USA – Amazon, the American ecommerce company has launched its own brand of pet food, Wag, a private label of pet food, stretching its retail muscles further into the pet business.
According to Bloomberg, the Wag brand was launched with dry dog food and Amazon plans to expand the range into other pet supplies.
The new line which comes in puppy or adult formula produces food in different varieties that is, with primarily protein sources including chicken, beef, salmon, lamb and turkey.
Sold in five-, fifteen- and 30-pound bags, the food line is labelled ‘no grain added’ meaning no corn or wheat was used as a filler ingredient, available only to Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon’s venture into the pet food business comes after Petco Animal Supplies Inc. and PetSmart Inc., one of the biggest players in the sector acquired Chewy.com for more than US$3 billion last year.
The pet food, though difficult to sell online as it is heavy and expensive to ship, appeals big business who have seen frequent purchases from pet owners especially on the online platform.
Competition in this sector also comes from Walmart Inc., a multinational corporation that is not only causing a stir in groceries but also through its own private label dog foods, including Ol’ Roy.
The Wag line was named after Wag.com, a Quidsi website that now redirects to an Amazon landing page after Amazon bought out Quidsi Inc in 2011.
Quidsi, bought for US$545 million to eliminate a competitor and gain customers was closed last year after Amazon said that it could not realise profitable operations.
Bloomberg reports Amazon realized US$2 million in total sales in pet carrier last year, having started the pet carriers and beds business under the AmazonBasics brand in 2016.
The American Pet Products Association indicates that U.S. pet owners will spend US$72.1 billion on animals, care and supplies this year, with about US$30 billion on pet food, a prospective that is pushing bigger brands such as JM Smucker into either acquisitions or strong partnerships.