Carrington Tea Launches Gus and Joan, An Amazon Exclusive Brand

Carrington Tea, a New Jersey-based specialty tea producer founded by David Eben and Brad Miller in 1999, has launched Gus and Joan Quality Foods, an Amazon Exclusive brand. Currently, Gus and Joan is offering several flavors of bagged tea.

It’s the first Amazon Exclusive tea brand we’ve seen. Currently, Amazon also offers private label teas under its Solimo, Wickedly Prime, 365 Everyday Value, and Allegro brands.

Searching for “green tea” on Amazon yields a sponsored brand ad unit at top from Pure Leaf, followed by Amazon’s “Our Brands” carousel. Gus and Joan brand tea is featured inside. Following the carousel are organic search results from Liptop, Ito En Oi Ocha, Jade Leaf, Prince of Peace, Bigelow, and Stash.

We’ll keep an eye on Gus and Joan to see if Carrington launches additional products under the brand.

For now, we’ve added the Amazon Exclusive Gus and Joan to the TJI Amazon Brand Database.

Dillanos Coffee Roasters Parent Launches Amazon Exclusive Home Harvest Coffee Brand

The parent company of Dillanos Coffee Roasters, a wholesale coffee roaster based in Sumner, Washington, has launched an Amazon Exclusive coffee brand called Home Harvest Coffee.

Home Harvest joins a growing list of Amazon private label and exclusive coffee brands in the US. Amazon is ramping up its exclusive brand efforts through programs like its Amazon Accelerator. Amazon Exclusive coffee brands currently include Corner One Coffee, Crave Coffee, My Coffee, and Pier 3 Coffee, alongside a variety of coffees within Amazon’s Happy Belly and AmazonFresh private label brands.

Currently, Home Harvest is offering 3 products: a signature blend, a breakfast blend, and a french roast. Products are available in a 1 lb bag, 2 lb bag, and (some) in Nespresso capsules. Dillanos says it has 65 employees and “roasts for some of the country’s most recognized specialty coffee brands and cafes.” Dillanos has not yet responded to our request for comment.

A wide variety of brands are selling coffee on Amazon. Amazon is also selling its own private label brands of coffee via its AmazonFresh and 365 Everyday Value brands.

Top sponsors for coffee searches on Amazon include Death Wish, Seattle’s Best, and Peet’s. Death Wish and Starbucks are also best sellers.

Original Donut Shop Keurig K-Cups, Folgers, and Dunkin’ Donuts are also prominently featured on coffee search results under a “Customers ultimately bought” heading near the top of the page.

Follow TJI as Amazon continues to expand its private label and exclusive food, beverage, and grocery efforts.

Amazon Reportedly Planning to Launch its First Amazon Go in New York City

A few days after reports surfaced about Amazon’s plans to open its first Amazon Go automated food/convenience store in San Francisco, we are seeing reports of details on Amazon’s plans to open its first Amazon Go in New York City as well.

Per Recode, Amazon is planning to open its first NYC Amazon Go in Brookfield Place, formerly known as the World Financial Center, in the Battery Park City neighborhood. It’s a large complex across from the World Trade Center.

This will be the eighth Amazon Go location in the US. We’ve updated our TJI Physical Retail Map to reflect the upcoming Amazon Go location in NYC.

Amazon Now Offers 24 Varieties of Private Label Cheese

Industry watchers have been paying close attention to Amazon’s growing private label efforts, particularly those efforts in clothing and household goods. Lately, however, we’re seeing interesting private label initiatives from Amazon in the food and beverage categories as well.

