Blue Apron Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Blue Apron, a leading meal kit delivery service, has revolutionized the way people approach meal planning and cooking. With their subscription-based business model, Blue Apron has successfully attracted and retained a large customer base. This case study explores Blue Apron’s innovative marketing strategies, which have played a significant role in their growth and success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blue Apron invested $35 million in customer referrals in 2016, resulting in a substantial percentage of new customers being acquired through referrals.
  • Podcast advertising has proven to be a cost-effective marketing channel for Blue Apron, with high response rates and varying costs based on podcast popularity and category.
  • Blue Apron strategically leverages YouTube sponsorships for influencer marketing, paying YouTube stars to create videos about the brand.
  • Traditional advertising channels such as TV advertising, radio ads, and direct mail are also incorporated into Blue Apron’s comprehensive marketing strategy.
  • Blue Apron utilizes various digital tactics like social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and customer referral programs to attract and retain customers.
  • A/B testing is conducted to drive better engagement and conversion rates, optimizing website elements, email campaigns, user experience, promotional offers, mobile optimization, and personalization features.
  • Blue Apron actively engages with its audience on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their website.
  • Data-driven strategies are employed to constantly optimize Blue Apron’s approach, ensuring a strong brand presence and a loyal customer base.

Blue Apron’s Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Approach

Blue Apron, one of the leading players in the meal kit industry, has successfully leveraged a direct-to-consumer marketing approach to drive customer acquisition and enhance brand visibility. By adopting a strategic mix of online and offline marketing channels, Blue Apron has been able to reach a wide audience and attract new customers to its platform.

Over the years, Blue Apron has significantly increased its marketing spend, investing heavily in various advertising initiatives. In fact, the company’s marketing spend has seen a remarkable 68% year-over-year increase, reaching a substantial $21 million by the end of last year. This increased investment underscores Blue Apron’s commitment to driving brand growth and customer acquisition.

Blue Apron has embraced the power of video advertising to boost its brand awareness. While specific ad spend details were not provided, the company has been actively running paid video and static image ads on Facebook, tapping into the platform’s vast user base and targeting capabilities. This strategic approach allows Blue Apron to showcase its offerings and attract potential customers through compelling visual content.

In addition to online advertising, Blue Apron has also explored offline marketing channels to reach potential customers. The company has ventured into direct mail campaigns, leveraging the effectiveness of targeted physical mail to engage with consumers directly. By utilizing programmatic advertising and content partnerships with publishers like BuzzFeed and Food52, Blue Apron maximizes its visibility and taps into established platforms with a strong consumer following.

Blue Apron’s direct-to-consumer marketing approach has yielded positive results, as evidenced by its growing net revenue. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the company experienced a 13% increase in net revenue on a two-year-stack basis, showcasing the effectiveness of its customer acquisition strategies. Blue Apron’s focus on increasing customer awareness, order volume, size, and frequency has contributed to its steady growth within the meal kit industry.

While Blue Apron faces challenges, such as a decline in customer count and a churn rate of 72% within six months of subscription, the company continues to innovate and differentiate itself through its marketing efforts. Blue Apron emphasizes convenience, flavor, nutrition, and ease of preparation in its marketing campaigns, aiming to provide a streamlined and personalized customer experience.

Blue Apron’s dedication to customer acquisition is evident in its investment of over $82 million to drive brand growth. Despite facing losses on 70% of its customers, Blue Apron remains committed to its marketing strategy and strives to achieve long-term profitability. By investing in a comprehensive marketing approach that spans both digital and traditional channels, Blue Apron aims to maintain its position in the meal kit industry and increase its market share.

Market Share in Meal Kit Industry Market Share Percentage
HelloFresh 36%
Blue Apron 35%
Plated 3.4%

The $35 Million Referral Program

One of the key drivers behind Blue Apron’s customer acquisition and retention strategy is its highly successful referral program. With an astonishing investment of $35 million, Blue Apron has harnessed the power of word-of-mouth marketing to drive increased revenue and business growth.

