Why white labeling is a great business model?

Updated January 9, 2024

Are you an entrepreneur looking to increase your brand’s market presence while maintaining customer loyalty in a quick, cost-effective way?

Ever found yourself brainstorming the different business strategies that could help you achieve this outcome and, along the way, asked yourself “what is white labeling”? Well, look no further, because we’re here to tell you all about it.

In this blog we’ll look into white labeling as a business practice, in particular when it is applied to the coffee industry. We’ll explain exactly what it is, how it can benefit your company, where to find white label coffee and how to purchase it from suppliers, and finally give you a step-by-step guide to starting your own white label coffee brand. 

What is White Labeling?

White labeling is a common business strategy in which a company buys generic products from a third party manufacturer, and then sells them as its own, under a different brand name.  

Also known as private labeling, the process means that the company takes charge of repackaging, rebranding, and marketing the existing product as their own, with their own unique brand identity.

The types of companies selling private label products can vary from software companies to ecommerce stores, but a market where white labeling comes into its own is in the packaged food and drink industry. In this blog, we’ll focus specifically on white labeling for the consumer product we know best: coffee. 

What is White Labeling for Coffee?

White label coffee is a customized coffee product sold under the white label branding of another retailer. Simply put, for small coffee businesses that don’t have the time to buy green coffee beans directly from suppliers, nor the expertise, access to costly facilities, or even just the willpower to roast them.This is an easy way of buying coffee that’s roasted, packaged, and ready to sell. 

Benefits of White Labeling for Coffee

Selling white label products is a business strategy that comes with a multitude of benefits for your coffee business. Here we’ll talk you through just a few. 

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  1. Quick Market Entry: The main advantage of selling white label coffee is that it speeds up the product-to-market timeline. For those unfamiliar with the coffee industry, the seed-to-cup process is extremely long. It takes on average between three and four years for a newly-planted coffee tree to bear fruit, for example. And then comes the harvest, processing, drying, milling, grading and sorting, cupping, and roasting. We’re not suggesting each coffee supplier should take charge of planting and harvesting their own coffee beans, but once they’re ready for roasting, there’s no more time to be wasted! Thanks to white labeling solutions, your business can get products to market and start generating returns as quickly as possible.
  2. Save Money and Time: Did you know that a commercial coffee roaster can cost between $30,000 to $40,000? This isn’t an expense most coffee businesses can afford to pay, so buying from a white label manufacturer can save both money and time on roasting. When it comes to coffee supply, your white label partner will take care of this for you, giving you more stress-free time to focus on building your brand and acquiring loyal customers.
  3. Brand Control: Another benefit of white label coffee is that companies that choose to adopt this business strategy have complete control over their own branding. Finding the right white label partner will allow you to customize your coffee packaging the way you like it, giving you a competitive edge over other products on the market.
  4. Reduced Risk: Speaking of the right partners, white labeling solutions can also be handy especially for new coffee companies, because they allow you to sell an existing product that has already been tried and tested. You can purchase a white label coffee product that’s guaranteed to sell, and start seeing results immediately without worrying about product failure. 

Where to Buy White Label Coffee Beans

In order to start selling white label coffee, you’ll need to find a manufacturer that sells coffee beans and applies white label branding to them. Follow these simple steps to ensure you buy from the right supplier.

Research Coffee Producers/Roasters That Offer White Labeling

Your first step should be to shop around and contact potential suppliers who offer white labeling solutions to find out about their services and prices. You might do this by attending trade shows, searching online, or asking for recommendations. We suggest looking for coffee roasters that offer white labeling solutions in Colombia, a country whose arabica coffee varieties stand out for their diverse flavor profiles and exceptional quality. 

Here at Those Coffee People, not only do we have an extensive network of direct trade relationships with coffee farmers across the country, who grow a range of different coffee varieties, but we also offer roasting and white labeling services for business owners looking to purchase coffee directly from Colombia. Our minimum order of 10 kilos applies to every variety of coffee at every roast level.

Imports/ Exports 

If you choose a supplier who, like us, works with coffee farmers at origin in major coffee-growing countries such as Colombia, there are some extra logistics that’ll need to be taken care of in order to transport this coffee to the US. The US imports more than 10 million bags of green coffee from Colombia every year, and doing so takes qualified suppliers who know how to navigate complex import and export requirements. Lucky for you, here at Those Coffee People, we’ll take care of all aspects of this process for you, ensuring it’s fun, easy, and relaxed.

Discuss Requirements

From the very beginning of negotiations with white label coffee suppliers, it’s important to be as clear as possible about the requirements you have from a white label manufacturer for your business, be that in branding or quality control. A good way of avoiding problems in the latter is to test a sample of the coffee before you buy it. When it comes to branding, set up a discovery call to find out whether it feels like the manufacturer might be a good fit for you; it’s important that the white label company really understands your business and brand to ensure you work well together.

Contract Negotiation 

You might be wondering whether working with a white label manufacturer in the coffee industry has any implications from a copyright perspective. When it comes to drawing up a contract, conduct thorough research beforehand to ensure the supplier does not have any existing patents in place on the coffee product you’re looking to buy. You’ll want to make sure you have white label rights and resale rights. And once that’s all signed, sealed and delivered, you’ll be ready to place an order!

Are you looking for the perfect Colombian coffee beans? Contact us for a quote today.

How to Start a White Label Coffee Brand

If you’re a coffee business looking to launch your own branded products through white labeling, and you’ve made it this far into our blog about what is white labeling, the next question you might have will be how to enter the market. Keep reading and we’ll break down the steps you need to follow.

  1. Market research 

First things first, you’ll need to conduct a thorough audit of the products your potential customers might be interested in. It goes without saying that different coffee varieties vary in price, so you’ll want your eventual order from the white label manufacturer to reflect the demand you anticipate for that particular product. If you’re going to sell online, this doesn’t matter as much, but if you’re planning to sell from a cafe or a mom-and-pop store, it’s important you find out about the market you’re planning to sell to.

  1. Business plan

Next up, you need to be clear about exactly how your business defines itself before you start selling white label coffee to customers, so they know what to expect from you. A good way to do this is to set out your brand’s mission, vision, and goals. Make these clearly visible wherever potential customers can find you.

  1. Choose a coffee variety

As a white label coffee business getting started, the world really is your oyster. Get ready to inhale the heavenly aromas of traditional, premium, specialty, and exotic coffee varieties which you can package up and sell as your own product lines by trying and testing products from different suppliers. Here at Those Coffee People, you can sample our varieties by ordering a basic sample package and trying before you buy.

  1. Branding & packaging 

Once you’ve selected a coffee supplier, you can get to the bread and butter of what selling white label products really is. Make sure you design a slick brand image for your coffee packaging, and a label that’s sure to catch the eye of even the most unlikely customer. The right business partner will work closely with you to develop white label branding that works in line with a marketing strategy so that you can start promoting your new coffee brand right away. 

  1. Pricing 

It’s important to set a price point that ensures a good level of profitability for your business, and that also justifies the cost of selling white label products. Once you’ve nailed this, you’re ready to start distributing! Make sure to solicit customer feedback along the way so you can make constant improvements to your coffee business and, in the long term, scale it if that’s a road you’d like to take. 

Closing thoughts 

We hope you’ve learned valuable lessons from this blog on white labeling and wish you all the best for putting them into practice when starting your own white label coffee brand.

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