Amazon grocery shoppers choose high-end, niche brands such as Lindt and Ciroc over category favourites like Cadbury and Smirnoff, analysis by e-commerce analytics company Profitero has found.

Craft brand BrewDog was the most popular beer on the main Amazon site, while premium supplier Lindt and sports performance brand Grenade were the top two chocolate choices, found the analysis of Amazon’s Fast Mover report in December.

Ciroc premium vodka was the bestselling spirit and tailored nutritional brand Royal Canin was the top petfood choice, showed the data, which excluded Amazon Fresh and Prime Now purchases.

Daylesford abandons Amazon Fresh partnership

Organic farm shop Daylesford has abandoned its Amazon Fresh partnership in favour of an express delivery service.

The company partnered with independent courier Stuart in December to offer a free same-day delivery service to customers who spend £100 or more in its three London stores.

Customers can pay at the store checkout and have the items delivered free of charge in a one-hour slot if their home is within 2.5 miles of the store. The service does not apply to customers ordering online.

The move comes after Daylesford ended its partnership with Amazon Fresh. It did not reveal the reason but Amazon Fresh is also supplied by high end butchers C Lidgate.

Mino Cerullo, head of London operations at Daylesford Organic, said the uptake of its one-hour “personalised” delivery service had been “exceptional”.

“Many customers are now happy to pop in for their shopping and then carry on with their daily schedule without any heavy bags to carry.”

The findings marked a contrast with the overall top brands in 2016, with Cadbury Dairy Milk, Smirnoff Red Label vodka and Felix top of their respective categories, according to Nielsen weekly sales data.

Amazon shoppers only tallied with the general population in the snack category, in which Walkers and Pringles came out as the top two brands among both groups.

Profitero said the findings were partly down to online retailers such as Amazon providing an opportunity for smaller, “challenger” brands. “Success for fmcg brands offline doesn’t always convert into similar success in the online channel, particularly on Amazon,” said Andrew Pearl, director of strategy and insights EMEA at Profitero. Strong product images, investment in online marketing such as keyword sponsorship and large numbers of product reviews were all strong drivers of success rather than the size of the brand, Pearl explained.

Ruth Clement, head of shopper research at category management specialist Bridgethorne, said smaller brands tended to be “more heavily engaged in the online space”. But the younger profile of online shoppers may also explain the brand choices, she pointed out. “Younger shoppers have a preference for niche, so-called ‘craft’ brands like BrewDog, especially those that tell a story and have strong levels of provenance,” she said.

“Though these shoppers are generally more experimental, it doesn’t mean they are rejecting bigger brands entirely. But younger shoppers do tend to be less habitual and purchase brands that reflect how they would like to be perceived themselves.” Clement added that Amazon Fresh shoppers were likely to have a similar age profile and brand preferences, although Profitero data did not include their purchasing habits. “We found last year, for example, that 78% of the 18-34% age group said they would probably or definitely try Amazon Fresh. That wasn’t a situation replicated in other age groups, with only 26% of the over 55s saying they would probably or definitely give Amazon Fresh a go.”

Demographic information specialist CACI said Amazon Fresh appealed to three key demographic groups - city sophisticates, career climbers and student life - all of which are predominantly made up of younger consumers