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Everything You Need to Know about Grocery and Gourmet Food Amazon Approval

Grocery and Gourmet Food Amazon Approval

Grocery and Gourmet Food Amazon Approval Process

The Grocery and Gourmet Food category is arguably as difficult to get ungated to sell in as jewelry and collectibles. Those who’ve had everything ready from day one and applied to sell in this category contend that it can take from 2 weeks to a month to get approved.

With the groceries and gourmet foods, Amazon needs to enforce stricter measures to ensure what ends on the site does not cause poisoning, is not fatal and is safe for consumption.

Additionally, the food listed must have appropriate labels to prevent cases of allergic reactions. Given how sensitive these products are, you may not just be allowed to sell right away after application.

In this post, we break down this otherwise overwhelming process and give you distilled information to help you with your ungating grocery and brand approval journey on Amazon. You will also learn how to complete the grocery and gourmet food Amazon approval process.

Amazon Grocery Seller Approval Account Requirements

Before getting into the process, you should always know and appreciate that Amazon’s focus is on the customer. If anything would make a customer not return to Amazon then it is not worth Amazon’s attention.

This is true for any seller who craves customer loyalty and wants to grow their business and reputation amidst competition.

Therefore, if a product sold on Amazon goes to cause injury, discomfort, or is fatal, causes damage to the reputation of the company.

When applying to sell groceries on amazon, you need to be aware of customer concerns to alleviate their fears.

With food, there is always going to be a question of whether the food is safe, if the ingredients are known, if there may be a presence of allergens, etc.

Ultimately, their fears cannot be alleviated by assurances (which could attract class action lawsuits). However, they can be convinced by three properties;

  1. Quality of the product
  2. Product branding, and
  3. Food safety

If the above is properly established, then you have nothing to worry about. The next challenge will be to prove this to the Amazon review team. Among other requirements for approval to Amazon, (which we’ll discuss herein later) here are a few that you’ll need to establish before you are admitted to selling in the grocery and gourmet food category.

How to Sell Grocery on Amazon

In order to become a grocery seller, you will need;

1. A professional selling plan.
2. Valid inventory invoices.
3. To observe Amazon’s product packaging guidelines.

Such guidelines include:

a) Has clear labeling and is in English
b) Should protect the safety and quality of food
c) Must contain specific information about the product such as expiry date, dietary classifications, net weight, ingredients, etc.
d) Listed with product UPC.

Other Requirements for Grocery & Gourmet Food Category Include:

Shelf Life and Expiry Dates

Ensure that your food products have a shelf life of more than 90 days. Since you are dealing in the food industry, expiry dates are a big thing. Usually, when your products reach within 50 days of going bad, Amazon will withdraw all of them from its FBA program without refund or returns.

Storage Temperatures

Storage temperatures are another consideration. If your products can withstand 50 to 100 0F then you have nothing to worry about. However, if they melt under these temperatures, Amazon will not accept them until October 1st. they accept them until April 30th.

Documentation Requirements

You will need to produce several documents for the approval process. Here are some;

  1. Manufacturer’s, distributor’s, or wholesaler’s invoice with a purchase order of at least 30 inventory units. It should also clearly show the issuer’s name, address, and contact details, i.e., phone, email, or website. Must also indicate the name of the recipient or the company and contact information. Most importantly, these invoices should not be older than 180 days. This information should match that used on the Amazon Seller Central account.
  2. Brand authorization certificate.
  3. FDA certification, among other necessary documents Amazon may request for individual product approval.

You should not submit the following because they are not accepted as evidence of authenticity.

  • Sales orders
  • Retail receipts
  • Online invoices
  • Packing slips
  • Pro-forma invoices, etc.

Why Grocery Brand Ungating Is Important

Buyers may look at many things when considering what to buy. However, only three aspects can make them decide to purchase.


A prospective buyer is first attracted by the price of the product. This is true for online shoppers as is for physical store shoppers. If the pricing is perfect, then they proceed to look at other factors.


