Questions to Ask Co-Packers

What are some key questions to ask co-packers? Restauranteurs, food inventors, and food distributors have different needs, but starting with the basics is a smart approach. If you’re ready to engage a food co-packer, check out this list of questions before making that first phone call or sending an initial email.

What do you pack?

Different co-packers have different capabilities. For example, Glen Copack manufactures acidified and low-acidified foods. We’re also equipped for hot fill and cold fill bottling as well as for drill fill products. Other co-packers specialize in meat processing or have frozen food capabilities.

What don’t you pack?

Don’t just ask what a co-packer can do. Find out what they can’t do to avoid any misunderstandings. For example, Glen Copack can’t pack unpasteurized dairy or raw meat products. Co-packing companies with these capabilities exist, but they need to have the proper certifications and equipment.

How big are your batches?

Sometimes, a co-packer with the right capabilities can’t manufacture your projects in the quantities that you need. That’s why it’s important to ask about typical batch size and the ability to complete multiple batches in one day. At Glen Copack, our typical batch size is 60 gallons.

What do you supply?

Find out what a co-packer can supply in terms of ingredients, packaging, labels, and storage. For example, Glen Copack can share a list of providers who carry ingredients. We can also work with your packaging vendor and label designer. We don’t provide long-term storage, however.

What do I need to supply?

Find out everything you’ll need to supply – and when. At Glen Copack, this means ordering ingredients and packaging so that they arrive no sooner than one week before your scheduled production day. You’ll also need to arrange for your products to be picked up or shipped within 10 days of completion.

What additional services can you provide?

Whether you’re new to co-packing or a seasoned food entrepreneur, it’s important to determine what additional services (if any) that a co-packing company provides. For example, can you get assistance with packaging, sealing, labeling, and shipping preparation? Can you get help with a Scheduled Process, too?

Am I too far way to work with you?

Finally, don’t forgot to ask about geographic location. With Glen Copack, distance is not a barrier. In fact, we work with customers from all over the country. You can have your ingredients shipped to us, and then arrange to have your products shipped to the destination that you choose.

More Questions to Ask Co-Packers

These aren’t the only questions to ask co-packers, of course, but now you’re off to a strong start. To learn more about working with a food co-packer, contact Glen Copack and let us know that you read this blog entry.

Co-Packing Services: Who Needs Them?

Do you need co-packing services to get your food products to market? Are you thinking about doing all of the manufacturing and packaging yourself instead? For restauranteurs, food inventors, and food distributors, determining whether to work with a co-packer is an important business decision. No matter what you decide, it’s worth getting the facts about the options available to you.

What Is Co-Packing?

Co-packing is about processing and packaging your food products according to your specifications. The word “co-packer” is short for “contract packer” or “contract packager”. In other words, a co-packer is a type of contract manufacturer with whom your business enters an agreement for specific services. Today, co-packers work with food products ranging from nationally-known brands to private labels.

Processing and packaging are important, but they’re not all the only services that food co-packers can provide. Co-packing services also understand the expenses and regulations that you’ll need to pay for and comply with in order to do business. Co-packers can even help you meet the challenges associated with a Scheduled Process, shelf life testing, and nutritional labels. Co-packer capabilities differ, however.

Co-Packing Advantages

For food entrepreneurs, co-packing’s greatest advantage the reduction in startup costs. Grants and funding for food manufacturing are available, but the cost of equipment and facilities is significant. Plus, by using a co-packer, you can more accurately predict your manufacturing overhead costs. Later, if you decide to bring some or all manufacturing in-house, you can use this information in your calculations.

Co-packing services can also help you to reduce lead times and get products to market faster. This is especially important for food entrepreneurs who want to scale-up, but are limited by the production, packaging, and labeling they can do in a home, restaurant, or community kitchen. If you’re preparing for business growth, finding the right co-packer could be a smart business move.

The Future of Co-Packing Services

Co-packing is a both a core efficiency and a form of value-added manufacturing for many businesses. That’s why even larger, well-established companies are outsourcing functions such as food processing and packaging to co-packing services. Instead of spending time and money on ordering ingredients and packaging materials, these companies can focus on research and development instead.

Co-packing’s future is bright, but is this type of contract manufacturing right for you? For that matter, does it make a difference if you’re restaurateur, food inventor, or food distributor? If you’re ready to talk to a co-packer or would just like more information, Glen Copack can help. Our capabilities include acidified and low-acidified foods, hot fill and cold fill bottling, and drill fill products. To learn more, please contact us.