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Essential Qualities to Look for in a Co-Packer

While there are certain certifications that qualify a co-packer to work professionally in the food business, there are other qualities that separate good co-packers from subpar ones. Those qualities might be more difficult to notice since they are not legal requirements, but understanding them will help you hire the right co-packer for the job. If you are running a food business, these are some of the qualities you should be looking for in a co-packer:

Good Work History

Co-Packers are an important part of many food companies, especially large ones that require their product to be mass produced and widely distributed. For those companies, co-packers cannot just be competent, they need to be skilled, efficient and able to anticipate and deal with any potential issues. A good indication that you’re working with a truly professional co-packer is if they’ve worked successfully with large companies, like Dure Foods has.

Respects Privacy of Your Recipe

If you’re hiring a co-packer to produce their food, you are also giving someone access to the recipes of your business. You must be very careful when choosing a client for this reason, as you don’t want all of your hard work to be stolen. One of the best ways to prevent this is to have your potential co-packer sign a non-disclosure agreement. This ensures that the co-packer will make your food while being unable to reproduce the recipe for their own gains or for other companies. The sign of a good co-packer like Dure Foods is one that will be open to these legal boundaries before being hired.

No Hidden Fees

When in discussion with a potential co-packer, ensure that all the fees being paid have been fully established before anything is signed. When asking about any additional fees, make sure that the co-packer is upfront about it, and there is a clear distinction between who pays for what. If a co-packer is transparent about what fees they will cover, that demonstrates they are professional and trustworthy. Companies like Dure Foods will clarify all fees before officially signing on.

A Real Collaboration

Maybe the most critical requirement is that you should look for a co-packer that wants a true partnership with your food business, and is not just looking to make a profit. A good working relationship with a co-packer is essential for your businesses success, so make sure that you have good communication, shared goals and business and production plans with your potential client. A credible and competent co-packer is important of course, but one you can work well with is equally important.

At Dure Foods, we want to have this kind of collaborative partnership with our clients. If you want a co-packer that is professional, secure and has a great work history, contact Dure Foods.

How to Choose the Right Co-Packer

When looking for possible co-packers to work with, you may be faced with a variety of choices. While you might have many credible co-packers to choose from, there are some factors that can determine the best choice for your business. After visiting all of your potential co-packers, here are some questions to consider when making the final decision:

Is the workspace clean and safe?

It’s one thing to know that a co-packing company has all the necessary food handling and safety certifications, but it’s another to see that knowledge and experience actually put in practice. When looking at the workspace of your prospective co-packer, notice if the space looks clean, is free of any hazards or harmful chemicals and has up to date equipment. Whether they use their own space or yours, how they treat this space will let you know their work ethic. Choose a co-packer that respects their workspace; they will likely show you the same respect. Companies like Dure Foods keep a clean and safe workspace because it shows professionalism to clients.

Can they produce a variety of products?

If your potential co-packer is able to replicate your recipe, that’s a great start. However, if you want a long term partnership, you will want a co-packer that can produce a variety of recipes. Your menu will likely not be the same for your entire career, and you’ll want a co-packer with the diverse skills to keep up with your expanding products. When choosing a co-packer, find one that can produce many kinds of food products, not just the products you need right now. Good co-packers like those at Dure know a variety of recipes and are ready to work with many kinds of clients.

Can you afford their help?

As ideal a choice as a co-packer might seem, it is not worth going bankrupt over. With each co-packer you visit, be sure to go over all costs required for their serves (both base cost and any possible additional costs for inspections, location, etc.). Co-packing can be a great asset, but it’s a large investment as well. However, every co-packer has their own arrangement, so find one that is financially realistic for your company. Dure has many payment options and can find a plan that works for any client.

Do you get along?

It may seem obvious, but is extremely important all the same. A partnership with a co-packer involves many hours of working together and shared investment in your business being successful. If the co-packer is unfriendly or unapproachable, it won’t work out, regardless of how qualified the company may seem. When looking for co-packers, be wary of any warning signs that they might be difficult to work with or lack integrity. Alternatively, take note of co-packers that care about their work and show interest in building relationships in the industry.

Dure Foods likes to form a close, reliable and mutually beneficial partnership will all of our clients. If you’re interested in working with a co-packer, contacting us would be a great choice.