As your protein bar, bite, or shake business grows, one of the main challenges you will face is keeping up with demand - whether from your retailers or end-consumers. Fortunately, this challenge isn’t difficult to overcome; all you need is to outsource your production to the right protein bar co-packer.
Hailed by growing CPG food start-ups as an efficient and cost-effective way to take their business to great heights, co-packers have become a staple in the CPG food space. In fact, many agile brands have started to search for and partner with reliable co-packers from the get-go to gain a competitive advantage. With this in mind, it is now more important than ever for your protein bar company to have a protein bar co-packer. Still don’t believe us? Here are 5 reasons why you should.
What Is A Protein Bar Co-Packer?
Co-packers are facilities that are responsible for the manufacturing and packaging of various products for a specific client. They handle almost all the operations surrounding production, including the assembly, logistics, supply chain, packaging, and labeling of products, so that the growing brand can meet larger demand without taking on extra staff and equipment.
To be more specific, a specialty food co-packer is often a bakery or food contract manufacturer that offers co-packing services for growing food businesses and helps them get their new snacks to market. Although co-packing services will vary across different co-packers, the perfect protein bar co-packer will provide a turnkey solution that includes formula development, manufacturing, and a full suite of growth services to commercialize a CPG brand’s nutritional snacks.
Why You Need A Protein Bar Co-packer
A common problem many protein bar entrepreneurs face is the dilemma between investing the money in long-term growth or investing in short-term operations. While the market is already there, the economies of scale inevitably limit their desires for expansion.
Working with a protein bar co-packer will help you overcome any obstacles that may be in the way of your growth. Here are 5 reasons why your new innovative food business can benefit from a nutritional snack co-packer.
1. Improves Scalability
Sometimes, businesses grow at unpredictable growth rates, faster than their current infrastructure can handle. Other times, businesses grow slow and need a partner who empowers them to test out the market. In either instance, you need a co-packer who can help you scale in size.
The right protein bar co-packer will support you no matter what volume you need. They will have a small minimum order quantity (MOQ) so you can test if your product, aka MVP, is suitable for the market first. If you do decide to commit to large-scale production, the co-packer will be able to handle that with ease, especially with their state-of-the-art equipment. Beyond volume, co-packers will offer a wide assortment of products to empower your business in the CPG snack space, which includes but is not limited to: protein bars, cookies, cereals, and toaster pastries.
2. Offers Advanced Equipment & Innovative Processes
Since outfitting a food manufacturing company to meet large-scale co-packing requirements is expensive, smart companies are now partnering with co-packers. Why? Protein bar co-packers have state-of-the-art equipment that can churn out large quantities and help you fulfill demand in a short turnaround time. Co-packers have all the innovative machinery, staff, and materials to ensure that your product passes through all the supply chain stages at consolidated prices, without huge investment on your end.
Food co-packers also offer cutting-edge formulation and production techniques to create a professional market-ready snack. Since certifications are necessary to grow your business, they make sure your formula meets the scientific requirements while using leading-edge processes innovated by food scientists. Not to mention, protein bar co-packers have modern facilities that enable them to perform a wide range of testing, including organoleptic testing, nutritional analysis, and water activity level testing, that guarantee food safety and shelf-life stability.
3. Shares Industry Expertise
Co-packers have the industry expertise you need to grow your brand. Having worked with many different CPG food brands, they have the knowledge and experience to get your food company up and running smoothly. The best co-packer will provide insight on how to navigate the newest industry trends and leverage the hottest dietary trends consumers are looking for. In addition, as key players in the food industry, they’ll have pre-existing relationships with large stores to help get your products to the stores with less hassle.
In most cases, a specialty food co-packer will assume the role of a Chief Operations Officer for a business so it is important to choose the right one. To help you, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 questions to ask a protein bar co-packer. This will allow you to really evaluate whether your protein bar co-packer is a good fit for your brand and business model. Remember that partnering with a co-packer that aligns with your business goals and visions is critical since it will allow you to focus on growing your brand and sales instead of worrying about production.
4. Helps You with Regulatory Compliance
There are many regulations that CPG brands need to be aware of when it comes to the manufacturing and packaging of food products. Food safety is particularly important and businesses need to be aware of regulatory bodies, like SQF and FDA. SQF verification is particularly important since many major retail stores like Whole Foods or Target do not accept non-SQF verification. Thankfully, this is where working with a protein bar co-packer can help out.
Most co-packers are SQF-certified, but the right co-packer will be transparent about the score of their most recent audit and keep their certifications up to date so your business can flourish. They will run your protein bars, balls, and bites under a strict quality assurance process to guarantee that your snacks are safe for public consumption. What to know what else the right co-packer will offer? A team of quality assurance specialists and FDA compliance experts, who will all work to ensure your packaging is FDA compliant.
5. Reduces Cost (and Increases Cash Flow)
One of the main reasons you should outsource your production to a protein bar co-packer is for the cost savings that come with it. Simply put, when you partner with a co-packer, there is less capital investment for your business since you don’t have to pay for the facilities, equipment, and labor. In fact, good co-packers cover the storage, ingredient sourcing, fulfillment, distribution, personnel, and equipment that your growing food business needs but can’t invest upfront.
If your protein shake company (or protein cookie company) is ever faced with the choice of in-house production vs. outsourcing to a co-packer, then choose the latter. You can outsource your operations to a leading co-packer in California and gain access to high-tech machinery, a reliable workforce, and a wide range of materials while reducing cost and maintaining positive cash flow.
Stay Ahead with a Protein Bar Co-Packer
As the food industry continues to grow, nimble and agile brands and businesses have already begun to embrace the opportunity to work with co-packers to expand and scale their brand. Food visionaries that want to gain a competitive edge should start looking for a protein bar co-packer to stay ahead of the fray and increase their market share.