What Should I Look For in a Co Packer

Posted by Damian Roberti on

 What should I look for in a co Packer


What should I look for in a co Packer? And should I even use a co Packer so in this video I'm gonna give you five extremely important questions you need to get asked before you even deal with a co Packer looking to scale your food business. You want to stay tuned to this entire video from number five down to number one the most important one right up all right, so welcome back to marketing food online. So as I mentioned in the introduction, I'm gonna go over five specific questions. You need to ask your co Packer if you're contemplating scaling your food business using a co packer and when the time is really right to do that. I'm gonna give you from number five down to number one the most important thing you need to be aware of if you're looking to scale your food business and before we jump into that, we're gonna market you for no line. It's Damian Roberti, founder and CEO of marketing food online. I am a female entrepreneur, my wife and I have been in business for over a dozen years online through our E commerce businesses.

 What should I look for in a co Packer


So I launched my YouTube channel here to help people like you launch your food business but not only launch it but grow it make it profitable, and succeed in the food business industry. So as I mentioned, I'm gonna go over those five specific things. Now when you're considering a co Packer there are a lot of different factors that come into play as to when you should actually use one. If you're trying to scale a business that you have already got up and running. Using a co packer is something that you definitely want to do. Because if you get to the point where you can't along with your team or whoever else is helping you and not fulfill orders and do it in a way that's fast and efficient. Alright, so let's dive right into these five questions that you need to know and understand. So number five you want to make sure that the CO Packer can produce your product the exact way that you have in your recipe. Now what I mean by that of course is pretty common sense but you will be kind of shocked or surprised when you deal with CO packers a lot of times some of the processes and even sometimes the recipes and formulas will get changed along the way or they'll have to change them for you or they'll agree with you upon changing them. But you want to find someone who can make it the way you do precisely because a lot of flavor profiles and the products the finished products will come out much different than what you expected.

 What should I look for in a co Packer


So if you find a co packer who can produce let's say a hot sauce, for instance, you want to make sure that the whole process from beginning to end is exactly the way that you make it because you want to make sure that your products stand up to the same quality the same the same taste, everything that you started your business about, you want to ensure that they have the capacity to do that. Because believe it or not, sometimes they're looking to either change or modify or say hey, we can do this better for you. Try to stay as focused as you can on your product and make sure that they can produce it the way that you want to now keep in mind too that if you have a recipe where you're producing a very small batch of a product, they're gonna have to scale that recipe and you want to make sure that as they scale it, there is no alterations to the recipe itself or the flavor profiles. So you make sure that it is exactly the way you want it to be. So number four never launch a food product using a co Packer. Now let me explain what I mean by that. I have had a lot of consultations over the last four years that I've been offering my consults. And I've spoken to a lot of my clients about launching their food products. And one of the first questions that I ask is Have you sold the product to someone other than your friends or your family outside of your little circle of people that you know if you've gone to farmers markets have you tested?

 What should I look for in a co Packer


Do you have proof of concept? That's the point I'm trying to make because a lot of my clients have asked about hey, I want to go directly to a co Packer launches right online. And I asked them a few questions number one, have they sold it? And they say Well, no, not yet. Okay. Are you online with an e commerce Store? Well, no, I haven't created a website. Okay, so where are you selling it? Where do you have proof that this idea is even sold to people outside of your little circle? You've gotten some feedback from or you got people who are willing to pay for the product and most of the time they say well I've just got a recipe but I want to launch it and get online. That is not a good idea. That is not a good idea where you want to use a co Packer to produce 1000s of units of a product that you have no proof of concept yet. So I highly recommend you don't launch your food business with a co Packer you scale your food business with a call back. Okay? So when you've got a website and you're selling 1000 units a month or 10,000 units a month, whatever it might be, or if you're at a farmers market, and every weekend you go, you bring three or 400 bottles of your products or bags or whatever it might be and you're selling out of it. Well then you've got something and if you have something then the next step is you need to figure out how can I scale this? Do I want to go through retail route? Well, I want to go through a food broker.

