Your Minimum Order for Personal Care Products

Your Minimum Order for Personal Care Products

What you will learn about MOQ’s

Most private label manufacturers have a minimum order quantity, typically abbreviated to MOQ, and BPI Labs is no different. A private label manufacturer’s MOQ is the smallest order size for a particular product they are willing to produce.

Info in this post:

  • Our MOQ for powders and salts
  • Our MOQ for wet product
  • A calculator to find out your MOQ


BPI Labs splits its minimum order quantity into two categories: wet and dry product.

Wet Product

Wet product is a category used for product we mix in a tank and pump into a transport vessel for filling.  Wet can be anything from a thick, viscous material to a water-based serum.  BPI Labs has an MOQ of 110 gallons for wet product because BPI Labs’ smallest stirring tank cannot reliably mix materials at anything less than 110 gallons.  There is an exception for near total oil products.  A nearly 100% oil based product could be produced in as little as 55 gallons.  If you’re wondering how many bottles or containers of product our MOQ will fill, then use the calculator below to find out.

Dry Product

Dry product at BPI Labs includes powders and salts.  Bath salts, effervescent powders, and dry shampoo are all products that fit into this category.  Our ribbon blending machines are used to create these products and they cannot be relied on to mix less than 1000 lbs. effectively.  If you want to know how many containers of product 1000 lbs. will fill, then use our calculator below to find out.

MOQ Calculator

To use the calculator, just provide it with an order size, a container size, and indicate whether you’re ordering wet or dry product.  After that, it’ll tell you how many units you would need to purchase to meet our MOQ.

You can find our MOQ Calculator at our Process Guide page linked here.


BPI Labs uses its MOQ to ensure processing quality and if you can meet it, then scaling into higher volumes is very efficient at BPI Labs.  Setup a meeting with a project manager at BPI Labs to discuss whether or not BPI Labs is the right manufacturer for you.

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How You Get a Cosmetic Formula You’ll Love

How You Get a Cosmetic Formula You’ll Love

We make custom cosmetic formulas

Since our founding in 1995, formulating a personal care product that uniquely fits your market and brand has been the goal. We have created thousands of unique formulas with care and dedication. Whether you have an existing formula or product idea, our laboratory can bring enhancements that go beyond the value of a back-of-the-box cosmetic formulation.

In this article you will read:

  • How you can have a new product formulated
  • How you can transfer a product formula
  • Who owns a formula developed by BPI Labs
  • What our fees are for formulating
You’ll love our custom formulas

Each formulation is uniquely designed to deliver the benefits of the claims you would like to make. This will be done with an intimate understanding of how preservatives work in acids and bases, emulsion technology, natural and organic substitutes, and suspension technology among many other cosmetic technologies. After we’ve developed a sample, we’ll ask you to approve the sample. If you’re not satisfied then we’ll change it to suit your marketing needs.

How do we begin formulating?

We begin formulating after we’ve received some information from you on what you would like. The best possible information we can get are examples of product already in the market you would like to mimic or position nearby. Then we need a list of all your formulation requirements, including: ingredients you want used or not used, including categories of ingredients; whether your product should be organic; a fragrance you would like used; and any other requirements you may have.

The samples come next

BPI Labs will begin by developing a ‘dry’ formulation, which is a written set of instructions for completing a sample. These written instructions will instruct our laboratory to use certain chemicals and processes. Some of these chemicals may need to be shipped to BPI Labs, which may take up to two weeks. We’ll complete a sample and ship it to you, and we’ll retain some of the sample for stability testing and reference.

You have a formula you would like to use

If you have a formulation you would like BPI to use then we’ll have our companies sign a non-disclosure document (NDA) prior to BPI Labs receiving your formula. Then we’ll get to work evaluating and validating your product formula.

We’ll verify we can produce your formula

The process for using your formula is much like the process for new formula development. We’ll ask for a sample of your product for our laboratories reference. Next, we will develop a sample of your formula and send it to you while keeping some of the same for stability testing and reference. If we don’t have the materials in stock to complete your sample, we may need to wait up to 2 weeks for them to arrive.

What if we cannot successfully complete the sample

It is not unusual that some aspect of a formulation we receive from a customer is incomplete or misidentifies an ingredient or process step. Fortunately, we can usually extrapolate from what is available and design a solution. We will notify you if we do this and update you with any changes to the listing of ingredients if any were made.

A few last things you should know:

Formula Approval

If you love one of our samples, then we’ll ask you to approve the formula for manufacture. If you need changes to the formula, then our laboratory can usually create a new sample quickly since most or all the ingredients are already in-house. The important thing is that the formula meet your brand requirements.

