BOSTON — reached $1 billion in pet food sales in 2018, according to a report by data company Edge by Ascential, achieving 20% growth from 2017 pet food sales. “Pet food and feeding supplies” products accounted for an estimated $365 million in sales in the third quarter of 2018 alone, which equals more than half of all pet category sales on Amazon, according to Edge by Ascential.

Blue Buffalo was the top seller on the e-commerce platform in 2018, holding 11% share of all pet food sales. Purina holds 9% share, with Hill’s close behind with 8%, Wellness Natural Pet Foods with 6% and Greenies with a 5% share of pet food sales on Amazon, according to Edge by Ascential.

Pete Andrews, director of insights at Edge by Ascential, explained Blue Buffalo’s success on Amazon is thanks to its thorough product descriptions and clear communications to consumers that it is a healthier, premium pet food brand.

“The brand includes in-depth content on their product detail pages along with complete ingredient lists, nutritional information, numerous customer reviews and peer-answered questions,” Andrews said. “The Blue Buffalo brand understands how important community is to the pet owner, whether they are shopping online or in-store. By encouraging consumer interaction on Amazon, brands can recreate some of the interactivity that pet owners value from brick-and-mortar stores."

According to the report, the sale of pet food at varying price points increased on Amazon in 2018, proving this growth is not partial to premium or value brands. For example, sales of Fancy Feast, which is the sixth-highest-selling brand on Amazon, increased 17% year-over-year, while Rachael Ray Nutrish was No. 10 on the list of highest selling brands, but grew sales by 27% over the same period.

Amazon’s own private label pet food brand, Wag, accounted for $2 million in sales in 2018, according to Andrews. Amazon owns another private brand, Solimo, that offers the same products as Wag but under a different brand and at a lower price point. The two brands’ sales made up just 0.2% of overall pet food sales on Amazon in 2018, which Andrews suggested is a sign the company is still learning the pet food segment.

"Whether this is an A/B test on Amazon's part to identify the effects of small product differences on sales or a transition away from Wag is yet to be determined – but it does suggest that Amazon is not yet ready to challenge major pet food brands head-on while they still gather experimental data,” Andrews concluded.

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