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Private Label Takes on Skin Care

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: January 10, 2006, from the January 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The pace of name brand restages (including packaging and formulation), product launches and line extensions with massive advertising campaigns also can be a barrier, according to Kurt Breitlander, marketing category manager, Cumberland Swan, a health and beauty private label manufacturer. “The consumer is constantly being inundated with new items, which can overshadow private label products at times,” Breitlander says.

Retailers are requesting more complex skin care products, which initially would appear to be a boon for private label, but they have tended to view private label’s growth toward sophisticated formulas as a risky proposition when up against a name brand program.

“Any adept buyer knows upscale is the future of beauty, and they are looking to transition away from heavy reliance on name brands,” says Tanja Mordeson, national sales manager, RC International, a private label manufacturer that creates sophisticated skin care products that compete with spa brands. “(But) retailers fear being the first at something truly new and innovative (even if) it offers them an advantage over competitors.”

Retailers often have a specific request for product, but there also are opportunities for private label to demonstrate the possibilities. According to Singer, some of McKenna’s customers present an idea and ask McKenna to execute.

“As we come across new trends and the latest raw materials, we work with our customers in developing the products they are looking for,” says Singer. “Each customer has different needs, and we work with them based on their requirements.”

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