The image of an item tells buyers if the product they are getting is what they are looking for. This is why it’s important to take clear images of the product to post alongside the listing. Images also help buyers to make brand decisions. Since they may not read the product description, they must see the branding if there is a specific brand they are looking for. It helps if the buyer is loyal to a brand, you have listed because they will not think twice before adding to the cart.


Are you offering discounts? Is the product on flash sale? Anything that gives the buyer the impression that they could save some money is good for your business. If you want to know how to make money selling groceries on Amazon, this is how. Selling branded products on amazon regardless of the category, especially those from restricted brands requires you to produce a brand authorization certification. For instance, if you want to tread in products from big companies like Starbucks or McCormick, you need to bring written authorization from these brand owners or dealers.

What Are Amazon Restricted Or Gated Categories

Amazon gated or restricted categories are those with strict selling rules that no seller is allowed to sell freely. These categories, brands, and ASINs have specific approval guidelines, and any seller who meets the standards can enjoy a vast market with less competition. That means Amazon only has the power to draw the rules and open gates for more sellers to access the categories. The good news, however, is that Amazon does not always restrict the entire category, like in the previous gating practices. Instead, it gates subcategories, leaving some products open, even though they might be under gated categories. This explains why there is a short list of gated categories and a long list of restricted products or subcategories. Generally, any seller who wants to sell within a gated grocery category must apply for grocery brand approval ungating to be let in.

Why Does Amazon Gate Its Categories?

Most multi-million investments are built on trust, customer satisfaction, and a healthy working environment, and Amazon is no exception. Being a huge marketplace with millions of users globally, Amazon strives to maintain a good relationship with both buyers and sellers by ensuring only high-quality products are in circulation. It achieves this by gating some categories, brands, and ASINs. Therefore, among others, here are the main reasons why Amazon gates its categories:

To Monitor Product Standards

One of the first missions of the company is to ensure buyers are offered both high-quality and safe products. It does this by allowing only sellers whose products have undergone stringent quality assessment steps to access highly-demanded categories. Since the platform is home to millions of brands and buyers, there are high chances of buyers getting counterfeit products. Hence, it is Amazon’s responsibility to block such products by setting up strict selling rules.

To Protect A Food Brand’s or Label’s Reputation

Amazon also works jointly with other big names; hence, sellers need to ungate popular grocery brands such as Starbucks, Nature Made, General Mills, Post and others as a way to ensure only authorized resellers can list products from certain brands. Therefore, to protect the brand’s reputation, Amazon asks sellers to provide legit documentation from these brands to show they are allowed to list their products.

Resellers who do not provide proof of authorization are locked out of certain categories. Many large and well-known brands require pre-approval with them directly, before even applying to unlock the grocery category on Amazon. This is true for both seasoned sellers, and individuals new to the platform.

To Enhance Customer Satisfaction

Besides ensuring buyers can get high-quality food products, Amazon also restricts some categories to prevent sellers from exploiting buyers. That means only sellers with a positive track record can access these categories and reach buyers. This enhances customer satisfaction and a positive rating. The company may also limit or dictate maximum pricing to ensure buyers are not being fleeced, price gouged, or taken advantage of.

How to Sell Grocery Items on Amazon

Adherence to FDA Regulations

This point is extremely important in ungating the Grocery and Gourmet Category, especially if you own a manufacturing company or want to sell your own private label items.

Many items require the approval of the Food and Drug Administration to sell in the US marketplace. No retail platform, website, or other selling venue is permitted to offer any product that is not previously rubber-stamped by the FDA.

Therefore, sellers who want to make money selling groceries on Amazon FBA must first think about FDA authorization. The obvious reason for this is safety because specific laws exist to ensure that end users are not harmed.

Further, items from foreign countries may not be permitted, as they do not meet standard codes from other regulatory bodies.

Categories And Products That Require Amazon Approval

This point is extremely important in ungating the Grocery and Gourmet Category, especially if you own a manufacturing company or want to sell your own private label items.

