Starting your own vitamin or supplement company can be a great way to get into the private label business. Working with a company that sells private label supplements allows you to develop and launch your own line of private label supplements or vitamins without the headaches associated with labeling requirements.
Experienced supplement manufacturers understand labeling and packaging requirements and packaging issues, and can handle that process for you. Many supplement manufacturers also allow you to create custom options for a more personalized offering.
If you are interested in wellness or fitness, selling private label vitamins and supplements may seem like a natural fit. It is important to realize that there is more to the vitamin business than interest in the subject.
A successful vitamin and supplement business requires you to select the products you want to sell, work with supplement or vitamin manufacturers to develop the products, market them, distribute them, handle questions and customer support, and deal with the bookkeeping associated with running your own business.
Find the Right Private Label Supplements For Your Brand
The first step in starting your own business selling private label supplements is deciding what you want to sell. You may select just one item at first or you may want to jump in with several choices.
There are a variety of ways you can choose what to sell. You may want to offer a line geared toward a specific, targeted market. It is possible to build brand loyalty with private label vitamins, so offering a line of products is a great way to encourage higher sales.
You could, for example, offer private label vitamins that provide energy and boost athletic performance, protein powders, and pre-workout mixes if you are interested in capturing the fitness market.
If you are interested in targeting the aging demographic look for vitamin manufacturers that offer a multi-vitamin aimed at seniors, and supplement manufacturers that offer herbal blends that help with sleep and memory issues.
You can also work in the reverse. If you have an idea of what you want to sell, look for vitamin and supplement manufacturers that offer the products. You can then market the product to individuals who would be interested.
For example, find supplement manufacturers that offer collagen-based protein powder. This product may appeal to workout buffs looking for a different form of protein, individuals who want to take collagen to boost hair, skin and nail health, and individuals who want to supplement with collagen because it naturally decreases as part of the aging process. So, with one product, you have three audiences to target.
Regardless of which way you do it, you need to have a strong feel for what you are selling and who your target market is before you go any further.
You are ready to move forward once you know who your target customer is, what your product, or products, are, and what problem these products will solve for your customers. At this point, you will also hopefully have a short list of supplement and vitamin manufacturers you are considering.
Two other questions you will need to answer is how your potential customers will find out about your products and how you will distribute the product.
Know Your Competition
It is very unlikely that you will be offering something so unique that there will be no competition. Don’t let this discourage you. Having competition means there is a demand for the product.
A little internet research should be all it takes to come up with some brands that you will be competing with. Once you know who your competition is, it is time to conduct some research.
Check out the price for products that are similar to the ones you will be selling. You want to know not only the price but the price per serving. Many of these companies will also be selling private label vitamins and supplements, so this also allows you to see how different brands differentiate themselves with similar products.
- Who is your competition targeting with their marketing?
- How are they conducting their marketing?
- What claims does your competition make regarding their products?
- What type of disclaimers do they make?
Once you have analyzed your competitors, you will start to see ways you can stand out. Some things you may be able to do better include a stronger marketing program, better-worded marketing copy, targeting a different group of consumers who may be undervalued, and a lower price point.
Be sure not to overextend yourself, either by lowering the price too much or spending too much on marketing, that you don’t allow yourself a sufficient profit. It is no good to sell a bunch of your product if you are losing money while you are doing it.
It is important to remember that many of these private label brands are coming from the same vitamin manufacturers, so the price point will be relatively fixed. If you see a company offering a price that seems too good to be true, don’t be tempted to chase it.
Some customers purchasing private label vitamins may be drawn in by a significantly lower price point, but as long as your price is in line with the averages, you will do fine. Chasing the lowest price is a quick way to end your business venture before you can get started.
Find Your Customers
There are a variety of ways you can attract customers to your supplement line. Selling your private label supplements on Amazon brings gives you an automatic audience, but also includes plenty of competition. Stand out by using pay-per-click advertising, blogging and selling locally.
It is a good idea to track the response from your various marketing efforts from the very beginning. This way you can tell which methods yield results and are worth continuing, and which may be more of an investment than they are worth.
Create Your Product
This is probably the step you have been looking forward to the most. You may choose to purchase already developed blends from supplement manufacturers or put together a custom blend. There are benefits and drawbacks to each.
Selecting a formulation already developed allows you to bypass any concerns about labeling and safety as those will have already have been dealt with. However, using a stock formulation also makes it more difficult to stand out from the competition.
Creating your own custom blend allows you to have a product that offers something your competition does not. The drawback to this method is that you will need to work with the supplement company to ensure the product is safe and the labeling reflects what you are offering. You will often pay a premium for custom blended private label supplements, and not all vitamin manufacturers allow custom options.
While coming up with your own private label blend supplement may seem like work that is best left to professionals, these vitamin and supplement manufacturers have experience with the process and will help with the development.