As of today, Amazon now offers 24 varieties of its private label Happy Belly cheese. All are currently available through AmazonFresh. They include:

  1. Happy Belly Colby Jack Cheese Block, 8 Ounce
  2. Happy Belly Colby Jack Cheese, Snack Sticks, 12 Count, 10 Ounce Pack
  3. Happy Belly Deluxe American Cheese, 24 Slices, 16 Ounce Pack
  4. Happy Belly Medium Cheddar Cheese Block, 32 Ounce
  5. Happy Belly Medium Cheddar Cheese Block, 8 Ounce
  6. Happy Belly Mild Cheddar Cheese Block, 16 Ounce
  7. Happy Belly Mozzarella String Cheese, 12 Count, 12 Ounce Pack
  8. Happy Belly Pepper Jack Cheese Block, 8 Ounce
  9. Happy Belly Prepared Cheese Product, 24 Singles, 16 Ounce Pack
  10. Happy Belly Sharp Cheddar Cheese Block, 32 Ounce
  11. Happy Belly Shredded Colby Jack Cheese, 8 Ounce
  12. Happy Belly Shredded Mexican Four Cheese Blend, 32 Ounce
  13. Happy Belly Shredded Mexican Four Cheese Blend, 8 ounce
  14. Happy Belly Shredded Mild Cheddar, 16 Ounce
  15. Happy Belly Shredded Mild Cheddar, 8 Ounce
  16. Happy Belly Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  17. Happy Belly Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, Low Moisture Part-Skim Milk, 32 Ounce
  18. Happy Belly Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, 8 Ounce
  19. Happy Belly Sliced Colby Jack Cheese, 10 Slices, 8 Ounce Pack
  20. Happy Belly Sliced Muenster Cheese, 10 Slices, 8 Ounce Pack
  21. Happy Belly Sliced Provolone Cheese, 10 Slices, 8 Ounce Pack
  22. Happy Belly Sliced Sharp Cheddar, 10 Slices, 8 Ounce Pack
  23. Happy Belly Sliced Swiss Cheese, 10 Slices, 8 Ounce Pack
  24. Happy Belly Swiss Cheese Block, 8 Ounce

Amazon offers Happy Belly Cage Free Eggs, too.

As more grocery spending comes online, we believe Amazon sees an opportunity to take advantages of changing consumer behavior to test consumer brand loyalty in staple perishable categories like dairy.

Currently, top cheese brands on AmazonFresh include Sargento, Tillamook, Kraft, and Kerrygold. Additional brands include Applegate, Organic Valley, Cabot, Land O Lakes, New Bridge, and Cracker Barrel Cheese.

Amazon also sells cheese under Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value private label brand.

Follow TJI as we continue to track Amazon’s private label efforts.

Amazon Planning to Launch its First Amazon Go in San Francisco

Amazon is planning to launch its first Amazon Go in California on California Street in San Francisco’s Financial District.

This will be the seventh Amazon Go location in the US. The other six are in Seattle and Chicago. We’ve updated our TJI Physical Retail Map to reflect the new upcoming Amazon Go location in San Francisco.

The store’s opening date is not yet known and is unlikely to be announced much in advance, if the past is any indication. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the sign permit application for 300 California St.

2 New Amazon Exclusive Food and Grocery Brands Identified

As we continue to track Amazon’s private label and exclusive brand efforts, we have identified 2 new Amazon Exclusive apparel and accessories brands that have recently launched. Amazon Exclusive brands are labeled “Our Brands” by Amazon but are owned by third parties.

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Amazon Planning to Expand Its Private Label Efforts in Japan

While much of the focus on Amazon’s private label brand initiatives is on their efforts in the United States, Amazon has been growing its private label and exclusive brand offerings across its European and Asian markets as well.

Now, Amazon is planning to invest in additional expansion of its private label efforts in Japan, as evidenced by multiple job listings and a growing number of private label goods appearing on Amazon Japan.

As of today, AmazonBasics remains the broadest private label Amazon has launched in Japan in terms of SKU count by far. However, recently Amazon has also launched its Happy Belly (grocery and beverage), Solimo (household goods and foods), Mama Bear (diapers), Wickedly Prime (grocery), and Presto! (household goods) brands as well.

