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Sector Overview: Contract Manufacturing and Private Label


by Chris Lee -

There are many reasons to visit Vitafoods Europe: to learn about the latest scientific developments, to hear from the industry’s top experts, to sample new products from across the world, and to catch up with old contacts. But we can also help you meet new partners, and often these will be companies who can open new opportunities by doing some of the heavy lifting behind the scenes.

Although not everyone agrees on the definitions, private label suppliers typically offer a finished product that is ready to be sold under your label. Contract manufacturers, in comparison, will work with you to develop a unique product and to produce it in industrial volumes.

We’re seeing growing demand for both forms of relationship. A quarter of visitors to Vitafoods Europe 2016 said they were interested in contract manufacturing for bespoke products, and 48 percent expressed an interest in private label.

When you bring another company into your supply chain, you’re putting a lot of trust in a third party, so it’s important that you spread your net wide to find the right partner. Vitafoods Europe offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet a range of contract manufacturing and private label specialists, and this year’s event will see more than ever exhibiting. 

Increasingly, many of these companies are going beyond the traditional offer of manufacturing capacity to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ that meets a variety of their customers’ needs—whether that’s help with market research, tips on packaging design, or expert advice on regulatory affairs.

But while a partnership can take problems off your hands, it also creates a range of new questions. How can you guarantee high levels of quality at every stage of the manufacturing process? What happens if something goes wrong? What kind of legal agreement do you need to have in place? This year, as well as being able to put these questions directly to potential partners, visitors will have access to impartial legal and regulatory advice.

A lot of the buzz at Vitafoods Europe comes from the synergy between companies. When the right people connect, the result can be a productive long-term relationship for both parties.