Choosing the Right European Contract Manufacturer for Your Cosmetics Line

Updated on March 22, 2024
In this article
In this article

This article will delve into how you can find a contract manufacturer for your new cosmetics line. Before we get into the details, let us first be reminded of contract manufacturing and how it differs from private and white labels.

Understanding Contract Manufacturing

Contract manufacturing refers to a business model where an external manufacturer is hired to produce a specific product. This term is often used interchangeably with private label or white label manufacturing, but there are some key differences. In contract manufacturing, you provide your own product formulation or design, or collaborate with an external product developer (possibly even the contract manufacturer) to develop a fully customized product.

Exploring Private Label Manufacturing

In private label manufacturing, a manufacturer creates a customized product for a third-party brand based on an existing product. The manufacturer allows you to choose the formula, customize it, and personalize the packaging. This unique product is then sold exclusively by the brand that commissioned it.

Delving into White Label Manufacturing

White label manufacturing is often the cheapest, fastest, and easiest form of production. With all necessary machinery already set up for production, and no customizations needed, production time is much shorter than in private label production or contract manufacturing, usually ranging from 2 to 8 weeks. However, customization options are limited and largely depend on the manufacturer. White label manufacturing is an ideal choice for brands looking to start with low quantities, test a new market, or launch a product quickly.

The Ever-evolving Cosmetics Industry

The cosmetics industry is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors in the world. The global market for cosmetics was valued at about $380 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach over $463 billion by 2027. This industry covers a wide range of products used for personal care and beauty enhancement, including skin care, makeup, hair care, fragrance, oral care, and more. The industry is characterized by constant innovation, with new product lines, ingredients, and technologies emerging regularly.

Embracing Diversity in Cosmetics

Modern cosmetics cater to a diverse range of customers with different needs, preferences, and skin types. There are products designed for men, women, and gender-neutral audiences. The industry has also seen the rise of inclusive makeup ranges that cater to various skin tones. This diversity extends to age as well, with products tailored for different age groups, from teenagers to the elderly.

Types of Cosmetics You Can Produce

  1. Skincare Products: This category includes creams, lotions, serums, masks, and cleansers designed to hydrate, nourish, and protect the skin.
  2. Makeup Products: This includes eye makeup (mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow), face makeup (foundation, blush, bronzer), lip products (lipstick, lip gloss), and more.
  3. Haircare Products: Shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, styling products, and hair colorants fall under this category.
  4. Fragrances: This encompasses perfumes, colognes, body sprays, and other scented products.
  5. Personal Care Products: Items such as body washes, soaps, deodorants, and toothpastes are part of this category.
  6. Nail Products: This includes nail polish, nail care tools, and nail treatment products.

Contract Manufacturing, Private Label, or White Label: What to Choose?

When working with manufacturers, several decisions need to be made, including product formulation, component selection, product design, and secondary packaging. You can opt for the simplest, least expensive, and least customized option, or the complete opposite. The most tailored option or contract manufacturing will help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace, albeit being the most time-consuming option.

Before you start discussions with potential manufacturers, consider the following:

  1. Budget: What is your proposed budget for the products?
  2. Customization: Which parts of the product do you want to customize, and to what extent?
  3. Product Criteria: What are the specific standards your brand has for the products? (e.g., vegan, cruelty-free)
  4. Certifications: What certifications do you require your manufacturers to have?

Private Labelling for Cosmetics

Private labeling is a manufacturing method where a manufacturer creates a customized product for a third party to sell under their own brand. This method is often the best option for cosmetics production for several reasons:

  1. Brand Differentiation: Private labeling allows brands to create unique products that stand out in the market. You can customize the formula, packaging, and branding to align with your brand’s identity and values.
  2. Higher Profit Margins: As you’re purchasing directly from the manufacturer, you can enjoy higher profit margins compared to reselling products from established brands.
  3. Control Over Pricing: With private labeling, you have full control over the pricing of your products. You can set the price points that align with your brand positioning and target market.
  4. Exclusivity: Private label products are exclusive to your brand, which can enhance customer loyalty and brand reputation.
  5. Quick Market Entry: With manufacturers having pre-tested formulas ready for customization, private label products can often be brought to market quicker than developing a product from scratch.

Create your next product line with Wonnda

Our platform lets you source, launch, and scale your product line with over 250 trusted European suppliers. So whether you’re looking to request products from our private label catalog of over 1,500 items or develop custom products from scratch, Wonnda has everything you need to get started. Best of all, it’s free to start today!

Set up your account in less than 3 minutes and begin your journey with Wonnda. Unlock endless possibilities for your business, bring new products to market and streamline your sourcing process from idea to launch on one single platform.

About the author
Alice Pegorin
Alice Pegorin is a talented writer and a world-citizen who was born and raised in Brazil. In 2019, she moved to Lisbon, Portugal to pursue a BSc in Marketing and Advertising at IADE-UE. Following her passion for business management, Alice moved to Berlin, Germany in 2022 for her Erasmus semester at UE-Germany, where she completed her studies. Alice is a curious and open-minded individual who adapts easily to any environment. She enjoys exploring new cultures and experiences, and is always eager to learn. Currently based in Berlin, Alice travels to Portugal from time to time to visit friends. Her passion for writing and business management makes her an invaluable member of our team at Wonnda, and we're thrilled to have her on board.
Join 8.000+ brands sourcing with Wonnda
By signing up, you are accepting our terms & conditions and privacy policy.
More resources and trends
In-depth sourcing resources and consumer product trends curated by the Wonnda team.

Find suppliers for your consumer brand

Join 8.000+ leading consumer brands using Wonnda as their go-to sourcing platform. Sign up for free.

Use your business email address. The email will be used to create a free account. No credit card required. By signing up, you are accepting our terms & conditions & privacy policy.