Four Steps to Take Prior to Working with a Co-packer
Do you have a beverage you want to produce and put on the shelf, but don’t have the capabilities yourself to do so? That’s when a co-packer comes into play.
Prior to working with a co-packer, these tips below can save you time and money! It’s lessons we’ve learned over the years when working with prospective beverage entrepreneurs.
Our Top Tips:
1. Do as much of the legwork yourself.
This includes researching places to source supplies and finding the exact supplies you would like to use for your product, such as ingredients, bottles, caps, labels, and anything that would pertain to your beverage. This will save you time when you work with your co-packer as you will already have the contacts for everything you need to be sourced, and it will also save you money.
2. Get a Shelf-Life Study.
Most co-packers will require proof of a shelf-life study or will send your product out for one. Many places that sell products on the shelf, such as grocery stores, will require a shelf-life study on your product, so they know how long your product will last.
If you rely on the co-packer to do the shelf-life study for you, expect to get charged more than if you were to do it yourself
3. Design your own label and make sure it complies with FDA guidelines.
There are many talented graphic artists to choose from that can create your label design, and the best part is that they don’t have to be local for you to work with them. DesignCrowd is also a great place to start for design needs. Make sure that your label complies with FDA guidelines. A quick google search will give you access to all the FDA’s requirements for your label to make sure you don’t print incorrect labels.
4. Develop your own relationships
By sourcing your own ingredients and supplies, you will develop your own relationships with your suppliers. Therefore, if you end up leaving a co-packer, you will still have those relationships and can take them with you. If your co-packer is the one with the relationship with the suppliers, it may be harder for you to continue to work with them.
There you have it! After being in the beverage industry for over 75 years and being a co-packer for over 20 years, we thought it would be useful to share what we have learned over the years.
Stay tuned for more posts regarding co-packing and private labeling.