Jun 07, 2022

Selling Food on Amazon – Step By Step Guide, FAQs, Tips & More   

Selling Food on Amazon

Selling food on Amazon can be a very challenging but also an incredibly rewarding experience.

However, business owners are often unsure about how to make the most of their Amazon food business. This might come as a surprise, but selling food on Amazon is not only rewarding but also very easy to do!

If you feel hesitant, it’s completely natural. Lucky for you, we’ve written this guide to help get your food-selling avenue off its feet.

Let’s get started.

Why Selling Food on Amazon is a Good Idea?

Benefits of selling food on amazon

Amazon is an amazing platform and the world leader in retail. It is the biggest online selling and buying site in the world. Many of you can use this giant image associated with Amazon to your advantage.

Here are the top few reasons why you should start selling food on Amazon:

Minimal Upfront Investment Required

upfront payments

For starters, if you’re looking to sell less frequently, an individual Amazon account would suffice for your needs.

An individual account usually charges $0.99 per item sold, along with other charges (usually selling fees). This is the perfect option for small-scale, individual sellers.

On the other hand, a professional seller account is another inexpensive and reliable service you can employ if you’re a relatively larger-scale business. It usually costs $39.99 per month.

The fun part is that this minute investment opens up all of Amazon’s selling options to you.

You may be thinking: “Well, sure that sounds good, but am I really getting my money’s worth, even if my upfront investment is small?”.

We completely understand your reservation. As a business owner, you need to be very careful with your priorities.

That’s why we’ve scoped out what you’re getting, and trust us, it looks amazing. You can put up photos, ask for reviews, negotiate a transport deal with Amazon, and much, much more.

Easy Logistics with Amazon


Amazon is reputed for its simple and easy to work with plans, business plans, and logistics. Amazon Logistics is a shipping service that works along with other useful delivery services.

Amazon simplifies the process of selling and breaks it down into simple operations for you. This includes plans to build your team, identify your goals, and deal with Amazon vans, insurance, training packages, and service providers that help you set up your business.

  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): Here, Amazon does all the work for you. All you have to do is to manufacture your product and send it to the Amazon warehouse.

Amazon FBA means that Amazon ships the product you’re selling for you!

When you avail of the FBA service, Amazon takes your products, keeps them in one of its warehouses, ships them to people who want to buy, looks at any refunds, and manages all the logistical details related to shipping your products.

Want to learn more about Amazon FBA and how to make the most of it? Click HERE.

  • Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): Here, you do all the work, managing your logistics and everything. Amazon just processes transactions for you.
  • Amazon Seller-Fulfilled Prime (Amazon SFP): This is a distribution model that lets FBM customers enjoy prime status like FBA.
  • Vendor Central: This mode is pretty different from being a normal seller. Your relationship with Amazon will be a lot like a traditional seller/retailer relationship.

Benefit from Amazon’s Unparalleled Reach & Customer Base

Here’s a fact: Buyers trust Amazon, and this is probably the best thing about selling there!

It’s certainly true that there are very few businesses that have made an impact quite as Amazon has. Food is now a very central part of the selling and buying experience.

Since millions of users visit Amazon and use the Amazon app every day, your food-selling idea can receive traffic and attention like never before.

We’ve found that most customers are looking online for household purchases, such as food, groceries, utensils, and more, instead of attacking the stores.

With Amazon, you also have the option to promote your items through paid sponsored ads, which can be targeted via keywords and topics.

The best part? Amazon has around 200 million unique users every single month!

Selling on Amazon vs. Selling on Other Online Platforms

selling on amazon

We’ve made it pretty clear that selling on Amazon gives you a definitive advantage over sellers selling on other platforms. You want the smartest, the biggest, and the best, right?

Amazon has more market share than the next three largest online selling companies combined. Also, it is the site that gives you the most variety when it comes to selling options, logistics, advertising, etc.

We know that your time, resources, and plans are very important to you as a seller. That’s why we’d recommend Amazon over other online eCommerce solutions. Its gigantic outreach and impressively efficient distribution systems are far ahead of its competitors.

