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Amazon, in the business of everything, threatens meal-kit provider Blue Apron's IPO

  • "If Amazon wants to do meal kits, Amazon will do meal kits," Mark Bittman, who's served as a consultant to activist investor Jana Partners on Whole Foods, tells CNBC.
  • Aside from traditional grocers, like Kroger, being threatened by an Amazon-Whole Foods buy, meal-kit provider Blue Apron faces stiffer competition as it prepares for its initial public offering.

Nobody can deny there has been a major shake-up in the food industry lately, and it all seems to tie back to one company: Amazon.

Aside from traditional grocers, such as Kroger, being threatened by an Amazon-Whole Foods buy, meal-kit provider Blue Apron is also facing stiffer competition as it prepares for its initial public offering, Mark Bittman, who's served as a consultant to activist investor Jana Partners on Whole Foods, told CNBC on Tuesday morning.

"Blue Apron may well continue with its IPO," Bittman said on "Squawk Box." "But if Amazon wants to do meal kits, Amazon will do meal kits."

Blue Apron's IPO would value the company at about $3 billion, according to a regulatory filing released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Amazon has tested both food delivery, through AmazonFresh, and meal kits, which deliver fresh ingredients and recipes to subscribers. Though AmazonFresh is more advanced than Amazon's meal kit programs, both remain limited to certain metropolitan areas.

Amazon first experimented with AmazonFresh in 2007.

"Amazon will sell anybody anything they want to buy," Bittman went on. "Amazon is in the business to sell everything."

Bittman says he's happier with the idea of Amazon buying Whole Foods Market than he would be with a Wal-Mart deal because he believes in CEO Jeff Bezos' potential to turn the struggling grocer around.

"Bezos has shown he's not afraid to take risks," Bittman told CNBC. But the analyst added that he wouldn't "pretend for a second" to know what management is thinking over at Amazon right now, regarding how the partnership with Whole Foods will pan out in the future.

Food touches everyone's lives every day, said Bittman, who's also a food author. And it touches on business, too, hence the increasing interest by Wall Street to snag a share of the market.

There are many ways Amazon could still tackle selling customers food and grocery items, and Bezos' efforts to grow in this space have been evident since the launch of AmazonFresh, Bittman said.

On Tuesday, Amazon had more news to share with the world, proving the company really is interested in the business of everything. It announced plans to roll out a subscription-based fashion service, called Prime Wardrobe.

— Reuters contributed to this reporting.

Read more: Amazon just dealt a blow to Blue Apron's IPO plans