Partners in Progress

Everything But the Milk

Stanpac's all-inclusive business concept helps Virginia creamery boost profitability.
When Wirtz, Va.-based Homestead Creamery, a small, locally owned milk processing plant, needed to design a bottle for its regular milk offerings, Smithville, Ontario-based Stanpac Inc. answered the call with its refillable glass milk bottles and much, much more.
“Stanpac worked with us on the bottle design for our regular bottles, then supplied us with the bottles, closures and plastic divided cases,” says Jeff Beckner, general manager for Homestead. “They also worked with us on designing a limited edition bottle for Christmas. We had a customer approach us wanting quarts of eggnog for the holidays in a disposable glass bottle. Stanpac was able to step in and fill this need.”
Beckner says the creamery successfully shipped the bottles throughout the holiday season. “Everyone seemed to love the design of this bottle,” he says.
In addition to working with Homstead on its milk bottles, Stanpac now supplies the creamery with tamper-evident pint ice cream packaging. “We were excited when Stanpac introduced their tamper-evident pint ice cream packaging,” says Beckner. “They were willing to work with our company — ‘the small guy’ — unlike some of the larger cup manufacturers. We were able to purchase smaller minimums, and Stanpac’s art department was great in helping us with a design that turned our vision into reality.”
Beckner says the tamper-evident pints are a “wonder plus,” especially with the heightened fear associated with food safety following September 11.
Homestead has not even begun to scratch the surface of the ice cream market but believes the new tamper-evident pint cups will put the creamery in a position to capture a lot of sales in the premium ice cream segment this year.
Beckner admits that early on in business Homestead was reluctant to deal with a supplier outside the United States for such a critical component of its operation.
“Stanpac has erased all fears over the past four years,” he says. “They have been able to provide us with a quality package for our premium products and have been able to support our growth and changing needs.”
Murray Bain, vice president of marketing for Stanpac, recalls the onset of the working relationship with Homestead. “Stanpac started doing business with Homestead in 2001. Originally we supplied them with refillable glass milk bottles, closures and plastic divided cases,” he says. “We assisted the creamery with the design and artwork for their bottles and closures to ensure Homestead's message and image were getting across to the customers they were targeting. We put together order quantities to fit with their growing business, reacting quickly as their business grew.”
In early 2004, says Bain, Stanpac developed the tamper-evident pint package for ice cream and created a unique design for Homestead that characterized the beautiful countryside where the creamery is located. “The attractiveness of the package has helped Homestead gain sales and its tamper-evident feature provides an assurance of quality and safety to the customer,” he says.
In fall 2004, Stanpac introduced another new product that Bain says Homestead jumped on right away — the 32-ounce non-refillable glass milk bottle. “Some of the stores in the Virginia area the creamery serves would not take the refillable bottles but were eager to carry Homestead Egg Nog for the holidays,” he says. “The non-refillable was the perfect solution to achieve the same taste and quality that the refillable brings. The non-refillable also allowed Homestead to ship to markets where the refillable system would not work financially.”
Stanpac’s concept of “Everything but the Milk” is achieved with the company's full line of refillable glass milk bottles, a variety of closures, milk crates and wire carriers for home delivery.
The company’s new tamper-evident pint ice cream packaging features a security band that is visible to the customer at point of purchase. Superior graphics are achieved with offset printing capabilities.
— Stanpac Inc., Spring Creek Road, R.R. #3, Smithville, Ontario, Canada L0R 2A0; U.S. offices: P.O. Box 584, Lewiston, N.Y., 14092-0584, phone: (905) 957-3326, fax: (905) 957-3616, Web site: www.stanpacnet.com