Amazon has become a hub for a huge array of third-party vendors dealing with grocery particularly after acquiring Whole Foods two years earlier. Much like the increased number of unsafe and counterfeit products found by a number of customers in Amazon Marketplace, their grocery unit has been under scrutiny over expired food products.
With wide range of products that include coffee creamer, baby formula, granola bars and beef jerky, most of these products are being sent spoiled and past their expiration date as Amazon customers reviews. Interactions with consumers, brands, consultants and third-party sellers have pointed out flaws within Amazon’s logistics and technology systems that are allowing perished goods to multiply with zero accountability. Consumer safety activists are worried over the growth of the marketplace will increase the problem.
The $900 billion Amazon Empire is associated with more than 2.5 million traders of food sellers using the website for deliveries, the group records 58% of merchandise sold by the company. Third- party suppliers utilize by selling new and refurbished products from across the world purchasing from flea markets, clearance aisles and official distributors.
When CNBC scanned Amazon’s Grocery and Gourmet tier, they found customers complaining on expired baby formula, hot sauce and coffee creamer which were delivered with a reeking smell. A recent data analysis from a firm specializing in Amazon Marketplace investigated the 100 best-selling food products finding almost 40% of distributors receiving over five customer grievances about expired items.
Liquidation warehouse and closeout sales are mainly the source of expired food landing upon Amazon. On Starbucks announcement to shut down their Teavana location in 2017, sellers bought discounted merchandises and resold them on Amazon. Items such as fruit teas and rock sugar are continued to be sold on Amazon today after its discontinuation two years back.
Sarah Sorscher, the regulatory affairs deputy director at Centre for Science in the Public Interest says that the Teavana listing had tea having foul chemical smell with also label restricting the resale of the product which is very alarming.