Unlike some other sites, Amazon doesn’t restrict your brand name to only their site. You can use it across a variety of platforms. For you, that means one name across multiple sites and an established brand name.

High Buyer Intent on Amazon

buying intent

When people are considering making a purchase, online sites are the places they visit first! You’ll be pleased to know that on Amazon, you can count on buyer intent being pretty high.

There is also, however, a significant amount of research and exploration done on Amazon, thanks to the product information, imagery, videos, FAQs, and reviews on its product pages.

People come to Amazon to check rival brands and competing prices and then choose what fits them best. We can tell you from experience that people mostly browse Amazon when they are convinced they want to buy something, it’s just a matter of where from, at that point.

A product page on Amazon can help you a lot in judging your demographic of customers. For the item you’re selling (food), your demographic is pretty much universal!

Food is one of the most marketable items in the online realm. You just need to get your product out there.

Bear in mind though, that high buyer intent does not mean that you are guaranteed millions of customers from the second you create a seller profile.

It just means that people who see your content on Amazon are the ones who are most likely to make a purchase right away or at least plan on purchasing similar items in the near future.

How to Get Started? – Step By Step Guide

how to get started

Food is a perishable item. Keeping that constraint (or advantage, however you want to look at it) in mind, Amazon has certain standards and requirements they want you to meet as a food seller.

There are some categories you will find on the Amazon site (for example organic food category) where you have to prove via certification that your items are actually organic.

For your information, Amazon has divided the sale of food into three categories to make it easy for both you and the customer to define exactly what both parties want out of the experience:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Organic Products
  • Chilled & Frozen Foods

Without further ado, let’s finally discuss a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process of getting approved to sell, passing certain standards, and making your way to the top of the food business mountain.

1. Ungating – Getting Approved to Sell in the Grocery Category on Amazon

As we’ve mentioned before, all product categories on Amazon come with a unique set of requirements.

Getting nervous at the thought of your products being put to the test? Don’t worry, there’s nothing really to fret about. These standards just make sure that the customer is getting a reasonable quality of services.

Let’s get down to the specifics now:

  • You need to give Amazon some records/documentation for the products you intend to sell, along with certain details about the services you will provide. These may include records like product invoices, and so on.
  • You also need to sign up for Amazon’s Professional Selling Plan.

Along with these requirements, as a seller, you need to meet some basic criteria with regard to the quality of your food, the timing, the response of your delivery, and so on:

  • The percentage of your orders with defects should be less than 1%.
  • The pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be less than 2.5%.
  • Your late shipment rate should be less than 4%.

To get started with ungating, just apply in the Grocery & Gourmet Food Category, and Amazon will contact you with details.

2. Packaging Requirements to Consider


Again, selling food can be a hassle at times, especially with all the thought and effort you have to put into proper packaging, and other details.

Amazon encourages you to pay proper attention to the quality of your packaging. There are some set requirements here as well, so let’s get to them one by one.

  • The packaging of your products should include basic information about the food you’re selling. This usually means stuff like product weight, serving size, and expiration dates.
  • You should package the food in a way that preserves the freshness and safety of the product.
  • If the food you are selling is prone to environmental effects, or if it spoils, melts, or becomes deformed easily, it should be sealed and packaged in a way that protects the food.

Keep in mind: the way you package and present it to your customers plays a huge part in them becoming not only your regular customers but regular buyers on Amazon as well.

3. Other Requirements – Shelf Life & Expiry Dates

shelf and expiry dates

Does your product have a definite expiry date? Most food items on Amazon do have a shelf-life. Some are prone to more damage than others. Some are likely to melt after a certain period of time. Let’s look at what Amazon has to say here.

When it comes to food with expiry dates, Amazon has a certain policy that it adheres to.

Certain food products can melt during the entire transactional process. For you, that means you have to make sure that if your product is “meltable”, according to Amazon, then it must be able to withstand a minimum temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 50 degrees Celsius.

