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Copacker Insight: Bad Copackers - I know bad Copackers exist, but what should I look out for?

Updated: Apr 30

Welcome to Copacker Search Wisdom


Here's an interesting topic of conversation that I bet you've tried to google! If you didn't find a good answer out there hopefully you will find this one insightful. For the sake of easy reading, let's tackle this one by subject followed by an immediate answer. Let's get to it:


When dealing with copackers in the food and beverage industry, all of us have heard of red flags to watch out for but very few of us know what those red flags are. Here are some of the most crucial red flags and risks that are associated with unreliable or "bad" copackers.


1. Poor Quality Control: Bad copackers may have lax quality control standards, leading to inconsistent product quality or safety issues. This could result in customer complaints, product recalls, or even legal liabilities. This can include switching out ingredients without your permission or following proper quality protocols in order to do this. We see this often!

2. Lack of Transparency: If a copacker is not transparent about their processes, ingredients, or sourcing, it could indicate potential issues with honesty and reliability. Transparency is essential for maintaining trust and ensuring product integrity.

3. Unreliable Communication: Difficulty in reaching or communicating with the copacker, delayed responses, or vague answers to inquiries can be signs of poor reliability. Effective communication is crucial for successful collaboration.

4. Inadequate Facilities or Equipment: Copackers with outdated or inadequate facilities and equipment may not be able to meet your production standards or comply with regulatory requirements. This could compromise product safety and consistency.

5. Financial Instability: Financial troubles or frequent changes in ownership can disrupt production schedules or even lead to the copacker going out of business, leaving you without a production partner and potentially causing financial losses.

6. Intellectual Property Concerns: Ensure that the copacker respects your intellectual property rights and confidentiality agreements. Unauthorized use or disclosure of proprietary information can harm your brand and competitiveness. Many clients get talked into letting the copacker own the formula that the copacker may have helped create. Never let a copacker do this! You need to own your Formula! If you do not, reach out to us and we can either get it for you or reverse-formulate it to give you control.

7. Inflexibility or Limited Capabilities: A copacker that lacks flexibility or has limited capabilities may not be able to accommodate your specific needs or scale production as your business grows. This could hinder your ability to meet market demand and expand your product line.

8. Regulatory Compliance Issues: Non-compliance with food safety regulations or industry standards can lead to regulatory penalties, product recalls, or damage to your brand reputation. Verify that the copacker adheres to relevant regulations and standards.

9. Unfavorable Contract Terms: Pay attention to the terms of the contract, including pricing, production volume requirements, exclusivity clauses, and termination conditions. Unfair or unfavorable terms can put your business at a disadvantage. If you need help with negotiations, reach out to us and we can assist with you and your product's best interest as our goal.

10. Poor Reputation or Reviews: Research the copacker's reputation in the industry and look for reviews or feedback from other clients. Negative reviews or a history of complaints should raise concerns about their reliability and suitability as a partner. Checking for recalls and even audit results is a great way to go. But check these thoroughly, a score needs to be investigated because there are a variety of marks that can be given and not all are equal red flags.


By being vigilant and conducting thorough due diligence when selecting a copacker, you can mitigate the risks associated with partnering with unreliable or "bad" copackers in the food and beverage industry.


As Always, Happy Hunting!


The CVL Team

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