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Amazon isn't developing its own wines…yet

Amazon isn't developing its own wines…yet
From TechCrunch - July 6, 2017

According to numerous reports out this morning, Amazon entered the wine business with its own label in partnership with Oregons King Estate Winery, which has launched a direct-to-Amazon wine label called Next. But thats not actually the case, as it turns out. Amazon confirmed with TechCrunch that Next wines are not owned by, nor were they developed in partnership with King Estate, and that Amazon did not collaborate with the winery on their creation.

The confusion seems to stem from a press release from King Estate, which refers to the new brand as the first wine ever developed from conception to release with Amazon Winesomething that seemed to imply a partnership of sorts was in effect.

That wouldnt have been a surprising move on Amazons part, had it been true. The retailer already offers a number of own-label brands on its site, ranging from batteries to baby wipes, from mens dress shirts to clothing to nutritional supplements, and more. Offering consumers a quality wine at a reasonably priced $20 and up per bottle would not have been a stretch, and would fit in with a larger agenda of being the exclusive home to products you cant get elsewhere.

However, its wasnt entirely clear that King Estate Winerys new division, King Vintners, was in collaboration with Amazon, as some had inferred.

An Amazon rep clarified their relationshipor rather, the lack of onewith TechCrunch.

Next is not owned nor developed by Amazon, an Amazon spokesperson told us. The wine is owned and developed by King Estate it and can be purchased on Amazon Wine. Amazons role is to give wineries, like King Estate, an innovative format to launch new brands and reach more customers, they said.

Amazon did not work with the winery on the development, we understand, nor did it share sales data that would have enabled King Estates to make determinations about things like which types of wines to sell, or price points.

However, there is something unique about the new Next wineits the first label to be sold directly on Amazon Wine. The only other way to buy Next bottles is directly from King Estates itself via its website, Kingvinters.com, but this is not yet live. Next wines, in other words, wont pop up on stores shelves out in the real world, for the time being.

That does speak to the power of Amazons marketplace in reaching customersa winery so believes in the potential for direct to consumer e-commerce sales that its developing a brand largely to be sold on Amazon Wine itself.

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