So you’ve created a great-tasting beverage, produced batches from home, and established demand for your product. If you’re ready to scale-up, the next challenge is how to find the right manufacturer for your drink product. Where do you start?
There are many, many contract manufacturers out there. All kinds of scale, scope and specialisation. When we’re helping producers to find the right manufacturer, we find it useful to think about the following four areas.
1. About your product
You need to know everything about your product beyond its ingredients and share this clearly with a potential manufacturing partner. This includes:
- Storage requirements
- Allergens present
- Key features and claims
- Directions for use
2. Detail the production method
Consider each of your ingredients, its state (fresh, frozen or powdered, for example) and how it’s supplied. Are these fixed? How will they be procured? If you’ve successfully trialled a small-scale production run, outline the end-to-end process and its control points.
3. Explain your packaging and quantities
If you haven’t already sourced packaging from a supplier, it will be necessary to detail what’s required: materials, weight, size (multi-pack, for example), environmental and sustainability considerations. Are you using particular packaging for direct-to-consumer delivery with particular shelf-life targets? Help them understand exactly what you need.
4. Define what you need from a manufacturer
What are you looking for in your drink manufacturer? Will they also be your packer or distributor? What kind of accreditation should they have? Do you have a listing with one of the supermarkets? If you have aspirations or predictions for your annual volume and your sales strategy, it will be helpful to set this out for them too.
Presenting your case
Also, be sure to remember that you need to be presenting your case as a viable producer to the manufacturer. Taking on a new customer is both a risk and an investment for them, so you need to prepared and detailed in your approach.
We also offer a fixed-price search and introduction package to help you shortlist and select the right supplier for your business and product(s). Contact us or arrange a free-of-charge initial call and we can talk about your specific requirements.