 What should I look for in a co Packer


Do I want to go through E commerce? Do I want to sell it myself and get on Amazon or sell the product online? That is the next question you need to ask. But never launch a food product or food business. Right out of the gate with a co Packer. Here's a really good example of what could happen in a really bad way. So you have a great idea for let's say a trail mix. And that trail mix is something that you've come up with and you've got a really unique twist on it, whatever it may be. So you approach a co Packer the CO packer is gonna say yes hey, Damien, we'd be happy to produce five or 6000 units of this trail mix for me. But then the next question is, where do you want us to send it when we're done? So I'm actually working out of home. I have a home based business. So I just started it's a brand new startup, and I have my trail mix, but I haven't sold it at farmer's markets. Maybe I haven't sold it locally to any events or festivals or maybe I don't have any outlets yet. So then I get back 3000 bags of trail mix. And then what do you do with that? See, you have to establish a sales Avenue A sales route for your product, you have to create a brand create the product first have proof of concept. And then from there, then you start making a trail mix and you're like man, I'm getting five 600 orders a day or a week, and I can't keep up with it. Then you want to approach your co packers. So number four was just don't launch your food product necessarily right out of the gate with a co Packer because you're going to spend a lot of money upfront that potentially will sit there and sit there and sit. Okay.

 What should I look for in a co Packer


Number three. Ensure that you get references before you deal with a callback. Now if you deal with a co packer and they don't want to give you references or saying well just either you can or can't do business with us. You need to find a nother co Packer. So ensure that you can get some references and don't be afraid to contact those businesses because you are going to build a relationship where we're for over the long term hopefully with that will factor in if you're going to be dropping 1000s and 1000s of dollars into this company or this product. You want to see some references. You want to see hey, this guy that guy does fantastic gaming and he's you know he does my trail mix He's been running it for years he does is really fast, guarantees his time. turnaround time is great, whatever it may be, but you want to make sure that you get any type of references from other businesses and I'd recommend honestly on a minimum of three, get at least three references from other businesses who have dealt specifically with that CO Packer with that particular product. That will give you a great a great reference base for you to know this guy's legit. This company has been around for 20 or 30 years, or maybe they're a brand new company but they're doing a heck of a job for the clients. They have to always get references that is somebody who needs you. Number two, this is ultra ultra important very important when it comes to you selling your product or dealing with retailers. Or if you're dealing with a broker, you're dealing with a food buyer. This is number two, it's a guaranteed turnaround time.


 What should I look for in a co Packer

So this is how it works. If you have a grocery store and they say hey Damien, I love your trailer. I'm going to place an order and then what is your turnaround time, Jamie, when can I get that into my warehouse because I need to get it on the shelf. Well, I can guarantee in two months. How big of a leeway. I can produce 10,000 I have a co packer who can make 10,000 bags. We'll get it to you in two months and about a 60 day turnaround period, whatever it may be, okay, from that point you need to make sure that the CO packer is going to be in line with what you're guaranteeing that retail store because when you start to lag on turnaround times, and you're telling retailers you're you're telling the buyer or somebody who's obviously interested in purchase ordering a big order. They need to have it on the shelf and if it's not, a lot of times they'll touch your product and they'll go to another manufacturer because you have to understand the one thing about food retail grocery retail, which I was in for 25 political years. They need to have products on the shelf, not empty spaces. And if they have empty spaces and you can't get the product there in time, they will find someone who will fill it okay, because the real estate within the grocery store is the shelf space. And if they need your product there at a specified time, make sure that that CO Packer can do it.

 What should I look for in a co Packer


So this is number two, you need to make sure that they can guarantee that now a lot of times the judge that to see make sure that they can of course is obviously through your contract that you deal with them but also the references going back to what I said before, ask the people who you referred to, Hey, what did they meet your demand on time? Are they guaranteed their turnaround time? Did they give it to you on time? These are the things that you can ask for before you start signing any contracts to you know that you're going to get your product number one. Be sure that all in every single fee that is going to be charged to your company from the CO Packer because every co Packer Believe it or not, does things differently. They may charge by the unit they may charge by a certain time. They may also charge for if you are in sourcing and making salsa for instance. And they're sourcing all the ingredients for you which some cofactors can. They're bringing in all the ingredients and the jars and the labels. They're gonna charge you for that too. Everything and anything that is involved with producing your product, make sure it is on paper and you have it on the contract saying hey, these are all the fees that we have a new sign that you can loan with him and they start producing the product. Everything is filled out so there's no hidden fees. So make sure and ensure that every single fee that is part of producing your finalized product is spelled out in black and white and you sign the contract. You don't want any hidden fees because they can add up. A lot of companies will produce a product. Let's say for instance you were sending it up to yourself or to a fulfillment center because you ran an E commerce food business. Is there any additional fees for them to do that? Do they have to send it to the to you if you're sending it out to multiple grocery stores? are they charging for school?