As stated earlier, Amazon has a long list of gated products and a short list of restricted categories. That is because one category can have more subcategories, which can add up to tens of products. Therefore, before thinking about getting ungated for groceries on Amazon, sellers need to consider three ungating levels; category, product, and grocery brand ungating. They should also differentiate between category and product unlocking. In this case, unlocking the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category.

General Guidelines to Get Ungated on Amazon

Whether you are a new reseller or an established FBA seller, learning how to get approved to sell groceries on Amazon should never be a challenge again. Amazon’s mission is to see its users grow, and thus, increase sales and profitability.

And this does not matter if you are listing your products in a locked or unrestricted category. As a result, if you want to expand your selling portfolio by accessing restricted categories, here are the general guidelines to ungate popular grocery brands on Amazon:

Register A Professional Amazon Seller Account

Professional Amazon Seller Account is the backbone of any seller as it records all the activities conducted by the seller on the platform. It is through this account that Amazon can tell your business position and determine whether you meet all the quality standards or not.

Review, Analyze And Verify Your Account Health

Creating a professional Seller Account is not enough. You still need to maintain its health to maximize your chances of getting approved. Maintaining a healthy account includes meeting your customers’ expectations and adhering to Amazon’s business code. That means you should have a timely shipping record, good customer relations, competitive pricing, and avoid violating Amazon’s policies. To check your account health, go to the Account Health section on the Seller Central Account and click on the Performance menu.

Check Specific Category Ungating Guidelines for Food and Gourmet

Each category has specific ungating instructions, and you need to check them before requesting approval. Some categories are complicated, while others have simple instructions that even new sellers can unlock easily. For example, some categories require sellers to have at least three years of selling experience and running websites. Check the points of selling groceries on Amazon FBA requirements.

Choose A Reputable Food Supplier or Distributor

Getting a reliable supplier is also a vital step, especially as your demand curve grows. Amazon will also ask you to provide legitimate invoices from trusted suppliers whose products fall under gated categories. After choosing a supplier, you need to place at least three orders, with each order having at least ten pieces of the restricted product.

Retailers are not considered suppliers. You cannot go down to your local grocery store or dollar store and purchase a bunch of items for resale. The products need to come from verified wholesalers and distributors. Be sure to do your research before sourcing and paying for any potential sales items.

Prepare Your Food and Gourmet Approval Related Documents

Before submitting your Amazon grocery brands ungating, you need to prepare your documents, which include recent purchase invoices from reputable wholesalers. These scanned copies of individual invoices should have all the ASINs written next to the product name. Price and other confidential information should be locked for wholesaler privacy. You may also be required to send information about your status or business trading information.

Request Approval

With all the documents and other requirements ready, you can proceed to Amazon unlock grocery category request.

Guidelines To Ungate and Start Selling Groceries on Amazon

Selling groceries on Amazon goes a long way in understanding what the category entails and how to ungate it on Amazon. For instance, the Grocery and Gourmet Food category requires sellers to have authorization from regulatory bodies like Food and Drug Administration. On the other hand, some categories require sellers to have more years of selling experience and a good online presence. Therefore, if you intend to sell in any gated category, you need to consider the following best tips and learn how to make money selling groceries on Amazon:

Final Thoughts on Amazon Grocery and Gourmet Food Amazon Approval Process

You can sell any product on Amazon as long as you are authorized. Some products are restricted such that you cannot sell until you apply to be ungated.

These include those listed under the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category. Additionally, selling foods from restricted brands is prohibited until you seek approval.

Brand approval is essential for both you and Amazon. You are likely to get more customers, especially those loyal to a certain brand.

At the same time, Amazon can confirm the authenticity of the items you are selling.

Ultimately, you will be able to sell more by ungating groceries on Amazon; hence, earning more revenue.

If you really want to expand and are able to source the right products, the grocery and gourmet food Amazon approval process might be the right thing for you to do!

Vinny Ly

Vinny Ly

I have been helping Amazon sellers sell more inventory and increase revenues by guiding them through the process of ungating difficult Amazon categories, brands, and products.

I have spent years doing this for my own ventures and have helped countless other businesses reach inaccessible markets and tap into lucrative expansion.

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