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What in the World is Private Labeling, Anyway?

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By Edited Aug 28, 2015 1 2

Private Label (37357)

You would be surprised at how many people within our industry are still confused as to what private labeling is, so you are not alone!

People ask us all the time what we do as a company, and with the scripted answer that has been perfected over time, we explain that "We are a leading private label vitamin and supplement manufacturer located in Farmingdale, NY". And they nod with agreement the entire time we answer, only to respond with "Oh, ok – so you're like a Vitamin Shoppe, right?"

Not exactly.

Whether you realize it or not, you are inundated with private labeling everyday of your life. It may be at CVS, the supermarket, or even the 'Walmarts' of the world, but you are exposed to private labeling at its best, and you probably don't even realize it!

Here's a Good Example:

Have you ever been to Walgreens and gone into the aisle that sells cold and cough products? Along with the myriad of choices, I'm sure you'll see the well known 'Airborne' product somewhere on display, right? Well, have you ever noticed the box right next to it that sort of looks the same, is the same size, says it does the same thing, is MUCH more affordable, and is called 'Wal-born'?

Welcome to Private Labeling!

In a Nut Shell…

Private labeling is when one company creates a product to compete with a similar brand name product, puts their name on it and calls it something slightly different. Here are some examples you may have seen already:

Brand Name Product Private Label Comparable Product
Tylenol PM Acetaminphen/Diphenhydramine HCI
Advil Ibuprofen
Claritin Loratidine

But this is not solely limited to the major drug chains and super discount stores of the world. It can very well be you or your neighbor!

Do you or someone you know religiously go to the gym, eat healthy every day, and constantly give advice to those around you on how to live healthier lives? That describes the perfect person to private label his/her own supplement: possibly a protein powder, or maybe a pre-workout powder, or even a weight loss supplement. Here are the 3 easy steps to getting a product line up and running:

  1. Find a manufacturer who made the product of interest
  2. Provide the name/logo for the product labels
  3. Place the order

Yes, it is that easy!

Now of course, to be successful you'll need marketing, an online presence with a merchant account so you can accept money for your product, and of course, customer support for anyone with questions - so certainly more thought is involved in building your business. But from the manufacturing side, it really is as easy as 1-2-3.

Private Label

Some Thoughts for the Entrepreneur at Heart

1. Do your research.

Make sure the manufacturer you are going to work with is GMP-certified. This ensures that the facility where your product is being manufactured follows guidelines that are regulated by the FDA.

Tip: Being 'GMP-compliant' is NOT the same as being GMP-certified!

Look into the product you are interested in. Is it just a fad that will be gone as quickly as it came, or is this the newest health kick that is bound to stand the test of time? By the time you have your business up and running, your product is manufactured and ready to go to market and your business name is recognizable in the market place, you want to make sure that your target audience still wants your product!

2. Price isn't everything.

Tip: Mom was right – you generally get what you pay for!

Some manufacturers boast the lowest price, raw materials that are less than any other quote you'll receive, the fastest turnaround time, etc. But be leery. You usually get what you pay for. If someone is able to give a product to you at 50% what everyone else is quoting, SOMETHING is being sacrificed. Maybe they aren't GMP-certified; maybe they are sourcing their raw materials over-seas; maybe they are producing the product with your logo on it in their garage. Ask questions, and make sure you get answers. Information is power!

3. Remember, it is YOUR name that is on the product.

Tip: Say what you mean and mean what you say!

In all that you do throughout your business' discovery stage, just remember that it will be your name on the bottom line. You are offering a product to hopefully enhance someone's health and well-being. Whether it is immune support, weight reduction, or an antioxidant, whatever it is that you say your product will do, just make sure you have well-documented reason to support it!

Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion that our readers out there may have had on what exactly Private Labeling really is!



Jan 11, 2011 5:10am
That's some great information. I just read a book that was about creating your own product to sell. He did not talk about private labeling, but that would be a great way to get your name on a product.
Jan 11, 2011 5:16am
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