Amazon’s private label Elements expands for first time in years with invite-only vitamins and supplements

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Amazon has quietly added a new product to its private label, Amazon Elements, which previously only carried Amazon’s own brand of baby wipes, after pulling its diaper line from the label in 2015. Now Elements is moving beyond baby products, having introduced its own line of vitamins and supplements under the brand.

Launched on February 21st, 2017, this is the first addition to the Elements brand in years.

The label, which first arrived in 2014, had grown fairly stagnant following its exit from diapers the following year. And with last year’s rumors that Amazon was considering rolling out diapers again, this time under its newer, now baby food-focused brand Mama Bear, it wouldn’t have been all that surprising to see Amazon shutter the Elements brand entirely by moving the wipes to the Mama Bear label.

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But that’s not the case, as it turns out.

Instead, the brand has expanded to include a small selection of new vitamins and supplements products. Listed on the site currently is Amazon Elements Vitamin D2, Turmeric Root Extract, Calcium Complex, and Vitamin K2. That’s a small, and interesting, selection to kick off the launch – but one that’s likely informed by Amazon’s customer shopping data.

The products are branded on the site as “premium” and of “transparent origins.”

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Highlighting the origins of its products is something Amazon has put more emphasis on with several of its private labels. Mama Bear’s baby food, for example, touts its organic nature, with no GMOs, pesticides, artificial flavoring or chemicals; while the Elements baby wipes product page lets you click through a large slideshow that shows where and how they’re made – from the water to the extracts used, and even the supplier details.

There’s also an Amazon mobile app you can use to scan a “transparency” barcode on your item to learn about its origins and authenticity.

The transparency focus is emerging as consumers have grown more concerned about how products are sourced, made and what chemicals they contain.

Amazon today faces competition from newer e-commerce players like Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, which was in acquisition talks with Unilever last fall, but didn’t sell. (Unilever bought Seventh Generation instead.) The Honest Company’s baby, household and beauty products claim to avoid using the harsh chemicals found in rivals’ lines, and despite some missteps, have grown popular with consumers to the tune of $300 million in sales in annual sales.

With Amazon Elements’ vitamins and supplements, each product gets a big, splashy marketing page that details the item’s origins and contents. Product descriptions say things like “does not contain allergens, artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, or gluten,” and states the product was made in a “Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility in the USA.”

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Amazon also verifies the potency, purity and integrity of the ingredients, and shares its test results on the site – a move designed to gain consumer trust in a fairly shady industry.

The supplement market today is rife with fraud. Many brands – even top sellers – have been found to sell products that were contaminated or didn’t even contain the ingredients on their label.

Amazon basically guarantees that’s not the case with its own products, by stating that the product is tested both by the supplement maker ( Arizona Nutritional Supplements) and ISO accredited third-party labs.

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Also worth noting is that Amazon Elements vitamins and supplements are not available to all Amazon shoppers – you have to be a Prime member to order them, for starters.

But even more oddly, you have to “request an invitation” to buy the product at this time. According to the site, those who register their interest in shopping these products will be notified by email in the “coming week” when the products become available.

According to early testers, none have received their email invite yet. However, some Amazon Vine reviewers have received samples, we understand.

Amazon has been highly focused on expanding its private labels in recent months, with moves into consumables, food / consumer packaged goods, baby food, fashion, and more.

According to retail analytics firm One Click Retail, Amazon has launched over 50 products in the past three months, with varying degrees of success. Happy Belly and Wickedly Prime sales are still small and show only mild growth, One Click Retail said, with less than 1 percent of the category share.

But Amazon Elements’ wipes have doubled sales year-over-year, and have a 12 percent share of their category.

When the new Elements products go live, expect them to be heavily promoted on the site, One Click Retail says.

“We expect to see ‘Gateway’ placements, ‘Sponsored search,’ and ‘Fly out’ banner ads if they follow the same pattern they did with other Amazon Private brands,” noted Spencer Millerberg, One Click Retail CEO.