The Difference Between Private Label and Co-Packing

POSTED 11/24/2017
epsen hillmer graphics shopping for household products with labels

When we are asked to explain the difference between Co-packing and Private Labeling, our label printing experts at Epsen Hillmer Graphics will often use a simple analogy to help clear up the confusion.

Imagine that you’re in the grocery store with the task of buying a bottle of barbecue sauce. That sounds easy enough, but you soon become overwhelmed by the variety of options available on the shelf. You start to look a little closer at the product labels to identify the one you might find familiar.

Example of Label Printing: Crazy Joey’s Sauce

Among the many bottles of mass-produced sauces is one that catches your eye. As it turns out, your favorite barbecue joint has its very own product on the shelf. You’ve eaten at “Crazy Joey’s” and loved the flavor of the sauce. As luck would have it, here, it is, ready for you to take it home and experience that goodness all over again. Crazy Joey’s Special Sauce it is!

The chances are that bottle of sauce you just purchased wasn’t really made and packaged by Crazy Joey at his popular local restaurant. More likely, Joey sold the recipe and details of its proprietary ingredients to a Co-packer who then uses specialized equipment to mix, fill, seal, label and pack the sauce on behalf of Crazy Joey. This allows Joey to sell a lot of his proprietary sauce under his very own Private Label.

Additional Private Label Products You May Know

Ok. There really isn’t a Crazy Joey’s barbecue sauce, but hopefully, you have a better picture of co-packing and Private Labeling. Other examples of Private Labels can be found in large warehouse stores like Costco (remember the “Kirkland” brand?) or at Walmart (have you ever purchased a “Great Value” product?). In this case, these Private Labels are purchased by Costco and Walmart respectively, who then exclusively distribute and sell products with these labels in their stores.

At the other end of the spectrum, Private Labels can be found in much smaller businesses that desire a specific branded label for a frequently-used product. Have you ever visited a sandwich shop that has its own branded and labeled bottled water? You can be certain the shop didn’t gather, purify, bottle, seal and package the water. Rather, they worked with a Co-packer who does that on behalf of a much larger water supplier. Their sandwich shop label on the bottle was likely affixed by a label supplier like Epsen Hillmer Graphics on behalf of the Private Label company.

How Epsen Hillmer Graphics Can Help

For more than 100 years, Epsen Hillmer Graphics has assisted Co-packers and Private Label suppliers with their unique product labeling needs. As a major player in the label printing industry, we’ve developed long-standing relationships with Co-packers around the country including products as diverse as juices and water, to shampoo and beer.

An Endless Variety of Co-Packer and Private Label Options

The specific label application required in a Co-packer or Private Label arrangement is highly specialized and variable. Epsen Hillmer Graphics has the qualifications and expertise to print for many different co-packing needs and a variety of industries.

If you are looking for a new label printing supplier or seeking a trusted partner for your Private Label needs, you can save a lot of time by giving us a call first. Our label specialists will provide a careful assessment and work with identify the best application for your industry and product. Some of these include;

Whether you are a Co-Packer looking for a new label printing supplier, a Private Label Company looking to work with a trusted label industry partner or even if you’re in the initial stages of your process and need help finding a Co-Packing option – we are here to help! Contact Us today online or by phone at 1-800-228-9940.