The story of just how to make ChapStick lip balm and other products includes much more than the assembly line production that may first spring to mind. The story of how ChapStick® is made, in actuality, involves a number of different specialists, professionals, and teams working across several distinct areas of expertise with one goal in mind: to bring you the best lip care products possible.
That’s why, naturally, our journey to uncover how ChapStick® is made is centered on you, our customers.
ChapStick® prides itself on its long history of innovation and dedication to meeting our customers’ needs. We focus at the very start of our product development process on two central themes: industry innovation and consumer insights research. We zero in on the latest advances in the lip care industry, and then we combine that understanding with research into what our customers actually want and need. Basically, we try to match as perfectly as possible what is physically achievable to what our users most want from their lip care products.
Once we feel like we’ve got a good match between product potential and consumer desire, we decide what that core product concept is. But we don’t stop there. We take it back to our consumers to make sure that all our data makes sense in the real world before we make ChapStick® products. We focus on testing the concept with real people to find out what they think of our ideas. We want to make sure we get it absolutely right. When our customers are happy with a concept, that’s when we’re happy with it, too. From that back-and-forth conversation, we eventually nail down the core of our new product, like a peach-shaded lip gloss with an SPF 15 rating that will keep you looking your best and help protect your lips from the sun at the same time.
Once we have the core concept ready to go, we have a rough idea of how our product will be formulated and what sort of physical properties it will most likely have. That means we can shift our attention from how the ChapStick® product itself is made to how we get that into our customer’s hands. We figure out how to best package our new product. Will it work best in the traditional lip balm tube like our Classic Original ChapStick®? Or would our customers be better served with a container like a soft plastic tube or a glass jar? We make sure to figure out the best user experience for the product and then we let our production team know how to prepare.
From there we pivot our attention over to the ChapStick® labs. We count on respected professionals to determine the best mix of ingredients for our products. We rely on their expertise regarding a substantial number of ingredients to formulate a product that fits into our outlined customer experience goals. They create a base formula for our new product, and then we test it to make sure we got it right.
We use that formula we developed in the lab to get feedback from users. This helps us ensure that we are on the right path to creating the product we intended. This sensory testing phase measures how you, our customer, experiences our new product and how your experience measures up to our goals. If we discover, say, the flavor isn’t quite right, we go back and reformulate and then retest until we get it just right.
We don’t stop there, however. We put our new products through even more testing before we even think about scaling up the operation. We conduct stability tests to make sure the new product will be stable on the store shelf and ready-to-use when it reaches our customers. We conduct rigorous claims substantiation testing to guarantee that our products completely do what we say they will. If we tell our customers that a product is 100% natural*, like our 100% Natural* Cucumber Pear Lip Butter, we need to triple check that our customers can trust what we say.
When we are totally confident that our new product lives up to its promises, meets customer expectations, and is a stable and viable product, we get into an exciting phase. We start to imagine how we introduce and present our new product to our excited customers. We bring together graphic design components, develop the labeling, and generate ad campaigns to announce our new and exciting product to an excited public.
We also conduct one final round of testing before our machines begin humming at full force. Before we start combining ingredients at scale, we make sure that we won’t run into any problems with the formulation, packaging, or any other of our manufacturing processes. Once we’re certain everything will work out as planned, we give our manufacturers the green light. Combining large amounts of ingredients in the correct proportions, packaging the product, and then labeling and shipping our products is no small task, but our manufacturers are up to the challenge. We can create thousands of tubes of ChapStick® in a single day and then get them to our customers reliably.
It's a complex process ―and one we check along every step of the way―to make ChapStick® lip balms and other products, but it’s worth it! At the end of the day we can rest easy knowing we have done our best job to keep our customers satisfied with the best lip care products possible. Now you know how ChapStick products are made!
*100% Naturally Sourced Ingredients.