Getting Ungated in Grocery on Amazon
Grocery is currently among the fasted growing eCommerce categories. And many huge marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target are constantly fighting to dominate the market.
From the statistics, the food market is predicted to surpass the $100 billion mark in annual sales by 2025, with Amazon taking the lead.
What does this prediction say about sellers? Of course, sellers who go for this profitable niche are likely to make a fortune.
That is because everyone has to eat and drink, and the easiest way to get fresh food is through online buying.
However, unlike other categories, selling groceries on Amazon comes with unique challenges that most new sellers cannot overcome.
These include conquering logistics, fulfilling many orders on time, and maintaining consumer confidence. Amazon has also set strict selling rules, and only sellers who can follow them are the ones to benefit.
Therefore, aspiring Amazon grocery sellers have to learn a few things before they are allowed to list grocery items.
This article outlines major Amazon grocery requirements and how to ungate popular food-producing brands. Learn how to get ungated in grocery on Amazon!
The US Food Laws and Regulations
As a grocery seller, the initial things to put in mind are the laws and regulations that surround the US food market.
The US food safety system is so comprehensive that it has dozens of laws and federal food-regulating agencies that monitor everyone from the farm to shelves.
The chain consists of producers, processors, transporters, retailers, preparation bodies such as restaurants, and finally consumers. That means before groceries can reach consumers, they have to pass through different law-abiding steps to ensure safety and quality.
While there are tens of food-related agencies that monitor food safety, the main body that seems to touch both sellers are buyers is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which falls under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The FDA focuses primarily on the food and healthcare products sold on major eCommerce platforms. That means sellers wishing to sell food items, including Amazon itself, must abide by its stipulations before they are allowed to reach consumers.
Summarily, here are a few FDA regulations that all grocery sellers need to check:
- All grocery sellers, including Amazon, must be registered with the FDA.
- Sellers seeking to import groceries into the USA for sale on Amazon must have a US agent who is always available.
- No claim should be made that the food product listed has medicinal or curative properties unless FDA itself says so.
- Sellers should not claim that the product is reviewed by FDA or use FDA symbols or logos at any point.
- Both sellers and Amazon should not label products as FDA-approved if the products have not undergone the FDA-approving process.
Grocery And Gourmet Foods Selling Requirements
Generally, sellers seeking approval to sell in any category on Amazon need to have professional selling plans, valid invoices from approved manufacturers or wholesalers, and healthy accounts. However, when it comes to selling Grocery and Gourmet Foods, things might be a bit complicated due to extra requirements in place. For instance, listing in the Grocery categories needs sellers to fulfill the following requirements:
Food Packaging Requirements
- Grocery products should be high-quality and properly packaged and sealed. The seals should not be broken and the package should be fully intact.
- The package should state the ingredients, potential food allergens, dietary claims such as gluten-free and dairy-free, expiration dates, and net weight.
- The package should have the name and address of the packaging company.
- The grocery item should be able to be consumed in full and have extra 90 days before expiry. Amazon checks to ensure all food items listed have at least 90 days until their expiration date and dispose of those with less than 50 days to their expiry.
- Amazon also restricts the listing of meltable products during hot seasons. For example, it only accepts products that can withstand temperatures from 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the middle of summer.
Product Listing Requirements
- Sellers who want to create new Amazon listings for groceries should use high-quality, accurate, and eye-catching images of at least 300 dpi.
- The image should show ingredients and other vital nutritional information.
- Sellers should only show products they want to sell without other accessories or additional items such as spice.
Popular Grocery Brands That Sellers Need Approval
McCormick is an American-based company that manufactures, markets, and distributes food spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavoring products. Willoughby M. McCormick started the company in 1889. He began by selling initial food products, including root beer, flavoring extracts, fruit syrups, and juices door to door from his small room and a cellar. Today, the company has a wide consumer base that covers almost 170 countries and territories. Once they get ungated in McCormick, sellers can retail a wide range of products, starting from spices and herbs to recipe mixes, extracts, condiments, marinades, stock, broths, salad dressing, sauces, toppings, and homemade desserts. McCormick also makes flavorings, branded food services, and ingredients for other food makers.
