With more customers opting for cheaper alternatives to popular products, 2021 is looking like a great year for private-label products. As we mentioned in our guide to 2021 ecommerce trends, premium private labels are gaining steam at a time when the average consumer is looking to cut costs — and considering the recent popularity of shopping at home, that makes private labels enticing to online retailers big and small.
But which are the best private-label products to sell online in 2021? Below, we list our top 9 recommendations based on current trends. (If you’d like to know more about how to break into private-label retail, read our beginner’s guide here.)
1. Enamel Pins and Keychains
Enamel pins and keychains check all the boxes for private-label retailers: they’re cheap and easy to manufacture, but unique enough to fit particular niches and brand styles. You can even make custom pins and keychains featuring your own branding materials, all for a relatively small investment.
They also accommodate virtually any industry, from politicians with lapel pins to protestors with identity badges. If your brand has a distinct and artistic style, enamel pins and keychains can help you show it off.
2. Silicone Kitchen Tools
Kitchen utensils in general fit the private-label model well. While serious cooks prefer high-end brands for knives or electric appliances, more common tools like spatulas or whisks tend to be impulse buys — everyday people remember they need one at the last minute.
When it comes to selling private-label kitchen tools, silicone utensils work best. They’re lighter, cheaper, and quieter than metal tools — and are inherently non-stick — while still just as effective in cooking.
Private-label spirits (whiskey, rum, vodka, etc.) are a recent trend on the heels of the craft beer fad. More private-label distilleries are opening up that allow retailers to customize not just the type of their own branded spirits, but also the flavors.
Like enamel pins, you can customize the spirits you offer to suit your brand. Just remember that selling alcohol requires legal compliance, and may affect how some shoppers perceive your brand.
4. Soy Candles
Cheap and easy to make, candles have long been a staple of private-label sellers and DIY retailers, even before Goop’s 2020 success. There’s no reason to believe that will change in 2021, moreover, we’re also seeing the emergence of a new trend within the industry: soy candles.
Soy candles are more eco-friendly than candles made from paraffin wax or beeswax, which places them as one of our top ecommerce niches of 2021. They also have a lower melting point than traditional candles, which means they last longer and survive better in cold temperatures.
5. Over the Counter (OTC) Pharmaceuticals
With ecommerce giants like Amazon breaking into the pharmaceutical industry, shoppers are increasingly turning to e-pharmacies for their over-the-counter meds. Shoppers looking for serious medication will still want to spend more on high-end brands, but when it comes to everyday medicine, shoppers don’t mind cheaper alternatives as long as they work just as well.
In particular, these types work best for private labels:
- cold medication
- cough drops
- pain relievers
- allergy medication
Anything more serious than these, and people might be uncomfortable buying an unknown brand.
6. CBD Products
The young cannabis industry is still finding its footing after only recently being legalized, but already we’re seeing an increase in interest. Specifically, shoppers are exploring products made from cannabidiol (CBD), one of our recommended 2020 micro-niches.
CBD contains the calming and analgesic qualities of marijuana, but without the psychoactivity (the euphoric “high”). That means CBD is used more for holistic medicine than for recreation. CBD can be sold as tinctures or oil, or they can be added to existing products like drinks or pet supplements.
7. Hand Sanitizers
Unless you’ve been living in a cave all year, it shouldn’t surprise you to see hand sanitizers on our list. A lot of people have learned to enjoy the benefits of carrying around a bottle of sanitizer, and that interest will likely linger after the pandemic subsides. The beauty of hand sanitizers is that they’re not difficult to make, so they’re perfect for private-label goods.
8. Health Supplements
Supplements have long been a reliable market for ecommerce, even more-so now at a time when people are focused on staying healthy. Selling supplements like vitamins or probiotics is a smart way to earn extra income, and with a private label, you can work them into your own brand identity.
In recent years, we’re also seeing the rise of fitness supplements, which we mentioned in last year’s list of the best private label products. Products like keto, whey, creatine, and general protein powders are still predicted to sell well in 2021.
Last but not least, skincare products remain one of the most popular private label products in 2021. From beauty and cosmetics to medical ointments and lotions, skin care products are relatively cheap and can be adapted to suit different brands.
Private label skincare is so effective, the trouble is making yours stand out from all the others. Your best bet is to try something new and distinct — for example, CBD skincare products are a small niche market themselves and combine two of our 2021 private label trends.
Break Into Private Label Goods Now
We’ve mentioned our beginner’s guide to private label ecommerce in the introduction, but maybe you want some more advanced advice? For help sourcing private-label products, including where to find them and some tips on getting the best deals, read The Best Ecommerce Product Sourcing Strategies for White Labels and Private Labels.
For some extra advice, read Private Label Mistakes: 7 Tips from Experts for Rookie Sellers.