Understanding Contract Manufacturing: Your Products, Your Brand, Your Reputation

With quality in mind, finding effective methods to cut costs and expand your production is a complex proposition.

To this end, one important factor of your business to analyze is supply chain management. Across the disparate parts of this dynamic, and deeply relative system— specific to your company—is the potential for massive growth.

Contract manufacturing is a form of supply chain management, that offers the strategic advantages of saving time and money on product line development. This is accomplished through a series of on-demand services, which essentially outsource production to a third-party company.

Will Contract Manufacturing Work for Me?

Like any business, contract manufacturing is customizable to the firms involved in the manufacturing agreement. In many cases, the contract manufacturer will be responsible for producing the goods, as well as sourcing all of the constituent, raw materials involved in production.

In other cases, specifically as is the case for many food production companies, contract manufacturing will take the form of copacking.

Similar to contract manufacturing for other industries, Copackers will handle either manufacturing and packaging, or simply provide primary and secondary packaging for products.

That being said, effective selection of a contract manufacturer or copacker, can greatly increase overall output of a company as well as increase the overall Value Added Margins (VAM). This is largely associated with labour and facility costs, as well as volume material costs.

How to Select a Contract Manufacturer

For a company that makes its living selling a physical product, selecting a contract manufacturer can be a serious decision. However, there are some important factors to consider at the onset which will likely result in a more successful transition to a supply chain vendor for a branded or private label product.

First and foremost, the lowest price quote does not necessarily mean the highest margins. Prices quoted by many contract manufacturing companies typically only account for about eighty percent of total supply chain costs, especially with smaller Contract Manufacturers which don’t have allocated resources intended to discern bottom line cost to the contractor.

In other words, there are often fees and charges which will adjust the margins by capturing and identifying any additional costs. Cost manufacturing is a low-margin business, and also highly competitive, so appropriate selection may entail active management of the manufacturing process.

Technical competence of a contract manufacturing partner is not the end all be all of the selection process.

Certainly, a company’s facilities and technical capacity is essential to producing the product you require. That being said, depending solely on the technical capabilities of a contractor will put the responsibility of this contracting agreement in the hands of your product development team.

This can be a huge mistake considering that a contract manufacturing agreement is a complex business agreement, that will integrate various commercial elements. Therefore, technical performance should only be one aspect of various other business requirements, essential to meeting your goals.


Contract manufacturing can save time and money while ensuring the highest quality output of your products. Many manufacturing firms have turned to this form of supply chain management because it offers a broad range of opportunities. Contracting an expert to manufacture your products will result in:

  • lower costs,
  • decreased capital requirements, and
  • a more efficient focus of time and energy

This will give you more time to focus on growing your business in other ways, rather than getting caught up in the minutia of manufacturing.

Should you be interested in developing your own exceptional products with an engaged and committed partner, please contact Dure Foods today.

Questions answered about Protein Supplements

The question was posed to Mike Nolan, Managing Partner of the Athletic Club chain (with over 80,000 members) and former Decathlete who placed 10th in the 2001 IAAF World Championships in athletics.

Q: What do you look for in a Protein Supplement in regards to taste and ingredients?

A: Not too long ago, I was in the market for a new vehicle.   With hundreds of options to consider, how does one choose?  The auto companies and mega-ads dictate a presupposition of higher meaning acutely engineered to implant ideologies of grandeur deep into our brains.  They suggest a purpose for life, dare I say, a suggested meaning to life itself.  A current commercial touts that their car is the “stuff” from which all uber-Americana greatness, both past and present, was founded.   It stands proud an icon of a materialistic and self-empowered worldview, calling you to sit and feel the supremacy of drifting across shiny wet pavement while onlookers stare with envy.  How does one live up the social responsibilities of such a vehicle?    It’s in this headspace that my basal instincts take over and practicality prevails.
Bottom line: I chose a vehicle of such nationwide commonality in hopes to move quietly from point A to B without notice.  Simple and boring perhaps, but it works.

What does this have to do with protein supplements on the market today?   Everything I’m afraid, and it all boils down to purpose and choice.    With hundreds of options on the market how do you choose which is right for you?
Let’s look at the basic purpose: Protein is a macronutrient required by our bodies for all sorts of reasons.  It’s composed of chains of single amino-acids (both essential and non-essential), which break apart upon digestion and then go to work in our bodies.   Mainstream diets have put the spotlight on proteins as a necessary entity in muscle building and weight loss.  Herein lies the primary purpose of protein supplementation for most active people.
Now for choice: there is a product for almost every individuals specific need.  There are proteins designed for both weight gain and weight loss, as well for vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten free, to name a few.  Primary ingredients range from soy, rice, hemp, milk, egg, and most commonly, whey.
Let’s focus on whey, as it’s generally considered to provide the highest proportion of protein by volume and is typically easy to digest.  The three best forms of whey available are (ranked from lowest to highest quality/purity) whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate.   It’s no surprise that as quality increases so too does price.   To know if a product is right for you, one must simply try it out!  Any reputable health store should be able to provide you a sample of the product before you make your purchase.    When sampling, you will carefully consider 2 factors; taste and digestibility.  If a product has an undesirable taste or texture it’s unlikely you’ll succeed in “choking it down” day after day.   Digestibility is critically important and can be determined 10 minutes to 10 hours post-ingestion.   Adverse effects of an ill-suited protein may include bloating, indigestion and gas.   ***If you purchase a product that becomes unpalatable, a reputable store will accept a return.   Be sure to ask about the stores return policy prior to purchasing to ensure you’re comfortable with its parameters.
One chooses a protein supplement for the purpose of enhancing their daily nutritional intake profile.
Bottom line: This stuff is going into your body so quality matters!  Choose the best quality protein you can afford that matches your specific purpose.  Ensure it tastes great and digests comfortably.  Simple and boring advise perhaps, but it works.


Thanks Mike, for taking the time to answer this question. Dure Foods appreciates your time and values your input!