CHICAGO — Carl Melville, president, The Melville Group, Carlsbad, Calif., introduced the six most effective methods for emerging brands and contract manufacturers (or co-mans) to establish and maintain a successful relationship at Pack Expo 2022.

Mr. Melville presented “The Six Traits of Highly Successful Emerging Brands/Contract Manufacturing Relationships” industry report on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the annual expo, which runs Oct. 23-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Despite the negative impact from the pandemic, inflation, labor shortages and fulfillment rates, the contract manufacturing industry hit $75.5 billion in 2020, with the potential to reach $120.8 billion by 2025, according to Mr. Melville. The industry is currently growing at a rate of 10.2%.

The reasons for emerging brands to use contract manufacturers — a process that involves hiring a third-party company to create, manufacture and/or assemble a product — comes down to four factors, explained Mr. Melville.

“Capacity, efficiency, innovation and speed-to-market are the benefits of establishing a relationship with a contract manufacturer,” he said.

When considering a partnership, Mr. Melville urged companies to weigh six factors: operational transparency, functional alignment, complementary capabilities, structural collaboration, strategic outcome alignment and common value market.

“The questions emerging brands and co-mans have to ask themselves when entering a partnership are simple,” Mr. Melville said. “ ‘Can we get along? Are we compatible? Do we have complementary goals?’ All these questions should be addressed when building a partnership.”

Mr. Melville concluded his talk by addressing sustainability issues, another important factor when searching for the right business partner.

“You can’t walk anywhere in this convention center without seeing something on sustainability,” he said.

He highlighted five corporate sustainability strategies, including collaboration, process improvement, innovation and technology, greening the supply chain and sustainability reporting.

Mr. Melville’s presentation was done in coordination with the Contract Packaging Association. Visit for more information.