Tom Lock: Tips for finding the right manufacturer for your product

Many of us have excellent ideas for food and drinks products. Perhaps you have a family recipe that could be a winner. Or perhaps you’ve got a new technique for improving flavours and textures. Of course, the difference between creating a delicious treat at home and launching your own food or drink company is huge so there’ll be a lot to think about. 

Entrepreneurs need to approach food and drinks manufacturers to produce the product at scale. This is not straightforward. You want to make sure that the final product tastes as good as it did in your kitchen while also ensuring that the financial aspects of the deal give you an acceptable profit margin.

For all four of the snacks brands I’ve launched over the past five years, ensuring a high-quality flavour without the need for additives is the unique point of differentiation. For this reason I put a lot of time into finding the right manufacturer for our products. Let me share my top tips to help you on your way:

The right approach for the size of manufacturer

Small manufacturers and large manufacturers will need differences in your approach to negotiation. 

Small manufacturers will usually be more flexible, more willing to help with product development, and able to handle small order volumes. They are usually more expensive, however, and could struggle to meet larger volumes.

Larger manufacturers, on the other hand, will often be able to deliver the best prices but they often need larger volumes. As a result, you will need to be more bullish with your forecasts. I suggest you get onto Companies House and investigate their accounts to help understand their business before you reach out.

Speak to lots of people

One of the most important pieces of advice I can offer is to speak to as many manufacturers as possible, especially if you have no prior experience in the industry. 

Start by talking to smaller manufacturers to learn the process and find out how they might be able to help with product development. Then go on to speak to larger manufacturers to discover their volume requirements and the price difference. 

It’s vital, especially in the early days, to be able to leverage your position to get the best pricing, and the best way to do this is to have as many options on the table as possible. By shopping around you will discover what is available, what the key points of differentiation are, and be able to plan a number of scenarios.

Know the jargon

The more knowledgeable you sound, the more you’ll be taken seriously. Do your best to understand the jargon before you reach out. 

Read books, trade publications like The Grocer, and as many other trade publications as you can and try to brush up on the relevant food law as well as general industry lingo. Terms like “ex-works” are alien to newcomers but are basic terminology in the industry.

Using the wrong word or being caught out on a piece of law may seem like a relatively minor error but companies may use that as a signal that you’re new to the industry and take advantage. A little research will go a long way!

Don’t be over-demanding

Manufacturers don’t like hassle. They are in the business of “making it” and then “shipping it”. Going in with a long list of complex demands straight out the gate will likely put them off working with you.

It helps to be as flexible as possible. Many manufacturers are put off by complex projects. So, at least at the start, make your project sound as simple and easy as possible, and wait until the second or third meeting to introduce complexity.

Start by defining the absolute essential aspects of your product, things that are fundamental to your brand. With Awfully Posh, for example, it was essential for the pork scratchings to be full of flavour without any additives. Aside from these considerations, which comprised our USPs, I could be fairly flexible. As such, it was relatively easy to find a manufacturing partner. 

Sell your brand vision

You need your manufacturer to believe in your vision, especially if you are pre-launch. Make sure you come prepared with a detailed strategy and share as much of it as you can with your potential manufacturing partners. Obviously, there will be aspects you don’t want to share, but the mission and vision need to be clear, practical and exciting.

Most manufacturers understand building brands is difficult, but if you can get them to “believe” in your growth plan then you should be able to convince them to start with smaller volumes and help you grow sustainably.

Prepare a detailed forecast

It’s vital you are able to deliver a detailed forecast to your manufacturing partner. Don’t be scared to be optimistic, but make sure it is still realistic. Manufacturers will want to know that your brand is likely to grow, that the price works with your commercials, and that the relationship has longevity. Remember, manufacturers will have some skin in the game, having worked out the setup and production methods for your products, so they need to know the order volumes, profits, and range is likely to grow.

Don’t divulge sensitive informative but consider breaking it down by channel and by month, and doing it at least over two years. The more prepared you are the more seriously you’ll be taken.

For any new food or drink brand approaching manufacturers is an essential step. You can’t keep making your products in your domestic kitchen long-term!

It’s a challenging process and you may feel out of your depth at times. Always remember that the manufacturers are there to help you succeed and achieve your brand vision. However, they are also looking to create a long-term which is easy and is likely to grow. Prepare thoroughly, show you’ve done your research and you’ll have a good chance of impressing right manufacturer and getting a mutually beneficial deal.


Thomas Lock is the founder and Managing Director of Awfully Posh (AP) Brands, a FMCG snacks company. Referred to by the Daily Telegraph as “the man who made pork scratchings posh”, Tom launched his pork scratching brand, Awfully Posh, in 2013. He soon launched a further three snacks brands, The British Crisp Co., The British Popcorn Co., and Create A Crisp, selling a total of over 5 million bags to date. AP Brands’ snacks are now stocked in supermarket giants such as ASDA, Tesco, Waitrose, Amazon & Wholefoods Market.