 What should I look for in a co Packer


Sometimes co packers will work with grocery chain grocery stores, they'll say Hey, Daniel is trail mix is gonna go to 10 different stores. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna charge fees for every single one of them because they're all separate shipments, not only the shipping fee, but the actual, another additional fee for them to do that. So make sure that all of these little things are spelled out before you start signing. So if you want to use a co Packer to go through these five specific things kind of brainstorm and figure out what scenario really works best for you. But above above all the five that I just mentioned, don't launch a food product right out of the gate by using a co Packer make sure guys that you actually have a sales history, you have proof of sale you have something even if it's six to eight months of sales, even if it's three or four months and you decide to go that route. We don't just simply come up with a recipe. A perfect co Packer produced 1000s of products and you have no avenue to sell it. That's going to be a big problem for you. You're gonna waste a lot of time and resources. So if that was helpful, as always do give us a big thumbs up if you want to check out even more resources that we have here on Market




 What should I look for in a co Packer



A.C. Legg Inc., Calera, AL, 205-324-3451, www.aclegg.com

Advanced Food Systems Inc, Somerset, NJ, 800-787-3067, www.afsnj.com

Arizona Spice Co., Mesa, AZ, 480-632-2168, www.azspiceco.com

Assemblies Unlimited, Bloomingdale, IL, 877-273-6259, www.assemblies.com

Backwoods Foods, Tahlequah, OK, 918-458-9300, www.backwoodsfoods.com

Blendex Co., Louisville, KY, 502-267-1003, www.blendex.com

Bobbee's Bottling, Louisburg, NC, 919-496-4286, www.bobbeesbottling.com

Captain Foods, Edgewater, FL, 800-749-5047, www.captainfoodsinc.com


Chef Paul Prudhomme's, New Orleans, LA, www.chefpaul.com


Chipotle Texas, Fort Hancock, TX, 915-769-0097, www.chipotletexas.com

Spices, Seasoning Blends, Rubs


​Comfort Foods Co-Packing &Processing LLC, Albuquerque, NM, 505-323-9227 


Salsas, BBQ Sauces, Salad Dressings, Dry mixes and seasonings,

 Blending and bottling. portion packs (wet/dry). 


Consolidated Mills, Houston, TX, 713-896-4196, www.consolidatedmills.com

Seasonings, Syrups


Copperleaf Kitchens, Albuquerque, NM, 505-323-9227, www.comfortfoods.com

Dry Mixes, Dips, Soups, Spices, Seasonings, Salsas, Sauces, Gifts


Create-A-Pack Foods Inc., Oconomowoc, WI, 262-567-6069, www.create-a-pack.com

Spice Blends, Baking Mixes

Creative Co-Packing, Deland, FL, 386-337-7175, www.creativecopacking.com

Custom Beverage Concepts, Tallapoosa, GA, 770-574-9899, custombeverageconcepts.com


Custom Foods Inc., Santa Fe Springs, CA, 562-926-2333, www.custom-foods.com

Seasoning Blends, Hot Chocolate, Cake Mixes

Custom Ingredients, New Braunfels, TX,800-457-8935, www.customingredients.com

Sauces, Dips, Flour & Corn Tortillas, Seasonings, Organic

Custo Co-Pack, Philadelphia, PA, 215-743-2617, www.customcopak.com

Teas, Herbs, Seasonings, Organic, Kosher


Dairiconcepts, Springfield, MO, 877-596-4374, www.dairiconcepts.com

Italian Cheeses, Dairy Powders, Seasoning Blends, Sauce Concentrates

Denny Mike's, Westbrook, ME, 207-251-0023, www.dennymikes.com

Barbecue Sauces, Seasoning Blends

EPD Inc., Angleton, TX, 800-332-1760, www.epdinc.org

Custom Blending

Felbro Food Products, Los Angeles, CA, 323-936-5266 ext. 118, www.felbro.com 

Garden Creek Farms Kitchen, Challis, ID, 208-879-5868, www.gardencreekfarms.net

Georgia Spice Co., Atlanta, GA, 404-696-6200, www.georgiaspicecompany.com

Seasoning Blends, Dips, Dressings, Sauces, Energy Drinks, Gluten Free


Hearthside Food Solutions, Downers Grove, IL, 630-967-3600, www.hearthsidefoods.com


Heidens Foods, Fullerton, CA, 888-443-4336, www.heidensfoods.com

Soup Bases, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings, Syrups, Honeys


InHarvest. Inc., Bemidji, MN, 800-346-7032, www.inharvest.com 

Multigrain Blends, Whole Grains, Pastas, Beans, Seasonings, Wild Rice


Inter-American Products, Cincinnati, OH, 800-645-2233, www.interamericanproducts.com


