Contract Packaging 101 for Food and Beverage Businesses

One of the most challenging decisions in the launch of a food product is the utilization and selection of a Contract Packaging Company.  Whether it’s a small startup or private label, businesses are tasked with finding the ‘right fit’ in terms of integrity, service offerings and cost. The following questions and answers can equip companies with the proper knowledge to make this important decision.

  • What are the advantages to using a contract packager? There are multiple benefits to using a co-packer, including: reduction of startup costs, reduction of lead-time in getting a product to market, established processing lines in place, insurance, food industry contacts, and sources to get the job done efficiently. Companies like GSC not only have the equipment, materials, and proper certifications to maximize profit, but also have the packaging design and execution expertise to guide the product.
  • What should a company look for when selecting a contract packer? About.com’s Food and Beverage section has published a list of 10 questions to ask a Co-Packer. Some of these questions include: What is the optimum production length? Does the co-packer already own the equipment and can it be used as is? Who provides and manages the ingredients and packaging inventories – you or the contract packager?
  • What are the most important things a food company should consider when it comes to choosing the right packaging for their product? At the very top of the list, companies should consider barrier properties in relation to moisture and oxygen. The other factors to consider are shelf presentation, ease of use, sustainability, and cost.

Contract packaging is an important partnership that can play a big factor in what makes or breaks the product’s success.  Before going into a contract with a co-packer, GSC recommends researching the company’s proven experience in a particular market, track record in controlling costs, flexibility in handling projects, commitment to quality assurance, and willingness to partner for extended periods.

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