The world is abuzz with private label brands and the progressive evolution they’ve brought to how consumers think about where their purchases come from.
But even as the percentage of private label products in each cart increases, there still remain niche markets where private labels can explore innovative new products and solutions that address the needs of consumers far better than big brands do.
So what do niche private label products have to offer that’s so unique? And how do you make a success of your first venture into that niche industry?
Why is it beneficial for private label brands to develop niche products?
Private label manufacturing already comes with all of these perks. So why should brands invest in niche product development when those products will only address the needs of a limited audience?
Because as a private label brand, you’re not addressing the needs of the general public. You’re already focused on addressing the needs of a select clientele, and a niche product line simply narrows that focus down even more.
With an R&D team focused on addressing the pain points of a specific target audience, you get to create products that will increase brand loyalty of customers who are already acquainted with your brand in their grocery runs. And when you partner with the right wholesale importer, you get direct access to the highest quality ingredients at highly competitive prices.
But at the same time you’ll also be able to tap into a new customer segment with products that address the topics that are on everyone’s minds, but aren’t being met in their consumer environment.
Which niche product markets are just begging for private label exploration?
When it comes to niche markets to explore as a private label brand, the world is your oyster. But here are a few to get your inventive juices flowing.
Focusing on special needs with limited-ingredient pet products
Limited-ingredient pet food is one of the most important growing trends in the pet industry at the moment and is slowly changing the way pet owners and pet food brands think about the way we care for our furry companions.
Through the use of wheat alternatives like tapioca starch, these niche pet food products offer high quality snacks and food to animals experiencing allergies and ingredient sensitivities.
As a private label brand, you get to formulate various limited ingredient options aimed at different markets. Whether it’s “grain-free” for sensitive diet pets or “high protein” for a more generalized approach, bulk tapioca orders (for instance) can help you sustain a whole line of products.
The best part is that all pets can enjoy these products. So while they may be highly beneficial to outlying animals with specific dietary needs, they can be marketed to every pet owner.
But where national brands have to push up the price drastically on these niche products, private label brands are offered far more control over their prices because they are able to incorporate these diet-specific products in an existing product line that’s sourced directly from private label manufacturers.
Get spicy with fresh seasoning and spices combinations
The spice market has so much variety to offer private label brands, so where do we even begin?
What makes a great spice? Flavor and freshness. There’s nothing worse than over-refined spices that taste more like their plastic and cardboard packaging than anything that comes out of nature. And that’s one thing direct private label manufacturing enables you to overcome.
Securing the best spices in the world directly from the farmers, instead of working through time-consuming supply chains, ensures the freshest spices on the shelf … at a far more affordable price.
And instead of following what other spice manufacturers are doing, private label manufacturing can supply a product packaged specifically to a target audience’s purchasing behavior. And the freedom of private label manufacturing allows you to explore spice blends that can WOW your customers’ taste buds in ways no other brand does.
For brands new to private labeling, spices also offer a low-cost, low-risk entry point as the ingredients, which are always in demand to some extent, can be imported in lower quantities. This offers companies a valuable advantage in the trial and error phase as they roll out new products in the market.
With the spices and seasoning market expected to reach a value of $23 billion by 2026, the time is ripe for exploring the spicier side of private labeling.
Add that extra oomph with health and protein supplements
Whether it’s due to a fast-paced profession or inflation making the processed food aisles more attractive, people aren’t getting enough nutrients in their diets anymore. But at the same time, people are also becoming far more aware of the nutritious value of the products they consume. Which leaves the consumer market in a bit of Catch 22.
Fortunately, this is precisely why the health supplement market is turning to natural ingredients for the answer to improved diets.
From chia seeds to whey to matcha powder, natural ingredients are being added to meals each day around the country to give people the natural boost their diet falls just short of.
Private label brands get to cash in on this new direction of the health world far easier than synthetic supplement brands whose entire supply framework needs to be redesigned for natural product lines.
Boost overall health with improved gut health
From fermented kimchi to sourdough starters, thanks to the world’s culinary adventures during lockdown, people’s awareness of gut health has increased drastically.
Who ever thought that #guticrobiome would become a thing? But it’s because the clear connection between the gut microbiome and overall health has received far more attention in recent times with the science community understanding the phenomenal impact of gut health more in depth than ever before.
Gut health is promoted through various factors, and private label brands can easily develop products aimed at one or more of these benefits:
- Non-digestible high fiber foods, like beans, berries, and nuts that support digestion and feed good bacteria to the gut.
- The polyphenols in berries, almonds, pistachios, legumes, and extra-virgin olive oil increases healthy bacteria and helps to regulate the metabolism.
- Increasing good bacteria through probiotic-rich fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut.
- Foods rich in prebiotics, like berries, oats, and bananas, help to sustain the probiotics and increased gut health that’s reached. Private label brands also get the unique opportunity to explore the combination of probiotics and prebiotics in probiotics for full microbiome therapy.)
- And finally the anti-inflammatory qualities of ingredients like flax seeds, chia seeds, berries, and walnuts.
Improved gut health and digestive functions link directly with a stronger immune system, improved mental health, the prevention of endocrine disorders and cardiovascular diseases. It’s really no wonder that gut health has been proven to improve overall well-being.
Why is it important for private label brands to do market research before developing niche products?
Even though all of these niche opportunities are just waiting to be delved into, they’ll mean little if your current and potential customers don’t care about them.
Understanding your audience and the audience you want to attract is the first step of private labeling. Following that, you need to understand your product and the industry you want to enter.
These are the steps that will kick off your preliminary research:
- Identify gaps in the market, whether it be in pricing, quality or variety, etc., and start your development with that idea as the core of your product.
- Observe existing customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors to create a product that will solve the pain points they’re facing now.
- Evaluate competitors’ products and offerings to find the best way to differentiate your product when it hits the shelves.
- Search for sustainable private label manufacturers in your chosen niche to ascertain the affordability of your planned product.
- Scouring the globe for ingredient sources that offer both high quality products and reliable supply lines.
These are just a handful of the key elements that the preliminary research needs to cover to ensure that your private label product is a success.
But it’s not a journey you have to walk alone.
Let Ingredient Brothers help you choose the best private label niche
We’ve been in the one-size-fits-all end of industry solutions, where falling in line with what providers and suppliers have on offer is the only choice you have.
So we know how limiting that can be when you can see what’s missing in the market and have no affordable and practical way of bringing it about.
That’s why Ingredient Brothers goes on a journey with you to find the best ingredients, suppliers, and inventory solution to bring your ideas to the market in the best way possible.
We’re not middlemen just sitting on the sidelines waiting to fill wholesale orders. We’re food lovers, bulk importers, and industry veterans here to help you tap into the possibilities that are waiting for your private label brand.
So if you’re ready to go looking for the right niche to explore, you know who to call.
In the meantime, take a look at our wide range of ingredients in this link!