The referral program allows existing customers to invite others to try Blue Apron’s meal delivery service. By incentivizing these referrals with the offer of free meals, Blue Apron has created a strong motivator for potential customers to give their service a try.

This customer-centric approach not only helps Blue Apron acquire new customers but also contributes to long-term customer retention. By encouraging existing customers to refer their friends and family, Blue Apron is able to tap into their network and build a community of loyal customers.

Statistics show that 34% of new customers came through Blue Apron’s referral program, highlighting the program’s effectiveness in driving customer acquisition. This remarkable success has led Blue Apron to allocate 14.5% of their marketing budget to the referral program, amounting to $35 million.

Investing in a referral program has proven to be a smart business move for Blue Apron. Not only does it attract new customers, but it also fosters customer loyalty and increases the company’s revenue. By leveraging the power of word-of-mouth marketing and customer referrals, Blue Apron has successfully created a self-perpetuating customer acquisition engine.

In the next section, we will explore Blue Apron’s podcast advertising and how it has contributed to their marketing success.

Blue Apron’s Podcast Advertising

Blue Apron recognized the potential of podcast advertising early on and strategically incorporated it into their marketing mix. By leveraging the power of podcasts, Blue Apron effectively reaches a highly engaged audience through host-read ads that seamlessly blend with the content. This form of advertising allows Blue Apron to promote their service in an authentic and compelling manner.

Podcast advertising has proven to be a cost-effective marketing channel for Blue Apron, providing high response rates at relatively low costs compared to traditional marketing channels. The immersive nature of podcasts allows for a more intimate connection with the audience, increasing the likelihood of brand awareness, customer engagement, and trust.

Blue Apron’s podcast, “Why We Eat What We Eat,” premiered on Wednesday, October 11. It was a collaboration between Blue Apron and Gimlet Creative, with Cathy Erway, a New York-based food writer and cookbook author, hosting the show. The podcast aimed to explore the unseen forces that influence people’s decisions about food, covering topics such as food trends, picky eaters, and potlucks.

To evaluate the podcast’s performance as a marketing channel, Blue Apron used data analytics to measure customer acquisition and return on investment. By tailoring different types of podcast ad placements such as pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads, Blue Apron effectively engaged listeners at specific points in each episode.

The podcast’s wide distribution on platforms like Listen Notes, Gimlet Media, Blue Apron’s official website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts allowed it to reach a diverse audience, targeting not only professional food bloggers but also young urbanites interested in food trends and cultural aspects of eating.

In addition to the podcast itself, Blue Apron provides additional content to engage customers, such as “Extra Helpings” features, supplier stories, and cooking technique videos. This comprehensive approach strengthens the brand’s trust and credibility in the eyes of the audience.

Blue Apron’s podcast advertising has played a significant role in differentiating the brand in the competitive meal kit industry. It complements Blue Apron’s influencer marketing strategy and contributes to the company’s continuous growth and success. With millions of meals delivered and a strong customer base, Blue Apron’s podcast advertising has proven to be a valuable asset in their marketing arsenal.

Blue Apron Sponsoring YouTube Channels

As part of its comprehensive marketing strategy, Blue Apron has recognized the power of influencer marketing by sponsoring YouTube channels. This strategic partnership allows Blue Apron to tap into the massive audience of popular YouTubers, showcasing its brand and products through authentic content that resonates with viewers.

By collaborating with well-known influencers, Blue Apron can create engaging videos that not only increase brand awareness but also drive audience engagement. These YouTube sponsorships provide an opportunity for Blue Apron to showcase its recipes, cooking tips, and convenience to a wide range of viewers, ultimately building brand trust and credibility.

Unlike traditional advertisements, influencer partnerships on YouTube enable Blue Apron to connect with consumers in a more organic and relatable manner. The content created by influencers resonates with their audience, establishing a sense of authenticity and trust. This approach fosters a deeper connection between the brand and potential customers, ultimately driving brand awareness and influencing purchasing decisions.