Like it does in other markets, when a search on Amazon Japan includes Amazon private label items in the results, it highlights those items with a gray box and “Our Brands” label. Here are a few examples of how these tiles look on Amazon Japan for Solimo tuna (“sea chicken”), Mama Bear diapers (“baby pants”), Happy Belly water, and Presto baby wipes.

  

We would not be surprised to see Amazon introduce private label and exclusive brands specific to the Japanese market, as it has done in other regional markets around the world already.

Based on several job listings posted earlier today, Amazon is planning to invest in significant staff expansion to power its growing private brand efforts in Japan. These follow several job listings targeting Amazon’s growing Japanese grocery efforts a few weeks ago.

The new Amazon Japan private brand job listings include:

  1. Sr. Category Manager, Private Brand
  2. Sr. Category Manager, Consumables Private Brands
  3. Product Manager, Private Brand
  4. Marketing & Customer Insight, Private Brand
  5. Head of Hardlines Private Brands
  6. Instock Manager, Private Brand
  7. Instock Manager, Consumables Private Brands

The above job postings note:

“Amazon is looking for an experienced, talented and enthusiastic Senior Category Manager for Consumables Private Brands (CPB) to manage selection expansion for number of categories for Private Brands business for Consumables in Japan.”

“Private Brands is a long-term growth opportunity for Amazon. So far, Amazon JP CPB has launched its brand 5 brands (Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime, Presto!, Mama Bear, and Solimo) as Amazon owned brands within Consumables, and are also looking to expand our foot-print into new categories, including Amazon-exclusive vendor owned brands under Amazon Accelerator program.”

“Amazon Basic is now considered strategically important at the global level, and it is expected to be a big Growth Potential as the Priority Growth Division.” (Disclaimer: this quote is a Google Translation from the listing’s original Japanese)

“The Amazon Consumables Private Brands team is creating a global portfolio of premium consumables products to meet Prime customers’ daily needs.”

“Amazon is looking for an experienced, talented and enthusiastic team leader of Hardlines Private Brands to manage selection expansion for number of categories for Amazon’s Exclusive Brands and Private Brands business for Consumables in Japan. As a leader, you will be responsible for managing private brands with the best possible commercial and legal terms. You will also be responsible for hiring and building a high performance team of experienced team members and growing volumes and margins. You will develop a partnerships with retail category teams in Japan and the various functions in Japan and US. Private Brands is a long-term growth opportunity for Amazon. We are also looking to expand our foot-print into new categories.”

Increasingly, Amazon views its private label efforts with a global purview. Amazon wants to increase customer loyalty amongst Prime members through private brands around the world, and ultimately generate increased margins in the long term. It is building a brand portfolio and global infrastructure to support that effort.

Follow TJI as we continue to track Amazon’s private brand efforts in Japan and around the world.

Above image credit: Amazon Japan

GNC Launches Amazon Exclusive Supplement Brand, “CHALLENGE by GNC”

GNC, one of the largest retailers of vitamins, supplements, and other health and nutrition products, has quietly launched a new Amazon Exclusive brand called CHALLENGE by GNC.

GNC, which has seen declining revenues over the past two years from $2.68 billion in 2015 to $2.45 billion in 2017, operates over 8,000 stores around the world and over 3,000 in the United States. Amidst changing retail trends, GNC announced earlier this year that it intended to close approximately 200 stores in 2018.

Now the company appears to be trying a new tactic – creating a brand of products exclusively available on Amazon. As an Amazon Exclusive brand, CHALLENGE by GNC is labeled as “Our Brand” by Amazon and included in special promotional real estate in Amazon search results.

GNC has not made any announcements about the new strategy or launch of the new brand that we can find. The company has also not yet responded to our request for comment. We will update if they do.

Amazon is currently promoting the new CHALLENGE by GNC Amazon Exclusive brand in the nutritional supplements section of its US website with ads like the following:

Vine reviews for CHALLENGE by GNC products are dated since September, so it’s possible GNC is waiting to promote the new brand until after some initial reviews come in.

