Swapples brings back local manufacturing - gets picked up by giant and improves product + sales
Swapples is leaving the world of co-packing and returning to in-house manufacturing after being acquired by the gluten-free breakfast empire, Stone’s Throw Foods. The Washington, D.C. based company has ambitious plans for Swapples, which offers a reinvented take on a classic breakfast option by ‘swapping' out processed sugars and grain-based flours for whole yuca root and natural sweeteners.
In May, Stone’s Throw Foods’ acquisition of the better for you waffle company, Swapples, was finalized. Swapples was founded on the idea of serving packaged foods that are made of real food and ingredients that make you feel good. When Swapples founder Rebecca Peress decided to take a step back from the company to focus on a new career venture, it only made sense that Stone’s Throw Foods pick up where she left off. Stone’s Throw Food’s mission is to serve gluten-free and paleo-friendly food products aligned with Swapples’ belief that packaged food can be both convenient and healthy.
By shifting to in-house manufacturing, Swapples will be able to expand its opportunities for growth, like its customer base in the gluten-free and paleo-friendly breakfast category and expanding distribution to reach more customers at the national-level. The move to in-house manufacturing will enable Stone Throw’s Foods to set the waffle brand up for long-term success.
Why Manufacturing Matters
Owning your manufacturing ensures that your company has complete control over the production process, product quality, and inventory. Bringing manufacturing in-house allows for agility in product development, production, and the ability to quickly implement customer feedback.
Controlling the Composition and Quality of Your Product
In-house manufacturing enables you to control the composition and quality of your products. Ensuring that the quality meets you and your customers’ standards is vital to maintaining consumer satisfaction and maintaining the integrity of the product you’ve developed.
Dictating Production Schedules and Inventory
Owning the manufacturing of your products also allows you to dictate the amount of product you keep in your inventory and control the amount that is produced. As a new brand, demand can be volatile and have negative impacts on cash flow. By controlling manufacturing, you are able to manage the amount of inventory you have, thereby reducing waste, additional overhead costs, or not carrying enough of your product to fulfill orders. As Swapples continues to grow, it will be able to expand sustainably because it can dictate its production schedule based on the demand and new accounts the brand receives. Instead of being at the whim of a co-packer’s schedule, Swapples will direct its continued expansion into the market.
Agility as a Competitive Advantage
By using in-house manufacturing, you as a business owner have the autonomy to decide when, what, and how you make changes to your product. For example, you have the flexibility to test out new flavors by conducting smaller production runs. This, along with implementing your customers’ feedback and suggestions immediately, without the constraint of a copacker, gives you the freedom to create a product that is more successful and sustains long term success.
Challenges of Using a Copacker
In comparison, companies that use co-packers can face a loss of control over their product. The product is left to the discretion of the manufacturer, resulting in uncontrollable amounts of inventory, design and packaging constraints, and slow turnarounds for consumer suggestions. While copackers can make scaling your product easier, they also remove the autonomy that controlling the manufacturing process offers.
Swapples is ensuring future success by bringing their manufacturing in-house, in collaboration with Union Kitchen’s new Eckington facility in northeast Washington D.C. By having control over the entire production process, Swapples will be able to efficiently expand their distribution to more customers nationally. By investing in the advantages that owning manufacturing provides, the company is setting Swapples up for continued growth and success in the gluten free category.