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Amazon might start selling groceries

Amazon is hungry for a new market.


AJ Dellinger


Posted on May 29, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 5:29 pm CDT

You could soon be drinking Amazon-branded milk. The Wall Street Journal reports that the e-commerce giant is gearing up to launch its own private-label brand for groceries.

Amazon sought trademark protection earlier this month for over two dozen categories, including soup, water, coffee, pasta, vitamins, dog food, and various household items. The company has also approached private-label food manufacturers in search of a partner. Included in the discussions was TreeHouse Foods, one of the largest private-label producers in the United States. 

The new products would roll out under Amazon’s Elements brand, the same label under which the company launched its short-lived line of diapers last year. 

In expanding to grocery goods, Amazon is following in the footsteps of the big boxes that came before it; Walmart, Target, and CostCo have all launched private-label portfolios. The reason why the online retailer would want in on the the same market is clear: there’s a lot of money to be had. CostCo generated $15 billion in sales of its Kirkland brand, and one-third of Target’s $73 billion in sales came from its private label. 

According to market researcher Information Resources, private-label products accounted for 18 percent of all money spent on packaged goods last year, generating over $120 billion.

Outside of the clear financial gain, Amazon also has the infrastructure in place to take advantage of the expanded line. The company’s Fresh grocery delivery service is now available in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York.

The new line of product could also play nice with Amazon’s Dash button, the tiny gadget that consumers can press to automatically re-order a product they regularly purchase.

H/T Wall Street Journal | Photo via Visitor7/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

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*First Published: May 29, 2015, 3:17 pm CDT