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Study: Amazon cashes in on sweet and salty snacks


Amazon has evolved into a destination for a variety of categories, and now it’s adding sweets and snacks to this portfolio.

Out of $49 billion in total sales across sweets and snacks in 2016, Amazon rang up $240 million in 2016. And between January-August 2017, the online giant has already grabbed $215 million — a year-over-year (YoY) growth of 42%, according to “Sweets & Snacks: The Amazon Effect,” a report from One Click Retail.

Though the biggest subcategories – chocolate candy ($31 million), salty snacks ($31 million), and non-chocolate candy ($27 million) – lead the charge, much of the year-to-date (YTD) growth has been driven by more health-conscious consumers. Dry fruit snacks, arguably the healthiest of all subcategories, experienced 75% growth, more than any other subcategory. The next three top growers are dried meat snacks (65% YoY), snack/granola bars (59% YoY), and crackers (57% YoY).

Of the larger volume categories, salty snacks grew the most rapidly (49% YoY), leaving sugary treats relatively stagnant by comparison. Conversely, sweets & snacks sales in Europe are still overwhelmingly driven by sugary treats, the study reported.

The sweets subcategory dominates in the U.K., and chocolate leads in both Germany and France. Unlike the U.S., the majority of top-selling items are sweets and chocolates, making up at least eight of the top 10 items in all three of these countries.

Amazon’s private brands are contributing to the company’s success in across the category. Amazon has two private brands competing in the snack space: Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime. Wickedly Prime ranks 65th in the product group with $800,000 sales YTD. Half of those sales are popcorn snack bags, generating 25% of the sales of the top incumbent SkinnyPop (with $1.6 million YTD sales).

Happy Belly, on the other hand, ranks as the 4th-best selling 1P (Amazon vendor central) brand in the snacks category, generating $3.5 million in YTD in the snack nuts subcategory. Happy Belly’s biggest 1P competitor is Planters with $6.5 in snack nuts sales YTD, but the private label’s Trail Mix products have no direct 1P competition on Amazon, according to One Click Retail.

Another contributor to these sales is Amazon’s Prime Surprise Sweets program — a button on an Amazon Prime member’s dashboard (which members purchase for $4.99). When clicked, the service automatically orders an $18 box of assorted artisanal sweets.

Amazon’s Alexa is also driving category sales, as Amazon Echo owners simply shout out the candy or treat they’re craving, and Alexa places the order in real-time, the study said.

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