No longer satisfied being your go-to for late night online shopping binges, Amazon is looking to produce its own wares. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will start selling its own food and baby products through a series of private labels launching in the next few weeks. How can you order Amazon’s new private-label foods? You better update your Prime account because the online retail giant will reportedly be offering these items exclusively to Prime subscribers.
Amazon will begin selling branded items like baby food, nuts, spices, coffee, and diapers on its namesake website through different private labels, and The Journal detailed three such labels in its report. Happy Belly will reportedly handle cooking oils, trail mix, spices, nuts, and teas, while Wickedly Prime will sell packaged snacks. Mama Bear will offer baby food, diapers, and other parent must-haves. Besides these three known brands, Amazon reportedly holds trademark applications for items like air deodorizers, razors, granola, and chocolate.
Bill Bishop, head of brand consultancy firm Brick Meets Click, told The Journal that Amazon’s latest move makes economic and business sense. “Amazon is ‘carpet-bombing’ the market with new products,” he said. “Private label allows them to test out new prices and distinctive flavors with less risk.”
The company’s new brand lineup targets niche-product areas that generally score higher profit margins, meaning more money for the mega-retailer. According to Bishop, generic labels, like the ones Amazon is launching, rake in higher profits than name brands because companies can save costs by nixing marketing and brand development.
Plus, with its status as one of the largest worldwide online marketplaces, Amazon may be able to predict desires and which products will sell better to its consumers. The Seattle retailer can track purchases on its own site and has the chance to use that data to gain an edge in creating new products ahead of its now competing vendors.
Amazon has been working to develop private labels for several years now. The Journal reported last year the company had approached branding consultants and manufacturers like TreeHouse Foods Inc. for guidance during this endeavor.
However, Amazon has been selling some non-food products through its own labels for years, including Pinzon linens and Elements baby wipes. The AmazonBasics label sells hundreds of digital accessories including phone cases, computer mice, and batteries alongside other essentials like dumbbells and dog crates. Amazon is even trying to break into the fashion industry, selling clothes through its Lark & Ro and North Eleven brands.
Still, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Amazon-named products; The retailer has stumbled with some of its private labels in the past. It initially offered diapers under its Elements label, which promised consumers more transparency about where and how its products were made, but the company had to pull them only a few weeks after the 2014 product launch, citing design flaws. At other times, Amazon had to discontinue a tool line and a cookware line once endorsed by a well-known Seattle chef.
Amazon’s new household and food products will be solely available to Prime members, by some estimates 50 million or more people. The retailer covets these subscribers and hopes, by offering new private brands, it can make Prime service more attractive to non-subscribers.
Additionally, the new line-up of Amazon products may feed into Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, available in several U.S. cities. By offering its own food choices in comparison to brand-name items as consumers shop for groceries on its site, Amazon is essentially presenting itself as a more economical alternative.
It is unclear what sort of pricing will be attached to Amazon’s new food and household product line-ups but the products are sure to draw the attention of consumers when they become available. The first of Amazon’s private brands could appear on the company’s website as soon as the end of May or in early June.