- Amazon captured just $240 million out of $49 billion in total sales across sweets and salty snacks in 2016. Between January and August of this year, however, the e-commerce giant has already nabbed $215 million worth of sales in the fast-growing category, reflecting 42% year-over-year growth, according to a new report from One Click Retail cited by Chain Store Age.
- Chocolate candy and salty snacks currently top category sales for Amazon, with each generating year-to-date sales of $31 million, followed by non-chocolate candy with $27 million in YTD sales, according to One Click Retail data.
- The categories posting the highest year-over-year growth so far this year include “healthier” snack alternatives like dry fruit snacks, up 75% year-over-year; dried meat snacks (+65%); and snack/granola bars (+59%).
The $49 billion sweet and salty snack market could be the latest category on Amazon’s path of disruption. The retail giant typically seeks to penetrate large, fragmented categories in need of an efficiency or operational makeover, and the snacks category seems to fit the bill. Amazon has a multi-pronged strategy in place to penetrate the snacks space, and has seen impressive growth in the past year.
Amazon’s two private label snacks brands, Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime, both appear in the fast-growing “healthier” snacks space. Happy Belly, a range of trail mix and nuts that competes with the likes of Planters, already is the fourth-best selling category on Amazon, according to One Click Retail data. Popcorn brand Wickedly Prime is further down in the rankings, but is giving specialty brands like Skinny Pop a run for their money.
Prime Surprise Sweets, which offers $18 gourmet candy boxes at the push of a dash button, is still in the pilot phase, but has seen rapid growth, according to One Click Retail. This service circumvents what’s historically been an impulse, immediate consumption purchase in stores. It enables a host of small, specialty brands to get their products in front of shoppers — many of which aren't otherwise available through Amazon. And it gives shoppers an easy way to satisfy their sweet tooth without worrying about judgment from other brick-and-mortar shoppers.
When cravings hit, Amazon Echo’s voice-enabled Alexa is there to accommodate, placing voice orders of a consumer’s favorite snacks in real-time. Consumers may have to wait for products to be delivered, but Alexa certainly eases the ordering process. Fast and easy ordering through voice-enabled devices is shaking up the way consumers shop for a host of goods. The snack category is no exception.
Amazon’s swift movement into the sweet and savory snacks space should be setting off warning bells for a host of physical retailers, particularly those reliant on impulse purchases like convenience stores and drugstores. Still, nothing beats the immediate satisfaction of a candy bar or bag of chips when cravings hit. Physical retailers may need to focus more heavily on single-serve sizes in lieu of big bags and multi-packs, which are quickly becoming Amazon's sweet spot.