Affordable private-label brands have gained widespread availability in major U.S. grocery chains, becoming increasingly popular because of price hikes. For over three decades, Walmart has been a leading seller of private-label brands, particularly in its grocery line. The retail giant offers approximately 30,000 products spanning 20 categories under its private label brands.
Although branded products maintain a significant market share, studies have found that consumers across all income levels prioritize prices over brand names. They are also turning to private-label brands to save money, a trend surprisingly driven by high-income households.
For that reason, selling private-label brands on Walmart can be a feasible way to start a business or expand your existing venture. This article will explore how private labeling works, the top Walmart private label brands in 2023, and how you can sell them on the marketplace. We’ll also show you some incredible insights about Walmart’s private-label sector and help you determine if you should explore the business model.
Private labeling is the process of selling a product manufactured by a different company and selling it under your own brand name. It is a popular business technique for offering exclusive products, outperforming competitors, and controlling pricing, branding, and marketing.
As mentioned, the process involves two companies: the private label manufacturer and the seller. The private label manufacturer ensures the item's quality and controls its production costs. On the other hand, the seller focuses on branding and marketing the product, targeting the right consumers, and setting a profitable pricing model.
It's important to note that private-label goods aren't the same as white-label goods. While the latter also involves a third-party manufacturer, white-label products aren't customized for a specific seller. Instead, they are mass-produced and sold to individual retailers, who sell the products under their own brand names. As such, different companies can sell the same white-label product under various brands.
Selling private label products presents perks to you and your manufacturer, most notably:
As a private label seller, you can offer a product even established brands do not have. You can pursue novel product ideas without worrying about what the market is putting out there.
With a direct relationship with your manufacturer, you can maintain open communication lines and demand premium quality without a mediator. You can set your own standards for quality control so your needs and specifications are always met.
Since private label manufacturers control production costs while you set a profitable pricing model, you can work together to experiment with various pricing formulas to maximize profit margins and stay competitive in the market.
Without ties to other companies, you’re free to develop your own marketing strategies and campaigns. You don’t have to adhere to dated, sometimes rigid branding guidelines some national brands may use.
As a private labeler, you can immediately address challenges like negative reviews, lousy product formulas, and whatnot. On the other hand, big-name brands may not be quick enough to address such challenges due to standard protocols and regulations set in place.
Now that you know about how private labeling works and its benefits, let's identify Walmart's top private-label brands so you can gain an idea of profitable private-label products to launch.
Great Value offers a wide selection of grocery and household items. Their products are known for their excellent quality and affordable prices.
Bestsellers: White Round Top Bread Loaf, Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks, Purified Drinking Water, Pure Granulated Sugar, and Taters Seasoned Shredded Potatoes
Equate is Walmart's top private-label brand for over-the-counter medications and personal care products. Its offerings are comparable to established brands in terms of quality and effectiveness but without the hefty price tag.
Bestsellers: Equate Beauty Deep Moisturizing Body Wash Twin Pack, Sensitive Skin Body Wash, and Allergy Relief Capsules (25 mg)
Marketside offers fresh produce, ready-to-eat food, and beverages, all of which are typically available in Walmart’s deli and baked goods shops.
Bestsellers: Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Nut Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Italian Hero Sub Sandwich, and Classic Style Lemonade
Freshness Guaranteed is the consumers' favorite private-label brand of fresh bread, cakes and cupcakes, cookies, pastries, and ready-to-serve packaged meals. It's also well-known for its fresh meat and produce.
Bestsellers: Apple Fritters, Glazed Donuts, Persian Cinnamon Donuts, Baked Mini 4-inch Apple Pies, and French Steak Rolls
Sam’s Choice was named after Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. Positioning itself as a high-end food brand, it offers a wide variety of premium food and beverage products, from breakfast classics to pizza.
Bestsellers: Purified Drinking Water, Sam’s Cola Soda, Keto Friendly Wheat Sandwich Bread, Uncured Turkey Bacon, and Sweet Hawaiian Hamburger Buns
Parent’s Choice sells baby products that are cheaper compared to national brands.
Bestsellers: Dry and Gentle Diapers, Girls' Training Pants, Infant and Toddlers Plastic Hanger, and Newborn Orthodontic Vent Pacifier
Ol’Roy is a dog food brand named after Sam Walton’s dog, who used to join him in his visits to Walmart stores. The private-label brand adopted the name Ol'Roy in 1980, and the dog’s likeness was added to the packaging after his death the following year.
