co-packer Advice for a big step?


eXtreme Business
I'm looking at doing contract manufacturing. I have found companies that will make spice blends in bulk, and also some that bulk manufacture candy. I don't know much about co-packers, or even how that would differ, if it does, from what I'm looking at. But from the descriptions I've read it seems to be the same.

Since you guys are all sauce makers you probably don't know the companies, but I'm wondering if you could offer any generic advice or tips on working with someone like this?

Also, maybe some tips on expanding the marketing - the plan is to get a lot bigger than just the markets and festivals. Anyone sell at bigger retail stores (ie. local grocery stores?)
There's an event in February coming up that will put me in front of retailers like this so trying to be ready!
I have had 2 products of dry spice done.

One is a small chipotle dip mix, the other is bulk spices for a batch of fresh salsa.

I will post pics soon.

Market Spice is a company with an original store in Pike Place Market in Seattle. They did the small packets of dip mix.

Firehouse Flavors... formerly Firehouse Pantry... does the salsa mix.

Oregon Spice is another company to check out.

Dont know about the candy side of things. Maybe contact established candy makers to see if they would be interested in co-packing. Make SURE to let them know any equipment used for makung pepper stuff will need to be considered 'contaminated'. Basically a 2nd set of equipment will be needed for the spicy goodies.
The black packet is the size of notebook/computer paper , 8.5 x 11

The silver packet is about 3" x 3".
1. NDAs - any co-packer of any type of product should have a boilerplate NDA signed by both parties prior to any other step
2. Minimum batch requirements
3. Any risky ingredients - allergens, etc
4. Storage / Shipping - I've heard stories about copackers charging customers after X# of days for storage if pick-up isn't timely. While I understand this, it seems a bit nickel & dime-ish.
5. Discuss Terms - Net 10, Net 15, Net 30, 1/2 in advance - this matters.
6. Packaging options, charges for nutrition panel creation, etc. You don't want to be surprised by hidden costs when you get your invoice. Best to get as complete a quote before you ever get to that point.

Best I've got on short notice!
Been in the copacking business and service tons of restaurants.

I've also been on the other side as a buyer before. You want someone with low MOQs. Had a energy brownie that was doing great - but scaling up too fast crushed our business.

As a copacker - I mainly help people who are in the early stages. A national brand looking for 1M units won't be a good fit. You want to find someone who is equipped to handle your specific stage of the journey.

Good luck and don't hesitate to DM me if any questions.