Amazon Just Launched Its Own Line of Wines - oops, no it didn't

http://time.com/money/4846857/amazon-wine-next/

WTF???

It’s the trader joes / Aldi method. Contract with a brand to produce ‘private label’ goods on par with brand name but with distinct packaging. Sell these for less than brand name, and make it obvious but not explicit on the packaging which brand the label is targeting.

If your private label product is literally (the good kind) the same stuff as the brand name, consumers will hopefully clue in and buy Bezos Special Reserve Chardonnay for $1.50 rather than Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck (which is probably up to 3 these days)

And if one supplier decides to stop, no problem, you get a different one. Most people aren’t REALLY as picky or sensitive as they think they are. A good percentage won’t notice the difference at all.

They already do this extensively with tech accessories (amazon cables, laptop stands, phone cases, etc. that are almost-but-not-quite clones of other brands that pop up when you search for stuff. I can’t see why they wouldn’t do the same for food.

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I’m sincerely curious about your reaction to this.

This is the dawn of monopolistic capitalism , I guess. One name sells all.

It’s not low end. The article says the Pinot Gris will be $20 and the Pinot Noir $40, which is more than King Estate’s own wines sell for.

Amazon’s not actually involved in this, it’s a private label King Estate created to sell on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=wine_search?url=search-alias%3Dwine&field-keywords=King%20Vintners

To a certain degree, @lectoid is correct, though incorrect in his description of the “Trader Joe’s model.”

Considering I can’t remember the last time I bought a bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s, and have no intention of ever purchasing wine though Amazon – let alone, a wine from its own private label – this doesn’t affect me directly. But I’m sure it would have some appear to some people . . . .

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AS AN ASIDE: remember that Trader Joe’s (herein after referred to as “TJs”) began in Pasadena (Southern California) as a food and wine retailer. And while all food is packaged and sold under TJ’s various private labels (Trader Joe’s, Trader Giuseppe’s, Trader Darwin’s, etc.), alcoholic beverages were always a mix of famous brand names (e.g.: Robert Mondavi, Mumm’s, Louis Jadot), control labels¹ (e.g.: Chateau Cache Phloe Bordeaux, Domaine Jean Deaux Macon-Villages), private labels² (Trader Joe’s Cabernet), as well as close-outs on previous vintages or discontinued items they sold for a song (“Was $25, now only $12.99!”). The only thing that’s changed since the 1960s is the volume that passes through TJs.


¹ A control label is owned by the winery/producer, who sells a retailer the exclusive rights to use that label for “x” period of time – perhaps for a single vintage, or five vintages, etc.

² A private label is usually (but not always) owned by the retailer, and no one else can use it, period. Some exceptions exist. Liquor Barn had a label “Ashland Park.” Liquor Barn owned the rights to the label in perpetuity (i.e.: a Private Label), but only for wines sold within California and Arizona. The supplier wanted to use the label for wines to be sold in other states (i.e.: a Control Label).

It’s not Amazon’s private label. King Estate created an Amazon-only second label for its own reasons.

https://www.amazon.com/2016-NEXT-Willamette-Valley-Pinot/dp/B072YXZQ39

https://www.kingestate.com/wines/release/2015-king-estate-willamette-valley-domaine-pinot-gris

South Pasadena, actually :wink: I’d argue (probably successfully) that another thing that has changed was the variety of close outs / discontinued items was far greater, when they only had a few dozen stores to stock. (I once bought this “I never heard of it” raspberry liqueur that was part of my annual Thanksgiving cranberry sauce until … well, until I ran out of it.)

Back to more specifically the topic at hand, I’m sure Martha Stewart is breathing just a very tad easier knowing that Amazon hasn’t launched its own line.

Wente makes a wine, called Entwine, that is an exclusive contractual arrangement with The Food Network. It carries the Food Network logo on the bottle and is produced and sold by Wente. Next seems to be something very much like that, except that Entwine is sold through multiple retailers and Next is sold exclusively by Amazon.

I don’t see where either scenario has anything to do with whether Wente or King sell similar wines under their own label. The wines in the bottles may or may not be from the same sourcing and production. Usually NOT I’d think.

Next is not a private label. The story was wrong.

Amazon doesn’t sell or ship it. King Estates does. Why they created a second label they’re selling only on Amazon, who knows.

Absolutely right! As TJs grew, their “dependency” on close-outs at great prices diminished, and now they are virtually non-existent. The low prices come from large purchases of current products . . .

There was always a problem when it came to selling TJs close-outs in the early days (1970s and '80s): how could you sell your current (e.g.) Chardonnay for $15, when TJs had your previous vintage – which was a) still delicious, and b) a distinction something 98% of customers wouldn’t even notice – for $6.99???

Or, as many a winery said at this time, “Close-outs? This is why God invented Texas.”

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