As an organic chocolate manufacturer, we often receive inquiries from other brands that are interested in partnering with us (such as in the case of H&M Home). In addition, we also receive requests to produce for other brands – what is commonly referred to as private label. In this short article, I’ll share my own thoughts on what factors to consider when evaluating whom to partner with and under what circumstances private label is a good way to grow a business.

As my company, Malmö Chocolate Factory, get closer and closer to our maximum production capacity, we have to carefully choose what partnerships to prioritise and what projects to turn down.

When evaluating whom to partner with, the strength of a customer’s own distribution is a key factor. First of all, we know from our own experiences that it’s tough to find good retailers and representatives, much tougher than one would first think. Secondly, if a company have ”their own” distribution network (such as a chain of stores, a really popular web shop or an exclusive deal with someone else helping them make their products available to the general market), we don’t have to compete with this brand in the same speciality stores or chocolate shelves which of course also makes it better for both parties.

And finally, when assessing who to partner with we look for companies with a distribution network that complements our own and consequently makes our products available to more people.

From our perspective, we see three possible ways to cooperate with companies and retailers:

1. If you either sell chocolate (or want to give it to your employees, customers, business partners etc) you can buy it from us.

2. If you have your own distribution and would like to be able to offer your customers truly good chocolate but under your own brand, give us a call.

3. If you have a strong brand that hooks into the values we salute (sustainability, transparency, craftmanship and attention to detail), we might be interested in collaborating with you.

In conclusion, for food businesses considering to partner with other brands or produce for other companies it’s essential to closely look at the strength and complementarity of the potential partner’s distribution network.

Jens Fylkner
CEO of Malmö Chocolate Factory