Bestsellers: Fillet Mignon Flavor Cuts in Gravy Wet Dog Food, Meaty Loaf Chicken Dinner Wet Dog Food, Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken and Rice Flavor Dry Dog Food, Bacon and Cheese Munchy Bone Treats, and Long-lasting Natural Peanut Butter Flavor Munchy Bone Chews
If Ol’Roy is for dogs, Special Kitty is Walmart's private-label brand for cat food and supplies.
Bestsellers: Cuts in Gravy Chicken Dinner, Odor Control Tight Clumping Cat Litter, Shreds in Gravy Beef Dinner, and Fragrance-free Natural Clay Non-clumping Cat Litter
Pen + Gear is Walmart’s household brand for school and office supplies.
Bestsellers: 3-Prong Paper Folder, 5-Tab Insert Dividers, Pencil Topper Erasers, Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, and Washable School Glue
Mainstays offers stylish and affordable home goods like bedding, furniture, décor, cookware, arts and crafts, and more.
Bestsellers: 3-Speed Oscillating Tower Fan, Owen Park 28-inch Round Wood Burning Fire Pit, 6 Quart Oval Stainless Steel Slow Cooker, Dishwasher-safe Black Griddle, and Textures Crosshatch Polyester Doormat
Home Trends is another Walmart private label brand offering home goods and daily essential items.
Bestsellers: Ultra Durable 3-piece Round Porcelain Mug Set, Pretty Pink Floral Fabric Shower Curtain, Polished Chrome Heavy Duty Hook, 16-piece Stoneware Scroll Dinnerware Set, and 16-piece Distressed Weave Dinnerware Set
Tasty is a BuzzFeed-licensed and Walmart-exclusive brand of kitchen utensils.
Bestsellers: Ceramic Titanium-reinforced Cookware Set, Ceramic Titanium-reinforced Non-stick Centerpiece Pan, Silicone Spatula Set, 1.5 Quart Borosilicate Glass Popcorn Popper, and Stainless Steel Deluxe Can Opener
No Boundaries is Walmart's private-label apparel brand for young men and women.
Bestsellers: High-rise Flare Pants, Brushed V-Neck T-shirt, Parachute Pants, Rib Cami, Mid-rise Bootcut Jeans, and Surplice Babydoll Dress
Your Zone is a Walmart private-label brand targeted to kids, teens, and college students. It offers budget-friendly home goods.
Bestsellers: 24-piece Dinnerware Set for Kids, Solid Color Room Darkening Rod Pocket Curtain Panel, Microfiber Sheet Set, White Blackout Curtains with Sheet Overlay, and Plastic Bento Box with 4 Compartments
EverStart is Walmart's private-label brand of automotive batteries, battery-related tools, and accessories.
Bestsellers: Jump Starter Power Station 1200 Peak Battery Amps, Lead Acid Marine and RV Deep Cycle Battery, Lead Acid Lawn and Garden Battery, and Lead Acid Automotive Battery
With an idea of what makes a Walmart bestseller, let’s see how you can enter the retail behemoth’s private label sector.
Researching is the most critical part of creating any privately branded product. Skipping this step could lead to a poorly executed idea or an unreasonably priced product.
Safety should be your top priority if you want to create a private branded food product. Walmart sets food safety requirements for all their brands, including private labels, so remember to check them out and understand each rule. Walmart also provides all the information you need to know before selling U.S.-produced and supplier-imported private branded products.
If you're on Walmart Seller Center, you can use Growth Opportunities, Walmart's research tool for finding in-demand product ideas. Focus on items with only a few sellers to minimize your competition.
Lastly, explore other retail stores to get a sense of the market. Pay attention to the type of product you want to sell; if it does well on major marketplaces like Amazon, it's likely also popular on Walmart.
Your next step is finding a trustworthy manufacturer for your product. A quick Google search can point you to thousands of potential manufacturers, but you can streamline your search and save time using research tools specifically for retailers looking for suppliers.
Alibaba is an excellent source of inexpensive private-label product manufacturers. Just type the keyword of the product you want to sell in the search field, and Alibaba will show its suppliers. You can rest assured that they are reputable manufacturers because you can see third-party verifications of their products and their company's certifications.
Another advantage of using Alibaba to find manufacturers is cost savings. Since the suppliers are overseas, they charge less than U.S. manufacturers. However, the language barrier may present communication challenges.
If you’d like to stick to U.S. manufacturers, try Thomasnet. The platform allows you to search for suppliers by product and location. For example, if you type “private branded product manufacturer in [U.S. City],” the results will show you all the manufacturers that match your search, including their products and certifications.