When selecting influencers to partner with, Blue Apron carefully considers their values, target demographics, and the overall fit with the brand. By working with influencers who align with Blue Apron’s vision and values, the brand can effectively reach and engage with a wider audience, resulting in increased brand awareness and potentially higher conversion rates.

Moreover, the videos created through these influencer partnerships can be repurposed and shared across other marketing channels, amplifying the brand’s message and reach. This multi-channel approach maximizes the impact of Blue Apron’s marketing efforts and ensures consistent brand messaging.

Blue Apron’s foray into influencer marketing on YouTube complements its other advertising initiatives, such as podcast advertising and TV campaigns. By diversifying its marketing channels and leveraging the power of influencer partnerships, Blue Apron continues to strengthen its brand presence and reach new audiences, ultimately driving customer acquisition and business growth.

Top Brands Sponsoring YouTube Channels Number of Channels Sponsored Main Content Categories
Skillshare N/A N/A
Squarespace 995 Lifestyle, Technology
BetterHelp N/A N/A
ExpressVPN N/A N/A
Manscaped N/A N/A

TV Advertising, Radio Ads, and Direct Mail

Blue Apron recognizes the importance of traditional advertising channels in reaching a broader audience and establishing brand recognition beyond the digital realm. As part of its comprehensive marketing strategy, Blue Apron has invested in TV advertising, radio ads, and direct mail campaigns. These offline marketing tactics complement the company’s online efforts and ensure maximum exposure and brand visibility across multiple platforms.

TV advertising allows Blue Apron to showcase its meal delivery service to a wide audience through engaging visual content. By leveraging the power of television, Blue Apron can convey the quality, convenience, and deliciousness of its meal kits, sparking interest and enticing potential customers to try their service.

Radio ads provide another avenue for Blue Apron to reach a diverse range of listeners. With radio’s wide reach and targetability, Blue Apron can tailor its messages to specific demographics and geographic areas, ensuring that their ads reach their intended audience. These ads create brand awareness and generate curiosity among listeners, driving them to explore Blue Apron’s offerings further.

In addition to TV and radio, Blue Apron employs direct mail campaigns to connect with potential customers in a tangible and personal way. Direct mailings create a physical touchpoint that captures the recipient’s attention and enables Blue Apron to provide information about their meal kits directly. These campaigns often include cards or coupons for follow-up, enticing individuals to take advantage of exclusive offers and promotions.

By utilizing various offline marketing tactics, Blue Apron reinforces its online presence, expands its customer reach, and establishes brand recognition beyond digital platforms. This multi-channel approach enables Blue Apron to maximize its marketing efforts and engage with a diverse audience.

Marketing Channel Benefits
TV Advertising
  • Wide audience reach
  • Engaging visual content
  • Showcases product quality and convenience
  • Creates brand awareness
Radio Ads
  • Wide reach and targetability
  • Target specific demographics and geographic areas
  • Generate curiosity and interest
  • Drive listeners to explore Blue Apron further
Direct Mail
  • Creates a tangible and personal connection
  • Captures recipient’s attention
  • Provides information directly about meal kits
  • Includes cards or coupons for follow-up

Influencer Marketing: An Effective Strategy

In recent years, influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for brands to connect with their target audience. Blue Apron, a leading meal kit delivery service, has successfully utilized influencer marketing to reach and engage with their customers.

Blue Apron’s performance-driven acquisition campaign focused on conversions, tapping into the power of influencers to secure new paying customers through coupon codes. A total of 92 influencers were activated in the campaign, including young, lifestyle, and food-centric influencers, as well as influencers on Twitch.

The campaign achieved remarkable success, generating over 7.4 million total impressions. The influencers with the best conversion rate were Serious Gaming, a popular Twitch duo known for their gaming content. By leveraging their influence and credibility, Blue Apron successfully attracted new customers.

