnering establishments includes: Sushi Nichi (sushi), Hanu Poke (poke), Table No. 1 (family style), Limesalt (Mexican), Di Fara Pizza (pizza), Yasas (Greek), Alanza (Italian), Barrio Café (Mexican), Bobby Flay Steak (steakhouse), Chai Pani (Indian), Burger Baby (American), Chios Taverna by Michael Symon (Greek), Fred’s Meat & Bread (sandwiches), Maydan (Middle Eastern), Mr. D’s Fried Chicken (Fried Chicken), The Mainstay by Marc Murphy (American) and Wing Trip (wings).
Following Springfield, Wonder plans to add two outposts in Bergen County (1 Union Ave., Cresskill; 80 Godwin Ave., Midland Park) by the end of 2023. Wonder also expects to open two more restaurants in New York, as well as make its Pennsylvania debut in Quakertown.