3B Private Label Portal is another good research tool. Type the category of the product you want to sell in the search bar, and 3B Private Label Portal will help narrow your search and create leads for you.
Listing your product on Walmart is like listing an Amazon product. You should also leverage popular keywords and provide the complete details of your product, such as its brand, title, description, and distinct features.
You should also include high-quality images. Hire a professional product photographer if you don’t have the equipment and skill to take high-quality product images.
Like Amazon, Walmart offers at least two fulfillment options for sellers: Fulfilling orders on your own or partnering with a third-party distributor. You may also consider the Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) program, so you no longer have to handle your products’ storage, packing, shipping, and returns.
When all is set and ready, launch your private branded product on Walmart. You can also target your ideal buyers with Walmart Sponsored Product ads.
Once your private label brand is up and running, keep track of your product's performance to stay ahead of the competition and find growth opportunities. You can use eCommerce tools for that purpose.
Here are some excellent tools to consider:
Onsite is the complete eCommerce support solution developed by Threecolts. It seamlessly integrates with various marketplace platforms, including Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and more. It provides tools that will help educate customers, build brand loyalty, improve customer service, and generate sales. Moreover, it helps reduce returns and negative reviews.
Onsite acts as your all-in-one support desk, which is especially helpful if you run a business on multiple online marketplaces. You can use Onsite's Shared Inbox to respond faster to requests from different channels, eliminating the need to switch tabs and lose track of support tickets.
You can also integrate Onsite’s chat and ticketing tool with your social media channels so your customers can reach you through Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks.
In addition, Onsite has reporting and analytics tools for tracking incoming requests and measuring your team’s performance.
SellerActive is a Walmart inventory management software tool that can help manage your listings and prices. It streamlines listing tasks with the bundle upload template, which imports stock quantities and numerous products into the system. As a result, you can consolidate multiple SKUs under one listing.
When you’re ready to launch your product, SellerActive helps prepare your listings for going live, identifying upload errors so you can fix them before launching your product.
SellerActive also boasts an advanced algorithmic repricing technology to boost your chances of winning the Walmart Buy Box when your product’s prices aren’t at their lowest. The Price Mirroring feature lets you easily adjust prices across all your sales platforms to ensure you always meet Walmart’s requirements.
Lastly, SellerActive helps prevent overselling by syncing your product quantities on every sales channel. And when you’re shipping a product, SellerActive combines your orders in one location for faster fulfillment.
Besides the compelling benefits of private labeling, selling at Walmart in particular allows you to tap into a vast and solid customer base. On the other hand, if you start a new brand from scratch, you have to expand your network, build relationships with various professionals in your industry, and form a customer base from the ground up, which could cost more time and money than private labeling.
Private labeling on Walmart gives you more control over your product’s sourcing, manufacturing, and pricing, resulting in lower overall operating costs. Furthermore, Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, said that it would keep its private-label brands affordable to fight inflation, a strategy that is working. Walmart U.S. increased its private label sales in the grocery category by 1.1% in Q1 2024 (the 13 weeks ending on April 28, 2023). Walmart Canada also reported a 7% increase in year-on-year sales.
Another reason to sell on Walmart as a private labeler is to offer a low-stakes opportunity for consumers to try a new product. Since privately branded products are cheaper than national brands and sold in a reputable store like Walmart, consumers can be more convinced of its quality and value.
If you are still determining if a private label brand can attract customer loyalty, look at Kirkland Signature. The Costco private-label brand has amassed a dedicated customer base who buy every item from its product lines, from packaged goods to apparel.
Kirkland has yet to release its recent sales, but according to Richard Galanti, Costco’s director, executive vice president, and CFO, the mega-retailer increased its private label sales by 1.2% in the latest quarter.
In the ever-changing business landscape, selling privately branded products at Walmart can be a game-changer for small business owners. Private labeling hones your creativity and resourcefulness, helping you boost your success potential as a small fish in a big pond. Your affordable products can also contribute to the economy, providing cost-effective options for people affected by price hikes.
Private labeling allows you to mold a unique brand identity, which makes it easy to connect with your target market. As a result, you can build brand loyalty and customer trust, pushing your business to success.
Moreover, introducing a new private label brand to a retail giant such as Walmart allows you to diversify the marketplace’s offerings. Your product can fuel innovation and competition, driving the economy forward. You can also leave a positive impact on your manufacturers and local communities.
Thanks to its high exposure and vast customer base, Walmart's expansive platform offers an ideal launching pad for private-label products. Look into private labeling to transform your product idea into Walmart's next household item.