Private Labeling with “Green” Packaging

by Christine Hronec

In today’s economy, consumers are making smarter purchasing decisions when it comes to dietary supplements.  A simple Google search is all it takes for the educated consumer to find the lowest price of their favorite supplement brand. However, product cost is not the only driver.  In order for supplement companies to be competitive in the e-commerce market place, business owners are seeking new and creative ways to reduce their cost of goods.  One new approach that is gaining momentum is the “green” packaging movement.

For your basic protein product on the market, the highest volume sellers are the two (2), five (5), and ten (10) pound units.  These products are typically packaged in HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic containers as shown in Figure 1.  Not only are HDPE containers expensive to ship throughout every portion of the supply chain, they add a significant increase to the final product weight when it comes time for distribution.  A mylar bag that holds the same product weight will consume less volume on a palette allowing for more efficient packaging and also weighs only 1/10th the weight of a plastic jar.  This reduction in weight can yield significant savings in shipping costs.

A standard palette (standard palette = 48” x 48” x 60”) of 5lb plastic jars of finished product will hold a total of 150 units.  The total weight consists of 600 lbs of powdered product and 72 lbs of plastic packaging (not including the weight of boxes).  Where a standard palette of 5lb units packaged into mylar bags will hold a total of 300 units for the same amount of freight space, a 100% increase in packing efficiency!  For brands that are primarily distributed through the internet, this can yield a phenomenal savings in shipping weight as well as more efficient order volumes when shipping large orders by freight truck or container load for overseas distribution, which charge by the total number of palettes as well as total shipping weight.

One reason several brands are reluctant to make the switch to mylar bags is the overall aesthetics of the finished products.  However, brands that have made the commitment to go green have also utilized pre-printed mylar bags that have a high quality finish and can be printed in every colors including metallic inks which also help to off-set the costs of high-gloss wrap around labels that are placed on the plastic jars.  By combining the label and the mylar bag together a significant portion of the packaging of a standard container that included a jar, lid, and label can be effectively cut in half.  The only caveat is the initial set-up fee for printing on the bags, which is quite reasonable when the returns are considered, as well as the lead time for the first order of mylar bags.  But after all, anything worth moving towards is worth the wait to save money in the long run.

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