Tom on LinkedIn

Awfully Posh on Facebook



  1. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. I’ll right away grab your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  3. Thank you for another magnificent post. The place else could anybody get that type of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

  4. Hey! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

  5. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your web site in internet explorer, may check this?K IE still is the market leader and a large component of other folks will omit your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  6. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be interesting to read articles from other authors and practice something from
    their websites.

  7. obviously like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth however I?¦ll certainly come again again.

  8. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  9. You could certainly see your skills in thee work
    you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you whho are not afraid to mention hoow they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  10. Can I simply just say what a comfort to uncover someone who truly
    understands what they’re discussing on the net.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people really need to read this and understand this
    side of your story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  11. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in internet explorer, would test this?K IE still is the market chief and a large section of other people will omit your excellent writing because of this problem.

  12. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it
    is truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
    I willl be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lotss of people will bbe benefited frdom your writing.

  13. Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started
    and set up my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  14. I will immediately seize your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me recognize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  15. I simply desired to say thanks once again. I am not sure what I would have accomplished without the actual advice shared by you regarding such subject. It had been the alarming matter for me personally, however , understanding this expert manner you solved that made me to jump with joy. Now i’m happy for this work and then hope that you comprehend what an amazing job your are providing training many others all through your web site. Probably you have never come across all of us.

  16. I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  17. I am really loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any
    internet browser compatibility issues? A small number of my
    blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

  18. I am curious to find out what blog system you have been working with?
    I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and
    I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any suggestions?

  19. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information approximately this topic for a long time
    and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

  20. Hello very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful ..
    Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I am glad to search out a lot of helpful info right here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this
    regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  21. Wow, awesome blog structure! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content material!

  22. I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  23. I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site 🙂

  24. What¦s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its helped me. Great job.

  25. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is
    required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice
    would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  26. First of all I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out
    how yyou centedr yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I’ve had difficulty clearing my mind in getting
    my ideas out. I truly ddo take pleasure in writing but it
    just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tdnd to be
    wasted simply just trying tto figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?

  27. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i casme
    to go back the want?.Iam trying to find issues to enhgance my web site!I gueszs
    its good enhough to make use of a few oof yohr concepts!!

  28. Hi there, There’s no doubt that your site could
    possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you
    a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic website!

  29. many of the commercial casino game web sites will give
    you free chips to help you start, i turned 25 into 250 this month this link shows you the way PLAY83.COMBehind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.

  30. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while
    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  31. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful.
    I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you
    are stating and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful web site.

  32. Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident,
    and I am surprised why this twist of fate didn’t happened
    earlier! I bookmarked it.

  33. Great site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to some pals ans additionally
    sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your sweat!

  34. This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  35. Enjoyed looking through this, very good stuff, thanks. “Golf isn’t a game, it’s a choice that one makes with one’s life.” by Charles Rosin.

  36. Whats up very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?KI am glad to find so many useful info right here within the put up, we need work out more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  37. I carry on listening to the rumor talk about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

  38. A different form of gambling started out its achievement all round the globe in the 1990ies that folks are discussing. On the internet casino gaming, on-line gambling, Web gambling, or cyberspace gambling. Doesn’t make any difference the way you get in touch with it. It’s enjoyable and enjoyable.

  39. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I
    find this matter to be actually one thing that I think I might never
    understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I am having a look ahead to your next publish, I’ll try to
    get the cling of it!

  40. Good day very nice blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also? I am satisfied to search out numerous
    useful information right here in the post, we need work out extra
    techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  41. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

  42. Victor Lupis is a felon, and he’s trying to get into Florida homes.
    I don’t know about you, but I personally
    don’t like the thought of having a man in my home who
    has served time in prison for his role in a crime ring.

    You can learn about him here:

    Victor Lupis doesn’t appear to be a very safe person to let in your house or around your family.
    Are you comfortable with a dangerous criminal in your home
    with the people you love? I know I don’t want Victor Lupis anywhere near my
    loved ones.

  43. A Korean-style playing card game comparable to a
    lowball. It’s kind of a casino poker game.
    Unlike many online poker video games in which
    have complicated family tree containing 10 grades as
    well as decide the last 5 out of five to seven chapters, Baduki utilizes a totally various genealogy system than the existing one.
    However, since 4 cards are used to determine the end result of the game, Baduki usually faces similar or identical family tree.

  44. Just wish to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and
    i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with
    your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please continue the
    gratifying work.

    Here is my web page

  45. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto
    a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he
    in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your
    web site.

    Feel free to visit my blog … 1234king 클로버게임

  46. you’re truly a excellent webmaster. The website loading velocity is
    incredible. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a fantastic task on this topic!

  47. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. That is a very neatly written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your helpful
    information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  48. Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able
    to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Many thanks!

  49. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and
    I was wondering your situation; many of us have created some
    nice methods and we are looking to trade techniques with other folks,
    please shoot me an email if interested.

  50. I actually have been exploring for somewhat for almost any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this particular form of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally discovered this site. Reading this information So i’m happy to express that I’ve an extremely excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I this kind of lot unquestionably can certainly make sure to don’t forget to remember this website and give it a glance regularly.

  51. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  52. Excellent blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any suggestions? Bless you!

