Weight Watchers on Sept. 14 filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its new WW Fresh Smart Portions Delivered logo.
The diet company has already partnered with meal kit startup Chef'd to provide customized Weight Watchers-approved meals. Chef'd is backed by several food companies, including Campbell Soup Co. (CPB - Get Report) .
Blue Apron went public around the same time that Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) announced its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market, and it's struggled as a public company since then. Shares spiked 1.5% to $5.30 on Thursday, Sept. 21, following the news that rival meal kit startup Plated would sell to grocery chain Albertsons.
While meal kits are a $2.2 billion industry in the $1.5 trillion food industry, they are bound for exponential growth, according to the food consulting firm Pentallect, which forecasts that annual growth will be in the 25% to 30% range over the next five years. Morningstar Inc. (MORN - Get Report) analyst R.J. Hottovy estimates that sales will hit $29.7 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20.3%.
Weight Watchers shares are on a tear this year, up 274.1% year to date, compared to the S&P's rise of 12% during the same period. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey took a 10% stake in the company and joined its board on Oct. 19, 2015.
Other food companies experimenting with meal kits include Hershey Co. (HSY - Get Report) through another partnership with Chef'd; Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN - Get Report) , which sells on Amazon; and Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG - Get Report) , which sells on online grocer Peapod.com.
Weight Watchers did not respond to a request for comment.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet:
- PayPal's Stock Has Blown Away Facebook and Google This Year for One Big Reason
- Microsoft's New Xbox One X Shows It's Done Trying to Please Everyone
- How to Invest Like Billionaire Warren Buffett
- A 401(k) Loan Is a Terrible Idea Until It Isn't
Editors' pick: Originally published Sept. 21.