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Frequently Asked Questions

Product Development

What is the process to develop a new product, or product range?

The first step is to make contact to discuss your new product by phone, or email. From here we need you to share as many of your plans and ideas as possible by completing our briefing form. It’s crucial that we get as much information as possible at this early stage to ensure we can help create products you are happy with.

Once we have your brief, we look to provide you with indicative pricing, based on these ideas.

We will then progress to sample production to give you an idea of what your product would look like, feel and perform like in real life.

In parallel to starting the product development pathway with us, we can connect you with our Preferred Partner Network to reach out to fragrance houses, packaging and labeling partners. This will allow you to get started with sourcing all the elements that will provide you with a finished product ready to go to market.

An average project will take approximately 2-3 weeks for the first set of samples to be delivered for your review. The process can take longer if additional sourcing is needed for new or unique raw materials that we don’t stock. It may take several weeks to receive samples from our vendors, as most of them are overseas. Depending on workload it’s generally 2 weeks for further revisions and iterations. 

Once you approve the formulation, we will provide you a finalised cost based on the agreed formula. This cost will also give you an idea of any fees that are additional (i.e. filling cost, shrink wrap, label application, etc which we charge at piece work rates.) 

We can provide more detail of what fees will be applied once you have decided what components your packaging will need and how they will be assembled.

We can provide information on what testing (if any) we think is appropriate prior to production.

Once the final product and pricing is confirmed an order can be submitted.

What types of products are manufactured?

Our services and capabilities cover skincare, hair care, baby care, toiletry, and specialty personal care products. Further, we provide formulation services to perfect your product line, including stability testing, packaging advice and suggestions on how to best structure your product line.

Skin Care – Cleanser, Toner, Cream, Gel, Lotion, Moisturiser, Oil, Overnight Treatment, Scrubs, Serum, Eye Cream, Night Cream

Bath & Body – Hand Cream, Hand wash, Bubble Bath, Body Wash, Body Butter, Body Scrub

Fragrance – Body Mist, Home Fragrance Diffusers, Eau De Parfum, Eau De Toilette

Hair Care – Conditioner, Leave-On Treatment, Masques, Non-Aerosol Spray, Oil, Shampoo, Serum, Styling Products

Professional – Masks, Peels, Spa/Professional Treatments

Speciality Ranges – Baby/Children’s skincare, Men’s Skincare, Hotel Amenity Ranges, Candles

Specialised Platforms – Natural, Organic, Certified Organic, Anti-Aging, Whitening, Brightening, Hydration, Active infused

Sun Care/Tanning – Sunscreen, Tanning Lotion, After Sun

Can you manufacture organic products?

Our R&D department has detailed experience in creating organic formulations according to the current national, international, or label specific requirements. 

We can formulate products to be labelled “Made with Organic Ingredients” (70-95%) or to “Organic” (>95%). Our regulatory team can assist you with navigating the requirements for your specific formulation. Shieling Laboratories holds an organic manufacturer’s certification from BioGro.

What's the difference between Organic & Certified Organic?

Certified organic and certified natural products both contain natural ingredients. The main difference between the two is the composition of ingredients used. Certified organic products fall into one of two categories

  • “Certified Organic”> 95% certified organic ingredients (ingredients that have been produced in compliance with organic standards),
  • “Made with Organic” – 70-95% certified organic ingredients (ingredients that have been produced in compliance with organic standards)

There are also a number of membership requirements that the brand owner must adhere to that BioGro require to be met in order to use their logo. See for further information.

Can you manufacture vegan products?

Yes absolutely – a product that is vegan does not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatine, and many others.

Can you manufacture product for export?

Understanding your potential export plans is critical for us in the early stages of development to ensure that we select ingredients & raw materials that are compliant with customs and/or the government standards in the export markets.

Do you manufacture colour cosmetics?

Unfortunately, we do not manufacture colour cosmetics.

How is the product tested?

We provide physical and chemical tests for visual appearance, odour, pH, density, and viscosity in our in house laboratory.

We also complete microbiological testing on all products prior to filling to ensure premium quality is maintained.

What is the shelf life of your products?

Cosmetic products are generally formulated and tested for a shelf life of three years under normal storage conditions. This does however depend a little bit on a product's composition, packaging, preservation, and other factors, that we can advise on specifically.

Can you take a product I am manufacturing elsewhere and reproduce it with you?

Yes absolutely. If you are looking for alternative contract manufacturing options, we would be happy to have a chat and help you evaluate our services. We can then help you make the transition in a smooth and effective way so as to minimise any disruption to day to day trading.

Are the formulas that you produce for me protected?

All formulas produced by Shieling Laboratories are custom and exclusive for each customer. We do not duplicate formulas for other clients, ever.

Is there a natural preservative system to use?

Yes, there are a variety of natural preservative systems that can be used to protect your products. Our formulation team are experts in this and will work with you to understand your goals and provide recommendations as to the best options in this critical area of product development.

Pricing & Placing an Order

How is pricing determined?

After we have received your New Product Development brief, we will provide you with indicative pricing so you have some ballpark numbers. Final pricing is then determined once the formula is approved and completed. We also provide price breaks at specific quantities.

Final pricing includes all raw materials, unless specifically supplied by you, manufacture, filling, coding and packing. We have a variety of other services available that we provide if and when required such as labelling, boxing, shrink wrapping etc.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, we charge an R&D fee as a deposit. Our fee is determined by the scope of work based on each formulation and the number of products being developed for you. The fee also applies toward raw materials, finished samples for review, and lab time. (Note: international shipping samples will be at your cost.) These R&D fees are waived once you are an established customer.

