Amazon.com Inc. is about to launch its own private label brands of perishable foods and other traditional grocery store products, according to an exclusive report in the Wall Street Journal.
Private label powerhouse TreeHouse Foods was identified in the report as one of the companies that has been approached by Amazon. Sam Reed, chairman and CEO of TreeHouse, would not confirm, but he told Food Processing, "We pursue all opportunities in food & beverage in North America."
With brands names such as Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime and Mama Bear, the products will include nuts, spices, tea, coffee and baby food, as well as vitamins, diapers and laundry detergents.
The first of the brands could begin appearing on the Amazon.com site as soon as the end of the month or early June, the Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter." But they appear destined only for subscribers of its Prime membership, a relatively new $99-per-year service. However, the new products eventually may feed into Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery business, which is available in several U.S. cities.
The report said Amazon has been working on private label lines for several years and had approached branding consultants and manufacturers. The online retailer already offers its own Pinzon linens and towels, Elements baby wipes and an AmazonBasics line of items such as cellphone cases, computer mice, batteries, dumbbells and dog crates. Recently, it has begun selling some clothing under its own brands.