Prime Pantry has ended. So what? Now what?

January 12, 2021
Mike Black
Written By
Mike Black

Amazon’s ending of Prime Pantry is not particularly surprising. Being the customer-centric company it is, Amazon is always looking for ways to reduce friction and complexity from its shopping experience. To use Prime Pantry, consumers had to go to a different part of the website and pay an extra set of fees, both barriers to long-term adoption. 

So what?

The move is good for brands because it streamlines a lot of the operational hassle of having to manage separate ASINs and separate content on the site. However, it will be important to watch how Amazon manages the assortment of unprofitable, under $10 products offered through Pantry. In the short term, it looks like Amazon will transfer most of its Pantry assortment over to .com. But long term, many of these products may be put on “CRaP” lists or designated as Add On items or Exclusively for Prime. Anyone of these scenarios could impact sales volumes. However, we didn’t see this happen when Pantry ended in Europe earlier this year; and we don’t expect that to be the case in the U.S. either. 

Now what?

  1. Item profitability matters more than ever. Now that Pantry items can be bought without fees, brands should be partnering with Amazon and finding ways to improve unit-level economics through price / pack optimization. Most leading brands are already doing this. In fact, a CPG client just completed a price/pack optimization study with us and was able to validate major growth potential with large size packages it doesn’t currently carry on Amazon, which also offer higher margin potential.

  2. Continue to watch price dynamics off and on Amazon. As our ongoing Price Wars research shows, Amazon refuses to lose on price to Walmart (or anyone for that matter). So any promotions Walmart or Target run on Pantry items will only compound profitability issues. Tight coordination between your Amazon and omni-customer and shopper marketing teams will be critical.

  3. Keep an eye on 3P sellers. 3P sellers are skilled at exploiting gaps in your assortment on Amazon. As products transition from Pantry to .com (and potentially as they are delisted), 3P sellers will account for a higher percentage of sales and win a higher share of search in organic results. We saw that during last year’s Super Bowl when 3P sellers capitalized on awareness created for unlisted Pop-Tarts products. Many of these sellers had poor quality product pages that poorly represented Pop-Tarts’ brand.

  4. Prepare for more consolidation. Amazon has a history of launching semi-standalone offerings (like Pantry) and eventually folding them into the main program. There are rumors it is also happening with Fresh/Prime Now. Ultimately, consolidation will make it easier for brands to manage Amazon and open up greater data access. In the meantime, make sure you have full, holistic coverage of your Amazon sales & market share performance — across .com and F3 (Fresh, Prime Now and Go). (If you don’t currently have F3 data, talk to your account manager as Profitero now offers it.)

In short, Prime Pantry’s end is a good thing, for consumers and for brands. But brands will need to carefully scrutinize their assortment and digital shelf strategies to fully capitalize.

 


 

Top 25 Selling Products on Prime Pantry (Jan 2020 to Dec 2020)

Ranked by how consistently the product appeared in Amazon’s Best Seller Rankings 
Source: Profitero

Rank

Product title

Brand

1

Snack Pack Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Cups Family Pack, 12 Count

Snack Pack

2

Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, Made with Gluten-Free 100-Percent Real Idaho Potatoes, 4-ounce Pouch (4 Servings)

Idahoan

3

Honey Nut Cheerios, Cereal with Oats, Gluten Free, 19.5 oz

General Mills Cereal

4

Newtons Soft & Fruit Chewy Fig Cookies, 12 Snack Packs (2 Cookies Per Pack)

Newtons

5

RITZ Fresh Stacks Original Crackers, 8 Count, 11.8 oz

Ritz

6

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent Liquid He, Clean Burst, 210 Ounce

Arm & Hammer

7

Combos Variety Pack Fun Size Baked Snacks 0.93-Ounce Bag 12-Count Box

Combos

8

Wheat Thins original Whole Grain Wheat Crackers, Family Size, 16 Oz

Wheat Thins

9

Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, 17.1-Ounces

Krusteaz

10

Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, 16.9 fl oz. Plastic Bottles (12 count)

Nestlé Pure Life

11

Premium Original Saltine Crackers, 16 oz

Premium

12

Cheez-It Baked Snack Cheese Crackers, Original, 12.4 Oz Box

Cheez-It

13

Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, 8 fl oz. Plastic Bottles (24 Pack)

Nestlé Pure Life

14

OREO Double Stuf Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, 15.35 oz

Oreo

15

Frito-Lay Bold Party Mix, 28 Count

Frito-Lay

16

Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips, 9.75 Ounce

Doritos

17

Pepsi Cola Cans (12 Count, 12 Fl Oz Each) (Packaging May Vary)

Pepsi

18

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, Original, 2 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Dawn

 19

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, Variety Value Pack, 18 Bars

Quaker

20

Q-tips Cotton Swabs, Original, 750 ct

Q-TIPS SWABS

21

Quaker Rice Crisps, Buttermilk Ranch, 6.06 oz Bag (Packaging May Vary)

Quaker

22

Mott’s Medleys Fruit Snacks, Gluten Free, Family Size, 40 Pouches, 0.8 oz

Mott’s Fruit Snacks

23

Tostitos Bite Size Rounds Tortilla Chips, 13 Ounce

Tostitos

24

Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, 24 Ounce

HERSHEY’S

25

Folgers Classic Roast Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 38.4 Ounces

Folgers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Pantry’s importance to various categories

(Based on Profitero sales estimates)

Category Pantry as a % of total sales
Mexican Products 26%
Grain Bars 25%
Crackers 23%
Dry Packaged Dinner 22%
RTE Cereal 21%
Desserts 20%
Cookies 18%
Fruit Spreads 15%
Wet Soup 13%
Meat Snacks 10%
Nuts/Seeds/Trail Mix 10%
Nut Butters 10%
Fruit Snacks & Leather 9%
Baking/Pancake 9%
Salty Snacks 9%
Traditional/Instant Coffee 4%
Perishable 4%
Home Cleaning 3%
Water 3%
Nutrition Bars 3%
Grains, Beans & Rice 2%
RTD Coffee 2%
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