What is the minimum order quantity (MOQ) that I can order?

We will fill as few as 1,000 units of some products. We accept a minimum of 100kg for bulk product orders and the sky is the limit above this. As with any process, there are obvious economies of scale with large vs small volumes.

Do you offer volume discounts?

Yes for sure. Larger batch sizes mean increased economies of scale and we pass this on.

Can I change or cancel my order?

It is possible to make changes, up to a point. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss the changes with our team.

What payment methods are available?

We accept direct transfer payments and offer standard account terms for established customers.

How will I be charged on my first order?

A 50% deposit is required when you order and prior to manufacturing. The balance is then payable upon completion and before dispatch. We will advise when the order is complete. Once a credit history has been established our normal credit terms apply. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information.

What is your lead time?

Lead times for normal re-orders would be approximately 4-6 weeks.


What manufacturing licences do you have?

Shieling Laboratories holds an organic manufacturer’s certification from BioGro. We are certified by BioGro to manufacture NATRUE certified natural and BioGro certified organic products, meeting internationally recognised standards. 

NATRUE is the leading international certification system for natural and organic cosmetics and is used by a number of large international cosmetics brands.

We are Cosmetics NZ GMP Certified to comply with ISO 22716. This means that products manufactured use processes and procedures set out by Cosmetics NZ and International Standard – ISO 22716. This ensures that products manufactured in our facility are made to the highest safety standards available to cosmetics manufacturers globally.

In order to hold this certification a rigorous audit process of premises, systems and processes are completed.

Where do you source your raw materials?

Our raw ingredients are predominantly purchased from NZ based distributor and traders – however, the vast majority of cosmetic ingredients come from outside NZ. We have a large network of trusted business partnerships with ingredient suppliers who source from across the globe. Our size & scale enables us to pass economies of scale onto our customers with our competitive pricing. We stock approximately 2000 unique ingredients, however, if there is a bespoke ingredient that you’d like to source and supply we are happy to work with it.

Who orders the raw materials?

We will purchase the raw materials required to manufacture your order. However, for unique raw materials (bespoke fragrances, extracts, actives etc) we request that these are purchased by the customer. We have a huge knowledge of suppliers so feel free to discuss this with us.


Do you provide packaging?

We do not supply packaging for our customers. Product packaging is a vital component of your brand's development, look and feel, and as such it is critical that you have access to the choices that enable you to develop a distinctive brand and go to market offer. We pack over 2500 different shapes and sizes of jar, tube, bottle each year and will work with you to ensure your brand makes it to consumers looking just right.

Can you help me source packaging?

Yes absolutely. We have been in business for over 35 years and have developed a network of preferred Partners across all key areas of new product development. We can connect you with a variety of experts to help you with the development journey.

The goal of our Preferred Partner Network is to connect you with the right people early in the process to help simplify and streamline your development timeline. Of course, we are happy to work with your experts if you have people you know and trust. You can have the best of both worlds working with us.

What is an INCI? (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient)

The INCI is an international system for the naming of personal care product ingredients. It helps to ensure consumer safety by allowing consumers to accurately identify ingredients in cosmetic products.

How can I find more information on labelling requirements for my product?

The Cosmetics Products Group Standard outlines all the labelling requirements.

Further information is available at 

What are the dates that need to be considered for new products?

Manufacture date – the date on which your product was manufactured or produced (usually just simplified to the month manufactured). 

Expiration date is the date after which your cosmetic product will theoretically expire’ and should not be used. If this date is required, it should be printed directly onto product package in date format (i.e. MM/YYYY). In reality, products don’t expire after a certain date, but may deteriorate in quality to a point where they are not usable.

Best before date is the date before which it is best if the product is used. The product may last past this date, however, it is recommended that it be used before it. Usually indicated by month and year.

To convey how long you can use your product after it has been opened the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol can be used. The icon of an “open jar” or “open cap” with a number followed by the letter M, indicates how many months the product can be safely used after opening. For instance, 6M means that the product can be used for six months after opening; 12M means that the product can be used for twelve months after you opened it.

Can I store my packaging on site?

Under some conditions, it is possible to store packaging at our premises. We generally only like to store packaging for committed orders, however, discuss this with us and we can find a solution to your storage requirements.

How is my product packaged and returned to me?

We stock a large number of various sized shipper boxes. We’ll choose the best box to ensure your product ships safely and quality is maintained during transit. This is included as part of our service and is at no charge. However, if you prefer personalised boxes, inners or cartons, we can work with your needs.


Where do you deliver products to?

Products are delivered at the place you specify within New Zealand. We deliver nationwide and use several freight companies.

Is international shipping available?

Yes, we regularly ship internationally. Please feel free to contact us to discuss these options.

How long will it take before goods are delivered?

This depends on the availability of raw material ingredients, packaging, and the production schedule. A general lead time of 4-6 weeks is allocated. However, our team will update you on progress and if delivery is urgently required, please inform us early in the piece and we will work to try to accommodate your requirements.


Do I need to trademark my brand?

Developing a brand is developing an asset, and as such we recommend that your product brand be trademarked for your protection. Visit for further information.

I’d like to market my products overseas. Can you help me?

Our regulatory team is a valuable source of information in understanding all foreign legal requirements necessary for exporting your product, and for specific dossier development we can connect you to experts in particular markets.

If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact us and ask away. We're always here to help.

We're ready to work with you & make your product dreams a market reality

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