Co-packing trend – Sharing responsibility

The global co-packing sector continues to grow quickly, with its predicted 15% year on year growth expected to continue as evolving regulations and a focus on brand development highlights how the cost saving of co-packing is easily explained to global brand owners, specifically in the food and beverage sectors. Not only is it around 7-9% cheaper to outsource the filling and packing to a co-packing expert, it allows the brands to focus their efforts on product and marketing, essentially allowing everyone to do what they do best.

Refresco is the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and branded beverage companies, making it a valued partner to many of the world’s most famous drinks brands. Refresco Senior Central Purchasing Manager Martijn Tempelaar says, “We make solutions for our brand owner customers, which means we need to make the co-packing process efficient and effective. We consistently deliver one-stop-shop solutions so that they can dedicate their efforts on further building their brand. We leverage our scale to find the best sources of raw materials and we drive market innovation through design and process capability. It’s a value proposition that maximises everyone’s best assets.” In order to ‘produce over 30million litres of the world’s favourite drinks per day’ across its 60-plus global manufacturing sites ‘ensuring close proximity and reliable service to our customers’, Refresco’s global bottling platform utilises its sophisticated supply chain expertise and local innovation capabilities.

Partners need partners

To achieve this co-packing perfection, Refresco needs partners of its own. Co-co-packers, if you will. One such partner is Retal, a global PET preforms and HDPE closures producer that also operates worldwide and is dedicated to creating solutions. Retal global key account manager Gennadiy Khmelevskiy is Refresco’s pivotal point of contact, and he understands how promoting a transparent, open communication is key to both parties meeting their responsibilities. He says, “Working closely with Refresco is the best way for us to supply the closures and PET and rPET preforms Martijn and his team requires; maintaining quality is paramount, with speed of delivery and cost competitiveness highly important too. It’s all important. Working to high standards is what we do – and it’s what Refresco expects. We all know we’re working well together on a great project; we have to protect relationships like this.” Protecting relationships is at the heart of successful co-packing. With companies increasingly able to tender worldwide and standardised quality more easily available, it is the personal relationships and ability to connect with the individuals that make the decisions that allows for co-packing to be a valued service. Tempelaar agrees, “We know the requirements of the brand owners for lightweighting, increasing rPET, and tethered closures must be guaranteed, so it’s the extra elements that make the difference. I can speak honestly with Gennadiy; even if we don’t always agree, we always create a solution that works.”

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