Amazon meal kits will ship dinner to your front door

Blue Apron and lesser known services like it specialize in shipping all the ingredients for dinner to your door, leaving the actual cooking process to the buyer. It has proven to be a popular option that lies between take-out food and cooking from scratch, and now it looks like Amazon is getting in on the game. A trademark application from Amazon recently appeared from Amazon Technologies detailing 'prepared food kits' with the tagline 'we do the prep, you be the chef.'

A meal kit is exactly what it sounds like — a package that contains smaller packages of food, as well as instructions on how to assemble the food into a particular meal. According to Amazon's trademark application, its food kits will include things like fruit and vegetables, fish, meat and poultry, seafood, seasonings, sauces and similar. The kits will be for making 'meals' and for making soups, a somewhat odd but very precise distinction.

The kits may contain things like frozen foods, baked items, grains, noodles and similar — basically anything you need to make a meal, only without the burden of having to drive to the grocery store yourself. The trademark in no way indicates when Amazon may be planning to introduce this service — it could be right around the corner, though even if it does launch in the near future, Amazon has a habit of introducing things in very limited markets initially.

It wouldn't be odd to see Amazon get in on the prepared food market; the company already dabbles in food delivery via things like Prime Pantry and Fresh. The first of the two ship grocery items to customers, while the latter delivers fresh products like meat and fresh vegetables in certain places. Introducing a prepared meal kit would be a natural extension of these services, giving Amazon yet another way to target consumers and, perhaps, generate new Prime converts.

Walmart and Amazon have both been tied in competition over where consumers buy their groceries. Walmart has embraced new technologies to stay competitive, doing everything from utilizing drones in its warehouses to rolling out grocery kiosks that deposit boxes of pre-selected goods for online customers to pick up. Amazon has similar plans, with previous tips indicating the company is working on a type of drive-thru grocery store where customers order food online and then have it delivered straight to their truck at designated pickup locations.