The pandemic’s boost to pet food e-commerce was old news last year. While brick-and-mortar pet food retail has recovered some in 2022 as the pandemic becomes endemic, online sales seems likely to stay strong. Older generations that previously shunned scrolling for pet supplies were forced to go online by movement restrictions, and they seem to be staying online. Younger pet owners were already digital natives to Amazon. The online giant has come to control a large chunk of online pet food and treat retailing. On May 2, Amazon will continue to focus on the pet food, treat and other product markets as it launches Pet Day.
The promotional event will include sales on a range of pet products including dog and cat foods and treats. Amazon Pet Day, like Prime Day and other Amazon sales days, will last 24 hours. Pet food and treat deals will be: save up to 15% on Purina Friskies cat treats, 20% on Milkbone products, 25% on select I and Love and You pet food, 30% on Stella and Chewy Wild Red dog food, and up to 40% on Amazon brand pet food and treats. Amazon offers a selection of private label pet food products.
Amazon private label products
Amazon first launched private label pet food products in May 2018. Both in packaging and formulation, Amazon’s private label dog food followed popular trends in the wider pet food industry. The imagery used on Wag puppy and adult dog food bags suggests active lifestyles, human-pet interaction and natural environments. The adult dog food formulation bag features a young person with their dog by their side. The pair overlooks a bay surrounded by mountains. The puppy formulation depicts a running puppy carrying a tennis ball through a grassy field. The Wag dog food formulations themselves follow pet food trends including no-grain, meat as first ingredient, high protein, involving veterinarians and made in the USA.
In September 2018, Amazon expanded the range of exclusive dog foods and other pet products sold on the internet retail website. Two more dog food brands are now sold only on Amazon: Solimo dry dog food and Simply Perfection wet dog food. These two brands sell at respectively lower and higher price points than Wag, the private label dry dog food Amazon released in May. Despite the lower price, Solimo does make some of the same pet food trends as Wag. The description notes that the dog food is meat first, and “Australian and New Zealand Lamb is the #1 ingredient.” Amazon promotes Solimo dog food as containing, “No corn, no soy, no wheat recipe; no added artificial colors and flavors, no chemical preservatives.” On the other end of the premiumization spectrum, lies Simply Perfection wet dog food, produced by co-packer Perfection Pet Foods. Amazon markets this dog food as superpremium. Three varieties of Simply Perfection target specific pet food market trends: meat first, grain-free and limited ingredient diets. Simply Perfection’s marketing makes other claims that are similar to Solimo and Wag, such as no soy, wheat, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives. In November 2018, Amazon launched a private label pet food brand in Europe.
These private label pet foods from Amazon and similar products from Chewy threaten established brands by leveraging their online sales platform to boost visibility, wrote Gartner L2 analysts in the report “Digital IQ Index: Pet Care U.S. 2018.” As more pet owners look to purchase pet food over the internet, online retailers increasingly have opportunities to boost exposure of their own brands by featuring those dog and cat foods in sponsored advertisements, on homepage displays and through other means. The ability of online retailers to undercut premium pet foods with their own brands threatens the profitability of pet food premiumization, which currently drives pet food sales value growth while volume growth stagnates.