What to look for in a good co-packer
1) Size of the Company/years in business
-Are they new to the business or have they shown stability for a number of years?
2) Their Customers
-Do they co-pack for any top brands?
-Are they independently audited?
-From the top down, are they responsive to your needs?
When we first started with Brooklyn Bottling four years ago, we had our problems. We used other co-packers and guess what? --Problems with them too.
It is the nature of copacking. One has to understand there is going to be a learning curve on both ends. You deal with it. You have confidence in your product and you work together with your copacker to get it right. It's tough because it's going to cost you money. However, it also costs the copacker money. They expend manpower, machinery, etc. If they're not running right, they are also losing money.
My experience with Brooklyn has been one of building partnership over the years.
I went with them and continue to use them because they are large and established (I am guessing north of $150 million in revenues and 30 years in business). They private label for the top five chains in the Northeast. They bottle their own brands. They are Gold Accredited by Sillker labs. They added PET manufacturing and a can line, which provides options for us. And the people there are great (we know every one of them because we still go to every run).
Today, our runs at Brooklyn are efficient and the product tastes fantastic. They hit the brix we need. The pH we have to have--basically, all our quality standards. And, if any product comes out below qualit, of course we fight, but if it's their fault, the own up to it.
Experiences are different for different people, I thought it important to add mine to this thread.
Ubiquity: Thy name is Inko.