How Do Co-Packers Pack Vegetables?

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July 23, 2021
men shaking hands and making business deal with a co-packer
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Co-packer company staff packing vegetables

Did you know 95% of Americans eat a serving of vegetables a day? There’s plenty of demand for fresh, healthy veggies. And luckily, you’re there to help meet it.

If you’re in the food business, you may be wondering how co-packers can help your company. Co-packers, or Contract-Packers, can be a powerful ally. With their help, you’ll be able to make sure you provide fresh vegetables year-round.

With their support and supply chains, you can focus on your customers. Whether you run a restaurant or your own brand, you need quality vegetables. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to learn more about co-packaging vegetables.

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What Does a Co-Packer Do?

A co-packer is also called a contract packer. You may also hear the term Co-man (Contract-Manufacturer). A co-packer is a company that makes and packages food. 

They have their own supply chains to source vegetables and ingredients. They also provide facilities, staff, and warehouses.

co-packer company staff packing vegetables

You outsource food sourcing and production to your co-packer. Their experience ensures the vegetables you sell are always fresh and healthy.

Many companies who are scaling up use a co-packer. They do so because they don’t wish to hire staff and equipment to produce their products. 

The co-packer you partner with will make your line of food for you. Or they will provide you the ingredients you need for your restaurant kitchen or food line.

When you work with a co-packer you lower the costs of manufacturing. Many companies choose this route so they can focus on building and marketing their brand.

Before working with co-packaging, make sure you are clear on your projected demand. Also, be clear on your standards and expectations.

As you finalize your contract, you can discuss minimum order quantities and fees. You may find it helpful to work with a third-party broker when ironing out your contract.

Co-Packaging Vegetables

a bowl of frozen fruits

When working with a co-packer for your vegetables you gain a few advantages. First of all, the co-packer can provide certification. They will also adhere to all food safety laws.

They can provide both organic and conventional offerings. Your co-packer will have agreements in place with both global and local suppliers. This ensures they procure your ingredients at peak freshness. 

If you’re selling frozen vegetables, you have options for packaging. You can create variety packs or multi-packing options with your co-packer.

If you want to sell packs of vegetables to cater to different markets, you can. For example, with the rise of Keto and Paleo, you may want to sell low-carb vegetables. You can create bags containing mixes of stir fry vegetables and keto vegetables.

Many co-packers can discuss specialized printing, packaging, and even food displays. You can discuss if you want printed film or specialized branding. In this way, you can make sure your vegetables align with your brand marketing.

What Contract-Packers Do For You

A contract-packer sources your vegetables from domestic and international sources. Because they have multiple clients, they build strong relationships within supply chains. Unlike individual entrepreneurs, they can buy in bulk.

Once they source fresh, quality vegetables, they will freeze them. Co-packers often use a method called flash freezing. Individual Quick Freezing, or IQF, ensures that the vegetables don’t clump once frozen. 

Your customers will be happier without having to thaw the vegetables before cooking. That’s because the vegetables are preserved separately. This method also means the co-packer freezes the vegetables at their peak freshness.

The process freezes vegetables very quickly, preserving their nutritional value and quality. Scientists found that freezing vegetables may even give them a nutritional advantage.

In one study, frozen kale contained more antioxidants than fresh kale. The freezing process appeared to even enhance the antioxidant content in the kale! 

What Happens After Sourcing and Freezing?

Packed fresh fruitsAfter freezing vegetables, your co-packer will store and consolidate them for you. At this point, they can create different offerings from your preferred vegetable list.

This is when you’d introduce your keto or low-carb vegetables. Your co-packer can sort vegetables into varieties or even just a single offering.

Consumer demand is up for frozen foods. Delegating your frozen food warehouse to your co-packer allows you more flexibility. They will follow the FDA’s strict frozen food regulations.

They will use supply chain technology to make sure you have enough vegetables to meet demand. And they will bear the costs of purchasing and running the commercial freezers. This leaves you with more budget for other business costs.

If you’re working at an industrial level, you may need offerings in large quantities. You may need constant supplies of fruits, vegetables, and even grains. Similarly, if you are managing chain restaurants, you’ll need bulk amounts of vegetables.

You need to know that your supply is always available. That’s why you should work with a co-packer with established relationships with suppliers.

They will be able to provide you raw ingredients no matter the season. And because they use IQF, the vegetables you need will be fresh when you’re ready for them.

Partner With a Co-Packer

Are you ready to try working with a co-packer? The co-packer takes care of the operations and production for you. Together you can bring fresh delicious vegetables to your customers. 

They freeze your vegetables at their prime.

Your contract-packer manages the warehouse, sourcing, and packaging for you. They even freeze your vegetables at their prime. With these details covered for you, you can focus on building your brand and marketing yourself.

Now that you know more about how co-packaging vegetables works, are you ready to work with an experienced co-packer? Get in touch with us to discuss your needs today! 

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