Also, meltable products should survive the mentioned temperature range without any adverse effect on quality.

If you want to use FBA, make sure that your product reaches an Amazon warehouse within 105 days of its expiry date. Also, if there are less than 50 days left until the expiry date of a product, Amazon will remove it from their warehouse.

Now that you’ve gone through the packaging and quality standards, it’s time to move to the next stage.

4. Product Page & Listing on Amazon

You know what they say, in a seller’s world, capturing the customer’s interest is half the work done, right there.

An Amazon listing is the product page for an item you sell on the Amazon marketplace. It contains all the details consumers require to make an informed buying decision. This includes specifications, features, images, and more. 

Naturally, the more detailed and clear your Amazon listing is, the higher chance you’ll have of securing customers. 

Food has to be shown under some parameters that Amazon has set to make it easy for all customers to see one standard of representation for all food products out there.

We’ve found that these standards have been carefully tested by Amazon, to ensure that along with the customer’s satisfaction, your product is using the space it is allotted on the site to maximum effect.

Here’s a quick look at things you need to keep an eye on:

  • When putting up images of your products, use this space to inform your customers about the calorie count, nutritional details, and ingredients used in your product.
  • Only images that advertise your product should be put up. No sneaky side advertisements for accessory products or extras!
  • The image resolution requirement is a minimum of 300 dpi.

Tips to Make the Most out of Selling Food on Amazon

By now, you’ve made your way through the entire list of requirements about packaging, quality, logistics, etc. Now, it’s time to go that extra mile in order to stand out among competitors.

Let’s learn all the cool tips and strategies we’ve outlined to make your selling experience a profitable one.

Create Gift Sets

create gifts

As a smart seller, you’ve got to make sure that you leave no stone unturned in your quest for marketplace domination (that may sound excessive, but there’s nothing wrong with aiming high, right?).

You should group products together into attractive sets and gift packets. Trust us on this one, food is one of the top gifts given everywhere.

You can also keep an eye on various opportunities across the year to bundle your products together and market them to your customer’s delight (Father’s Day, Teacher Day, etc.).

Use Holidays to Target Audiences with Relevant Ads

You can’t miss out on the holidays!

Use holiday themes and dates and use the feelings in the air to your benefit.

Post ads that explain to the customer exactly why your product is the best gift choice or the most amazing addition to a holiday feast!

People often tend to splurge during important holidays, so you should definitely try adding holiday-themed keywords to your product descriptions and get a bucket-load of traffic to your products.

Placement of Brand Name

Ever wondered how the placement of your brand name impacts the attention your product gets?

We looked into this to find the best possible way of advertising, and here’s what we found:

If you’re a new seller, with a relatively unknown brand name, it helps to place your brand name at the end of your title, for example, “Cream Biscuits by ABC”. We’ve found that in this scenario, putting it, in the beginning, can bury product information.

However, if you’re a big brand, putting your brand name first helps, especially if people directly search for your brand name.

List Variations Together

Maybe the products you’re selling vary in one way or another.

The most common variation with regards to food is the flavor. If your products come in different flavors, instead of making separate pages for them, list them under one page.

This will not only help customers get a look at all the variations you’re selling easily but will also lead to more sales!

Let’s face it, customers are often looking for quick and easy work, and making separate listings will pretty much discourage them from buying more, with the added effort they’ll be putting in.

Promotion Campaigns

There’s really no limit on how creatively you can market your products and your prices.

Think like a customer. Would I want to buy product A more right now, or would I want to buy product A if it was coupled with product B at 15% off?

Be inventive, you can even have traditional “Buy 2, get 1 free” offers work for you.

Bundle your products together, find combinations that are useful and appealing, and trust us, the customers will end up thanking you for it.


At this point, you must be asking: “How do I appeal to my customers besides just using words?”. Here’s the simple answer: use images!

In the knock-down, drag-out world of online competition, images are the undisputed king. Your posts are one image away from looking livelier, more attractive, and a lot more credible.

