Jet.com strikes deal with Blue Apron to become the first retailer to sell its meal kits online

  • Blue Apron will now offer its meal kits on Jet.com.
  • The company has struggled to keep subscribers with the service over the long term.
  • Walmart-owned Jet.com hopes to add more brands to its website to expand shopper base.
A Blue Apron customer unpacks a Blue Apron box.
Getty Images
A Blue Apron customer unpacks a Blue Apron box.

Walmart's Jet.com is now selling meal kits by Blue Apron, as the e-commerce company tries to build out its platform and grocery assortment to compete with Amazon and Whole Foods.

Starting Monday, shoppers in the New York area will be able to purchase four different meal kits for same- or next-day delivery via Jet.com. The meals include seared steaks with pasta and popcorn chicken with rice. This marks the first time Blue Apron has partnered with another major retailer to sell its products online. Faced with its own challenges, the meal-kit company has struggled to retain subscribers over the long term.

Blue Apron shares jumped more than 18 percent to $1.35 in premarket trading Monday after the partnership was announced. The stock has fallen more than 70 percent so far this year.

Jet.com recently underwent a redesign and upgrade to offer faster delivery options and more local brands. Men's clothing retailer Bonobos, which is also owned by Walmart, is now available on the website. And Jet.com is about to start selling merchandise from Nike.

More and more, customers have been coming to Jet.com searching for "meal kits," according to Chief Customer Officer David Echegoyen. And until now, the company didn't have much to offer.

"We both care deeply about the urban customer. We both share that passion," Echegoyen told CNBC about partnering with Blue Apron over other players, including Plated and HelloFresh. "We can learn together and innovate together."

Jet.com said it will rotate the types of meal kits on its site every six weeks.

Blue Apron earlier this month started working with delivery service Grubhub in New York. It's another way the meal-kit company is trying to reach more customers and give them more ways to order its food. Blue Apron has also tried selling kits in Costco stores.