Will you or the co-packer be purchasing and managing the ingredient and packaging inventories. If they are handling it all you need to decide on safety stocks, storage and out-of-date costs. Are you able to use ingredient specs that are common to other producers (e.g. salt granulation).
How predictable is the demand for your product and how far in advance will you be willing to “lock in” on the production schedule?
Do you have or do you know the optimum production length?
Does the co-packer already own the equipment and can it be used as is?
Does your packaging material run on their machinery?
What raw material, in-process and finished product analysis do you require?
How will you train the co-packers employees on the sensory standards for pass-fail of the product?
How will you handle “emergency” product demands and does the co-packer have machine/personnel resources to handle the production and at what cost?
If you require short runs on an unpredictable schedule your costs will be very high. Will this be sustainable for your business?
Have you considered asking the co-packer to develop 2 cost scenarios?
Copackers are companies that can product and package your products and eliminate the need for food companies to invest capital in their own manufacturing and commercial kitchen facilities.
Food entrepreneurs can get valuable help in the formulation of their product. The range of services available will vary and this makes the search for a copacker most critical in finding your production partner.