I spent months looking for the right manufacturer. My expectation was:
- location in the EU - this is my condition, because I believe that with a manufacturer outside the EU there may be problems with the regulatory issues and of course the cost of transportation is also important,
- low MOQ - 5000 pcs or below,
- GMP certification,
- possibility of transfer of IP rights,
- basic ingredients supplied by the manufacturer - I have no problem with buying not popular ingredients needed only for me, but buying every single ingredient, including preservatives and glycerin, is dramatically unprofitable, especially since many of them I would not be able to use during their shelf life.
Unfortunately, I have not found a company that would meet all these requirements. There is no problem with the first three points, but it looks like the last two points are contradictory.
If I am able to find a company with a large ingredients inventory, they don't offer transfer of IP rights (even for formulations that would be made special for me). It could be a problem for me if the cooperation is unsuccessful, and it would then require additional costs for a new development in another company.
Companies that are focused mainly on unique formulations offer the transfer of IP rights, but usually they don't have their own ingredients, and I would have to purchase all of them on my own. Usually such companies are also small companies and here I have some doubts whether such a company can be trustworthy and how it would behave if for example the product would hit the market and it would turn out to be unstable (I have bought a separated emulsion several times, so it is possible ). On the other hand, I'm afraid that if you are a small customer in a large company, then you will still be a second-class customer and you won't get as much attention as others anyway.
I'm a bit stuck with making a decision, so I want to ask what you think about it. Maybe there are other factors I should consider?