With Christmas now over it’s time for the annual releasing of the vague holiday sales stats from Amazon! This year, Bezos’ behemoth did not disappoint and shared with us a press announcement filled with unspecific terms like “record breaking” and “millions more.”

As we said back in November, though these puff pieces from Amazon are light on actual hard content, they are good to check in on and parse through if only to get even an iota of understanding as to what’s selling (and what Amazon is pushing) during one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

However, it might be most interesting to start with what Amazon was not touting this year: namely, it’s Alexa-powered microwave. Sure, a microwave probably isn’t topping a whole lot of holiday wish lists, but Amazon debuted the inexpensive device with plenty of fanfare earlier this year, in plenty of time for the holiday season. Plus, Amazon took the time in this press release to highlight how robust sales were for other mundane-and-not-necessarily-holiday-wishlist-toppers like Blink connected security camera, Amazon Smart Plug, Ring Video Doorbell 2, and TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet.

Perhaps the middling to negative reviews of the Amazon microwave turned people off. But for a device that is meant to showcase how an Alexa integration could/should work, it’s absence from a year end wrap up — even in the vaguest terms — still stands out.

Also, last year’s holiday press release gave a specific shout out to the then just launched Amazon Key in-home delivery service. No mention of that this year either. Is this a change in strategy, or do people just not want to give strangers access to their front door? (Or both?)

But back to what the company did sell:

Echo devices. Amazon said it sold “millions more Amazon Devices this holiday season compared to last year – the best-selling Amazon Devices this holiday included all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo.” The emphasis is ours there, since the company said it sold “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices during the 2017 holiday season. It’s important to keep an eye on sales of voice assistants because whoever grabs the most market share will help determine who dominates the smart kitchen/home of the not-too-distant future.

Other food-related bits from the Amazon holiday round up include:

  • Shopping via Alexa tripled this year compared to last.
  • The DASH rapid egg cooker was a top-seller at the new Amazon Four Star store. (Probably because it is amazing.)
  • Customers nearly tripled the number of requested recipes this holiday season over last year and asked Alexa for cooking-related advice twice as much.
  • “Alexa helped mix hundreds of thousands of cocktails this holiday season – with eggnog and Moscow Mule being the most requested drinks.” (Last year Alexa only helped make “tens of thousands” of cocktails with Martini and Manhattan being the most requested.)
  • Theo Dark Chocolate Bar, Cacao with Sea Salt and the fresh chicken bahn mi sandwich were top sellers at Amazon Go stores.
  • The best-selling items for Prime Now pick up at Whole Foods were organic honeycrisp apples, boneless/skinless chicken breasts, and Atlantic farm-raised salmon filets.
  • The fastest grocery delivery was in St. Paul, MN, where that grocery order got to its destination in 12 minutes and 19 seconds.
  • Boston, Hoboken, NJ and San Francisco were the cities with the most grocery delivery via Prime Now and Whole Foods.

So that puts a bow on this Christmas. Join us again next year for this holiday tradition, when we’ll see if “thousands of people” have bought an Amazon House.

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