The private-label marketplace
Retailers appreciate private-label goods for their potential for optimized production to suit consumer demand. Retailers can reduce advertising costs and exert better control over the supply chain. Private-label goods also often cost less to manufacture and transport, allowing retailers to pass the savings on to consumers. Those savings make private-label products popular with consumers, as well. People gravitate toward private labels because they offer quality products at competitive prices. Private-label product sales have grown along with e-commerce, and they also tend to thrive during challenging economic times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just like name-brand goods, many private-label products require testing and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance certification before they can enter the North American and other markets. In addition, testing and certification can help mitigate certain risks that come with creating and selling private-label products.
UL offers solutions to help your private-label brand compete with national brands and increase customer brand loyalty. UL’s private label testing and analysis services can help you and your suppliers comply with national and international safety and quality regulations. Our industry knowledge and expertise can help you improve your consumer product experience, achieve higher ratings on your products, manage quality and product development costs and stand out among competitors.
UL’s quality assurance services help you develop products comparable, equivalent or superior to the national brand to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. Our laboratories have full analytical, microbiological, physical, shelf-life and performance testing capabilities to help verify that your store-brand and private-label products comply with such regulatory and standard bodies as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP), ASTM International, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), AOAC International, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). UL’s private-label solutions include:
- Quality compliance testing
- Regulatory compliance testing
- Performance testing
- Claims substantiation
- Label reviews
- Shelf-life and stability
- Product specification development
- CAPA management
- Sensory testing, consumer studies, and focus groups
- Protocol development
Audits and certifications
UL has a global team of certified and trained auditors who can audit and certify facilities for:
- Good Manufacturing Practices audits, either under UL’s programs, such as UL’s Retail Certification program or National Brand Certification program or as accredited bodies of well established schemes, such as:
- Global Retailer Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) Certification Program
- Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI) audits
- UL and Natural Products Association (NPA) Certification Program
- Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification Scheme
- Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Sustainable solutions for products and packaging
Sustainability represents one of the most important concerns for private-label distributors, manufacturers and consumers. Consumers and manufacturers are making a conscious effort to reduce waste — particularly plastic waste. In the interest of both human health and the environment, businesses are collaborating on sustainability solutions while also competing for new high-performing and cost-effective sources to substitute for prime materials.
When designing both private-label products and packaging, retailers should simplify waste separation and encourage eco-friendly processing and recycling. Increasing private-label products’ and packaging’s sustainability pays dividends both for the planet and the pocketbook, reducing waste while attracting consumers with environmentally responsible practices.
Ethical business practices
Another concern for private-label retailers involves ethical sourcing and human rights. Ethically questionable practices can damage your private brand. Retailers should track and report environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics throughout their supply chains and avoid suppliers or practices that disregard human rights.
UL solutions to help you navigate sustainable and responsible sourcing include:
- Recycled content validation
- Zero waste to landfill validation
- Product sustainability certification (ECOLOGO®)
- Turbo Waste™ software
- Material sourcing tools (UL Prospector®)
- Packaging tracking for extended producer responsibility
- Responsible sourcing supply chain enablement and audits
- Enterprise/supply chain baseline reporting to enable ESG compliance (360 software)
Consumers pay ever more attention to health and wellness. Consumers want access to safer products and more transparency about product ingredients and testing. In response, private-label brands provide more information to consumers and update their sustainable chemical policies. UL offers a portfolio of health-conscious solutions:
- Product certifications for sustainability and health (UL ECOLOGO® and UL GREENGUARD)
- UL Marketing Claim Verification for product ingredients
- Chemical and material testing
- Material and ingredient tracking tools (Prospector and PurView® Platform)
At UL, our product testing team will work with you every step of the way from concept to completion. Learn more about how our services for your private label’s products can position your products competitively in the marketplace and reduce risk.