A quick internet search will provide a list of private label vitamin and supplement manufacturers. When selecting the one that you want to work with, there are several things to keep in mind.
Pricing Of Private Label Supplements
Price is certainly an important consideration when you are just starting out, but don’t let it be the deciding factor. You want to offer quality products and you want to work with a company that is reliable.
It is also important that you understand exactly what is included in the price you are quoted. One company may seem more expensive, but be all-inclusive, while another may seem like a bargain, but charge extra for labeling, customizations, and have larger minimum orders.
Quality of Products
You want to offer your customers a quality product that encourages repeat business. Conduct an internet search to see if others have filed complaints against the company you are considering using.
Use your own judgment when making your choice. Is the company you are considering quick to respond to communications? Are they available to answer questions? Are they flexible about minimum orders? What type of shipping times do they guarantee?
Safety Of Products
Safety is important, both for your customers and your new business. Make sure that any company that you are considering using is NSF compliant. This means that the product has undergone product testing and plant inspections to meet strict safety standards. NSF compliance is an ongoing process, and products that do not meet standards may be subject to product recall and other enforcement actions.
Fulfilled By Amazon
If you plan to use Amazon as part of your marketing reach, there are some things you will need to keep in mind. Selling vitamins and supplements on Amazon is a little different than selling most other private label product.
Because of safety issues, there are some specific requirements you must meet to sell private label vitamins and supplements on Amazon.
Amazon considers any tablet, liquid, powder or other similar substance is taken to supplement the diet a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements have a specific set of compliance issues they must meet before being listed on Amazon.
Supplements must be new and sealed in original packaging. Lot and serial numbers should be easily read on the packaging.
The label should be in English and include the name of the supplement, the total quantity in the bottle, a complete ingredient list, a “supplement facts” panel, and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.
The supplement label must not include any statements that the product can treat, prevent, or cure any disease in humans. If such a statement is made, it must be approved by the FDA.
The label must not claim to have the same effect as a prescription medication or have a name that may be confused for a specific medication.
- The label cannot state that the supplement is FDA approved or include the FDA logo.
- The supplement cannot be labeled as a tester, or not for resale.
- The detail page on Amazon must include the name of the supplement as well as an ingredient list. It should also include an image of the product label’s ingredient list.
- No health claims are permitted on the detail page unless the statement has been approved by the FDA. You cannot use any disease name in the keywords for the product.
Just as with the product label, the detail page cannot state that the product has the same effect as a prescription medication, is FDA approved or use the FDA logo. You cannot state that any product has an effect similar to an anabolic steroid.
Products sold on Amazon cannot be subject to any FDA safety or recall alert or include ingredients that are prohibited by the FDA.
Any supplements sold on Amazon must be considered safe for use and not listed by the Federal Trade Commission as making untrue marketing claims. They cannot include any controlled substances.
Other requirements set in place by Amazon include a ban on selling any products that contain more than 12 percent hydrogen peroxide, ingredients derived from dolphins, porpoises, sharks and whales, patches that are marketed as detox or dietary supplements, and certain male enhancement supplements.
As you can see, Amazon has some rather specific requirements you must meet to sell private label supplements through them. These requirements protect you as well as Amazon. The benefit of offering your product for sale through Fulfillment by Amazon outweighs any benefit of marketing a product with a questionable safety record.
Build Your Brand
Now it is time for the creative part of your venture. Building your brand includes creating labeling and launching any websites, blogs or social media that you plan to attach to your brand.
For example, if you have active social media accounts, website, or blog, you can have a product giveaway prior to or at your launch. Product giveaways are a great way to build engagement with potential customers.
Decide on Shipping
There are many different ways you can get your products to your customers. You can have the vitamin manufacturers ship the supplement to you, and you can fulfill the order. The vitamin manufacturers may work with a fulfillment center who can fulfill your order.
If you’re going to use Amazon to sell your private label products, you can have your products shipped directly to Amazon, where they will fulfill your order. In this situation, you will never even see the product.
Selling private label vitamins and supplements has a steeper learning curve than many other types of private label selling but there are advantages as well. Because there are more details involved, the competition is not as intense as in many other segments of the private label selling business.
Health and wellness is a huge industry in the United States, and demand for these products is high and is only expected to grow. Building a relationship with private label supplement and vitamin manufacturers allows you to get into this growing field while there is still room to build your niche.
For individuals interested in health and wellness, marketing private label vitamins and supplements is a rewarding business. There are plenty of ways to expand your business, making it easy to scale up as you build your brand.
Private label supplements and vitamins can be a rewarding business venture. Working with vitamin and supplement manufacturers allows you to benefit from their experience with labeling and regulation requirements. This frees you up to market and sell your product.