Blue Apron engaged influencers across various platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Twitch. Notable influencers involved in the campaign included Jenna Ezarik, David Lopez, Serious Gaming, and Foodbeast.

One of the key reasons influencer marketing has been effective for Blue Apron is its ability to establish a genuine connection with the audience. By collaborating with influencers who align with their brand values, Blue Apron creates relatable content that resonates with their target market. This approach builds trust and credibility, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Blue Apron
Amplifies brand message
Reaches a wide and diverse audience
Establishes trust and credibility
Drives higher engagement and conversion rates

Blue Apron, founded in 2012 and operating as a subsidiary of Wonder Group since November 2023, targets young working professionals and families aged 25-44 with higher incomes and college degrees. Their PLUS program offers attractive discounts and flexible subscription options, allowing customers to customize their meal plans.

By partnering with influencers from various backgrounds, Blue Apron can connect with specific audiences and promote healthy lifestyle choices. This strategy enables them to tap into the trend of utilizing micro-influencers and engage with close-knit communities.

To optimize their influencer marketing campaigns, Blue Apron utilizes tools like Lionize, an artificial intelligence software that connects brands with appropriate influencers. This technology helps them identify the right influencers and maximize the impact of their influencer marketing efforts.

In conclusion, influencer marketing has proven to be an effective strategy for Blue Apron. By leveraging the power of genuine connections, trust, and credibility, Blue Apron has successfully reached their target audience, driving engagement and conversion rates. Their collaborations with influencers across various platforms have amplified their brand message and established them as a leader in the meal kit delivery industry.

A/B Testing: Optimizing Blue Apron’s Marketing Approach

A/B testing plays a crucial role in Blue Apron’s marketing strategy, allowing them to make data-driven decisions that optimize their marketing efforts. Through rigorous testing and analysis, Blue Apron continually refines their approach to ensure better conversion rates and overall campaign effectiveness.

One area where A/B testing has been instrumental is website optimization. Blue Apron conducts experiments on various elements, such as layout, imagery, and user experience enhancements, to identify what resonates best with their audience. By analyzing metrics and user behavior, they can implement changes that enhance the website’s performance and drive higher conversions.

Another key focus of A/B testing for Blue Apron is their email campaigns. By experimenting with different subject lines, content, and calls-to-action, they can determine the most effective strategies for engaging their subscribers and boosting open and click-through rates. This data-driven approach ensures that each email campaign is optimized to maximize results.

Personalization is another aspect of Blue Apron’s marketing strategy that benefits from A/B testing. By segmenting their audience and tailoring their messaging based on customer preferences and behaviors, they can create more relevant and compelling campaigns. A/B testing allows them to fine-tune their personalization efforts, ensuring that each customer feels valued and understood.

Mobile optimization is a priority for Blue Apron, given the increasing number of mobile users in today’s digital landscape. By conducting A/B tests on their mobile website and app, they can identify areas for improvement and deliver a seamless and user-friendly experience. This optimization not only enhances customer satisfaction but also increases mobile conversion rates.

In addition to website and email optimizations, A/B testing also extends to Blue Apron’s promotional offers. By experimenting with different discounts, incentives, and bundling options, they can identify the most effective strategies for attracting new customers and encouraging repeat purchases. This data-driven approach ensures that their promotional offers are compelling and generate tangible results.

Overall, A/B testing has proven to be instrumental in optimizing Blue Apron’s marketing strategy. By analyzing data, testing different variables, and making data-driven decisions, they can continuously refine their approach and achieve better marketing results. With the help of A/B testing, Blue Apron has experienced significant improvements in conversion rates, user engagement, and overall marketing efficiency.

