Shares of meal-kit delivery provider Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (APRN) tumbled this morning after reports stated that e-commerce behemoth, Inc. (AMZN) was planning to enter the meal-kit delivery service business. As of this writing, Blue Apron was trading at $6.60 per share, down 10.23% from the day's start. 

Given the heft of resources at Amazon's disposal, investors fear that Blue Apron will be crushed by the Seattle-based company's entry into the meal-kit industry. Their fears may not be unfounded. To see why, it might be instructive to read Blue Apron's filing for an IPO once again. In its filing, the New York-based company stated the outlines of its business. Briefly, it consists of supply-demand coordination to fulfill customer orders. As part of this coordination, the company plans demand by finding out more about its customers and "eliminating middlemen who work in a direct, coordinated manner with suppliers to reduce costs." It has also "developed and implemented proprietary technology" for its fulfillment operations. (See also: Blue Apron Meal-Kit Delivery Service Files for IPO.)

Sound familiar? Amazon eliminated middlemen to carve out a niche for itself, first in the book selling business and subsequently in e-commerce. The company is also well known for its efficient delivery system. In 2015, Piper Jaffray analysts estimated that Amazon's fulfillment centers placed the company within 20 miles of 31% of the U.S. population. As the numbers of its fulfillment centers have grown, the population served can only have multiplied. In its IPO prospectus, Blue Apron also mentions that it provides consumers with "differentiated, specialty ingredients" that are not easily available. Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM) will help it further access innovative and fresh ingredients at scale. The company also has a ready customer base in members of its Prime services business. (See also: Amazon Patents Meal Kits, Pressuring Blue Apron.) 

Blue Apron alluded to the risks that companies like Amazon pose to its business model in its prospectus. The company listed changes in price and availability for food items as a risk. "Some of our current competitors have, and potential competitors may have, longer operating histories, larger fulfillment infrastructures, greater technical capabilities, significantly greater financial, marketing and other resources and larger customer bases than we do," the company wrote in its filing. "These competitors may engage in more extensive research and development efforts, undertake more far-reaching marketing campaigns and adopt more aggressive pricing policies, which may allow them to build larger customer bases or generate additional sales more effectively than we do."

Still, there is hope for Blue Apron. In an interview with MarketWatch, Max Wolff, market strategist with 55 Institutional, said Blue Apron could better compete with Amazon by either reinventing itself as a "niche player" in the space or teaming up with the likes of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT). (See also: How Recipe Delivery Services Stack Up.)

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