Private label beverages requested by retailers aren’t the plain old generic bottles anymore. Here's how you can build a high-performing brand.
What are the main reasons that a Brewery and/or Winery would go the Private Label route to build your business? This article is designed to offer several unique ways that certain Breweries (Craft Spirits and Wineries) are building high-performing brands for producers who want to fill a need in the marketplace that nobody else has.
There are eight steps that most brand owners review when going into the “Private Label” beer, wine and/or sprits business:
1. Branding/Concept development—sourcing the customer with the need
2. Researching and analyzing the concept
3. Logo, Design and Prototype development
4. Product Formulations, Flavor Development, and Quality Assurance
5. Business and Management Services (Licensing, TTB Label Approvals, FDA Label Compliance, and Trademarking)
6. Packaging/SKU Development
7. Warehousing and Logistics
8. Sales, Marketing and Distribution Support
There are many off-shoots of breweries and packaging facilities that offer their services to put private label beverages on the map. Some of them are set up strictly for producing blended beverages and/or carbonated soft drinks. Many produce bottled waters, fruit juices and energy drinks as well. But the expansion and upgrading of old line breweries and packaging facilities, plus the addition of new business models in both the retail chain arena and craft beer hotbed, have developed some unique “one stop shops” for growing private label brands to gain access to these growing beer, wine and spirits markets—here are just a few:
1. Monarch Customer Beverages—Cold Spring, MN
a) Billed as a “Your single source solution for private label beverages and contract manufacturing”
b) Services provided include:
► Custom product, flavor and label development (beer, energy drinks, CSD’s, and bottled water)
► Trademark searches
► Raw materials sourcing (bottles, cans, labels, boxes, trays, ingredients)
► Bottling and packaging services (glass, cans, multi-packs, PET, aluminum bottles)
► Production management (scheduling, bottling, lab testing, analysis)
► Logistics, warehousing and distribution
2. U.S. Beverage Manufacturing—San Louis Obispo, CA
a) Billed as “Your Beverage Turnkey Solution”
b) Development Services they provide include:
► Personalized beverage development (alcoholic bevs, coffee/teas, energy drinks/shots, kids drinks, CSD’s, Lemonade, sports drinks, and waters)
► Beverage packaging and label design (Cans, bottles, bag-in-the-box, canisters, cartons, gift packs, PET, pouches, stick packs, tetra packs, tubes and shot bottles).
► Legal Services (Licensing, Compliance, Trademarks and Brand Registration)
► Creative design and website services (label, website and package design)
► Sales and Marketing (distributor network, brokers, and retail chains)
► Products, sauces and marinades, soups & vegetables, waters, energy beverages, and wines & spirits)
3. City Brewery—La Crosse, WI
a) Billed as the “Premier Contract Beverage Producer” With State-of-the Art Plants in La Crosse, Latrobe, PA and Memphis, TN
b) City Brewery’s professional services include:
► Unique beverage mix with beer, flavored malt beverages, energy drinks, teas and alcoholic cider.
► Brewing and aging cellars
► Blending and batching for FMB’s and beverages
► Packaging and unique configurations (Bottles, cans, kegs, multi-packs, rainbow variety packs, cold fill, hot fill and shrink wrap capability)
► Quality assurance (Analytical lab, package lab, micro lab, plant sanitation, data reporting, sample library, and CIP validation)
► Warehousing and logistics (warehousing, logistics, transport, refrigeration/cooler space, rail car loading capability, and inventory)
► National footprint with three production facilities
4. Winery Exchange—Novato, CA
a) “Building Brands Worldwide” is their calling card
b) Winery Exchange professional services originate from their strong retail connections, including:
► Private branding for Worldwide retailers (Clients have included Kroger, Costco, Delhaize Group, Tesco, Fresh & Easy, Cost Plus, Whole Foods, H-E-B, and Salisbury)
► Research (Closely follow consumer trends in product categories, target pricing, and impactful packaging and levels of brand support required to break through to consumers).
► Brand concept development (Designs are presented to retailers based on research provided)
► Packaging Implementation (Logistics, customer service, and distributor teams work with brand marketing to implement a new product)
► Marketing Programs (Calendars are provided to gain displays, creative POS, in-store demos, and PR/press coverage).
► Winery Exchange uses Production facilities like City Brewery to bring their product to market.
5. BrewHub LLC—St. Louis, MO
a) “Today’s beverage landscape is changing”—a new concept in Craft Brewing, BrewHub is building 5 Craft Breweries of similar size at 75,000 barrels each in sunbelt and high growth craft beer areas.
b)Their services are similar to the others, but have some significant differences, due to craft brewing methodology:
► Partner Brewing (50,000 sq ft facility, 75,000 barrels of available capacity, state-of-the-art brewing, packaging and warehousing set up fro small batches, flexibility to brew, package and co-pack multiple brands, tasting room fro clients to use with distributor/retail partners, and easy access for full goods transportation).
► Facility & Operations (Fermentation, Brewing Options, Packaging Options, Refrigerated Storage, Central Distribution).
► Brewing Services & Options (Ingredients, Batch sizes, mashing strategies, aging, custom hopping schemes, finishing and pasteurization).
► Laboratory Services (Physical Analysis, Microbiological Analysis, Chemical Analysis).
► Sales and Distribution Services (Distributor Agreements, Distributor and Retail Relationships, Inventory Control and Rotation, Sales Training and Support, Sales Reporting Category Management, Pricing Strategy, Sales Incentives and Competitive Analysis).
► Marketing (Market/Consumer Research, Brand Building, Labels/Packaging, POS, Sales Promotions, Special Events, Sponsorships, Media Plans, Public Relations).
► Export Opportunities (international Contacts, Logistics, Legal Services, and Co-Packing).
Market dynamics are constantly changing everywhere around us. Craft breweries are being built at a pace of three per day!! The landscape of freight and logistics is scary due to high fuel prices, independent trucker declines and lack of suitable rail car services in smaller cities. The Craft Beer, Artisan Wine, and Craft Spirits Markets couldn’t be stronger in yet a very difficult economic environment. Growth continues as the consumer looks for “higher quality and better tasting, at the expense of less volume.” The Beverage Companies listed above are all after another expanding segment in the U.S.—private labels and contract beverages for the consumer looking for variety and good tasting brands at favorable prices.
Private labels are being requested by retailers and aren’t the plain old generic white beer can. The graphics are impactful, have appetite appeal, are eye-catching and taste great because of quality control and improved customer service by the larger players and focused companies. If you want a large size bottle with a diamond shaped label, in a 9 pack box, with varnish for consumer reaction, foil neck over wax and bottle conditioned product, there is a co-packer ready to that for you in every part of the U.S. today. Your “one stop shop” will make it custom to your order.