So your family says that you make the best food product or beverage and is encouraging you to sell it, but you just don’t have the capital to build a commercial facility and hire workers. Why not consider a co-packer or co-bottler? A co-packer or co-bottler is a company that manufactures and packages food or beverages for its clients. You provide the recipe and packaging specifications, and they produce the finished product for you in whatever quantities you desire. All you have to do is sell the product.
I first learned about contract manufacturing, AKA co-packers/co-bottlers, a few years ago when I was vacationing in the Adirondack mountains. Looking for something to do indoors on a particularly rainy day, we decided to do a factory tour of the West End Brewery in Utica, NY. The brewery which is known for their Saranac line of beer opened in 1853 and is the second oldest family-owned brewery in the US.
As I was watching one of the lines spit out bottles of beer I noticed they were producing a beer with the label Brooklyn Brewery. I was pretty confused and asked our tour guide about it. I learned that West End Brewery is what is known as a co-bottler, and produces craft beer for clients on contract.
By contracting with a co-packer for food or a co-bottler for beverages you can leverage their resources and keep your start-up capital requirements low. If the product takes off, then you can invest in your own manufacturing facility to achieve greater margins.
Could you use the services of a co-packer or co-bottler to test the market for a consumable product idea?
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