Looking for the right virgin coconut oil manufacturer may be challenging - especially when you need it to fit your company's brand. In fact, there are thousands of virgin coconut oil manufacturers worldwide, including the Philippines.
So how do you know what makes each manufacturer or supplier different? Is the price the only factor to consider? Or is there more?
Before choosing the manufacturer, it's important to ask this question:
What are your product and company requirements for your manufacturing partner?
These can range from competitive pricing to specific product characteristics. There are a couple of manufacturers in the Philippines with specialized processes; therefore, it's important to determine how your virgin coconut oil manufacturer can help achieve your company goals.
1. What do you know about the company?
These are the two most important things to know about any virgin coconut oil manufacturer:
How long have they been in business? Manufacturers, who have been in the industry for more than ten years, have specialized processes developed through years of experience. They can even provide you insider tips and tricks in the virgin coconut oil industry.
Do they have any certifications? Certifications provide an assurance to you, as the buyer, that the product you received followed world-class standards.
2. What type of virgin coconut oil do they produce?
To find out what process suits your company, it's important to determine what your target market wants.
Target Market: People who likes the coconutty aroma and smell.
Cons: People are slowly demanding for fresh oils. Most cold pressed companies focus on quantity but are not scalable with producing high-quality oils.
3. What are the product characteristics of the oil? Can these characteristics help with your marketing efforts?
Below are the different product characteristics that can help your marketing team with their marketing product strategy:
Aroma & Flavor: There are two types: Coconutty and Farm Fresh. Farm Fresh oils focus on preserving the fresh characteristics of the oil. Coconutty is defined by that strong aroma and flavor. While this does not exist in fresh coconuts, it has created its own market.
Texture: Fresh oils should have a water-like texture. Highly manufactured oils are thick. The thickness is a byproduct of the different manufacturing processes used.
Easy to drink: Will it be easy or hard for children to drink the oil? If children can, so can adults!
Easily absorbed by the skin: Fresh oils should be absorbed in seconds.
Laurin Acid / MCT Content
Certifications: Determine the organic certifications that you can use for your products. This will help you gain trust from your customers.
4. Have you visited their factory?
Visiting the factory helps you visualize the company producing your oil and establishing a good relationship. Determine the following:
5. What's the story behind the coconuts they use?
The coconuts play a vital role in high-quality virgin coconut oil. In fact, some manufacturers use the coconuts, for copra, to manufacturer virgin coconut oil!
Ask your manufacturer the following questions:
Are these coconuts also used in copra?
Are the coconuts from organic-certified farms?
What is the level of traceability?
6. Ask them to allow you to compare their oil with a freshly harvested organic coconut.
Fresh virgin coconut oil, from fresh and mature coconuts, should have a mild and light aroma and flavor. The texture should also be water-like. Any deviation from this indicates an oil that has been altered during the manufacturing process.
7. How long are the coconuts stored in their warehouse?
To preserve the freshness, coconuts have to be processed within 48 hours or less. Be wary of companies that store the coconuts for weeks or even months as coconuts deteriorates over time.
8. What are their environmental policies and corporate social responsibility?
Companies who take pride in their environmental policies and social responsibility is an indicator of how passionate they are in producing high-quality oil. Here are some key questions:
What environmental policies do they have in place? (Ex. Zero waste)
How does their factory look like? Is it walls of steel or has an organic look and feel?
How do they help the community?
Tip: The easiest way to determine this is by asking if they are FairTrade certified. Fairtrade's goal is to promotes sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers in developing countries. Manufacturing companies who have this went through rigorous audit processes.
9. Are they organic-certified? Or just organic?
Take note that anyone can claim they are organic. It's just a question of how the company perceives organic. Organic-certified products, on the other hand, needs to follow rigorous processes and pass the audit. Organic certifications assures you, the buyer, that these companies have followed the international organic standards.
10. Are they dedicated with producing high-quality and organic virgin coconut oil?
The best way to determine this is find out their expertise in virgin coconut oil. Here are some key questions to ask:
How long have you been manufacturing?
What are the attributes of high-quality virgin coconut oil?
What certifications does your company uphold?