Amazon is on track to command up to half of retail sales this holiday season, according to Morgan Stanley, giving the e-commerce giant the power to determine success or failure for products and brands. Amazon also has access to startup brands, allowing it to be the exclusive seller of some new products.
Consumer confidence is at a 17-year high with high employment, low gas prices and a still-soaring stock market, trends expected to fuel growth of up to 4% in holiday spending. Other data show that much of the growth will come from affluent households, with middle- and low-income consumers expected to pull back on gift purchases.
Thailand-based restaurant operator Food Passion has partnered with Smart ID Group to introduce a collection of small kitchen appliances including blenders, mini ovens, kettles and toasters this week.
Plum, which is available at Williams Sonoma, is an appliance that serves glasses of chilled wine and keeps two bottles of vino fresh for up to 90 days after opening. The appliance uses a motorized needle to pierce the cork and pressurize the bottle with argon gas to keep air out.
Coffee drinkers who are looking to simplify their vitamin regimen may appreciate VitaCup, a coffee pod that brews doses of vitamin D3, antioxidants and five B vitamins right into their morning java. The recyclable pods come in five coffee flavors and a green tea.
Door to Door Organics shuttered its operations Friday, after 20 years in the grocery delivery business. The move came abruptly after recent comments from its CEO that indicated future funding and growth for the retailer.
Walmart will team with Deliv to add same-day grocery delivery service in the San Jose, Calif., market. The move will add to the companies' partnerships, which have included last-mile grocery delivery and in-home delivery of groceries and other packages.
Republic Wireless is working on a smart speaker that will offer a calls-first approach. The Anywhere HQ connected speaker will connect via an LTE network and will offer a built-in virtual assistant.
A Parks Associates report predicts that 55 million smart home devices will be purchased by US households in 2020. The report also notes that 42% of home security systems now include smart home components, while connected appliances and thermostats also remain popular options.
CPG manufacturers are increasingly turning to plant-based ingredients as solutions to consumer demand for healthy snacking, with vegetables, grains and pulses popping up in more snack products. Vegetable snacks accounted for 45% of the dollar sales in the alternative-ingredient salty snack category last year, while grain-based snacks generated 40% of the segment and pulse-based snacks accounted for 15% of sales, according to Packaged Facts.