Today’s consumers have more products to choose from than all the generations before. Retailers have now become brand owners who need to be sure that their product is not only safe, but the one reached for most often. It’s no secret that consumer acceptance can make or break a successful private brand product launch, and crucial to a products success is correct brand positioning and concept validation. However, today’s cost conscious shoppers are also looking for value without sacrificing the quality, safety and performance in consumables.
Furthermore, recalls and the increased overseas sourcing of raw ingredients and finished goods, along with heightened media and regulatory attention have made it more difficult for companies to maintain credibility and consistency.
To help meet these demands, private brand managers and product developers should consider the implementation of an all-inclusive supply chain risk management program as an essential component to ensuring products are on target to meet regulatory requirements, customer expectations, and drive brand preference.
A robust supply chain program would include comprehensive testing, inspections and audits that incorporate screening samples for both regulatory, performance, and quality attributes while reviewing documentation for the product to make sure that sufficient prior analysis has been conducted, and label reviews for regulatory compliance. In some cases it may be necessary to put into place required testing to close any gap in documentation.
Inspections and regulatory audits of the vendor’s manufacturing sites help ensure the vendor is operating under the appropriate regulatory guidelines for the particular product and may be part of the initial screening process for the vendor.
Sensory attributes play a major role in your target consumer’s experience with your products. Consumer insights can help uncover development, design, and marketing essentials that are needed for a successful Private Brand launch. To minimize returns and maximize repeat purchases, it is crucial that your sensory cues accurately match the description delivered in your marketing and on your packaging.
It is critical that retailers implement performance and compliance protocols, and targeted quality prevention checkpoints through the supply chain to help their private brands ensure product consistency, and minimize exposure to costly recalls.
Brett LaFrance, Business Development Director, UL
Since 2001 Brett LaFrance has held roles in laboratory testing, quality management, operations management, sales, and sales management, for chemical, biological, physical, flammability, performance, and safety testing, inspections and certification. Focusing on consumer goods, industries served include personal protective equipment, electrical, food, OTC/pharmaceuticals, and health and beauty. Brett has helped to develop and implement quality programs for major U.S. retailers and private brand owners, and has been a member of several committees that have written testing and certification standards.
Visit UL at PLMA booth F3218 for more details on how UL can help ensure the quality, safety and performance of your products.