J. Peter Clark

Using third-party services—referred to as co-manufacturing or co-packing—for some or all parts of the food supply chain has been a significant element of food companies’ strategy for many years. One example is renting warehouse space on a long- or short-term basis. Another is contracting for special packaging, such as promotional bundling (e.g., six-packs of soup) or addition of stickers. Many marketing-oriented firms had some or all of their products made by other companies. In a co-manufacturing facility, sodium bicarbonate is packaged into 12-lb zip-lock standup pouches in a horizontal form/fill/seal machine. The pouches are then passed through a series of checkweighers with metal detectors and packed four per case for retail sale.

In recent years, as…

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