Summer has arrived and it is time for summer festivals and other outdoor selling events. The festive atmosphere and buying crowds make for a great opportunity to earn money.
Unfortunately, the same weather also presents challenges to outdoor sellers. Storms, sun and relentless heat cause difficulties for makers of bath and body products. Unsightly condensation and the resulting damaged labels, melted butters and sweating soap are common.
Whipped body butters are among the most problematic. They melt under the summer heat and turn to liquid. What is a vendor to do?
Some sellers do not sell their butters during the summer, given the difficulty. Others try to find solutions so they can continue selling a popular product.
If you want to sell butters, here are some ideas:
- Convert your formula to a hydrous butter. If you can, this is a great solution because these butters will not melt. It helps to keep them as cool as possible so as not to tax the preservative system, but it is easier to carry these products than it is to keep anhydrous butters solid.
- If you prefer an anhydrous product, consider adding an ingredient with a higher melt point. It will prevent the butter from melting as quickly. Beeswax, cetyl alcohol and other cosmetic alcohols are helpful in this regard.
- Choose a double walled container. They insulate butters to a certain degree.
- Keep the product cold. Store butters in a cooler and switch out containers after they sit out for some time. Line the cooler with absorbent material and protect the labels from condensation or melting ice with zip top bags. Encase ice packs in zip top bags and absorbent material, also, to prevent condensation from ruining labels. Since hot air rises, ice packs on the top are most effective.
- To protect the butter after purchase, package them in an insulated bag or with an ice pack. The customer can pay an additional cost for an insulated bag or adjust the product price to reflect the cost of an ice pack.
Whatever you decide, take time to test your strategies; do not wait until the show to find out if they work. Place a jar and put in the cooler for a time, then let it sit in the sun. Check the contents frequently and let it sit for the number of hours they will sit for the show. Set a jar out in the sun to see how long it takes before the butter begins to melt to determine how long the display product is safe outside of the cooler. Test until you are confident that the butter will withstand the typical conditions of a summer show.
If your butters are popular sellers, the extra measures may include a change in formula or packaging, but it may be worth the trouble. Of course, you want to count these costs in the pricing.
Testing is time-consuming, indeed, and will cost initially; but when the show arrives, you can display and sell with confidence.
Do you sell body butters outside? What tips can you share?
May your days be filled with bubbles and wax,
Beth Byrne for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine