A co-packer, co-manufacturer or co-man are the short-form industry vernacular for contract packer or contract manufacturer. These terms refer to a facility that either manufactures your product line or receives your finished goods in bulk and packages them for you. This is an efficient, cost-effective way to bring your products to market rather than building your own manufacturing facility. Unfortunately, co-mans are not easy to find. Their websites are usually designed for experts already in-the-know. Descriptions of their processes often use unfamiliar terms like “flexible pouch retort”, “extrusion facility”, or “form and fill sealers". They have been burned by clients over the years and have learned how to avoid the phony’s. They have heard projected sales numbers hundreds of times over before taking on projects that failed. They have heard every story you can think of. So "honesty" is the best policy to get into the door.

Manufacturing food & bakery products is very expensive and co-manufacturers know that many start up companies and food entrepreneurs don’t have the funds for all the test-runs and experimentation needed to validate the manufacturing product. Experimental test-runs and line time can cost thousands of dollars and manufacturers would prefer to work with established food companies. Because of this, manufacturers don’t invest money into marketing their facilities and they don’t bend over backwards to work with you unless you work through a sourcing broker like RFG.
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