Private Label 101
Know your offering.
It's very important that you do your own industry research. The more you know about what you want to bring to market, the better/faster we can help you and the better chance you have of success.
Consider your deadline.
The fastest way to a finished product is to stick with our stock products. They're tried, true, and ready to go.
We highly recommend ordering samples if you're interested in working with stock formulas. The reason being that even though we are more than happy to provide product recommendations, the end decision is up to you and everyone has their own taste and preferences. By actually trying each and every formula you're interested in, you'll be able to make an informed decision for your brand.
Stock products can be customized but there are limitations as to what we can do without impacting texture. If you would like to customize a stock product, remember to be flexible as our lab works with you to create the product you want without compromising the texture of the product.
Choose your fragrance.
Picking a fragrance/scent is a very personal process. We can advise from our own experience but we can't smell what you perceive so it is up to you to choose in the end. Because of this, it's wise to pick a scent prior to beginning the lab sample process (we provide sniffing samples for exactly this reason!).
Send the right amount.
If you're interested in reverse engineering or replicating an existing product, be it your own or someone else's, 2 oz. of product is the recommended amount you send us. We can work with less, but for best results 2 oz. is the way to go.
Don't create your formula around a preservative.
Preservative systems are not easy to adjust. Changing them will have a significant impact on the rest of the ingredients in the formula as the preservative is chosen to best support those ingredients. If we start the customization process by choosing the preservative, the entire supporting cast of ingredients needs to be reviewed and usually changed.
Remember, efficacy is King!
The most common issue we see customers bump up against is wanting to put the ingredient list above everything. Many customers design an ingredient deck before we begin to mix the product and get so caught up with the idea of that exact ingredient deck that they won't adjust it. This lack of flexibility can result in a lower quality product as the lab works to choose ingredients that work well together. Remember, the results produced by your product are more important that having a particular ingredient deck.
Bringing a new product to market can sometimes take up to a year when everything is taken into account. Some customers want to have their brand launched from zero to one hundred in a matter of a few months. If you are working from square one, that's very likely not going to happen. What's important is that your launch is successful, your customers are happy, and your chosen formula(s) are stable, effective and the best representation of your brand.
You will have to learn what claims you are and are not allowed to make. We are not allowed to officially advise when it comes to the marketing claims our customers make (though we make sure to regularly put out educational materials). The FDA website is a great resource to help you along with this.
Don't let it leak!
Make sure your packaging will prevent leakage (this might sound redundant but trust us, it needs to be said!).
Know the requirements of your retailer.
You'll need to make sure your packaging aligns with your retailer. For example, some retailers, like Amazon, require tamper proof evidence seals.
Less steps = lower price.
The fewer steps required to assemble your packaging, the lower your fill cost; more steps require more labor.
Have samples of your packaging sent to you first before you proceed with the development process for filled product. This way you'll have your own experience with the packaging you've chosen. And you'll know for sure that you like it.
Do a review.
Review your packaging material to make sure it's compatible with the texture of your formula.
Know your fill level.
The level that we fill your container doesn't always match the volume that your packaging vendor states. For example, an 8oz bottle may actually require 9.5 fl. oz of material to look completely full.
Ship your packaging correctly.
Make sure that your packaging vendor ships your components in the appropriate way. Packing slips should be included with every shipment to assure we can receive it without delay. Also, be sure the right accommodations are made for fragile items like glass droppers. For example, if a single dropper breaks in a box of 5000 droppers, we can't know if glass shards made it into the remaining 4999 droppers. This means we may be unable to use them for safety reasons. To avoid this, vendors can repackage droppers into bags of 100 or less prior to shipping so that any broken glass won't contaminate the rest of the shipment.
Plan for the unknown.
Know that we will test your packaging to the best of our ability but things can come up during large production orders that we may not have been able to foresee during a small test run. For example, we've had packaging vendors send pumps that were ordered in one lot under a single item code but upon arrival, half of the pumps were not compatible and the other half were. Turns out the vendor had 2 different suppliers for the same material and they were not identical. Leaving a little extra time during your first production run can make dealing with any initial potential hiccups much easier.
Help keep it speedy.
Have your labeler apply "Core Tags" to your label rolls. This is usually free upon request from any label vendor and can speed things up in our warehouse.