From Home Delivery to Private Labels, Amazon Wants to Own Food Industry

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Amazon now wants to take over the food world—as it has done with the apparel industry. Its first broad push into perishable foods will include new lines of private-label foods, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In fact, founder Jeff Bezos also said this week that it would be “irresponsible” of consumers not to be an Amazon customer, or, more specifically, not to take advantage of its Prime membership program that costs $99 a year or $10.99 a month. Perks include free two-day shipping and free online storage space. He also told attendees at the Amazon annual meeting that the company plans to add to its Prime services and to open more physical bookstores, in addition to the one already open in Seattle and the other in the works in  San Diego.

As far as further forays into food are concerned, the online giant is already working with Tyson Foods on delivery of “meal kits” in a service that would be similar to Blue Apron. It is also expanding its restaurant-delivery service to San Francisco, and continues to grow its grocery-delivery business around the country.

Now new Amazon-owned brands—with names such as Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear—will include nuts, spices, tea, coffee, baby food and vitamins, the Journal said, as well as other CPG items including diapers and laundry detergent. They could start showing up on Amazon within weeks.

“Amazon is ‘carpet-boming’ the market with new products,” Bill Bishop, chief architect of brand consultancy Brick Meets Click, told the Journal. “Private label allows them to test out new prices and distinctive flavors with less risk.”

Amazon already has brick-and-mortar retailers such as Macy’s and Kohl’s shaking in their boots as it continues to steal clothing sales from their physical outlets, even as the traditional soft-goods brands also try to fight back online. Now perhaps grocery brands and restaurant chains will feel more of that sense of dread.

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