Private Label

As a magazine written by journalists covering jan/san distributors and their role in the cleaning industry, Sanitary Maintenance has done its best to sniff out possible trends before they hit the market. It has aimed to chase trends as they progress, so the publication knows the direction in which they’re heading — be that a boom, bust, linear progression or standstill.

In recent years, this magazine has taken both of these approaches into its coverage of private labeling among jan/san distributors. Now it’s time to revisit private labeling by discussing how jan/san distributors are currently doing it, why it’s important and how an interested distributor should go about getting involved in the practice.

Private labeling itself isn’t all too complex and it exists in many consumer-driven industries. Most people’s interaction with private labeling probably came as a kid at the grocery store. There, one would find name-brand cereal powerhouses like Apple Jacks, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Cheerios and Rice Crispies. Aside from a ridiculous amount of sugar, most all of the cereals seemed to have something in common: bright, inviting colors, and often, for some reason, cartoon animals. Then there was the “off brand,” private label stuff. Way more forgiving on the wallet, these cereals got the job done just fine, but the taste just seemed off. While much of this probably had something to do with the Saturday morning marketing tactics driven into growing minds, there were times where the quality left much to be desired.

In many ways, this is what private labeled products used to be in the cleaning industry, too. No, they didn’t have smiling creatures sporting a sideways ball cap or shades, but they did embody cheapness, both in quality and in price. Then things started to change. Jan/san distributors began working with manufacturers to develop chemicals, paper products, mops and urinal screens that were almost as good, if not equal to, the name brand stuff in terms of quality, while remaining a few price points cheaper. That’s essentially what private labeling is now in jan/san.

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Customers Should Associate Brand With Good Products