How To Find The Right Private-Label Coffee Supplier For Your Business

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Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world due to its stimulating effects. Furthermore, coffee culture is fast becoming popular among many places in the world. For many individuals, grabbing a cup of coffee is the best way to start their day. Many friends even reconnect over a cup of coffee. This just goes to show that the drink has become an essential part of many people’s lives.

Due to the growing demand for coffee, creating a business out of it is certainly a good idea. But how do you get started? Would you need more knowledge and expertise in roasting and brewing coffee? Not necessarily.

If you don’t have the time, patience, and resources to manually learn how to brew, roast, and blend your own coffee, then that’s fine. The answer is to look for the right private-label coffee supplier. With the help of this article, you will be able to find the right private label coffee supplier that will become a very important partner in your venture. 

Private Labeling  

First, let’s discuss what private labeling is. This will help you understand why it is important to choose a reliable supplier for your business.

Private Labeling refers to when retailers allow third-party manufacturers to produce their products following the customizations and specific requirements they provide. Some also call these private label products, which are basically products manufactured by a contract or a third-party manufacturer but sold under the retailer’s brand name.

Now, private label products can come in varieties. Many accessories and apparel are from private label suppliers. Even coffee beans can come from such suppliers.

Private-Label Coffee 

These are coffee beans sold under your brand even though you did not roast the beans yourself. The supplier will do that work for you. All you have to do is to stick your name on the packaging and do the rest of the business. 

Whether your business is big, small, or a startup, you can always differentiate yourself from your competitors through private labeling. It will benefit your business because this is a less expensive way of developing and creating your coffee product.

If you don’t have enough capital to research, develop, and test coffee products, then private-label coffee beans are a great way to get started. Instead of spending years and resources to develop and test your own coffee, you can simply get them from a reputable supplier and market the product under your name. 

For your coffee business to be successful, you must get your supply from the right private label company. Here’s how you can find the right one for your new coffee business:

  • Reliability

Partnering with a reliable private-label coffee supplier is crucial, especially when you’re still starting your business. A reliable supplier ensures you get your stocks in time and have enough of them to sustain the business within the desired period. A reliable supplier can help you grow your business and allow you to take advantage of new market opportunities. 

To ensure reliability, you should know how long they’ve been operating as a business. You also need to check if they possess the necessary licenses to operate as a private-label coffee supplier. Aside from that, you have to ask around and check if the reputation of the supplier is good or bad. If you can, search about the company on the Internet or locate their business partners to ask if their experience with the supplier is good.

A reliable private-label coffee supplier will also be very open in terms of communication. Can you contact them easily? Do they respond to inquiries in a timely and professional manner? This is very important because you must be able to reach them anytime—especially when problems in supply and delivery arise.

  • Product Quality And Quality Management

To make an impression among customers, you need to produce quality coffee products. Therefore, you have to choose a private-label coffee supplier that can provide high-quality coffee grounds. For that to happen, quality control should be executed properly. Hence, when you’re looking for the right supplier, you need to learn how they control the quality of their products.

Some private-label coffee supplier practice quality control by coffee cupping. It is a coffee-tasting event where individuals can check a batch of coffee and decide if the taste is up to their standards. Additionally, coffee cupping can be implemented by doing a blind setup, smelling dry coffee aromas, evaluating wet coffee aromas, tasting various flavors, and scoring each coffee.

Coffee cupping can help you analyze other factors, such as sweetness, body, acidity, flavor, and finish. Understanding these characteristics will help you choose the best type of coffee for your target market.

  • Product Availability

Not all coffee suppliers are capable of providing different types of coffee products. Some of them just specialize in a few varieties. So, before you partner with one, make sure they are capable of producing the type of coffee you’re planning to sell.

Ask yourself whether they have a variety of coffee beans. What types of coffee do they provide? Aside from the usual Arabica and Robusta, will they be able to supply special types such as Liberica or Excelsa? You might also want to ask about the type of roast available. Ask whether your supplier offers light roast, medium roast, medium-dark roast, or dark roast.

  • Product Sourcing

If you’re business aims to offer single-origin specialty coffees, then you should ask your potential supplier whether they work with a huge group of coffee importers. If they can source coffee beans from Colombia and Vietnam, for example, then that is an opportunity to develop a coffee blend that can make your business stand out.

If your supplier has a local source and you’re not aiming to market single-origin specialty coffee, then that’s fine. The advantage here is that you can visit the coffee plantation if you want to. Visiting the plantation gives you a chance to personally see how the coffee is grown, harvested, and processed.