Formula Ownership

BPI Labs is not in the business of selling formulations. Our company only makes money when we have long and fruitful manufacturing relationships with our customers. So if we develop a formula then we are going to retain the rights to that formula. However, we can offer these services to you free of cost. You can generate entire product lines with BPI Labs and request product improvements over time that keep your product fresh and appealing. We don’t charge for these services.

Formula Fee

Sometimes we do ask for a formula fee. Customers who are new to the cosmetics and personal care industry and who do not have a history of selling into this market may be asked to pay a $2,500 formulation fee. However, once we go into manufacturing, we’ll return this fee to you as a discount off your first order.


Formulations from BPI Labs are packed with value. The formulation process may take up to 3 or 4 weeks to complete. Sometimes it is much faster. The better our customer understands what they would like and can describe that need to us, the more likely we get the product right, quickly. Subsequent attempts at sample development usually have quick turnaround because we have all the ingredients in-house. We do all this, free of charge, because we want to earn your loyalty and business for the long-term.

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    Specific Gravity Formula: Why you need it

    Specific Gravity Formula: Why you need it

    Why your formulation needs specific gravity

     BPI Labs does all its manufacturing in mass measurements because it would be impractical to mix and compound your product without a mass measurement.  Measurements done in cups, liters, and gallons, which are volume measurements, are imperfect at best, but in a manufacturing environment it would be impossible to guarantee great production results.  With a simple calculation using your product formula’s specific gravity, we’re able to convert from volume measurements to mass measurements.     Click here to learn more about why BPI Labs manufactures in mass measurements.

    Specific gravity is the key that allows us to convert from a purchase order written in volume, to manufacturing requirements in pounds or kilograms.  For example, if you were to order 4,200 bottles of conditioner and each bottle of conditioner contains 12 fluid ounces, then we could determine how many pounds of conditioner you are ordering with your formula’s specific gravity.  All we would need to do is find out how many gallons of conditioner would fill your 4,200 bottles, then use that number in a simple equation with your product formula’s specific gravity to see how many total pounds of conditioner is being ordered.

    Download our sample formulation sheet to begin using specific gravity in your formulas.

    What is specific gravity?

    Specific gravity is a comparison of weights between two different substances using the same volume unit. Usually we use water as the first substance since room temperature water has a well attested weight at sea level, and the other substance is your product formula. To get a formula’s specific gravity, we need to know the weight of water and the weight of your formula at some volume, like a gallon, liter, or cup. Then we take the two weights at the unit volume and divide them to get a specific gravity. The result from a specific gravity calculation in the personal care industry tends to be a number that is pretty close to one
    (1.00 +/- .05).

    Here’s an example where we derive a specific gravity ratio

    Let’s find the specific gravity of a private label bath product called Fantasy Foam Bath (FFB). One gallon of this FFB weighs 8.08 pounds. We can derive the specific gravity of this product by dividing 8.08 pounds by the weight of a gallon of water, which is 8.33 pounds at sea level and at room temperature.  When we take 8.08 and divide by 8.33 we learn that our specific gravity ratio is (0.97).

    [8.08 pounds of Fantasy Foam Bath per gallon  /  8.33 pounds of water per gallon = 0.97]

    We now know that the weight of Fantasy Foam Bath (FFB) at one gallon is equivalent to 0.97 times the weight of water at one gallon.  Specific gravity does not need to use gallons; this is just the volume measurement we used in our example.  Any volumetric measurement will work as long as the weight of water and your formula is known for the chosen volumetric unit.  For example, we would have arrived at the same ratio (0.97) with the weights of a cup of water and a cup of FFB.

      Any volumetric measurement will work as long as the weight of water and your formula is known for the chosen volumetric unit.

      How we use specific gravity in a conversion

      Let’s look at an example where we use specific gravity to make a conversion. Suppose a customer places an order for 4,000 bottles of FFB, each bottle holding 3.2 fl.oz. of product.  Filling this order requires [(4000 * 3.2) / 128] = 100 gallons of Fantasy Foam Bath.  Our formulation, written in percentages, says that for any amount of FFB there must be the following percentage of ingredients in the mixture:

      • 95% Water
      • 4.9% Surfactant X
      • .1% Preservative Y

      Our materials suppliers, who tend to sell in mass measurement, want to know how many pounds of Surfactant X we’ll be ordering, and the shipping company wants to know how much weight of Surfactant X will be shipped for pricing purposes. The production compounder, who will be mixing FFB, will also want to know how many pounds of Surfactant X to put into the mixing tank.  We need to use the specific gravity to find these weights.

