If you’re a business owner selling food products, you may be considering a co-packer to help ease the manufacturing process and get your product on the shelves. But how does a co-packer work?
A co-packer is a company that takes your product and packages it for you so it can be sold in stores and reach your consumer base. Co-packing companies can also help you manufacture your product, create labels for your packaging, create specialized packaging and build displays for your product.
Learn more about the benefits of using a co-packer, what to consider when choosing a co-packing company and how you can find food co-packers near you.
Benefits of Co-Packing
Co-packing takes advantage of an existing setup within a company dedicated to packing your product. When you use a co-packing company, you don’t have to invest in new equipment or take extra time to receive the proper certification. Utilizing a co-packing company’s existing equipment and certification allows you to focus on producing and selling your product.
Some of the other benefits of a co-packer include:
- Reduced costs: Money is everything in business, and those who don’t have enough capital face challenges keeping their business open. In one study, 38% of startup businesses failed due to a lack of capital or cash flow. A co-packer can help you reduce costs since you won’t have to spend money on new equipment or materials and hiring new staff. A co-packing company will already have all of these resources, saving you more money in the long run that you can utilize to develop your business further.
- Experience and expertise: Co-packing companies often have years of experience helping businesses manufacture and package their goods, meaning they’re experts in their field. Their expert knowledge and quality equipment mean they’ll reduce waste and increase output, improving your profit margins. They’ll also be more efficient, which results in fewer packaging mistakes and higher turnaround times, delivering your product to your consumers as soon as possible.
- Scalability: Sometimes, businesses experience unexpected growth and higher demand that they’re not equipped to handle. A co-packing company can help reduce some of the strain by handling large jobs, meaning you won’t necessarily have to hire new staff or purchase new equipment as your company grows. You’ll be able to manage your growth without being hindered by your available resources, increasing your profit margins and your consumer base.
- Laws and regulations: If you’re selling a food product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will likely have laws and regulations you need to follow to ensure consumer safety. You may not be aware of all of these regulations, but a co-packer will be well-versed and equipped to ensure the production of your product is up to standard.
What to Consider When Choosing a Co-Packer
When working with a co-packer, you’re putting your trust in another company. You won’t be able to oversee the packaging process, and co-packers will be responsible for fixing any problems in packaging. This is why choosing the right co-packer is essential, particularly one with the right level of experience and proper certification. Here are a few things you should consider when selecting a co-packer:
- Costs and budget: Co-packers can help you save money in the long run, but they do come with upfront costs. Ask the important questions, such as, “How much does a co-packer cost?” Consider your current budget for outsourcing product manufacturing and packaging and how much work you want your co-packer to do at the start.
- Recipe and scalability: If the recipe for your food product is often tweaked, then your recipe isn’t scalable. The co-packer will need a detailed recipe with exact measurements for mass production. You can try testing your recipe in a production-grade kitchen to ensure your co-packer can mass-produce your product, and look for specialty food co-packers if you need one. You’ll also want to determine if your co-packer will be able to handle the workload if your business starts to grow.
- Quality and safety records: When you’re choosing a co-packer, assess their quality control methods and safety records to ensure they’re up to FDA standards and producing quality products your customers can rely on.
- Minimum run requirements: Some co-packing companies have minimum run requirements, meaning a minimum amount of product required for each production. The minimum run requirements may be larger for some companies than others. If you don’t need to produce a large amount of product, you’ll want to choose a small-batch co-packer. Otherwise, you might end up with too much inventory.
- Communication and compatibility: It’s essential to determine the compatibility between you and your chosen co-packing company. Ensure they have the right equipment to handle your product requirements. Quality communication is also essential to ensure your products will be produced to your standards and delivered on time.
- Proximity to your location: The distance between you and your co-packer can affect costs. You may also want to check in from time to time or help out if you can, meaning you’ll want to find a co-packer close to your home base.
How to Find a Co-Packer
When you’re looking for a co-packer, conduct thorough research to find the right one. Here are a few ways you can go about finding a co-packer:
- Ask for referrals: Other food producers or friends with their own small businesses can point you in the right direction of a co-packer. They’ve likely worked with co-packers and can provide you with tips for conducting your research.
- Utilize industry resources: Food industry resources, such as The Fastlane Entrepreneur Forum, let you create a post asking for a co-packer near you. They’re also an excellent way to meet other food producers, ask questions about running a business or stay up to date on food packaging trends.
- Contact your local state agriculture department: The state agriculture department will likely have all the information about co-packers in your area since this is where they go for licensure. They’ll be able to recommend properly licensed companies, so you can create a list of potential co-packers you can narrow down based on your needs.
- Use online resources: If you’re looking to broaden your search, you can try looking on Google. The results will be optimized to your location or specific business needs based on your recent internet activity. You can also browse through online directories to contact a co-packing company more quickly.
Contact Gold Medal Bakery for Your Co-Packing Needs
Gold Medal Bakery can help you produce and distribute various baked goods based on your unique recipe. We bring your brand’s recipe to life, create special packaging for the product and distribute it to retailers. Our bread products are high-quality, and our dependable team is dedicated to working with our customers on a 24/7 basis.
We offer a convenient one-stop shop for our customers, and our online ordering system streamlines the process so you can produce your product and get it on the shelves sooner. We solve any distribution issues that arise and help with the merchandising of your projects. Contact us today to learn more about our co-packing food manufacturing services.