The move signals a possible growing trend of well known brand owners deciding to create new brands or sub-brands for certain product lines exclusively for Amazon. Carter’s currently offers its Simple Joys by Carter’s brand exclusively on Amazon. Iconix now makes its entire Starter brand of clothing available on Amazon as well. We expect to see more of these kinds of moves in the coming months, as Amazon is looking to increase the volume of exclusive brands on its platform.

As always, follow TJI for the latest on Amazon’s private label and exclusive brand efforts.

Perrigo Launches Amazon Exclusive Infant Formula Brand, “Love & Care”

Perrigo, one of the largest manufacturers of private label OTC pharmaceuticals, has launched a new Amazon Exclusive infant formula brand called Love & Care.

It’s the first infant formula Amazon Exclusive brand we’ve seen. Currently, Earth’s Best (owned by Hain Celestial Group), Similac (owned by Abbott Laboratories), Enfamil (owned by Mead Johnson), and Happy Baby brand infant formulas rank the highest in Amazon US search results for infant formula. Plum Organics, Happy Baby, Love & Care, and GoodSense are the top brands advertising on those searches.

While “Love & Care” brand items are not yet showing up with the “Our Brand” label in search results, Amazon is promoting the new Love & Care brand in the baby healthcare section of its US website with ads like the following:

Perrigo has not made any announcements that we can find, and the company has not yet responded to our request for comment. We will update if they do. Vine reviews have started coming in in recent days, suggesting that Perrigo may be waiting to promote the new brand until after some initial reviews come in.

Perrigo filed for the US trademark for “Love & Care” on May 9, 2018. The company also produces the Amazon Exclusive Basic Care brand, which includes a variety of first aid health care products and OTC medicines.

Follow TJI for the latest on Amazon’s private label and exclusive brand efforts.

Amazon Launches Solimo Private Label Brand Crackers, Tea, and Granola Bars

Amazon continues to broaden its Solimo private label brand. Solimo thus far has been positioned as a value brand option for household essentials like toilet paper. Now, Amazon is expanding it further into the food and grocery category with the launch of Solimo brand crackers, tea, and granola bars.

1. Crackers

First, Amazon is going after a product category occupied by powerful brands in the cracker market with the launch of 4 Solimo brand cracker products.

At $2.45 to $2.51 each, the array of Solimo crackers are attractively priced vs grocery store retail for the name brand items.

Currently, top cracker advertisers on Amazon.com US include Pepperidge Farm, Keebler, and Nabisco, with Pepperidge Farm and Nabisco performing strongly in organic search results.

2. Teas

Second, Amazon has launched Solimo Tea Pods, Compatible with 2.0 K-Cup Brewers in English Breakfast, Green Tea, and Chamomile flavors. The English Breakfast version is selling for $12.34 for a 42-count pack (about $0.51 each).

 

In addition, Amazon has launched 8 flavors of Solimo brand tea bags, ranging from Black Tea Bags, 100 Count (for $4.99) to Mint Green Tea Bags, 20 Count (for $2.29). All tea bag options are available only through Prime Pantry.

Top tea advertisers on Amazon.com include Southern Breeze, Bstean, Good Earth, and Vahdam, with Twinings and Bigelow performing well in organic search results.

3. Granola Bars

Finally, Amazon has launched 2 granola bar products under the Solimo brand. Solimo Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar, 12 Count (Pack of 12) is selling for $25.00 (about $0.17 each) while Solimo Sweet & Salty Peanut Granola Bars, 48 Count are selling for $17.77 (about $0.37 each).

Likewise, these are attractively priced vs name brands in retail grocery stores.

Annie’s, Quaker, Clif Bar, KIND Bars, and others are currently top sponsors on Amazon.com US for granola bars, with Nature Valley ranking prominently in organic search results.

As always, follow TJI for the latest as we continue to track Amazon’s private label efforts.