Amazon joins eBay as a destination for random, dopey consumerism — especially of food.

Posted on July 11, 2018, at 11:53 a.m. ET


There’s an unexpected destination for the offbeat snacker where limited-time promotional snacks and discontinued cult-classic flavors find new life: Amazon, the new laboratory of the food world.

As brands throw products on Amazon to test demand and generate buzz, the platform has become littered with odd, limited-time promotional products, evolving into a paradise for enthusiasts of weird snacks unavailable in stores. Want nacho cheese Doritos in a bag with an audio jack that can also play the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack? Available only on Amazon.

How about the fictional “Pepsi Perfect” product from Back to the Future Part II? PepsiCo made the soda a reality on Amazon in 2015 and — in the carefully crafted words of a spokesperson — it “sold out faster than we can say 1.21 gigawatts.”

And this year, Coca-Cola decided two classic products, Diet Coke Lime and Diet Coke Cherry, would spend their final days in the land of Amazon before they were eventually discontinued.

E-commerce is the next frontier for food companies, as evidenced by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. But for now, Amazon is tuned more for impulse-buying gimmicky junk food than weekly grocery shopping.

Consider, for instance,…

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