International Spice, Lakewood, NJ, 609-838-1717, www.intspice.com

Custom Seasoning Blends


I Love CPG, Murrieta, CA, 917-301-9868, www.ilovecpg.com 

Interstate Sales of New Jersey, Voorhes, NJ, 856-433-8692, www.issnj.net

JHS Packaging, Fort Worth TX, 817-725-8135, www.jhspackaging.com 

Karlin Foods, Ashton, IL, 847-441-8330, www.karlinfoods.com

Dips, Dressings, Sauces, Rice Mixes, Soups, Seasonings 

Karlsburger Foods, Monticello, MN, 800-383-6549, www.karlsburger.com

Kernel Season's, Elk Grove Village, IL, 866-328-7622, www.kernelseasons.com

Seasonings, Oils, Snacks

Landmark Foods,Littleton, CO, 303-948-5070, www.landmarkfoods.net

Spice Blends, Sauces, Fruit Juices, Syrups, Bar Mixes

Little Big Farm Foods, Portsmouth, NH, 603-433-9300, www.littlebigfarmfoods.com

McClancy Seasoning Co., Fort Mill, SC, 800-843-1968, www.mcclancy.com

Midwest Rubs, Saint Michael, MN, 763-497-1766, www.midwestrubs.com

Rubs, Spice Blends

Monterey Bay Spice Co., Watsonville, CA, 800-500-6148, www.herbco.com

Tea, Spice Blends, Organic

MyCopacker.com, Pinellas Park, FL, 800-728-3704, www.mycopacker.com

Northeast Co-Packing, Auburn, NY, 680-223-0498, www.Northeastcopacking.com


Organic Spices Inc., Fremont, CA, 510-440-1044, www.organicspices.com

Organic Spices, Extracts

Pacific Northwest Co-Packing Co., Tualatin, OR503-427-2221, www.pnwcopacking.com

Panola Pepper Corp., Lake Providence, LA, 800-256-3013, www.panolapepper.com

Panorama Foods, Lynn, MA, 781-592-1069, www.panoramafoods.com

Papy's Foods Inc., McHenry, IL, 815-385-3313, www.papys.com

Seasonings, Dry Mixes, Sauces, Pasta

Qualia Specialty Provisions, Madison Heights, MI, 248-930-2332, www.qualiaprovisions.com

Red Monkey Foods, Mount Vernon, MO, 417-466-9109, www.redmonkeyfoods.com

Organic Seasonings, Gluten Free

Rocky Mountain Spice Co., Denver, CO, 888-568-4430, www.rockymountainspice.com


Southern Flavoring Company Inc., Bedford, VA, 540-586-8565, www.southernflavoring.com


Spice Jungle, 888-261-3384, Rockford, MI, www.spicejungle.com

www. spices.com

Sunbelt Packaging Company, Decatur, GA, 513-708-2319, www.sunbeltpackagingco.com

SupHerb Herb Farm, Turlock, CA, 800-787-4372, www.supherbfarms.com

Fresh Frozen Herbs, Specialty Vegetables


Taylor Gleason Enterprises, Coeur D Alene, ID, 208-639-9310, www.taylorgleason.com

Texas Custom Spice Company, Houston, TX, 281-463-9491, www.texascustomspice.com


The Sauceology Group Inc., Clearwater, FL, 727-389-3774, www.thesauceologygroup.com

Total Food Package, Spring Lake, MI, 616-847-1868, www.totalfoodpackage.com

Tova Ind., Louisville, KY, 888-532-8682, www.tovaindustries.com


Tundalaya, Lafayette, CO, 303-673-0768, www.tundalaya.com


Vanns Spices, Baltimore, MD, 410-944-3888, www.vannspices.com

Spices, Custom Blends


Victoria Packing, Brooklyn, NY, 719-927-3000, www.victoriapacking.com

Pasta Sauces

Vidalia Brands, Glennville, GA, 912-654-2726, www.vidaliabrands.com

Snacks, Salsas, Relishes, Dry Mixes

Wixon Inc., St. Francis, WI, 414-578-3000, www.wixon.com 

Woodland Foods, Guernee Il, 847-625-8600, www.woodlandfoods.com 

Wolf Pack International, Gold Bar, WA, 360-793-2988, www.wolfpackint.com/services

Xcell Int'l. Corp., Lemont, IL, 630-323-0107, www.xcellint.com