Archive: Jan 2023

Contract Packaging 101

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Contract Packaging 101

What Is Contract Packaging?

Developing your own packaging system involves much more than investing in the right packaging equipment and materials to get the job done. It also involves warehousing and hiring an additional workforce to run your packaging operation alongside your core business. To many companies, setting up their own packaging line is simply not feasible in terms of both the cost and labor required.

This is where contract packaging comes in. Also called co-packing, contract packaging is when a business hires the services of a packaging company to oversee its packaging, assembly, kitting, warehousing, and other supply chain needs. The contract packager can be a specialist in a certain type of packaging—like shrink wrapping, corrugated cardboard, or bottling—or offer additional services like printing, packaging design, and testing.

Here we’ll discuss how food contract packaging in particular works, as well as the benefits of outsourcing your packaging needs.

How Does Food Contract Packaging Work?

Because of the strict industry standards of food processing and packaging, a contract packaging partner in this field must have the equipment, expertise, and materials necessary to protect the integrity of your food products while meeting these standards. Most food co-packing processes involve these three main steps.

Step 1: Discuss Goals

After identifying your co-packing needs, the first step is to reach out and discuss your product and goals with the co-packer. Some companies may require you to complete a questionnaire to learn more about your product and understand your expectations. You will sign a non-disclosure agreement before proceeding to the next phase.

Then you will send your samples and recipes to the co-packing company, which will then analyze your products to ensure they are compatible with its production equipment. If they are, the co-packer will take you through the various packaging options, including materials and quantities. A good contract packaging provider will know how to make the most efficient use of packaging materials while maximizing the shelf life of your product.

Step 2: Approve the Test Batch

Before going into mass production, the co-packer will send a test batch for you to evaluate. You will also get product information that will include:

  • An allergen statement
  • A net weight declaration
  • An ingredients list
  • A nutritional facts panel

Once you approve the final details and design of the packaging, the co-packer commences printing the packaging materials.

Step 3: Production

The company will begin production using your finalized recipe, packaging design, and materials. They usually have production minimums that range from hundreds to thousands of units, so consumer demand for your product must be high enough to save you money per unit.

Why should you hire a contract food packing provider? There are many advantages of outsourcing your packaging needs. For example, a co-packer will offer the machinery, labor, and thought leadership required to deliver your products to the market in style. This allows you to focus all your energy on your core business—manufacturing your product. Other benefits of hiring a co-packer include high-quality packaging, cost reduction, and efficient management of your packaging line.

Co-Packing vs. Contract Packaging Services

Co-packing is the same as contract packing—they involve outsourcing the primary and secondary packaging of finished goods to a third party. While co-packing is common in all industries, it is most prevalent in the health and beauty, food and beverage, and medical and pharmaceutical fields.

Choosing the Right Contract Packing or Co-Packing Partner

There are a few things you should take into account when looking for the right co-packer for your food products, such as:

  • ISO certifications
  • Fast lead times
  • Transparency
  • Quality control

Finding the right co-packer can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the market or want to venture into a new field. Econo-Pak is a third-generation family-owned contract packaging company dedicated to serving the unique needs of the food processing, pharmaceutical, and retail industries.

Download our eBook, “Contract Food Packaging: Supplier Expectations Manual,” for more information. You can also request a quote to get started on your food co-packing solution.

Key Factors To Consider When Selecting Packaging Materials

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Material Selection for Product Packaging

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Product packaging is an essential step in the product life cycle. It not only protects the product from external damage but also serves as an essential marketing tool. Packaging can help a product stand out from the competition. It can also provide information about a product’s features and benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the key properties to look for when selecting suitable material for packaging your products.

How Do You Properly Select Packaging Materials?

There are many factors to consider when determining the best packaging material for your product. Here are five typical considerations in the selection of proper product packaging materials:

Cost: The cost of the packaging material is an important factor to consider when selecting the best product packaging material. Some materials used for packaging can be relatively costly when trying to meet specific industries’ aesthetic standards or durability needs. It’s important to ensure you’re getting good value for your money.

Durability: It’s a good idea to understand the product you intend to buy before placing an order. If you skip this step, you may end up with subpar packaging supplies that aren’t optimal for your needs. Select packaging materials that can withstand the rigors of the shipping process and protect your product during transit.

Eco-Friendliness: Many businesses are switching to eco-friendly packaging materials to reduce their environmental footprint. Consider recyclable and sustainable materials, to help your business maintain a positive environmental record.

Customization: Aim for packaging materials that you can customize to meet your specific needs. Select packaging materials that you can brand with your company’s logo and colors. This will help your product stand out from the competition.

Security: The packaging material needs to be strong enough to protect your product from damage, tampering, or theft. Choose a material that can provide a secure seal and protect your product from any potential security issues.

Food Packaging Material Selection Considerations

Selecting packaging for food products comes with additional requirements and standards. Here are the key considerations when selecting packaging materials for food products.

Functionality and Safety

The primary considerations when selecting packaging materials for food products are functionality and safety. The packaging materials should be able to protect the food from contamination, spoilage, and other external factors. It should also be able to withstand harsh shipping and storage conditions while maintaining the product’s freshness and flavor.

Food Packaging Design

The design is also vital when choosing packaging materials for food products. The packaging materials should effectively convey the brand message and aesthetic. Chose a design that will capture the attention of potential customers and stand out on store shelves.

Brand Marketing

Your packaging material should be able to communicate the brand’s message and values to its target audience effectively.

E-Commerce Packaging

When selecting packaging materials for food products, it is also essential to consider the needs of e-commerce customers.

You may need to ship products for very long distances in this scenario. In these cases, consider an easy-to-store and easy-to-ship packaging material to lower the shipping costs. Your material should also be easy to open and recycle for the recipient.

Choosing A Suitable Food Packaging ManufacturerOverwrapping Materials

Selecting a food packaging manufacturer requires careful research and due diligence. There are several factors to consider, including material choices, fast lead times, ISO certifications, quality, transparency, and control. It is also important to choose a supplier with a good customer service record and proven reliable experience.

EconoPak is here to supply you with the high-quality food packaging solutions you require. With our expertise, commitment to excellence, and customer service, you can rest assured that you will be well taken care of. Request a quote today to learn more about the right materials for your product and how we can help. Also, be sure to check out our full ebook on material selection for more information.