from. In addition, the company launches new products more than four times
a year to keep its customers on-trend.
According to Karla Horton of
Unicep, new companies must differentiate their brand and bring“new”
to the retail shelf.
“They need a great product,
inviting brand, packaging that will
stand out, and a sampling program,”
she explained. “What we can provide is a
turnkey service. We can mix, fill and pack-
age—so their product is ready to sell.”
Of course, getting started isn’t cheap.
One contract manufacturer told Happi if
a newcomer doesn’t have $250,000 to get
going, they should keep their dreams to
“Everybody is making something,
somewhere,” he cautioned. “The volume is
there, but the margins are in the gutter.”
That’s why it is critical for companies
to carefully evaluate their would-be man-
When selecting a contract manufac-
turing partner, it is very important to look
behind the curtain to evaluate the depth
and experience of the company that you
will be trusting to manufacture your prod-
uct and the quality of the facilities and
equipment that will be used to produce
your product, explained Arnold, who add-
ed that the contract manufacturer’s finan-
cial health should also be evaluated.
“These evaluations should take place
at the start of a relationship and then on
an ongoing basis,” he suggested. “Too of-
ten, the contract manufacturer selection
process starts with a toll price bid and then
moves quickly to the manufacturing stage
without further evaluation of these impor-
tant, non-price factors.”
CoValence Labs educates would-be
clients on the process and the cost, too, by
offering start-up cost worksheets.
“The last thing we would want to do is
to start creating a product and then realize
they cannot afford it before it even launch-
es,” explained Wochner. “We are transpar-
ent with the costs.”
Depending on their distribution avail-
ability, the CoValence team will typically
point them to its private label products in
lieu of customizing.
“The private label products are fully
developed for someone to take ‘as is’ and
try their hand with the process, before
jumping into the more complicated task of
product customization,” advised Wochner.
For its larger clients, Unicep offers services that they may not have in
house—especially with blow-fill-seal
packaging. According to Horton, Unicep
also acts as an extension of their business
and can supplement their internal resources when it comes to manufacturing.
“With our formulation services, we
can assist with creating new products, or
improving those currently on the market.
For newcomers, contract manufacturing
is a way for them to enter the market. It’s
difficult for startups to have all of the necessary resources. If they have a product
that has a place in the market, along with
a business plan and marketing strategy—
we can typically help with the rest.”
Demand & Supply?
Of course, not every outside manufacturer has similar capabilities. Ava Anderson
Non Toxic is a privately-held, direct sales
company making personal care and
household products. Non Toxic was working with eight different outside manufac-turers but has moved some production
in-house and is now down to just two
outside vendors. Here’s what the company’s president had to say about why she
stopped working with the other contract
Experts say more than 30% of household
and personal care products are made via