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How To Find Packaging Manufacturers for Startups


Most startups leverage packaging products to build their brand presence and make the products appealing to their potential customers. However, many startups need help finding the right packaging manufacturers. This is because initially, many startups need a small amount of packaging, making it difficult to find a suitable manufacturer. 

This forces them to use general packaging and label stickers which are ineffective in making products unique and recognizable. In response, this article provides essential tips to help businesses find suitable packaging manufacturers.

Table of Contents
Packaging market growth
Tips for finding packaging manufacturers

Packaging market growth

The global market size of packaging products is projected to reach a valuation of $1,275.06 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.94% from 2022 to 2027. The packaging market features different products, such as plastic, paperboard, wood, metal, and glass packaging.

The considerable market growth is due to the high demand for products, such as food, that require safe packaging. Also, the growing number of people buying food online through food delivery apps is driving the need for more packaging products.

Tips for finding packaging manufacturers

New businesses can follow these guidelines to choose a packaging manufacturer that suits their needs.

Research potential manufacturers

Person researching on the internet

Locating the right manufacturer for the packaging products is essential for a business’s prosperity. The manufacturer controls all the costs, quality, packaging, and shipping. The company can research the manufacturer and get details on the type of packaging products they make, the services they provide, as well as their capabilities.

One can find out more about a manufacturer by conducting online research. Alibaba.com is one of the places where businesses can connect directly with manufacturers. The online marketplace connects businesses with manufacturers from China. 

Google is another reliable source to help businesses identify a perfect packaging manufacturer. Using Google search keywords such as “wholesale”, “distributor”, or “supplier” can provide a wide array of choices. To improve the quality of the research, one can familiarize themselves with Google search shortcuts.

Directories are also great places where one can research potential manufacturers. Directories contain lists of manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers that businesses can use to contact them for queries and orders.

Businesses can take full advantage of domestic and overseas directories available for free online. Some of the domestic ones are CMA Member Organizations, Kompass, MFG, and ThomasNet. For overseas directories, one can use AliExpress, Indiamart, and Sourcify.

Attend trade shows

Blurred background of public event exhibition hall

Trade shows are one of the best places where businesses can find potential partners, clients, and suppliers. While the exhibitions are a hotspot for many companies and individuals looking for opportunities, businesses can take advantage of them to locate a packaging manufacturer to work with.

However, there are so many tradeshows that happen yearly, so it is important to filter trade shows and expos that relate to the packaging niche. Nowadays, most trade shows have websites showing a list of companies attending. One can check the list of manufacturers to contact them and connect before the day of the trade fair.

Additionally, online trade shows are a thing today that can be an alternative other than visiting the physical venue for the exhibition.

Ask for recommendations

Five-star rating on a gray background

Referrals are crucial when looking for the right manufacturer for a packaging design for a small business. One can ask leads within the professional network if they know a company offering good services or if they know someone that has a connection. 

One can also look at other successful startups that use well-designed packaging and ask if they can share their manufacturer’s contacts.

Social media has made it easy to get recommendations. Businesses can join social groups and communities to see how members are reviewing companies that provide packaging solutions. The company that has many positive reviews will be the best to pick.

Upon finding manufacturers that do not suit the business, seeking advice from them to guide the business toward a reputable one is a good idea. Since they have industrial experience, they can provide links to companies that fit one’s business better.

Consider using a sourcing agent

A sourcing agent helps a company find custom packaging products from manufacturers at low prices so that the company can save on the cost of production. The sourcing agent can be an individual or a company that gets products on behalf of other businesses. 

The agent has to have several business skills including the ability to communicate in several languages. Payment for the sourcing agents is a commission percentage of the total value of the products.

Businesses can use a sourcing agent to find the best prices because they have contacts with various packaging suppliers and know where to find them. They help negotiate discounts as well as other deals that businesses do not have the time for. Eventually, the agents can create an extended relationship with the manufacturer.

Businesses can also work with overseas agents. Overseas sourcing agents perform roles such as inspecting the factories, finding reliable shipping, and handling tax matters.

Reach out to industry associations

Join written on wooden cubes next to a plant

Industry associations act as the voice of individual companies by protecting their rights. Joining an industry association has many benefits.  One of them is that they help businesses tap into a wide range of opportunities. 

Industry associations open doors for businesses to access reliable packaging companies. Businesses can strengthen bonds with packaging companies and get exclusive offers that ultimately help boost startups’ growth.


With the right research and due diligence, businesses can find a reputable and qualified packaging manufacturer who can help bring their products to life. It is vital to look for a packaging manufacturer that offers a variety of services, competitive pricing, and a team of knowledgeable professionals.

For more information about packaging products, visit Alibaba.com.

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