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Producer vs. Manufacturer: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 19, 2023
"A producer creates goods or services, while a manufacturer specifically makes products from raw materials through a systematic process."

Key Differences

The term "producer" is broad, encompassing individuals or businesses that create, grow, or generate a wide variety of goods and services. On the other hand, a "manufacturer" is a type of producer that uses raw materials and manual labor or machinery in a structured process to create new products. Both "producer" and "manufacturer" play crucial roles in supply chains, but a manufacturer is specifically involved in the conversion of raw substances into finished goods.
In the entertainment industry, a "producer" might fund, oversee, and deliver artistic content, whereas "manufacturer" doesn't apply in these contexts. In such scenarios, "producer" is a broad term referring to someone responsible for the end product's creation and management, but "manufacturer" specifically refers to the systematic production of tangible goods from raw materials.
A "producer" can operate in various economic sectors, including agriculture, entertainment, or technology, creating both intangible services and tangible products. In contrast, a "manufacturer" operates specifically within the industrial sector, transforming raw materials into tangible goods on a large scale. Therefore, while all manufacturers are producers, not all producers are manufacturers.
In agriculture, a "producer" is someone who grows or raises products like crops or livestock. This term doesn't imply the complex, systematic processes that "manufacturer" does, which involves producing goods, typically in a factory setting, through a multi-stage process. Both producers and manufacturers are integral to the economy, but they operate in different sectors and stages of production.
From an economic perspective, a "producer" can be understood as any entity contributing to the creation of goods or the provision of services that will eventually enter the market. A "manufacturer," however, specifically contributes to the economy by creating new products from raw or pre-existing materials through various forms of labor and production processes. While both producers and manufacturers add value to the market, the nature and method of their contributions differ significantly.

Comparison Chart


Broad, various sectors
Specific, industrial sector


Goods or services
Tangible goods


Various processes
Systematic, often industrial


Agriculture, entertainment, etc.
Typically industrial


General creation, oversight
Specific creation from raw materials

Producer and Manufacturer Definitions


A person responsible for the financial and managerial aspects of making a movie or show.
The film producer coordinated all aspects of the film's production.


An entity that converts raw materials into finished goods.
The car manufacturer sources materials from various countries.


An entity that creates agricultural products.
The producer supplied fresh vegetables to the local market.


A company involved in mass production of electronics.
The smartphone manufacturer released their latest model.


An organism, such as a green plant, that produces its own food through photosynthesis.
As a producer, the plant converts sunlight into energy.


A business that produces goods using labor, machines, and chemical processing.
The pharmaceutical manufacturer developed a new drug.


A company or country that creates, grows, or supplies goods or commodities for sale.
Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the world.


A person or business that makes goods for sale, typically involving machinery.
The manufacturer ramped up production to meet the high demand.


(economics) An individual or organization that creates goods and services.


An industry or sector engaged in the complex production of machinery.
Heavy equipment manufacturers are central to infrastructure development.


(biology) An organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple molecules and an external source of energy.


A business engaged in manufacturing some product


An arrest for speeding after which the driver is allowed seven days (or ten, in the Republic of Ireland) in which to produce his/her driving licence and related documents at a police station.


A person, an enterprise, or an entity that manufactures something.


(archaic) A furnace for producing combustible gas for fuel.


A person or company that manufactures.


One who produces, brings forth, or generates.


One who manufactures.


One who grows agricultural products, or manufactures crude materials into articles of use.


Someone who manufactures something


A furnace for producing combustible gas which is used for fuel.


Someone who manufactures something


Someone who finds financing for and supervises the making and presentation of a show (play or film or program or similar work)


Something that produces;
Maine is a leading producer of potatoes
This microorganism is a producer of disease


A person who supervises recording sessions for artists.
The music producer helped shape the band's unique sound.


One that produces, especially a person or organization that produces goods or services for sale.


A person who supervises and controls the administrative, financial, and commercial aspects of staging a show or performance or of creating and distributing a video or audio recording.


A furnace that manufactures producer gas.


(Ecology) An organism, such as a green plant, that produces its own food through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis and constitutes the first trophic level in a food chain; an autotroph.


One who produces an artistic production, such as an album, a theater production, a film, a TV program, a video game, and so on.


Can manufacturers be considered producers?

Yes, manufacturers are a specific type of producer focused on creating goods from raw materials.

Do producers directly sell to consumers?

Some producers sell directly to consumers, while others sell through intermediaries.

Does a manufacturer only produce tangible goods?

Typically, yes, manufacturers produce tangible goods, especially through industrial processes.

Can a producer be an individual or a company?

Yes, a producer can be either an individual or a company involved in creating goods or services.

Can a producer be involved in the service industry?

Yes, producers can create intangible services as well as tangible products.

Are producers only found in the agricultural sector?

No, producers operate in many sectors, including entertainment, technology, and agriculture.

Are manufacturers responsible for quality control?

Yes, manufacturers typically oversee quality control during the production process.

Are manufacturers involved in the design process?

Some manufacturers are, especially those that produce complex or branded products.

What's a common challenge producers face?

Producers often navigate fluctuating demand, production costs, and market competition.

What role do manufacturers play in supply chains?

Manufacturers typically convert raw materials into finished products for distribution.

What is the role of a producer in a film?

A film producer oversees the movie's production, from funding to filming to distribution.

Do manufacturers deal with direct sales?

Some manufacturers sell directly, but many distribute through wholesalers or retailers.

Can a producer also be a distributor?

Yes, particularly in sectors like film or music, a producer can also distribute the content.

Do manufacturers always use machinery in production?

Most manufacturers use some form of machinery, though the extent varies by industry.

Can a producer be an artist or musician?

Yes, in entertainment, a producer can be someone who oversees and directs creative projects.

Do producers manage marketing and distribution?

Some do, especially in sectors like entertainment, while others focus on production alone.

What's the importance of manufacturers in the economy?

Manufacturers contribute significantly to GDP, employment, and trade in many countries.

Are manufacturers considered part of the secondary sector?

Yes, manufacturing is typically classified as part of the secondary sector in economics.

Is manufacturing limited to heavy industry?

No, manufacturing spans diverse sectors, including food, electronics, textiles, and more.

Do producers handle raw materials?

Some do, especially in industries like agriculture or mining.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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