When looking for a co-packer, you will have a variety of options to choose from. If you’re hiring a co-packer for the first time, or your food business is just starting, it may be difficult to determine which co-packing company is the best choice. This is why the interview process is so important for finding the ideal co-packer. If you are interviewing a co-packer for a potential job or partnership with your business, here are 4 essential questions to ask:
Do I need to sign a contract?
Many co-packers require a contract, and this will be important to you to make sure the timeline you need for their services is clearly laid out. A contract is also essential to clarify the non- disclosure agreement made with your co-packer. You want to ensure that they can produce your recipe without using it for themselves or a rival business. Consider it a bad sign if they offer no contact to sign, as the parameters of your deal would be unclear and thus easy to take advantage of.
What do you pack/not pack?
Whatever recipe or style your food business might have, you cannot assume that every co-packer will be able to effectively replicate the formula. When interviewing a potential co-packer, ask what their specialties and regular products are to see if they align with yours. Make sure you also know what they can’t do, as you don’t want any unforeseen limitations to what products you’re able to deliver.
How would you deal with unforeseen problems?
One of the best ways to test a co-packer’s qualifications is to see how they deal with circumstances that are not routine. There can be a great deal of pressure in food production with tight deadlines and large orders. Ask them honestly if they have ever made a mistake, and how they were able to deal with it. This way you can find out if your potential client is able to problem solve and find solutions while under pressure.
Are there any additional fees?
Lastly, make sure any regular fees, and possible additional fees that may occur, are fully discussed in the interview before the co-packer is hired. You’ll definitely want to know the full cost of your co-packer before you choose one. You need to clearly establish who pays for the food, the production space and any third-party inspections. This may vary from company to company, so these questions will help you find a co-packer that costs a reasonable price.
If you want to work with our team at Dure Foods, we will be able to answer all of these questions for you. We are open with all of our clients and will provide any information you need. If you are interested in working with Dure Foods, contact us and let us know what we can do for your business.