      To find Surfactant X’s weight, we first take 100 gallons of FFB and multiply it by a specific gravity of (0.97) to understand the volumetric equivalent of water.

      [(100 gal. of FFB) x 0.97 = 97 gallons of water]

      We can then multiply this result by 8.33 lbs., since this is the per gallon weight of water at room temperature and at sea level.

      [(97 gal. of water) x 8.33 lbs./gal. = 808.01 lbs]

      This is when we begin to appreciate a formulation’s specific gravity.  The total batch of product will weigh 808.01 pounds and 4.9% of the total formulation is Surfactant X.  We will multiply 808.01 lbs. by 4.9% to understand that we need to purchase and ship 39.59 lbs (~40 lbs.) of Surfactant X to our factory to complete the order of 4,000 bottles of Fantasy Foam Bath.


      BPI Labs uses specific gravity daily because we’re using mass measurements to formulate and manufacture personal care product. Specific gravity removes error and assures production consistency by converting volume to mass for any unit of measurement. In our article entitled Turning Recipes into Formulas we explain why using mass measurements in production is better for consistent production in personal care manufacturing, and we encourage you learn more about this if you’re interested.

      Download our sample formulation sheet to begin using specific gravity in your formulas.


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        How To Get Personal Care Products at a Great Price

        How To Get Personal Care Products at a Great Price

        The first and best thing you can do

        The first and best thing you can do to get a price you’ll love is to have a manufacturing price point in mind. BPI Labs will work to meet that price point so long as we know it at the outset. BPI Labs can then help you design your product to hit your optimal manufacturing price point.

        Pricing is multifaceted

        There are three phases to pricing your cosmetic product

        Pricing at BPI Labs is a multi-phase approach that occurs during the development or on-boarding of a custom product. The costing phases begin with the formula and its ingredients.  Then there’s a phase where we consider the packaging and filling cost for your formula.  The final phase has us considering additional bill of materials requirements and manufacturing agreements such as warehousing agreements, product certifications, turnkey manufacturing, non-standard testing such as assay testing, and other specifics your brand and company desire.

        There are three primary variables in pricing your cosmetic product

        Variables that affect the cost of your product include the cost of ingredients used in your formulation, the difficulty of obtaining and using packaging to fill your product, and the volume discounts we can apply to your orders. Read on to learn how to use these variables to your advantage and get a personal care product manufactured at a price point you love.

        The variables that matter

        Materials Used in Your Formulation

        There is significant flexibility in pricing in the formulation of your product. Generally, the greater percentage of water present in a formulation the cheaper the materials costs will be for manufacturing. Water is one of the cheapest ingredients that can be used in a formulation, and it is certainly an essential ingredient for personal care products in most cases. Our customers, who compete on price, run into difficulty when they would like to include in their formula expensive ingredients at greater quantities than competing products. Examples of expensive ingredients include: fragrances, essential oils, OTC drugs, rare ingredients from limited sources, and premium ingredients, like materials with advertised anti-aging properties.

        Our customers, who compete on price, run into difficulty when they would like to include in their formula expensive ingredients at greater quantities than competing products.

        The materials price does not need to come as a shock, however, since BPI Labs can create a formulation and price it simultaneously. Your first price is a budgetary, bulk material price and it is the cost involved in just the material acquisition and compounding. If you do not like this price then we will iterate on the formulation until you have satisfactory price or until we don’t believe the formulation can be feasibly altered any further for cost savings.

        Packaging and Direct Labor

        There are two important considerations when it comes to packaging. First, how would you like to have your packaging purchased and shipped? BPI Labs can provide a turnkey service where we will source, purchase, and store packaging for your orders. This comes with a 20% additional cost on the packaging after it has arrived at BPI Labs. However, our customers tell us it is worth the cost if they don’t need to arrange logistics, arrange tracking, and tie up their cash in packaging. Alternatively, our customers can source, purchase, and ship packaging to our location. However, many jobs over the years have been delayed because a customer forgot to purchase and have shipped an essential packaging component.

        See our post on turnkey manufacturing here to read about the options.

        Second, packaging that can’t be used on automated machinery will create bottlenecks that slow production speed. Special stickers, brochures, or any hand-applied packaging components increases the amount of time to complete a job. This, in turn, increases the amount of direct labor required to finish your job. The metric we use to determine direct labor is pieces-per-minute (PPM). This metric is the number of finished goods we complete every minute, and the higher this number the faster we’re completing the job. Using packaging that works on automatic machinery improves the PPM and decreases the cost of your job.

