Posts Tagged ‘Beverage Development’

Written on March 30, 2022.

So, you’re a new beverage company and everything is coming together. You have the world’s tastiest drink locked up. You have the best team in place to sell it and distribute it to the perfect markets. You’ve done the research, you’ve got a plan, you are in control. But now you need to actually produce this game-changing beverage. How do you pick a contract manufacturer or bottling company to turn all your hard work into a real, tangible, drinkable beverage? And once you’ve done that, how do you know that everything is going according to plan?

Pick a Co-Packer

There are plenty of names for the companies that blend, fill, seal, and label your beverage. Whether you call it a bottling company, a canner, a copacker, or a contract manufacturer, the terms are loosely interchangeable. These are all companies that combine the necessary raw ingredients for your drink and then get them into your packaging for sale. But each copacker is going to have its own processes, specialties. How do you know who to trust with your business?

Picking a copacker is an important decision and there are a few things to keep in mind. Specifically: don’t rush. Take your time and make your decision based off of as much information as you can acquire. Make some phone calls, ask for advice, peruse their websites. Do the work. Selecting this partner is one of the major keys to producing a winning beverage. Make sure that they have the capacity and capability to make a drink to your specifications. It’s your business, so take the extra time to get this choice right the first time.

Acquire Raw Materials

It is vital that the lines of communication between you and your copacker stay open. One great example of this is the acquisition of raw materials.  Some co-packers will want to handle all the ordering themselves – your beverage ingredients (sweeteners, functional ingredients, flavors, colors, etc), and your packaging (i.e. bottles, labels, cartons) themselves. Others will expect you to place and arrange all those moving pieces yourself. Work with your copacker to have clear expectations of who is responsible for what aspect of material acquisition.

Acquire Raw Materials

Production Manual

You’ve picked your copacker and you’ve managed to get all of the necessary materials to their facility.  It’s time to make your drink! But how? This is where your copacker will expect a clear set of instructions about how to combine all those raw materials into a delicious, ready-for-market drink. At Flavorman, we provide an extensive Production Manual that hits all the required notes. It’s easy to read, thorough, and contains all the necessary specifications and instructions that will make life easier for your copacker. Before your production is started or even scheduled, it’s good to review this information with your copacker to make sure that there will be no ugly and costly surprises on the way to getting your first unit filled.

Production Manual

Schedule a Date

Now that you and your copacker are confident about how to make your beverage, it’s time to decide when. This is another point at which open communication is important. Some copackers will give you a specific date and require the materials all be on hand as much as two weeks ahead of time. Others will give you a range of dates. And still others will require everything has arrived at their facility before they can provide your official date for a production run. Have clear expectations and communicate them regularly. If you did your research, you’ll know your copackers regulations and requirements before you reach this stage. Work with your suppliers to get lead times that fit your copacker’s schedule and are realistic for your supply chain.

Have a Presence

The greatest copacker of all time with the best of intentions and the best possible instructions can still make mistakes. One way to help prevent this is to be present. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to physically be at the production facility on the day of your production (though that’s a good idea, too!). Being present means staying involved and staying informed about your production. If you aren’t able for whatever reason to personally attend, many copackers will accommodate you with phone call updates or even video conferencing. But there is nothing that can replace having someone there to advocate for your business. Maybe it is someone from your organization, but maybe that representative will be a trusted third party. The production process consists of batching (making your beverage), and filling (getting it into your bottle or can). Having someone other than the copacker there to taste and test your beverage after batching and to physically hold your drink after filling is irreplaceable.

Have a Presence

Flavorman recommends having a technical representative attend your production.  This is especially true for first productions. Whether it’s the first time you are making a drink or the first time working with a new copacker, first productions are more likely to experience difficulties and therefore more aided by the presence of technical professionals. Having a highly trained technician familiar with your beverage present offers the following benefits:

1 – Answer Questions: A Flavorman Representative can answer any questions that your copacker may have about the beverage or Production Manual. Furthermore, they can also answer questions for you! It can be a long and confusing day for your first production. Having someone to walk you through the processes while your copackers are busily at work can be a great comfort.

2 – Catch Errors: Their familiarity with your beverage and the manufacturing process can help stop problems before they arise. Specifically, in the “batching” process it can be extremely handy to have professionals present to keep an eye on the process and confirm that it’s being done according to your requirements.

