Our machinery is geared toward mass production, many times, we cannot offer our services to those who are just starting out. Many hours of counseling people on the phone have led us to develop this page to give you such direction and advice. We have been at this since 1927 and offer this advice as as a guide to those who are not quite ready for our services. Please us this page as a reference to hopefully avoid making some costly mistakes as you proceed on your way to market. We ask that you read the following carefully. The Partner Links page contains many links to manufacturers who either have lesser minimum quantity requirements or offer services that we do not. We have also listed links to resource sites that can help you navigate your way to developing a legal, safe, and stable product. Palmetto Canning has no financial interest or ownership in any of the companies or web addresses offered for reference and make no warranties as to their abilities or service. However, we try to post references to companies that offer quality services.
Answer: Yes, that is fine, but you have to measure all your ingredients very carefully. The first step in converting your recipe to a formula is to access a very accurate way to measure the ingredients. Keep in mind that when your recipe is scaled up from a full pot to a 1000 gallon tank batch, the most minor error is multiplied by 1000. A good place to start is to go to a local restaurant supply store and get a digital or analog scale that measures in grams or ounces. Using this scale, make a batch as you normally would, but weigh EVERY component. Even the liquids such as water should be weighed. Be sure to keep all your components in the same unit of measure such as grams or ounces. Never mix weighed ounces and fluid ounces as they are NOT the same. Another important step is to avoid using retail products as ingredients such as branded ketchup or branded seasoning blends. The first reason for this is that it is often difficult or impossible to obtain a source for these ingredients in industrial quantities, and secondly, you are paying much more by using a branded ingredient that will skew the cost of your product. Keep your recipe in the “most basic commodity form” possible … Salt, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Black pepper and so on… Remember also to accurately record the steps of your recipe. For example, measure the temperatures and times if the item is cooked. Your bottler will take it from that point and scale your formula up to their batch size. Formulas in teaspoons, pinches, and dashes are the bane of most bottlers existence and will not be looked upon favorably.
- Silliker, Inc. – Lakeland, FL (407) 877-2212
- ABC Labs – Gainesville, FL (352) 372-0436
- Maxxam Analytics 902-420-0203 Canada
- FDA Web Site Food and Drug Administration
Do they have the manufacturing technologies you require?
What are their minimum requirements?
Can they warehouse your product?
What similar products do they currently manufacture?
Do they have in-house product development personnel to assist you and what does that cost?
Ask for a list of references.
What agencies inspect their facility?
Ask to see these inspection reports.
Are they audited by an outside (3rd party) inspection company such as ABI or NSF?
Ask to see these reports as well.
How do they charge for their services? Example: A toll-packer does not pay for any product or materials and it is the clients’ responsibility to get all these components to the packer. They then charge a “toll fee” per case to use their facilities and labor. A contract packer pays for everything and charges you a finished case cost.
Some contract packers may want you to provide ingredients or packaging they do not have in their existing inventory – particularly your labels. The advantage of a contract packer is that they very often are able to buy most of the ingredients and packaging in more efficient quantities than the client could. It is important to ask if the packer adds profit to these components or not.
Is their facility Kosher? (may not apply to your product)
What form of case marking do they employ?
Many distributors and retailers mandate a verifiable UPC & SCC14 bar code on the exterior of the case.
What form of product coding do they employ?
What form of tamper evidence do they offer?
What type of labeling do they use?About Labels – There are Different Types
Pressure Sensitive: peel and stick labels on a roll. If using pressure sensitive, ask them for their wind specification.
Paper/Glue: self explanatory.
FBSS : Full Body Shrink Sleeve. If using FBSS, ask what their maximum layflat specification is.
What bottles do they currently use for other products?
Remember, there are usually great economies in using a bottle or package that is currently being manufactured in that facility.
Ask for a certificate of insurance for product liability.
Ask if you can be added as a named insured on their policy.This may help you to avoid having to secure your own separate insurance.*
*Consult an insurance professional and your customers for direction concerning insurance.[/tm-servicebox]
Art work on disc or via e-mail.
UPC Bar Code Number (explained below)
Ingredient list with allergens listed.
NELA (nutrition facts) panel.
Wind Specifications of your bottler. This is so that the labels will run properly on our bottler’s machinery.
UPC Bar Code Number is assigned by the UCC. You can find out more about them on their website at Www.UC-Council.Org. TheUPC bar code is made up of a combination of digits that include an assigned company code, product code, and check digits.
- Nadco Labels (pressure sensitive)
- Bay Tech Label Pressure Sensitive Labels
- FDA Web Site Food and Drug Administration
- International Paper Co. – Paper Labels
- Templock (full body shrink sleeve labels) (805) 962-3100
- Fort Dearborn (full body shrink sleeve labels) (908) 612-0261
All American Containers located in the Tampa, Miami, and Puerto Rico. (813) 248-2023[/tm-servicebox]
Of all of the questions posed to us over the years, this is the most difficult to answer. It is true that the “Little Guy” is at a disadvantage in the grocery business, but as mentioned earlier, many products on the shelf today started in someone’s kitchen. To get a product ready for market is a considerable expense and in no way guarantees any success. Does the world really need another BBQ sauce? Our answer is that there always seems to be room for one more. Much of your success will be determined by two critical factors: Your ability to distribute the product and your finances. Many good products have fallen along the wayside because of a lack of proper financing or a lack of time commitment. It is almost impossible to sell real estate and BBQ sauce at the same time. Launching a product is very costly and if you do not have adequate financial resources in place, the odds against you just increased tenfold. A good analogy is oil drilling. It takes a little opportunity and little luck and many an oil man ran out of money ten feet from oil. The biggest obstacle you will encounter is distribution. There is no shortage of great products, but there is a shortage of distribution. If you do not have a way to get it to market, you have nothing.
There are many marketing gurus who will take your money, so be careful. If your desire is to target the grocery trade, you may need a food broker. Food brokers charge a percentage of sales , usually 5%. However, many larger brokers have minimum annual fees of $25k or more. Consult your local phone directory and call some brokers. If they cannot offer any assistance, they may be able to direct you to a smaller broker who can. You can use Google to look for more information about “Food Brokers in Florida”. Another approach is to ask the buyer how to approach them and they will often offer advice on the best way to present your item. They may insist on a broker, or they may offer a very different approach. Each grocery chain is different and operates a little bit differently. Don’t be afraid to call and ask. Even the big box stores will talk to the “little guys” and often turn them into the “big guys