        Volume Discounts

        Volume discounts have a cascading affect, and they’re most important to consider with smaller orders. Shipping, materials, and fixed costs all dramatically decrease on a per unit (finished good) basis as your order size increases. BPI Labs’ volume discounts also increase to our customer; but by how much? In 2018 we did a small study of how the cost-per-piece of finished goods goes down with every increase of a thousand units ordered. We looked at over 150 products we priced over the last couple of years. The results suggest that you’ll see dramatically increasing cost savings up to 20,000 units. (These prices don’t reflect the shipping cost.)

        Graph Above: The horizontal X-axis shows the number of units ordered. The vertical Y-axis shows the decrease in percent on average for all products we produce from an initial order of 1000 units on a per unit (finished good) basis. I.E. A shampoo at 1000 units could have a 75% decrease in per unit cost at 20,000 units.

        It is important to interpret the graph accurately. Every point on the graph is an average price paid for all products, which means individual product categories might vary significantly in price at different order volumes. When looking at specific product categories, such as lotions or creams, there is a significantly greater degree of variance than there might be for salts or powders. The fact remains that our customers can choose to have either a premium or cost-effective product made at BPI Labs. The graph shows that your cost savings per unit purchased are most significant up to about 20 – 40 thousand units purchased.


        The most important and best thing you can do to get a price you love is to have a manufacturing price point in mind at the outset of any project.  Beyond that, there are three primary phases and variables influencing your product’s price. The variables include the cost of materials, obtaining and using packaging, and order volumes. BPI Labs only recoups its costs when its customers are successful in the market. Consequently, we’re highly motivated to manufacture a product for you that has market staying power and has a profit margin you love.

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        Part 2: Perfect Sticky Label Needs

        Part 2: Perfect Sticky Label Needs

        Needs of perfect sticky labels continued:

        We just discussed why you should choose containers with little or no complex curves in the labeling area of the container. This article continues our discussion by showing how to create label shapes that apply consistently, limitations on label dimensions, the varying types of labels we can apply to your container with automated machinery, and how you can get assurance that you have a perfect label to container fit.

        Label Shape Matters

        An automated labeling machine rolls labels onto a container.  The label first makes contact with the container and then the rest of the label uses the container’s inertia from the point of contact to apply the remaining material.  Creating intricately shaped labels with multiple initial points of contact can introduce challenges. Design your label to have a single, initial point of contact to achieve great results.

        Example: The label to the left will be applied with the left-side top and bottom of the crescent contacting the container at nearly the same time.  If the container sits even at a slight angle when the label is applied, you could have a situation where the top of the crescent is applied first and then the bottom. 

        When the rest of the label material is pulled onto the container the top contact point will pull more material over more time than the bottom contact point.  Consequently, a wrinkle will form towards the bottom of the label.  However, this becomes less likely if the label were applied from the right-side first, since there’s only one, large, initial point of contact.

          Private Label Salt Products

          Label width and height for roll-on labels

          Like Scotch Tape, the length of the label can be variable, which means the circumference of the container is not in anyway constrained.

          However, the height/width of the label is limited to 7 inches.  This limits how much of the height of the labeling area a label can cover, and without this limitation it becomes difficult to guarantee the proper application of a label to the container.

          Finally, we ask that all our customers allow a 1/16th of an inch space between the edges of the labeling area and the tops and bottoms of the label.  Without this extra tolerance, labels can sometimes exit the labeling area and enter areas of the bottle where complex curves exist.

            Label Varieties

            At BPI Labs, we can offer the following four labeling services:

            • Wrap-Around: It’s a single label that wraps around a container.
            • Double Sided: Two labels with a label applied to the front and the second to the back of a container.
            • Spot: A single label applied to the top of a jar or canister.  You must have a flat top for a lid.
            • Cylinder:  A label shaped slightly like a smile so that it will apply levelly on containers that have a bottom to top taper, or vice versa.


              In this 3 part series we have tried to explain the four concerns we have with label application.  Since automated machinery applies your labels, the container should have a dedicated labeling area with only a single curve.  Your label design should have one large point of contact with the container to prevent uneven application of the label.  You’ll also need to choose a label application approach that suits your container and brand while keeping in mind the height limit for your label.  Finally, you should have BPI Labs test your labels on your containers prior to manufacturing.  But before you go, you should see how your label material is a critical last concern in part 3 of this series.

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