Co-Man Search Checklist
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Co-Man Search Checklist

Minimum Co-Man Requirements

Here is the checklist of what you’ll need before you should begin to search for a contract manufacturer

Product Information

Product Specifications Sheet (Spec sheet): Detailed specifications outlining the desired characteristics, ingredients, composition, and quality parameters of the food product.
Commercial Formulation: The formulation of the food product, including the specific ingredients, quantities, and processing instructions.

Note - while smaller manufacturers will help you scale up a formulation, we suggest you do the work ahead of time to create a formulation based on weight, rather than approach them with a recipe.

Packaging Specifications: Information about the packaging materials, dimensions, labeling requirements, and any special packaging instructions. Usually the packaging supplier can provide the specs to the brand to share with the manufacturer.
Manufacturing Process Flowchart: A visual representation of the step-by-step process involved in manufacturing the food product, including the handling of ingredients, processing, and packaging.

Marketing & Sales Information

Minimum Volumes & volume projections: Contract manufacturers have minimum production volumes, so if you’re looking to work with a co-man, you need to make sure you can hit their minimums. Additionally, volume projections are very important. While you might not have concrete numbers, you need to have a general sense of range - a company looking to manufacture 5,000 units every two months will look for a very different manufacturer than a company looking to manufacture 50,000 units monthly.
Estimated MSRP: You should be already selling your product through some avenue by this point, so you will have a sales price. This may not reflect your future MSRP once you begin working with co-mans, however it’s important to have run through the numbers and have estimates you’d like to target.
Marketing strategy: a clearly defined strategy for how you will approach selling and scaling up your brand. Contract manufacturers want to work with brands long term, so having an idea of a marketing strategy going in will give them that reassurance.
Retailers: a list of retailers you are currently selling at or in conversation with, including a rough estimate of your product velocity.

Additional Nice-To-Haves

Here are some additional documents and pieces of information that would be helpful to have when approaching a co-man, but are not as necessary to have before you begin, especially if you are a startup brand.

Quality Control Plan: A document outlining the quality control measures and procedures to be implemented during the production process, including sampling, testing, and inspection protocols.
Allergen Information: Information on the presence of any allergens in the food product and appropriate labeling requirements
Co-Man Checklist