When sitting on an airplane we wait expectantly for our complimentary snack. The variety today seems to be growing at an amazing rate. Once upon a time you expected a few salty peanuts that sent you gasping for a complimentary drink. Now every time we get on an airplane we seem to be offered a different delectable, mini-snack offering, the array includes pretzels, crackers and granola packets. Yet, it seems that they all have the airline’s logo on it, seemingly indicating that they manufactured the goods. How could this be?

The truth is that they didn’t, they outsourced the goods. This practice has become more and more common with companies wanting their logo on all the products they offer. It does not seem to matter if the goods are complementary or for sale. It is also common practice for supermarkets to outsource their own brand goods. Surprisingly you may discover that you can buy cornflakes from different places in different packaging but study the boxes a little closer and you will notice that they were actually made in the same factory.

Consumers demand choice, they also expect the brands that they trust to give them that choice. To manufacture everything and to a good standard and at a reasonable price is totally unrealistic, so they search high and low to find a company somewhere in the world that can produce what they want and are willing to let them put their own name on it.

The world of outsourcing has become very complex especially in the snack sector. Every label is trying to make the maximum amount of profit they can but they are also looking for quality and variety. In recent years, spurred on by government legislation and consumer demands, they have to try to make the products nutritionally more acceptable, cutting out sugars, salt, preservatives and so many more perceived baddies.

They therefore have to find a manufacturer, who will bow to their many demands to make the products to their specific specifications and they must also have the technology and staff who can verify the claims that they wish to put on their packets. They also need a company who can move fast so that they can hit the market with the product whilst it is current.

An example of a company who primarily produce for others is EffectiveEat who make granolas, snack bars and the like. They have the experience to make top quality products and vary them according to the needs of different distributors. Of course, this involves a lot of consultation work but it means that whilst two different airlines may serve an EffectiveEat granola packet, the packets will look different and the products will also be different.

So next time you settle down with a snack, spend a little time reading the packet and considering who really made the product and what makes it unique.