Statistics Impact
Over 3.5 million total website visits 12% increase in new customer sign-ups
10x increase in experiments run per month Achievement of better marketing results
100% of product teams using experimentation Enhanced marketing efficiency
37% decrease in customer issues related to unexpected orders Improved customer experience
37% reduction in unexpected order reports from customers Streamlined order management process


Blue Apron’s marketing strategies have been crucial in their success in the meal kit industry. By leveraging existing customers to send free meal samples to friends and family, they have acquired new customers at a high success rate. This customer referral approach has proven to be an effective customer acquisition channel. Through data-driven targeting and market analysis, Blue Apron has been able to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing customer preferences.

Identifying the most enthusiastic customers with extensive social connections has been key in allocating free samples to maximize their impact. Academic research supports the use of passive broadcast messaging for encouraging viral growth, which aligns with Blue Apron’s strategy. Examining the impact of customer-controlled meal sharing versus generic sharing on platforms like Facebook may provide additional insights for further optimization.

As Blue Apron continues to acquire customers at a rough CPA of $150, it is important for them to focus on retaining these customers. They have observed a monthly churn rate of approximately 10%, and their retention rate drops to 40% between 6 and 12 months after the initial order. However, the company eventually nets around $150+ of contribution margin over the lifetime of an average customer.

Blue Apron’s marketing budget has increased significantly over the years, showcasing their commitment to acquiring and retaining customers. Despite facing competition from other meal kit services, their profit margin has improved, and they have observed seasonal sales trends with higher customer engagement in the first quarter. By continuously optimizing their marketing approach through A/B testing and leveraging customer referrals, Blue Apron is well positioned to maintain their market leader position and drive further growth.


What is Blue Apron’s marketing strategy?

Blue Apron’s marketing strategy involves utilizing a direct-to-consumer approach, combining online and offline marketing channels, and leveraging various digital marketing tactics such as referral programs, podcast advertising, and influencer marketing to enhance brand visibility and attract new customers.

How does Blue Apron’s referral program work?

Blue Apron’s referral program allows existing customers to invite others to try their meal delivery service. When a referral result in a new customer signing up, both the existing customer and the new customer receive free meals as an incentive. This program contributes to customer acquisition, retention, and increased revenue.

What is Blue Apron’s approach to podcast advertising?

Blue Apron strategically incorporates podcast advertising into its marketing mix. Through host-read ads, Blue Apron promotes their meal delivery service in an authentic and compelling manner, reaching a highly engaged audience. Podcast advertising has proven to be a cost-effective channel with high response rates for Blue Apron.

How does Blue Apron utilize influencer marketing?

Blue Apron partners with popular YouTubers and sponsors their channels to tap into their established audience. By collaborating with influencers who align with Blue Apron’s values and target demographics, the brand reaches a wider audience and creates engaging content that showcases their recipes and convenience.

What are Blue Apron’s traditional advertising channels?

Blue Apron invests in TV advertising, radio ads, and direct mail campaigns as part of its comprehensive marketing strategy. These offline marketing tactics complement their online efforts, ensuring maximum exposure and brand visibility across multiple platforms.

Why is influencer marketing effective for brands like Blue Apron?

Influencer marketing allows brands like Blue Apron to connect with their target audience through partnerships with influencers who have built trust and credibility with their followers. By leveraging the popularity and reach of YouTube personalities, Blue Apron can amplify their message and demonstrate their offerings to a wide and diverse audience.

How does A/B testing benefit Blue Apron’s marketing strategy?

A/B testing helps Blue Apron make data-driven decisions to enhance user experience and boost conversion rates. By testing different elements such as website layouts, email content, and promotional offers, Blue Apron can gain insights into what resonates best with their audience and optimize their campaigns accordingly.

What is the significance of Blue Apron’s marketing strategies in the meal kit industry?

Blue Apron’s marketing strategies have played a crucial role in the company’s success in the meal kit industry. Through innovative customer acquisition tactics, data-driven targeting, and market analysis, Blue Apron has been able to establish brand loyalty and drive business growth in a highly competitive market.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.