3 – Ensure Quality: Understanding the organoleptic (taste, smell, color) properties of your beverage is one of Flavorman’s calling cards. Having a technician on site to test your finished product to make sure that it is properly representative of your intended drink is a great insurance policy. You want all units of your beverage to taste exactly the way it did when you perfected it! Beyond just the sensory evaluations, having a member of the Flavorman quality team at your production allows you to have someone who understands all the numbers that are being thrown around. Are your densities, BRIX, pH, and proofs all coming out according to plan? They can tell you!

Conclusion

Transforming your beverage from an idea into a real, tangible product can seem interminable. And just when you think you’ve reached the finish line, you are faced with the important decision of picking a copacker. There are great options all over the world, but there may only be one that meets your needs perfectly. Hopefully you now feel a little more comfortable about what that process looks like and the pieces it consists of.

Remember to do your research, ask around, and take your time when picking your copacker. Once you’ve found the perfect match, keep the lines of communication open and the expectations of both sides clear and manageable. And when the day comes to finally fill your drink into your bottles, make sure you’ve got experts on your side who can monitor the process and advocate for your business. Working with industry experts can help you get across the finish line on your way to having your beverage hit the market.

When you’re ready to talk about your idea to change what the world is drinking, give us a call at (502) 273-5214 or get started with this web form.

 

Related Content

Flavorman’s On-Site Technical Assistance Video

6 Steps for Sourcing Bulk Spirits

Finding a Co-Packer Video

6 Key Considerations on Beverage Packaging

Creating A Budget for Your Beverage Project

3 Reasons Why Juice Is A Challenging Drink Ingredient

Written on June 23, 2021.

Yes, you can start your own natural drink company! But before you do, you should make sure you know what that means.

If you’re getting ready to enter today’s food and beverage market, you’re going to have to address natural, organic, and ‘clean label’ trends. There are a lot of heuristics for consumers interested in living a ‘clean label’ lifestyle, such as: “Don’t buy products with more than three ingredients;” “Don’t drink anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce;” and “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t have had in her pantry.”


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Written on June 24, 2020.

It’s 2020 and you’ve decided you’re finally ready to follow your lifelong dream of launching a drink brand. Then the unimaginable happens – a pandemic strikes. Moving forward with your idea would be foolish, right?

Well, maybe not.

Before you postpone your dream for yet another day, month, year, consider the time it will take you to get your product to market.
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Written on May 20, 2020.

The beverage industry is one of the most dynamic business sectors out there. But while the ever-evolving landscape of the beverage world may be exciting, it also comes with a unique set of challenges. Whether you’re a passionate entrepreneur or an established drink company seeking to expand your product lines, there’s certainly no shortage of risks involved in launching a beverage product – but luckily, there are a few ways you can stay prepared throughout the process.
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Written on March 25, 2020.

Our beverage experts formulate dozens of new and innovative drinks for clients every day, making them a valuable resource for the latest flavor trends. In December, our team got together to predict the trends we expect to take over the beverage industry in 2020 and our forecast features botanicals as one of the top 3 flavors set up for success in a year favoring the fresh and functional.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the world’s attraction to botanicals as drink flavors and ingredients, and the ways they are being used in beverage application. Let get into it!
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Written on March 18, 2020.

It’s almost National Cocktail Day, which means it’s the perfect time to relax and kick up your feet with a Manhattan or a Long Island Iced Tea – but before you whip up your favorite mixed drink, we’re giving you another great way to celebrate with these 3 things you didn’t know about cocktails. Bottoms up!
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Written on March 11, 2020.

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you may be wondering how to create a green beer that all your friends will love. The answer is… blue food coloring!

Alright, the recipe for green beer may be a bit anti-climactic, but luckily it boasts an origin story that is far more compelling.
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Written on February 26, 2020.

CBD. It’s everywhere and it’s in everything – and if you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re looking for a way to capitalize on this rapidly growing 22-billion-dollar industry.

You’ve come to the right place.
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Written on February 19, 2020.

Our beverage experts formulate dozens of new and innovative drinks for clients every day, making them a valuable resource for the latest flavor trends. In December, our team got together to predict the trends we expect to take over the beverage industry in 2020 and our forecast features ginger as one of the top 3 flavors set up for success in a year favoring the fresh and functional.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the world’s attraction to ginger as a drink flavor and ingredient, and the ways it’s being used in beverage application. Let get into it!
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Written on February 12, 2020.

Thanks to its flavor and Instagram-worthy aesthetic, pink gin has become a global favorite; but what do you know about this blushing delight? Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we’re diving into the history behind this beloved pink drink.
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