Blue Apron shares sink as customers ditch its meal-kits

The logo of Blue Apron is shown on a large sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange before the company's IPO in New York, U.S., June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc APRN.N slumped over 23 percent on Thursday after the meal-kit delivery company's second-quarter revenue came in below estimates as fewer customers signed up for its service.

Blue Apron said its customers, or the total number of individuals who have paid for at least one order from its service, decreased 24 percent during the quarter.

The number of orders also slipped about 23 percent.

The independent meal-kit industry has been rattled by increasing competition not only from peers like HelloFresh HFGG.DE, but grocers, who are selling their own ready-to-eat meals. Inc AMZN.O also recently launched its own grocery service and also began selling meal kits.

Blue Apron, which went public in late June last year, said its revenue fell to $179.6 million from $238.1 million. Analysts on average had estimated revenue of $188.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The New York City-based company’s stock was down 19 percent at $1.97, set for its worst day since November 2017.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty