Manufacturer Finally Found
I’m excited to announce that Lancaster Fine Foods in Lancaster, Pennsylvania has accepted me as a client, and the test batch at their facility was successful. The mix of oils has changed significantly through the stability and taste testing process. The amount of coconut oil had to be significantly reduced to improve emulsion stability, and extra virgin olive oil and virgin avocado oil were removed from the formula for taste. While non-virgin olive and avocado oil would have tasted okay, the process used to extract and refine them does not meet my health standards. So the final formula will be mostly cold-pressed macadamia oil and a small amount of gravity-separated coconut oil.
The worldwide harvest of macadamia nuts this year was low, which along with increased demand has driven up the prices of macadamia oil. Unfortunately, in order to offer 8oz jars of Payo to grocery stores at a viable price point, I have decided to use virgin macadamia oil instead of the significantly more costly organic virgin macadamia oil. I do wish for Payo to be a completely organic product, and will reevaluate this decision for future batches.
The suppliers for most of the ingredients have been set, and the only one remaining is eggs. The previous manufacturer I worked with was open to working with in-shell eggs, but Lancaster requires them in pre-cracked and pasteurized liquid form. This reduces the field of possible suppliers, and I am still searching for organic, pastured, liquid eggs.
On the label front, I’m trying to decide on a good, earthy brown for the background, and am working on shrinking the 16oz 2.5 x 8.5" label to 2.5 x 7.25" to fit the 8oz jar. I’ve also switched label printers to one with more stock options, and I’m looking for something with a rough, construction-paper-like look and feel. So far the one I like best is from a wine label materials collection, but the printer is looking at more options for me.
I have sent a jar of mayo to Amazon to test the process and find the exact cost of using them for fulfillment, and while it is costly ($4.07 per order of a single 8oz jar, plus a bit more if it sits in storage for a long period), it is less expensive than other options, considering that most buyers will be getting free shipping, either through Amazon Prime or the $35 free-shipping minimum order size. Orders through the payo.us website for cases of 12 jars will be discounted and shipped directly from the manufacturer.
Testing out variously sized bubble wrap bags:
Prepping a jar for Amazon:
Test jar live on the store:
Unpacking the laboratory high shear mixer was a hilariously large project. The package was filled with small boxes and foam that could not be easily pried off, only slowly chipped away. Pictured is my VP of Formula Development. Thanks again, Tyler, for your help in the making and tasting of Payo and in the demolishing of this box:
Lab mixer head:
Test batch at the manufacturer:
Manufacturer’s bottle filling line: