Co Packing Challenges: 5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid

co packing challenges
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Apart from the finance and IT industry, food is one of the biggest industries in the world. Food, being the essential fuel for humans, has an ever-expanding industry. Today, its annual worth is around 1.5 trillion dollars in the US. 

Though it all may seem quite impressive, there are some challenges food businesses keep facing during food production. There are time-consuming and complex procedures that firms need to tackle. Being in the food industry for a while, we have faced several challenges. From raw material sourcing, packaging, and marketing to logistic challenges, we have confronted it all, although it does not end there. 

There are several ways to tackle such situations, especially when you want to scale production. One way is by working with food co-packers. They are an extended part of the company’s packaging operations. While co-packers may be helpful, you should be careful about a few things when hiring them. 

Here is a blog discussing how food co packing benefits businesses and what to avoid when working with them. 

Who Are Food Co-packers?

Food co-packers provide manufacturing and packaging services to food and beverage establishments. It is a tactical business deal. Instead of producing their own products in-house, many food companies outsource their production and packaging work to specialized co-packers. 

Food co packing companies have the necessary equipment and facilities to handle the manufacturing process for their client companies. It may include activities, like mixing, cooking, baking, and other production processes.

Co-packers are responsible for packaging the finished products according to the specifications provided by the client companies. It involves labeling, bottling, canning, or any other packaging method required for the specific product. The company checks for standard results. They offer scalable solutions, product formulation, design, distribution, and more. 

Overall, they play a significant part in specialized packaging and manufacturing services in wide-ranging food or beverage firms. The product packaging can be different depending on each business.
In the following section, we will tell you more about how co-packers are beneficial.

What Are The Benefits of Working with Food Co-packers? 

Collaborating with food co-packers offers numerous advantages for food businesses. From cost efficiency to increased production capacity, these partnerships offer more. Let’s explore the key benefits of working with food co-packers.

As experts in this field, we shed light on how such collaborations can contribute to the growth of food-related enterprises-

  •  Saving Money

Wish to save money? Partnering with a co-packer is a remarkable cost-saving strategy for food businesses. Food businesses can leverage the co-packer’s resources instead of investing in costly equipment and high labor expenses. 

For instance, if you work with a small sauce company, they do not need to buy expensive bottling machinery; co packers already have it. They can also secure materials at a lower cost due to their purchasing power. 

Here, you save so much! 

Collaborating lets companies allocate resources more efficiently and focus on product quality and innovation. We confirm that it significantly reduces the overall production expenses for the food business. 

  • Scalability

Working in this sector has made one thing clear- scaling a business enormously is a dream for every business owner. Hence, another perk of teaming up with a co-packer is the capability to let you grow without obscene expenses. 

Businesses can use co packing team’s knowledge and increase production instead of spending large sums of money. They already have the setup to handle more work. It becomes easy for food businesses to expand without the hassle of managing the production details. Some business owners hesitate in these cases, but that should not be an obstacle to growth opportunities.

Imagine a small salsa company wanting to expand its production to meet increasing demand. They partner with food co-packer. The co-packer, already equipped for larger volumes, seamlessly integrates the salsa production into its existing setup. 

It allows the salsa company to scale up without the burden of extra expenses or managing complex production logistics. Copacker food companies help create a cost-effective reality and see their partner grow phenomenally.  

  • Expert Opinion

Co packers have vast knowledge in producing and packing food. They have helped partners who have asked for queries and when they get stuck in a particular situation. We can guarantee that co packing companies can help you with specific rules of the food industry. 

You will get help in product creation and designing packaging. You will also get updates on new developments in the food industry through them. 

In our view, partnering with co packers helps businesses gain momentum because of their expertise, at least in the packaging operations. 

  • Flexibility

We know how businesses work better when the operations are flexible. When food businesses partner with co-packing companies, there is flexibility in volume and variety of products to offer.

If firms need to make more or less depending on demand, it’s easy to do without spending on other materials. Introducing new products is easier with a food co packer company because everything is ready to manage different amounts and kinds of production. 

It helps food businesses stay competitive in the market.

  • Quality control

Quality control is vital during the manufacturing of any product. There are severe penalties if not followed properly. But this is another advantage of working with co-packers. Co packing food companies ensure that the food is of good quality.

It should be just how the customers want. There are steps to the checking process that co packers look into. Each batch should be the same and meet the correct standards. 

Food businesses gain good-quality products, and it also helps make their brand look good. For example, if a company wants its cookies to taste the same all the time, the co-packer checks every batch to ensure they do. If something is amiss, food co packing companies take action immediately. 

  • Risk Mitigation

Teaming up with a co-packer is like having a safety net for food businesses. It is mandatory to have insurance in case something goes wrong, such as a product recall. 

This insurance helps the food business by protecting its brand reputation and reducing risks. This one is a valuable advantage of working with co packer companies. 

For instance, if dealing with companies that sell bottled sauces, a problem occurs with one batch, the co-packing company’s insurance helps handle the situation. They keep the business and brand safe. They also see that the new packing process is done in a clean and safe place.

  • Marketing Advantage

Every business needs some amount of marketing to climb the success ladder or gain a minimum profit margin. Working with co-packers can give food businesses a boost in marketing. How would that happen, you ask?

Having dealt with several food product businesses, we know that co-packing companies can give tips on attractive packaging, and labels. It helps products catch the eye in stores. Also, many co packers usually know people who sell and deliver products to stores. It makes it easier for food businesses to get into new markets.

Imagine a small jam company getting advice from a co-packer on specific marketing techniques, helping them get noticed. It could get the jams into new locations with impressive images through the co-packers connections. It’s a win-win for the business!

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Partnering With a Food Co-packer

If it is the first time you are working with a co-packer company, several things can go wrong. The best way to avoid mistakes is by being thoroughly informed. Learning by mistakes is something every entrepreneur has to go through.

In our experiences in this industry, here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid- 

1. No Clarification of The Recipe Ownership 

Let’s say, entrepreneurs working with co-packers typically arrive with either a developed recipe or a basic idea. In cases where the latter occurs, the brand collaborates with the co-packer’s product development team. Co-packers refine and finalize the recipe for efficient production.

Once the desired outcome is achieved, the focus shifts to production and sales, with no further discussion about the formula. This collaborative process ensures a great-tasting product that aligns with the brand’s vision and the co-packer’s production capabilities. 

Everything goes smoothly, but who would claim the money when the sales go high for the recipe? Since entrepreneurs did not discuss ownership, co-packing companies would have the leverage to ensure businesses don’t leave for another co-packer. 

This is risky for the business. Therefore, discuss these matters beforehand. These things get ugly later, leading to a horrendous split in partnership.

2. Skipping Facility Inspections 

Don’t skip facility inspections when teaming up with a food co-packer. These inspections are crucial because they ensure the place for food production is clean and safe. 

For example, you are making cookies with a co-packer. Their facility ensures they follow all the rules, like keeping the baking area germ-free. You take their word and continue your business. That’s a wrong move. Skipping this step could risk the quality and safety of your products.

An entrepreneur once shared how they discovered they were not dealing with a co-packer but with some random third-party broker. The company pretended to be co-packers for a long time. It just subcontracted the work to someone else! This is how businesses can get conned. 

Your product is like your baby, you should do facility inspections frequently to keep the baby safe. Just drop by and say hi before you start making your product with a co-packer. It doesn’t have to be a formal process. Ask if you can visit and see where the magic happens. 

A good co-packer is proud of their place and will be happy to show you around. Also, be there for the taste testing and the first batch- you want to see everything is right!

Pro tip – Do not work with co packers who won’t let you tour the facility, check inspection, or be present on production days. 

3. Ignoring Manufacturer’s Certification and Quality Checks 

Always check for certifications and go for quality checks. As business owners, you may have confidence in co-packers, yet, stay involved in the monitoring and production work. 

There have been incidents where entrepreneurs have trusted co-packing companies blindly only to get futile results. It is a tough competition, and having quality checks is a must. 

Right from the beginning, check that your co-packer sticks to high-quality standards. They do not have to be super fancy from the get-go. However, they should have the thumbs up from a third-party check by The Agriculture Department. It’s like knowing your favorite restaurant has some good reviews before ordering your meal. 

We suggest you discuss with co packer companies willing to give you all the certification information. We have done it too, and clients feel confident about the collaboration. It makes a lot of difference.

4. Partnership Based Solely on Price

Price is something you should not solely look into when partnering with co packers. Often, the first thing firm owners ask is “What are your price rates?” It is a superb question to enter a contract, but choosing the lowest-costing company is not wise. Just because it is inexpensive, it doesn’t mean they offer reliable services. 

For instance, a co-packer with the lowest costs might lack expertise in handling your specific products. They may not meet your packaging expectations.

While cost matters, it is not the only critical factor. It affects the overall quality of the product. And you do not want that for your business and brand image, right? 

Therefore, we think you should read online reviews of the company. You can also ask their past business partners for detailed background. It will give you several ideas about the co-packing companies.

5. Poor Communication and Transparency

In our journey, we have experienced so many mistakes happening because of poor communication and coordination. Therefore, create healthy communication channels and transparency when teaming up with a food co-packer. It means you and the co-packer talk openly and clearly- even if the topic is hard to discuss. 

For instance, imagine you are baking a cake with friends, and they suddenly want to add nuts, but they forget to tell you- it could mess up the whole cake! Clear communication helps prevent mix-ups and ensures everyone is on the same page. 

You must have clarity in this partnership for a smoother and more successful business. There should be no room for ego clashes and folly. 

If there is a change in your process or you want a different approach, share that information promptly.

No Need to Stress- Fresh Ideas at Your Service!

Having weighed the pros and cons, we trust you will make a thoughtful decision tailored to your business needs. Material sourcing, packaging, distribution, and marketing play a pivotal role in the food industry. It profoundly affects the quality and charm of products. Often, it becomes difficult to find trustworthy co-packers.

At Fresh Ideas, our key strength lies in adaptability. With ample resources, we can seamlessly customize our operations to meet your unique butter co-packing requirements. Once the co-packing agreements are in place, we dedicate ourselves to maximizing the brand potential.

Discover the nuances of our butter co-packing services- contact us today!



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