How to get Your Product Ready for a Co-Packer
Your Recipe is in Ratios
A co-packer needs to be able to scale your recipe up and down readily. They need all your ingredients weighed out and then identified as a percentage of the total. This might seem weird because you buy/order certain ingredients in gallons or bags so it’s been easier to keep your recipe this way, but your co-manufacturer might source differently.
Create a Process Flow
This means you map out in clear detail how your product is made from start to finish. This can be in an excel similar to a HACCP plan (points if you have one!) or diagramed with arrows. Check out this free online tool to make one.
Do you pick up ingredients at the store? That won’t work anymore! Co-Packers need commercially-sourced ingredients that will be delivered to them with Certificates of Analysis (COAs).
Make sure at the statement of responsibility your label read “Manufactured for” or “Distributed by” YOUR COMPANY. You will no longer be the manufacturer and your label needs to reflect this. Also make sure your label is in compliance overall. Nobody likes a recall.
Will your bottle, jar or bag work in a co-packer’s automated systems? Will your labels work in their system? This is a key part of finding a co-packer and it might require some changes on your end!
Know Your Shelf Life
It is critical that you know your shelf life. This can impact a co-packer’s cost and minimums.
Consider Warehousing and Distribution
Make a plan. Who’s going to pick it up? Where is it going to go? Are you going to store it in a warehouse for half a year or longer?