A contract packager, or co-packer, is a company that packages products for their clients. The packaging and labeling services can be used for many types of products including foods, pharmaceuticals, household products, and industrial products.

Functions of contract packaging

A point-of-sale display assembled by a contract packager

There can be a variety of reasons for using contract packaging.[1][2]

Industries served

Contract packagers can serve an array of industries. Below are some of the most common industries served, and the products that may be packaged:


The details of the relationship between the manufacturer, brand owner, and contract packager can vary. Some contract packagers perform limited operations, with all materials provided by the primary manufacturer. Product engineers are sometimes present to observe and supervise packaging operations. Other contract packaging firms are active in the package design process, provide purchasing services for materials and components, and provide shipping and logistics operations.[4]

A Contract manufacturer can also be a contract packager. If not a separate contract packager can be employed by the contract manufacturer.

Contract packaging equipment

Contract packaging companies make use of a range of different machines, typically utilized on automated lines for faster production and turnaround times. Automated bottling lines may be used for containing liquids such as water, soft drinks, beer, and wine, and are capable of filling bottles at a rate of 30,000 bottles per hour.[5] Auger filling machines can be used for packaging dry products including powders, seeds, vitamins, and other small items.

Other complex machines exist in the contract packaging industry, such as the vertical form fill sealing machine. This machine produces plastics bags from a roll of film while simultaneously filling the bags with liquid or solid products.

Contract packagers may utilize different pieces of equipment to achieve the desired product packaging, whether the items need to be shrink wrapped, or contained in blister packs, clamshells, sealed food trays, stand-up pouches, bottles or cartons.

See also


  1. ^ Peters, J; Higgins, Richmond (2013). Creating Value Through Packaging. DEStech Publications, HAVI Solutions. pp. 84–86. ISBN 978-1-60595-087-7.
  2. ^ "Why Use a Contract Packager". Contract Packaging Association.
  3. ^ Gygi, J (25 August 2020), "7 Things to Consider When Using a Medical Device Contract Packager", Medical Device and Diagostic Industry, retrieved 16 September 2020
  4. ^ "When and how to choose a Contract packager | Packaging Digest". www.packagingdigest.com. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  5. ^ "Fastest bottling line in the world ?". beveragedaily.com. Retrieved 2017-12-20.