One of the easiest ways to make more profit on your bath and body products is by reducing the amount of money you spend on raw ingredients. This post will show you how buying in bulk can make a significant impact on your raw materials costs. I’ll use a simple solid lotion bar recipe and map out the costs in three different scenarios. I’m using prices based on research done today, 6/30/2015 from Wholesalesuppliesplus.com. I selected this company because a)they sell all of the ingredients for this formula and b) their prices include shipping, so these examples aren’t affected by where you live. Of course, I highly recommend you compare prices from a number of suppliers and use whichever works best for you. You may find that you can pay even less than what I share here.
Here’s the formula for a batch of 8 solid lotion bars:
Beeswax: 8 oz
Cocoa Butter: 4 oz
Rice Bran Oil: 4 oz
Sunflower Oil: 4 oz
Shea Butter: 2 oz
Coconut Oil 76: 2 oz
Rosemary Oleoresin Extract: 0.1 oz
Here’s the cost breakdown of the above formula when buying ingredients in the smallest increments from Wholesale Supplies Plus:
|Rice Bran Oil||1.48||4||0.37||5.95/lb|
|Rosemary Oleoresin Extract||0.79||0.1||7.9||3.95/0.5 oz|
|TOTAL PER BAR||1.67625|
If you buy at the next level up, which is typically 5 pounds at a time, here’s the cost breakdown:
|Cocoa Butter||2.28||4||0.57||45.95/5 lbs|
|Shea Butter||0.82||2||0.41||32.95/5 lbs|
|Coconut Oil||0.38||2||0.19||23.95/8 lbs|
|Rice Bran Oil||0.92||4||0.23||25.95/7 lbs|
|Sunflower Oil||0.92||4||0.23||25.95/7 lbs|
|ROE/Vit E||0.498||0.1||4.98||9.95/2 oz|
|TOTAL PER BAR||1.37725|
So in the above chart, you can save $0.30 per lotion bar ($2.40 per batch) simply buying 5 pounds of an ingredient at a time rather than a single pound.
Finally, if you buy in even larger quantities, such as 25 lbs of butter at a time, you can save even more:
|Cocoa Butter||2.12||4||0.53||210.95/25 lbs|
|Shea Butter||0.74||2||0.37||149.95/28 lbs|
|Coconut Oil||0.34||2||0.17||75.95/28 lbs|
|Rice Bran Oil||0.68||4||0.17||75.95/28 lbs|
|Sunflower Oil||0.68||4||0.17||75.95/28 lbs|
|TOTAL PER BAR||1.22675|
Compare the first and third examples and you see that buying ingredients in bulk can save you $3.60 on this one batch of 8 lotion bars. Multiply that by the number of batches you make in a year and those savings can really add up!
You may be thinking “Oh, I could never buy 25 pounds of shea butter at one time!” But there are ways to do this:
- Reformulate your product line so that you use more of the same ingredients in each product. So use shea to superfat your soap, and add shea to your lotion and scrub formulas. You’ll use more of this ingredient, making it time and cost effective to buy it in larger quantities.
- See if you have a friend who would split the purchase with you. This may take a bit more work on your part, measuring, packaging and shipping out the shea butter to your friend, but this way you can both take advantage of the discounted price. Even better if your friend is local and you don’t have to pay for additional shipping!
Of course, you only want to buy ingredients in bulk that have a stable shelf life, or that you will use up quickly. It doesn’t make sense to buy large quantities of an oil with a short shelf life if it will go bad sitting in your cupboard, as having to throw it out will cause you to lose money. So look at your formulas, see what you can do to use the same ingredients in each formula and on those ingredients, buy them in larger quantities to reduce your costs. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how you can increase profits by buying in bulk!
Do you buy ingredients in bulk to reduce your expenses? If not yet, which ingredient will you start buying in bulk first?