Food Industry Secrets: Co-Packing
Well, 90% of all food manufacturers are owned by 10 companies. Yes, you read that right! This means diversity in packaged ingredients is hard to come by. Read further to learn more about co-packing and why LivBar chooses to manufacture our products in-house.
What is co-packing?
Co-packing, also known as contract manufacturing, is when a product is manufactured in a production facility that manufactures many other products. There are 3 types of co-packing: contract co-packing, private label co-packing, and contract packagers.
- Contract co-packing is when a recipe is owned by the brand, but the product is manufactured at an outside facility. This still allows the brand to select the packaging. The co-packing facility does not own the rights to the recipe.
- Private label co-packing is when the manufacturer’s formula is used, but the owner of the brand uses their own packaging.
- Contract packaging is when a brand hires another company to take over their packaging.
Why do brands use co-packers to fulfill orders?
In most cases, co-packing reduces costs. Brands don’t need to purchase large commercial kitchen equipment or rent a large production facility. Some large co-packers are also able to buy ingredients in larger quantities if they have multiple orders with similar products, which is a cheaper alternative.
Another reason brands find co-packers to fulfill orders is because a co-packer is a resource in food safety, food safety certificates, agreements, contracts, packaging and distribution. Many co-packers also have the correct equipment for research and development in order for a brand to expand.
What makes LivBar different?
LivBar is one of the only nutrition bar companies in the industry that bakes every bar, let alone is gluten free, nut free, soy free, dairy free, GMO free, and organic. To find a co-packer with as high of standards as us would be extremely difficult. Not to mention, we didn’t want to be like everyone else.
Allergen Free Facility
Many co-packers work with allergens, then clean the machine between products that need to be allergen free. Although this helps with cross contamination, it doesn’t completely eliminate it. LivBar’s facility does not come in contact with allergens because we have complete control over what comes into our kitchen. In fact, all supplies dropped off in our facility are tested for gluten before they enter our production area. This is an extra step we take in order to provide the best allergen free products to our customers.
Food safety is a top priority here at LivBar and we have many certifications to compliment our high standards. LivBar recently achieved the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification. The SQF certification is a set of strict standards that ensure food companies practice food safety management at the same high-quality across the globe. Our culture of food safety is even baked into employee on-boarding procedures. Most of our on-site employees must pass a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Training to even step foot in the production area!
LivBar has other exciting certifications where strict standards must be followed, including:
Since we are in control of our product from beginning to end, we are also in control of our relationship with our suppliers. Local, organic companies are really the heart and soul of our business. The juicy blueberries in our Blueberry Vanilla Kale LivBar are sourced from a local family farm, Blueberry Ridge in Sherwood, Oregon. The fresh coffee beans in our Coffee Maple Cacao LivBar are delivered to us straight from Portland Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. We love that we are able to support local businesses. You can truly taste the difference in each bite. This wouldn’t be possible if we worked with a co-packer, many of whom are miles away from the brands that use them.
Sustainability is our middle name here at LivBar. We use the industry's only 100% home compostable wrapper. We believe strongly that it’s our responsibility to not contribute to the world’s plastic waste problem. Did you know, food wrappers are the 4th most common single use plastic found in the environment - many of which end up in the ocean?
Another way we are different from our co-packing counterparts is the use of solar power in our office and production facility. By using solar energy we are able to reduce the burden of traditional electricity sources, which helps to reduce carbon emitted through fossil fuels.
Although co-packing is popular, LivBar chose to manufacture in a controlled, allergen free environment where we have the most influence over the product that gets sent to our customers. Not to mention, we much prefer to be the ones to enjoy the delightful aromas on baking day.
It’s important to us that we keep it handcrafted, handmade, and handbaked.