Amazon patent outlines plans for prepared 'meal kit' delivery service Reuters

Amazon is considering the launch of a service delivering 'meal kits', where prepared ingredients for a chosen meal are delivered to the customer's house, ready to be cooked.

The patent has come to light just three weeks after Blue Apron, the US meal kit market leader, made its stock market debut. With the patent gaining media coverage and investor attention, Blue Apron's share price has fallen 11%, as expectations of Amazon entering the market begin to grow.

Filed on 6 July, Amazon's patent includes the tagline "We do the prep. You be the chef" and describes a service which offers "prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables and also including sauces or seasoning, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal".

The kits will be supplied frozen and prepared for cooking, and the patent describes a loyalty rewards system offering points and discount coupons to regular customers.

There is no indication of when Amazon will launch the service or which territories and - as with all patent news - there is no guarantee it will actually even see the light of day. Companies regularly file patents for products or services which are developed, sometimes for months or even years, but never become available to the public.

However, the patent filing comes in the wake of Amazon acquiring the upmarket Whole Foods supermarket chain for $13.7bn (£10.5bn) in late June, another clear indication that Amazon and boss Jeff Bezos are interested in the food industry.