Prime Partners

Time-honored relationship keeps two companies moving ahead.
There’s nothing old school about Munroe Dairy or Green Spot other than their partnership. In the 1950s, a national salesman from Green Spot called on Bud Armstrong, who at the time was the president of Rhode Island-based family-owned A.B. Munroe Dairy.
According to Wiley Jones, executive vice president of Claremont, Calif.-based Green Spot Packaging, the two companies worked together to promote sales of fruit drinks on Munroe’s home-delivery routes. “In the early years, Green Spot’s nationally known Orange Ade drink was a big hit with Munroe Dairy customers,” he says. “We supplied Munroe with leaflets to let their customers know that the dairy could provide more than just fresh milk. That was the beginning of this great relationship.”
Rob Armstrong, president of Munroe Dairy, further comments on the partnership’s beginning. “My grandfather believed that all we needed to focus on was dairy — delivering fresh milk and cream to our customers. My father, Bud, started the relationship with Green Spot (before my time) in the ’50s and I continue to work with them today,” he says. “The dairy was founded in 1881 and purchased by my grandfather in 1936. Naturally, I’ve been around the dairy my whole life but it wasn’t until about 15 years ago we were faced with some tough decisions.
“The milkman along with home-delivery service was a dying breed. I began adding products to revive business. Now customers can order online through our Web site selecting from about 150 items ranging from filet mignon to gourmet desserts. It turns out, customers really value the convenience of having grocery items and milk in glass bottles delivered right to their home — families with kids especially enjoy the fruit drinks.”
Armstrong says the dairy started with Green Spot’s OrangeAde in the 1950s. “Now we offer three drinks made here at Munroe from concentrate: 10% Lemonade, Cherry-Apple and 10% Fruit Punch,” he says. “We asked Green Spot to work with us to adjust the recipe and they were great about it. I like the fact that we mix the product here because we can add the sugar ourselves; we don’t use corn syrup — we use cane sugar. Green Spot lemonade is our biggest seller.”
Originally introduced as a summer drink, it’s now sold year-round. “It has a better profit margin than milk,” says Armstrong. “Our fruit drink half gallons retail for $1.34. That’s a price our customers love and the quality is always consistent with Green Spot liquid concentrate.”
Armstrong says that even though the two companies are on opposite coasts, they collaborate on flavors and continue to expand the variety of fruit drinks offered at the dairy. “Wiley and I are discussing some exciting promotional efforts we would like to test this year. I’d love to see an exotic tropical drink added to our selection. Wiley and Mike (Michael Staudt, president and chief executive officer of Green Spot) are great guys to work with. They’ve never compromised on quality. That’s why we’ve partnered for over 50 years and hopefully will for another 50!” — Green Spot Packaging, 100 S. Cambridge Ave., Claremont, Calif., 91711, phone: (909) 625-8771, Web site: www.greenspotusa.com