Starbucks is a popular food company known for its best-selling premium coffee and tea spices. The company was established in 1971 as a roaster and retailer of whole bean and ground coffee, tea, and spices. Today, Starbucks has grown to world recognition, with millions of customers scattered all over the globe. Upon approval, sellers can list various Starbucks products, including more than 30 blends and single-origin premium coffees, and handcrafted beverages such as Frappuccino coffee, Starbucks refreshers, smoothies, Tazo teas, fresh-brewed coffee, and non-coffee blended beverages.
Nature Made was started in 1971 by Barry Pressman and Henry Burdick to provide an alternative way to live a healthier life through appropriate nutrition. Over the past years, the company has cemented its reputation in the health and wellness industry, a good reason most sellers would like to sell it on Amazon. Nature Made is known for its multivitamins, vitamin supplements, minerals, herbs, and Omega-3 supplements. Since the brand falls under more than one category on Amazon, Grocery and Gourmet Foods sellers who get ungated in it can list Nature Made gummies, capsules, and softgels.
Post Holdings, formerly known as Post Cereals and Postum Cereals is an American-based cereal manufacturer established in 1895. The company started with cereal and egg businesses headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota. In 2012, Post Holdings separated from other companies to become a stand-alone manufacturer that focuses on providing delicious food choices for every budget and taste. Till today, the company lives with a core mission to make lives better by making delicious food accessible to all. Popular consumer products from Post Holdings include Great Grains, Honeycomb Cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Grape Nuts, Malt-O-Meal, Post Raising Bran, and Peter Pan.
The story of General Mills started back in 1866 in a small flour mill in Minneapolis. For over 150 years now, this US-based food company has remained ahead of the line when it comes to fulfilling its purpose of improving people’s lives through affordable and available food products. The company has millions of customers in over 100 countries on six planets. It also sells directly to retail stores, convenience stores, and food-service distributors. Popular General Mills products include cereal, soups, pizzas, and desserts, commonly found in grocery stores. The company also sells products through membership stores such as dollar stores, drug stores, and food-service distributors.
The Quaker Oats Company, popularly known as Quaker, was established in 1850 by Ferdinand Schumacher and John Stuart. Although the two founders started with different companies, they joined and registered Quaker Oats in 1877 as the first breakfast cereal company. The company’s name is believed to describe the integrity, honesty, and purity of its oat products. Quaker Oats provides a wide range of wake-up and wind-down products that include hot and cold cereals, snacks, rice snacks, barley, corn meal, mixes, and cookies and biscuits. It also provides different recipes based on dish and meal types, dietary preferences, occasions, and ingredients.
Glutino started in 1999, is a food company that focuses on gluten-free bars, English muffins, baking mixes, Pretzels, crackers, cookies, and wafers. For the past 20 years, the company has remained committed to offering delicious foods and recipes that fit every household. Their food products are best for people with celiac disease or those on gluten-free dietary plans.
With millions of food companies around, it is challenging for people with gluten-free needs to get the right diet. Sellers can, therefore, grab the opportunity and seek approval from Glutino to sell its gluten-free products on Amazon.
The Airborne company focuses on producing immune support supplements, available in different forms such as gummies, chewable, dissolvable, tablets, and powder. The company was started by Schiff Vitamins and uses active ingredients such as antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and E), riboflavin (Vitamin B), minerals like zinc, and herbs.
Popular Airborne food supplements include immune-support gummies, chewable berry tablets, assorted fruit gummies for kids, and effervescence tablets.
Final Thoughts on Getting Ungated in Grocery on Amazon
Getting ungated in grocery brands and Amazon at large can have a lot of second-guessing and repeated steps. That is because, besides getting approved by Amazon, sellers also need to seek approval from individual brands before they are allowed to list their products on the platform.
This can be the hardest part since not all brands allow other sellers to list their products as third-party sellers as a way of protecting their reputation.The bottom line, however, is that there is no universal ungating process that applies to all grocery brands.
Instead, sellers need to check with individual brands, have all documentation in place, and request approval from Amazon.
Thus, it is important a to learn and understand how to get ungated in grocery on Amazon.