  • Wholesale Pricing

As an entrepreneur, your main objective is to minimize costs while maximizing revenues. Therefore, finding a private-label coffee supplier that can offer you the most competitive prices is a must. But this does not mean you should sacrifice quality. It’s best to strike a balance because the only way to attract and retain customers is by serving a good blend of coffee.

  • Manufacturing Capacity

So, you found a private-label coffee supplier who can provide you with a specialty coffee that you want your business to be known for. Unfortunately, they cannot manufacture enough supply to meet your business demands. This can be a problem.

If your supplier fails to produce enough coffee to meet the demands of your business, that can affect product quality and customer relations. Most customers would be discouraged when they go to your shop and find that the coffee they want is always out of stock.

On the other hand, low supplies might push you to dilute the blend of your coffee or mix it with another variety just to serve as many customers as you can. While this somehow fixes the first problem, your customers will eventually notice the difference in taste. So, if you don’t want your business to be known for inconsistency, then it’s important to know the manufacturing capacity of a potential supplier.

One of the solutions here is to partner with multiple private-label coffee suppliers. However, make sure they can provide the same level of quality for the same variety of coffee you’re looking for. Otherwise, you will still have problems with inconsistency.

  • Logistic Considerations

Logistic considerations include the location, ordering and shipping system, and turnaround time. First, analyze their location. Where is the supplier located? Will they have no trouble shipping to your area? The location of your supplier can affect shipping rates and turnaround time, so it’s best to choose one that is located near you.

Second, understand their ordering system. How will they take the orders? Do they manufacture the products and deliver them right away? Or do they prefer to take your order first before producing the goods? Asking these questions can give you realistic estimates of their turnaround time.

Third, figure out their shipping methods. You must also assess how frequently you would need the supplier to deliver products. Should it be shipped weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly?  You must ask them how frequently they can deliver so you can make adjustments and order the right amount of supplies each time.

Also, don’t forget to ask your potential supplier if they are capable of delivering the number of products you need within a given period. For example, if you need 25 kilos of Arabica beans every week, you must make sure that the supplier can indeed commit to delivering that amount consistently.

  • Level Of Support

Some entrepreneurs just expect their suppliers to be efficient in delivering the bulk of products they need. But if you’re the type of entrepreneur who wants a more nurturing business relationship, then a private-label coffee supplier that goes above and beyond should be the right one for you.

Aside from merely delivering huge batches of coffee every week, ask if your potential supplier can also offer other kinds of services such as repackaging and marketing. Some suppliers might be slightly more expensive because of this, but if you think the additional support is worth it, then they might be the right one for you.

Their marketing and branding support could help gain your business more mileage, and thus will have a more positive impact on your business. Their support and efforts in that aspect can also save you costs because you don’t have to spend a lot to aggressively market your brand.

  • Contingency Planning

Emergency planning enables you to minimize the effects of unforeseen circumstances. In any business, it’s always better to have a backup plan. Otherwise, you’ll find your shop constantly closing down due to a lack of supplies and manpower.

When looking for a private-label coffee supplier, it’s important to know if they have a contingency plan for unwanted business circumstances. For example, in case of a bad storm, how soon can they get back up to production and fulfill deliveries? How do they avoid or deal with delays?

The coffee industry might not be a high-risk one, but it’s still safe to have a backup plan to deal with the potential risks it can face. This includes labor issues that can affect coffee plantations abroad and various quality issues along the line.

  1. Compatibility In Business Ethics

This consideration might not matter for some, but if you envision your business to carry certain advocacy, then this is worth paying attention to. If you want to establish a coffee business that is known for being an eco-friendly and ethical brand, then you need to choose your suppliers carefully. You must make sure that your private-label coffee supplier only sources their coffee from plantations that have ethical labor practices.

Don’t make the mistake of misrepresenting your brand. Customers have a way of knowing if your supplier does not align with your brand advocacy. Information through the Internet travels fast, and the next thing you know, you might be dealing with a boycott. 


There are many reasons why entrepreneurs turn to private labels to jumpstart their businesses. The coffee industry is no exception. Your local coffee shop, for example, most likely has a private-label coffee supplier that provides them with the beans and grounds they need.

Private labeling does not require business owners to invest in huge amounts of research, equipment, and product testing to develop and sell a product. This is why it is fast becoming popular among coffee business owners. Finding the right private-label coffee supplier might take time. But with the considerations listed above, you can easily find the right match for your brewing business.