National Advertising Division Finds Blue Apron’s “Canceling Meals is Easy” Claim Supported

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – December 1, 2022 – In a BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, brought as part of NAD’s routine monitoring of national advertising for truth and transparency, NAD has determined that Blue Apron LLC provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “Canceling Meals is Easy.” 

Blue Apron is a subscription-based meal kit company that offers changing weekly meal kits consisting of boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and corresponding recipes to be cooked at home. 

These subscription services constitute negative option marketing, broadly defined as a category of commercial transactions in which sellers interpret a customer’s failure to take an affirmative action, either to reject an offer or cancel an agreement, as assent to be charged for goods or services. NAD noted that there are different types of plans in negative option marketing and Blue Apron’s service constitutes a continuity plan – namely, consumers agree to continue to receive their food kits for a monthly sum until they affirmatively cancel their subscription. 

NAD inquired about the advertiser’s sponsored Instagram post with the express claim “Canceling meals is easy,” made in connection with a pricing claim (“Starting at $7.49 per serving”). NAD determined that the claim in context reasonably conveys the message that consumers can cancel their subscription seamlessly. 

In reviewing whether Blue Apron offers consumers easy ways to cancel meals, NAD considered that the Federal Trade Commission’s recent “Bringing Dark Patterns To Light” report suggests that consumers should be able to cancel a subscription-based service through the same medium (such as a website or mobile application) as signup. NAD determined that the claim “[C]anceling meals is easy” is supported since consumers sign up for and cancel Blue Apron online. 

In its advertiser statement, Blue Apron stated that it “supports NAD’s mission of voluntary self-regulation of advertising and is pleased by NAD’s determination.” The advertiser further stated that it “continuously seeks improvements in its customer experience and takes great pride in its support of the goal of clear, transparent, and truthful information in advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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