What is contract manufacturing in cosmetic packaging industry?

What is contract manufacturing in cosmetic packaging industry?

What is the role of contract manufacturing in the cosmetic packaging industry? Why is it so important, when should you consider hiring a cosmetic packaging manufacturer, and which aspects should you consider?

Through this article we aim to answer all these questions, which will help you developing your cosmetic packaging solutions.

Let’s proceed step by step, by first giving a definition of contract manufacturing.

What is contract manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing occurs when a company, the contract manufacturer, enters an agreement with another company to produce its products (or part of them) according to the client’s requirements, withing a certain time frame.

Contract manufacturing is a form of outsourcing: some companies don’t have the resources needed to produce everything internally. Or they may decide not to do so for strategic reasons. Contract manufacturing is a quite common model in the cosmetic packaging industry as well as in many other sectors.

Who relies on contract manufacturing?

There exist at least two types of customers who need contract manufacturers:

• Companies with limited or no production capacity. Many startups for example belong to this category, and they often opt for outsourcing engineering and production activities to contract manufacturers, so to focus on their core business, while making no capital investments, accessing key competences, and avoiding other running costs.

• The second group consists of established companies that, while having an internal production capacity, turn to contract manufacturers in some situations. Coping with fluctuating or unpredictable demand, launching a new product line, and manufacturing special configurations are good examples.

In our world product specialization is increasingly important, using the latest technology is both crucial and expensive, and high standards of service are more and more a requirement. For all these reasons, contract manufacturing is important in many sectors, including the cosmetic packaging industry.

What are the benefits of contract manufacturing cosmetic packaging solutions?

Deciding to outsource packaging production has a number of benefits:

Reduced investment and product costs

By relying on a contract manufacturer, the client benefits of significant cost savings, both in terms of capital investment (equipment) and labor required to produce cosmetic packaging. These costs as well as the ever evolving innovation behind the production technologies are taken care by the contract manufacturer.

Shorter time to market

When a company hires a contract manufacturer for the production of its cosmetic packaging, it can count on a team of product and market experts and an already functional supply chain. This guarantees good reactivity and shorter time to market.

Focused resources

By partnering with a contract manufacturer, the client can focus on its core activities, leaving it to the contract manufacturer to create outstanding cosmetic packaging products. The critical resources can then be directed to other areas that are more structural to the business, such as marketing, sales, R&D.

Manufacturing know-how and service reliability

Even the best projects can run into obstacles, so it is essential to have a contract manufacturer at your side that ensures manufacturing know-how and good service. Reliable contract manufacturers know how to promptly react to all sorts of problems without compromising the project schedule.

Creativity and product expertise

Some contract manufacturers are specialized in cosmetic packaging solutions, which means that they work in a very stimulating and creative environment. This sector is constantly looking for original ideas and innovations. Only those who live in close contact with the market know how to please the client with exceptional products.

The steps of contract manufacturing process for cosmetic packaging

Packaging is the first thing customers when they buy cosmetic products.

Ideally, the cosmetic packaging should please all the senses of the potential buyer. For this reason, contract manufacturers are responsible for producing cosmetic packaging solutions that reflects the brand’s identity, while meeting its requirements.

For this to happen, the packaging must differentiate itself from competitors and, possibly, it should be sustainable.

These are the activities that any reliable contract manufacturer performs:

Feasibility study

First of all, a reliable contract manufacturer conducts feasibility studies, with the aim of evaluating the project’s potential for success. This activity aims to demonstrate that cosmetic packaging will be truly producible, meeting the technical, functional, budgetary, scheduling and legal requirements, limiting the possibility of rework, to ensure the final success.

Design for manufacturing

In this phase, the contract manufacturer designs cosmetic packaging through an analysis of the main factors that effectively affect performances and costs: manufacturing process and techniques, design, materials, environment, compliance / regulations. This is how the process for the production of the best packaging is defined, at the lowest cost and in short time.


Then we move to prototyping. This step helps the client to evaluate the functional and aesthetic aspects of cosmetic packaging before moving to production. Prototyping is essential as it detects, for example, any weaknesses, validates the choices of materials, determines whether the pack is user-friendly and allows you to receive feedback from the customer, to then converge towards a final product.


Finally, the real production of cosmetic packaging takes place, involving the best players on the market in the processing of the materials used.

At this stage it is important that the contract manufacturer keeps to established deadlines and disposes of an organized logistics, to guarantee a fast supply to the customer.

Minelli Systems is a contract manufacturer of cosmetic packaging solutions, who focused on unique and sustainable products, while ensuring top-notch service.

Paolo Minelli
Paolo Minelli
Minelli Systems Director
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