Amazon just launched Amazon Elements, a line of premium, ethically-sourced products that are only available to Prime subscription members.
Elements will start by selling baby diapers and wipes, putting it in direct competition with Honest, a billion-dollar company founded by actress Jessica Alba that sells environmentally friendly baby and household goods.
Every Amazon Elements product will include information about where each ingredient in it was sourced and why, as well as when and where it was manufactured. The idea is to appeal to shoppers who want more product transparency and to take ethical manufacturing into consideration for purchasing decisions.
By only offering these products to Prime members, at least for now, Amazon likely hopes to make its $US99-per-year service more attractive to potential subscribers (Prime includes free two-day shipping on tons of items as well as music, TV, and movie streaming, and Prime members end up spending much more on Amazon than non-members).
Each Elements item will have a QR code on it — when buyers scan it with their Amazon app, they will get a bunch of information about the product.
As of now, Amazon Elements only includes diapers and baby wipes, but it has categories for “Baby,” “Health and Personal Care,” and “Grocery and Gourmet Food” on the site. It’s also interesting to note that as of now Amazon is only selling its new diapers and wipes through Elements, and not Diapers.com, the site it bought in 2010 through the $US540 million acquisition of Quidsi.
“The two things customers told us they want are premium products that meet their high standards, and access to information so they can make informed decisions, Amazon Elements offers both,” Sunny Jain, VP of Consumables, said in a press release. “We’ve leveraged our strengths in technology to bring customers an unprecedented level of information about these products, all with just the click of a button.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.