  53. These days gamblers from all throughout the globe are participating in their favourite casino game titles online. Video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, slots and many other On line casino online games. Some casinos offer you much more than 200 distinctive online games with their cost-free program obtain.

  54. This is really interesting, You are an overly skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in search of extra of your
    great post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

  55. I am curious to find out what blog system you are working with?
    I’m having some small security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find
    something more risk-free. Do you have any solutions?

  56. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem along with your web site in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the marketplace leader and a large part of folks will pass over your great writing due to this problem.

  57. You really allow it to be appear so easy along with your presentation however I to find this matter to become really something that I do believe I might in no way understand. It appears too complex and very extensive for me. I am just looking forward with your next submit, I’ll try and obtain the cling of this!

  58. I like your blog site.. very nice colors & theme. Would you design this website yourself or have you hire someone to accomplish it for yourself? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my very own blog and would want to know where u got this from. thanks a good deal

  59. Hello! I realize this is sort of off-topic but
    I needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours
    require a large amount of work? I am completely new to operating a blog
    however I do write in my diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily
    share my own experience and feelings online. Please let
    me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

  60. Hello! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I
    needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I am completely new to operating a blog however I do write in my diary daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog
    owners. Appreciate it!

  61. Howdy outstanding website! Does running a blog such as this take a great deal
    of work? I’ve absolutely no expertise in programming however
    I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any recommendations or
    techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is
    off topic however I simply wanted to ask. Kudos!

  62. It is perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this publish and if I may I wish to counsel you few fascinating issues or advice. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to learn more things about it!

  63. I?¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i?¦m satisfied to express that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much indubitably will make sure to do not put out of your mind this site and give it a look on a relentless basis.

  64. Hello there Excellent Blog you possess on this
    page, it seems like you add a lot of operate in it.
    Internet marketing just looking into some Blog to acquire motivation for my Website.
    I offer you Bongs on the market, in addition to
    a great Community on my page. If you’re considering Bongs available for purchase,
    or perhaps a Bong Onlineshop, make sure you check out me out by leaving
    me a post.

    br, Moe

    Feel free to visit my homepage;

  65. Знаете ли вы?
    Вместо Плещеева озера Пётр I мог построить потешный флот на озере Неро.
    В игре про выгорание отражён печальный личный опыт главного разработчика.
    Команды тренера года АБА и НБА ни разу не стали в них финалистками.
    Герои украинского сериала о школьниках с трудом изъясняются по-украински.
    Свадьба английского рыцаря стала причиной войны между двумя могущественными родами.


  66. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?강남유흥

    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing
    very good success. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  67. After looking ovеr a few of the blog posts on youг site, I
    honestly аppreciate your technique of writing a blog.
    I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will
    be checking bɑck in the neаr future. Take a look at my website as weⅼl аnd tеll
    me what you think.

    Here is my blog post … YouTube Music

  68. You’re ѕo awesome! I don’t think I have reaⅾ through something like this before.
    So great to discover sօmeone wіth a few oriɡinal thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. many thanks for startіng this up. This web site is something that is
    needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originalitү!

    my рage: napster

  69. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought
    I should check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking into your web page again.

  70. I must show my admiration for your kindness in support of those people who actually need guidance on this question. Your very own dedication to getting the solution around ended up being exceptionally significant and have usually permitted guys and women much like me to achieve their dreams. Your important help and advice denotes so much to me and somewhat more to my office workers. Warm regards; from each one of us.

  71. Write more, thats all I actually have to mention. Literally, it seems as
    if you used the video to make your point. You obviously understand what youre discussing, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos in your weblog when you could be giving us something informative
    to read?

    Check out my web site … AronAAmend

  72. It is perfect time and energy to make some plans for future years and it’s time to be
    happy. I actually have check this out post and in case I really
    could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips.

    Maybe you could write next articles talking about this informative article.

    I need to read a lot more reasons for having it!

    Review my site – JerryFWildin

  73. Your thing is really unique compared to other folks I actually have read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just book mark this website.

    Also visit my site :: QuentinPLaro

  74. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your site in internet explorer, could test this… IE nonetheless is the market leader and a good part of folks will leave out your wonderful writing due to this problem.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Our Other Titles


Logan Energy gets hydrogen on the road in multi-million pound Teesside project

EDINBURGH-based hydrogen technology specialist, Logan Energy, has been chosen as the preferred partner to supply two of the first publicly-accessible hydrogen refuelling...

Orbis Protect acquires Glasgow-based Optosafe

GLASGOW-based Optosafe has been acquired by Orbis Protect. The deal comes comes following a sustained growth in Orbis Protect...

Beattie announces senior promotion

COMMUNICATIONS agency Beattie has appointed a new managing director for Scotland and digital. In her new role, Joanne Spence...

Scotland’s opportunity to grow a new clean, sustainable economy

The idea of a net zero carbon emissions and zero waste economy isn’t as far-fetched as some may think. The key promise...

Decade of continued growth marks new record for Brodies

LEADING Scottish law firm, Brodies LLP, has continued to make progress for the year to 30 April 2020, reporting a 7% increase...