Pick images that emphasize the qualities of your products. For food, make it look appetizing, influence your customer’s emotions, and breathe life into your posts using visual queues.

Before choosing any photos for your products, you must keep some requirements in mind. Here are some of them.

  • IFF (.tif/.tiff), JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png) format
  • The dimensions of your images should be at least a thousand pixels or more.
  • File names must consist of the product identifier (Amazon ASIN, 13-digit ISBN, EAN, JAN, or UPC) followed by a period and the appropriate file extension (Example: B000123456.jpg or 0237425673485.tif)
  • sRGB or CMYK color mode.

Ensure You Know the Terms of Services (TOS) Inside Out

Before you even start selling anything on Amazon, ensure that you read the Terms of Service from start to finish. 

It can be a good idea to write down certain points that you think will be most relevant to you. That’ll help you keep yourself on track and work accordingly to ensure you don’t run into any issues down the line. 

Familiarize Yourself with Your Particular Country’s Food Shipment Requirements 

Depending on which country you intend to start selling food through Amazon you’re in, the guidelines for food shipment may be wildly different. 

While it’s true that Amazon has its own requirements, you also have to abide by whatever requirements are specified by your particular country as well. 

Hence, no matter where you live, it’s important that you gain access to this information and ensure that you’re following the standards dictated by your particular government. 

Some common food authorities in different parts of the world include: 

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the USA.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for India.
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for Europe. 

Don’t Go Overboard Initially. 

When you first start out, you won’t have the intuition needed to figure out how many food products you should have and whether or not they’ll be sold within time. 

This is something that you’ll have to develop over the course of your Amazon selling career. 

Taking this into account, it’s very important that you start small when you first start selling food on Amazon. This will help you minimize your losses when it comes to any food that goes to waste. 

Not only that, but it will help you build an understanding of just how much food you should have in your inventory to ensure as little of it goes to waste as possible.

Shorter Links are seen to get more traffic than traditional longer URLs.

Pixelfy is a tool that shortens the links and helps you track the traffic you’re getting from the links.

To shorten your link through Pixelfy, simply register an account on the website and log in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


It’s time to address the top most common concerns a seller has when starting out.

We’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for here:

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved and Get Started?

That depends on the package you’ve selected as a vendor.

We’ve determined pretty thoroughly that if you choose FBM, and have your account running, and everything in place, it can take a maximum of a few days, and at a minimum, less than 24 hours.

If you picked FBA, it can take a few days to a few weeks to start selling on Amazon. This is usually the time it takes for your products to reach Amazon warehouses.

Are Any Particular Food Items or Beverages Prohibited by Amazon?

There are a number of food items that Amazon prohibits you from selling. Here are some examples of what those items may look like:

  • Unregistered infant formula
  • Goat’s milk infant formula
  • HIPP formula
  • Betel nut products or products containing betel nut flavoring
  • Kaffir lime leaves imported from Thailand
  • Poppy seeds that are not approved brands per Amazon policy.
  • Poppyseed is sold in pack sizes larger than one pound.
  • Products that have meat in them from China.

Does Amazon Allow Items that Expire Quickly?

As we’ve mentioned before in this guide, the number you need to remember is 105.

Amazon wants you to send in items to its fulfillment centers if there are at least 105 days left before they expire, counting from the time of arrival at the warehouse.

Also, if you send food that expires in less than 50 days, Amazon marks it as disposable, and like the label, disposes of it.

Amazon knows that customers don’t like receiving items with just one or two months of the shelf-life left, so send in your items on time, with a 3.5-month window for expiry.

Wrapping it Up

wrapping things up

Selling food on Amazon is a highly profitable business opportunity if you really know what you’re doing. This is not a difficult task, especially if you follow all the guidelines we just discussed.

If you just went through this entire post with us, then congratulations! You’re all set to start your Amazon food business!

Share your success stories with us or drop-down your questions in the comments section below.

Check out how you can increase your sales on amazon, and more on our blog.

Happy selling!