3 Important Questions a Co-Packer Will Ask You

Previously, we discussed questions that are important to ask a co-packer during the hiring process. However, it is also important to anticipate questions that the potential co-packing client may have for you. Since this is a mutual partnership, the co-packer will also want to know if you are a good fit for them. Here are some questions you should prepare for when discussing a partnership with a co-packer:

What is your product?

The first question a co-packer will likely ask is what kind of food products your business makes. Obviously, this tells the co-packer if they are able to produce the desired recipes, but it also gives you an opportunity the showcase the identity of your food business. It’s easy enough to just give the co-packer a list of ingredients and food options, but you can also mention the unique style or approach you want to take with your recipes.

Keep in mind you’re selling your brand and ideas as much as your product. Find a way to stand out from other businesses to make yours more enticing to potential clients. Dure Foods is open to a variety of products and styles, and we would be open to discuss any of your business plans.

Where is the product made?

If you hire a co-packer, there needs to be a space large enough for them to make the product. Do you already have a location for them to work, or are you looking for a co-packer that already has their own workspace? If you don’t have your own space, you would have to make sure the co-packer can provide this themselves. If you do have your own space, do you have the necessary facilities, tools and safety measures that co-packers need?

These questions must be anticipated because you need an idea of where and how the product is going to be made before you collaborate with a co-packer. If you do not have your own space, not to worry. Dure Foods can offer our own space for food production.

What are your business plans for the future?

A co-packer will want to know what your future plans are for your business. Are you planning to expand in the next few years? The co-packer may be a good fit now, but are they large enough to keep up on a larger scale? If you want a long term partnership with a co-packer, you should have a clear idea of your business plans so they can prepare along with you, or let you know that it won’t work out. Dure Foods is flexible with many plans, and we can continue to work with you as your business expands.

If you want to work with our team at Dure Foods, we will discuss these topics openly, and offer many kinds of arrangements and partnerships with our clients. Contact us and we will create a plan that works for you and our company.

4 Essential Interview Questions to Ask a Co-Packer

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.